Regulation

He's Not a Real Lawyer, but He Played One in Connecticut

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Although Brian Valery faces a five-year prison sentence for pretending to be a lawyer (strictly speaking, for committing perjury by lying on the record about being a lawyer), it's hard to locate his victims. In a case where Valery represented a Stamford drug company, The New York Times reports,  "a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs…found Mr. Valery 'unduly aggressive' but never questioned his abilities." A businessman who hired Valery found him "unimpressive" but "chalked it up to inexperience." The prestigious Manhattan firm where Valery worked for two years, Anderson Kill & Olick, "has been offering to reimburse clients fees they paid for Mr. Valery's services…and is hoping clients do not contend that their cases were bungled." According to the firm's managing partner, "We have not had anybody saying anything like that."

But perhaps it's telling that Valery has not chosen to represent himself:

Mr. Valery has not explained himself publicly and has been referring questions to a criminal lawyer, Joseph R. Conway, who declined to comment about the case but was quick to reassure a reporter about his own credentials. "You can check me," he said. "I'm a real lawyer."