Legal Ethics

Suspended lawyer ordered to pay $42K for misrepresenting self to bankruptcy clients

A Milwaukee lawyer who proclaims himself “Light Hero” has been ordered to pay more than $42,000 as part of a state lawsuit alleging he misrepresented himself to bankruptcy clients while his license was suspended.

U.S. District Court Judge J.P. Stadtmueller ordered Emory Booker and his Legacy Legal Group on Wednesday to reimburse clients in the amount of $36,768. He was also ordered to pay $5,385 to cover the state Justice Department’s legal fees, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Booker was sued by the state in federal court for “repeated and flagrant violations of his duties to bankruptcy clients from the poorest areas of the city of Milwaukee,” According to a statement issued by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s office.

Booker was alleged to have recruited clients using street posters identifying himself as “The Light Hero” and offering his services to prevent utility shut-offs, the release states. Those responding to his posters were urged to file bankruptcy, without an attorney, even though clients paid for legal representation that they didn’t receive.

The Journal Sentinel reports that the court sanction this week is only the latest in a series of legal problems for Booker, who the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation is seeking to disbar.

Last June, Chief Bankruptcy Judge Pamela Pepper fined Booker $5,000 for overcharging clients, a separate Journal Sentinel article notes.

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