There is an interesting case out of Pennsylvania where a former partner at a Pennsylvania law firm and former county bar association president has been revealed as never having attended law school. Kimberly Kitchen, 45, allegedly forged her law license as well as her bar examination results and her attendance at Duquesne University. Kitchen is now facing criminal charges, though some have objected that she is being let off lightly.
Kitchen represented over 30 clients in estate-planning matters as part of BMZ law. Her attorney Caroline Roberto however insists that her client was “an incredibly competent person and she worked very diligently and was devoted to the people she served in the community.” Of course, she did so under the false pretense of having gone to law school and being an attorney. Roberto stated that “[t]here are things about the charges we don’t agree with so we’re going to be fighting some of the charges.” However, it is not clear what those things might be, assuming that the charges are true that Kitchen never went to law school and lied about their being an attorney for some ten years. The deception was reportedly quite intricate with even a forged email showing that she attended Duquesne and a check for a state attorney registration fee.
Prosecutors say that Kitchen was employed at Juniata College, where she worked in fundraising but “started holding herself out to be a lawyer.”
The forgery charge is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison when the unauthorized practice charge is a third-degree misdemeanor with a maximum of a year in jail.