Criminal Justice

One-time law firm partner without law degree is sentenced for unlicensed practice, forgery

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A Pennsylvania woman who was a law firm partner, despite having no law license, was sentenced to prison on Tuesday.

Kimberly Kitchen, a former estate-planning partner at BMZ Law, was sentenced to two to five years in prison, WJACTV reports. She had practiced law at BMZ for 10 years and was former president of the Huntingdon County Bar Association. She was previously a legal secretary at Reed Smith.

Kitchen was convicted in March on charges of unauthorized practice of law, forgery and felony records tampering. She was accused of lying about graduating from Duquesne University’s law school and faking documents to prove her bar membership. Her lawyer argued she provided good legal work and her clients were happy.

The judge who sentenced Kitchen, Fredric Ammerman, said Kitchen’s prison sentence was justified, according to the WJAC story. “Not only did she pretend to be a lawyer but she pretended to be the best and biggest around,” Ammerman said.

Related article: “Lawyer making routine list discovered law-firm partner didn’t have law license; sentencing is today”

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