A Real Life “Suits” Episode!

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: April 23, 2015

If you don’t know who Harvey Specter is…well… hurry up and binge watch all the seasons here and then MAYBE we can discuss the insanity of the latest season of Suits

But in the mean time the synopsis of the show is as follows: In need of an associate, big-time Manhattan corporate lawyer Harvey Specter hires the only guy who impresses him — college dropout Mike Ross. The fact that Ross isn’t actually a lawyer isn’t lost on Specter, who believes his new right-hand man is a legal prodigy with the book smarts of a Harvard law grad and the street smarts of a hustler. However, in order to keep their jobs, the charade must remain strictly between these two unconventional thinkers.

So in other words, Mike isn’t a lawyer but is still “practicing” as one…. much like Kimberly Kitchen of Pittsburgh… except in Kitchen’s case it wasn’t a television show, it was real life.

Kitchen used forged documents to pose as an estate lawyer for a decade making partner at her small firm before her fraud was discovered, according to charges announced last Friday.

Kitchen was charged just last Thursday with forgery, unauthorized practice of law and felony records tampering.

State prosecutors reported that Kitchen had fooled BMZ Law by forging a law license, bar exam results, an email showing she attended Duquesne University law school and a check for a state attorney registration fee (Umm…Is this the inspiration for Suits?! The plot lines are too similar!). The firm is based in Huntingdon, about 110 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Kitchen, of nearby James Creek, handled estate planning for more than 30 clients “despite never having attended law school,” the attorney general’s office said. She even served as president of her county bar, her lawyer said.

“She’s an incredibly competent person, and she worked very diligently and was devoted to the people she served,” one lawyer (working with Kitchen) said. “There are things about the charges we don’t agree with.”

The Huntington County Bar Association’s current president, called the charges insufficient given “the level of betrayal” over 10 years. Local lawyers were the first to raise questions about Kitchen’s credentials.

BMZ Law didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment Friday. But in December, when the Huntingdon Daily News first reported on the case, the firm vowed to review her work.

“Sadly, it would appear that our firm was the last, in a long line of professionals, to have been deceived by Ms. Kitchen into believing she was licensed to practice law,” the firm’s statement said. “We are undertaking a thorough review of each and every file she may have handled.”

Kitchen, 45, previously was employed at Juniata College, where she worked in fundraising but soon Kitchen started claiming the credentials of an attorney.

Kitchen’s lawyer has emphasized that is no longer working as an attorney.


Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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