United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
A. SANDERS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's Motion to Prohibit Garry L.
Moore from Engaging in the Unauthorized Practice of Law .
It is undisputed that Plaintiff's brother, Garry L.
Moore, has “ghost-written” most-if not all-the
pleadings, motions, and correspondence in this matter on his
sister's behalf. Garry Moore attended and participated in
the Rule 26(f) conference and this Court entered an order
allowing him to attend the settlement conference
. Email correspondence with the Court is
done from Garry Moore's email address. In addition to
the ghost-writing, the Court finds particularly troubling a
letter from Garry Moore to a claims adjuster in this case
that purports to be from “Garry Moore & Associates
Office at Law.” The email address given for this
“office at law” is
all courts of the United States the parties may plead and
conduct their own cases personally or by counsel.” 28
U.S.C. § 1654. Plaintiff is therefore permitted to
represent herself or to have qualified counsel
appear on her behalf, but the law does not permit her to be
represented by an unlicensed layperson. See Martin v.
City of Alexandria, 198 Fed.Appx. 344, 346 (5th Cir.
2006) (“Because pro se means to appear for
one's self, a person may not appear on another
person's behalf in the other's cause.”). More
specifically, a non-lawyer “may not participate in the
unauthorized practice of law by preparing legal papers,
filing petitions and briefs, and generally acting as an
attorney in violation of state and federal provisions
governing the unauthorized practice of law.” Weber
v. Garza, 570 F.2d 511, 514 (5th Cir. 1978).
argues that Garry has not engaged in the unauthorized
practice of law because he has not and is not seeking
compensation for his services. This argument is unavailing.
“[T]he practice of law does not necessarily involve
charging or receiving a fee for services performed. . . . The
character of the service and its relation to the public
interest determines its classification, not whether
compensation is charged for it.” Darby v. Miss.
State Bd. of Bar Admissions, 185 So.2d 684, 687 (Miss.
1966). “The ‘practice of law' under the laws
of the State of Mississippi includes but is not limited to
‘the drafting or selection of documents, the giving of
advice in regard to them, and the using of an informed or
trained discretion in the drafting of documents to meet the
needs of the person being served.'” Miller v.
Lowe's Home Centers, Inc., 2005 WL 8162588, n.1
(N.D. Miss. April 20, 2005) (quoting Darby, 185
So.2d at 687). “This ‘prohibition against others
than members of the bar of the State of Mississippi from
engaging in the practice of law is not for the protection of
the lawyer against lay competition, but is for the protection
of the public.'” Id.
these reasons, Defendant's motion is GRANTED, and Garry
L. Moore is hereby PROHIBITED from providing further
assistance to Plaintiff which would constitute the practice
of law in this case, including but not limited to drafting
motions or pleadings, and appearing at depositions, hearings,
status conferences, or trial. Nor shall Garry Moore communicate
with the Court on Plaintiff's behalf.
 While Plaintiff's motion was
styled a “Request for Stand-By Help” , the
order simply allowed Garry Moore to “accompany
her.” In no way did it endorse him acting as her
advocate during these proceedings.
 The Court receives email from Tracy
Moore via firstname.lastname@example.org.
 The Court notes that the letter is
unsigned and is before the Court as an exhibit to
Defendant's response to the Motion for Stand-By Help
 To be clear, Garry Moore may attend
trial to the extent the trial is open to the public. He may
not, however, act as Plaintiff's counsel or give her
advice as to trial preparation, practice, procedure, or
strategy. Nor does this order prohibit him from ...