UPDATE: Cornell University Seeks To Determine If Man Referenced In Email Circulated By ASD Members’ Group Is Licensed Attorney; Website Listing For Kenneth Wayne Leaming Under Review
UPDATED 11:04 A.M. ET (U.S.A.) Cornell University said Sunday that it will remove a listing on its Law School website for Kenneth Wayne Leaming of Spanaway, Wash., if Leaming proves not to be a licensed attorney. A review of the listing and the circumstances under which Leaming’s name was added to a database of attorneys’ names is under way.
A person named Kenneth Wayne Leaming of Spanaway, Wash., was accused in 2005 of engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, according to a document that appears on the website of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA.) Meanwhile, a person by the same name is referenced by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as a “self-described ‘recognized international lawyer’ and a member of an “extremist group” known as “Little Shell Pembina Band of North America.”
The group is known to have ties to Washington state, according to ADL.
Leaming, according to ADL, once served as a deputy sheriff and member of the Civil Rights Task Force, a “sovereign citizen group that has used badges and raid jackets to resemble law enforcement officers.”
Cornell noted that Leaming should “have provided us with documentary proof of his law license” before his name was published on a website the Law School runs in partnership with Justia.com.
“[O]bviously that needs to be double-checked at this point for validity or alterations,” said Thomas R. Bruce, director of Cornell’s Legal Information Institute. “Of course we’ll remove him if he’s not what he claims to be.”
As part of its partnership with Justia, Cornell publishes free listings for licensed attorneys across the United States. Leaming’s name appears in listings on both the Cornell Law School site and the Justia site.
Leaming’s name also appears in a listing at Oyez.org, another Justia-affiliated site that publishes information on cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Whether Leaming, whose listings advertise a practice in Spanaway, is a licensed attorney is unclear.
The listings, which advertise a fee structure and areas of practice such as Admiralty/Maritime, Business Law, Estate Planning and Native American Law, do not reference any law school attended by Leaming or law degree obtained. Bruce said the university would work with Justia to review “verification procedures used to make sure that those who claim to be attorneys actually are.”
Whether Leaming has a law degree and is licensed to practice law in any state remains unclear. Bruce said the document published on the WSBA website “certainly paints an unfavorable picture.”
Leaming goes by the nickname “Keny” and is associated with an entity known as “AMERICAN-INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LAW INC.,” according to the listings on the Justia-connected sites.
Last week members of Florida-based AdSurfDaily received an email that referenced “Keny” and the same business entity referenced in the attorney listings published by Cornell and others.
The email, which appears to be a compendium that cobbles together communications from members of a group within ASD and asks ASD members to pass along the information, implies that ASD members who file for restitution through a government-approved process may face legal action from the group, which has or will file claims against the “illicit UNITED STATED (sic) OF AMERICA INC. et al” for its prosecution of the ASD Ponzi scheme case brought by the U.S. Secret Service in August 2008.
“The Secret Service does not comment on or discuss ongoing investigations,” an agency spokesman said this morning.
A purported “legal opinion” by “Keny” was contained within the email received by ASD members, which was circulated by an ASD member referred to as “Sara.”
ASD is known to have ties to the so-called “Patriot” and “sovereign” movements. The movements are known to engage in what has been described as “paper terrorism” designed to rattle the government and litigation opponents.
The U.S. Secret Service seized tens of millions of dollars from the personal bank accounts of ASD President Andy Bowdoin in August 2008, alleging he was at the helm of a massive Ponzi scheme.
An attorneys’ database at Martindale.com appears to have no listing for a lawyer named “Kenneth Leaming,” “Ken Leaming” or “Keny Leaming.”
See earlier story.