Attorney Charged With Unauthorized Practice of Law

Thursday, Feb 12, 2009  |  Updated 4:00 PM PDT
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Attorney Charged With Unauthorized Practice of Law

A conviction can make it hard to get a job, and employers often conduct background checks through the State Police.

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LOS ANGELES -- An attorney accused of practicing law while he was either suspended or ordered inactive by the State Bar is due in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom for arraignment on Feb. 26, prosecutors said Thursday.

Crane Stephen Landis, 43, is charged with four counts of unauthorized practice of law, according to Deputy District Attorney Amy Pellman Pentz of the Justice System Integrity Division.

Landis surrendered Wednesday in connection with the charges and was freed on his own recognizance.

Prosecutors allege that Landis -- who practiced criminal law out of a West Hollywood office -- made four court appearances between September 2006 and October 2007 after becoming ineligible to practice law.

Landis was suspended by the State Bar in September 2006 for failing to pay State Bar member fees and to comply with Minimum Continuing Legal Education requirements.

In September 2007, he was "ordered inactive" and "not eligible to practice law" -- a status that remains in place, according to the State Bar's website.

If convicted of the charges, Landis faces up to five years in state prison, according to the District Attorney's Office.

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