MI Lawyer Gets Disbarred Before Even Getting State License

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on April 13, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Nigerian lawyer in Michigan now holds a rather unique distinction: He's been disbarred before he even got a full-fledged license to practice law in the state.

Gbenga Anjorin, a 1992 graduate of a Nigerian law school, handled hundreds of cases -- many as a court-appointed attorney -- and even attended hearings in the so-called "Underwear Bomber's" terrorism trial, the Detroit Free Press reports.

But Anjorin's courtroom antics in a case involving five crates of nuts led to an ethics complaint, and eventually his downfall.

Gbenga Anjorin had obtained a certificate as a Special Legal Consultant in Michigan. That certificate "was limited to rendering legal advice regarding the law in Nigeria, the foreign country where he was admitted to practice," according to Michigan's Attorney Discipline Board.

But the certificate came with a "P number" -- a five-digit identifier that's given to full-fledged licensed attorneys in Michigan, the Free Press reports.

With his P number in hand, Anjorin attended seminars that made him eligible to be a court-appointed attorney in Michigan. He then set up a website that advertised his legal counsel for DUI cases -- his self-proclaimed specialty -- along with immigration and divorce cases.

But in a case involving kola nuts, Anjorin's opposing counsel questioned some documents submitted by Anjorin. She filed a complaint that revealed his unauthorized law practice and got Anjorin's special certificate revoked. The state's Attorney Discipline Board also disbarred him.

Michigan has since changed the way it handles Special Legal Consultants: They now get four-digit "LP numbers" to differentiate them from Michigan-licensed attorneys, the Free Press reports.

As for disbarred foreign attorney Gbenga Anjorin, he says he plans to appeal.

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