Robert S. Bennett (Absolutely No Relation)


I’ve written about Robert S. Bennett from time to time, and I’m not impressed by him. But neither was I impressed with the State Bar’s effort to disbar him, which effort succeeded in March. Robert S. Bennett was barred:

from practicing law in Texas, holding himself out as an attorney at law, performing any legal services for others, accepting any fee directly or indirectly for legal services, appearing as counsel or in any representative capacity in any proceeding in any Texas court or before any administrative body or holding himself out to others or using his name, in any manner, in conjunction with the words ‘attorney at law,’ ‘attorney,’ ‘counselor at law,’ or ‘lawyer,’”

So what’s Robert S. Bennett doing now? He’s “President” of “Bob Bennett Licensing Services.” In his LinkedIn page he categorizes the company as “legal services” (which would violate the court’s order):

"Legal Services"
Robert S. Bennett’s LinkedIn Header 9/5/14

In the description of “Bob Bennett Licensing Services for Professionals,” Bennett writes:

Mr. Bennett is the owner of Bob Bennett Licensing Services for Professionals. The licensing counselors in this licensing service are especially proficient in cases involving, matters before the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, the Texas Medical Board, the State Board of Law Examiners, and other Boards involving professionals and DTPA violations, ethics defense, and white-collar criminal defense involving licensing issues.

The Bob Bennett Licensing Services for Professionals concentrates on representing attorneys, doctors, judges, and other professionals who have professional licensing issues and find themselves the subject of federal and state investigations. This includes representation of both law students and medical students who have run afoul of the Texas Board of Law Examiners or Texas Medical Board. Medical students and doctors who have issues with the United States Medical Licensing Examination, the National Board of Medical Examiners, or the Federation of State Medical Boards have retained Bennett Licensing. Whether the matter involves a grievance hearing before the Texas Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel or a privilege hearing before a hospital committee, this Texas Licesning entity is known for aggressive representation and success. See client reviews and peer recommendations: www.avvo.com.

Specialties: Representing law students and lawyers with licensing issues before the Board of law Examiners or cases with the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel or before the Texas Board of Medicine or other professional boards that license professionals.

This sounds a lot like practicing law to me (which, as well as being a crime, would violate the court’s order). “Representing law students and lawyers with licensing issues before the Board of law Examiners” is certainly “appearing … in any representative capacity in any proceeding … before any administrative body,” which is interdicted by the order of disbarment.

Here’s what RSB’s website for Bob Bennett Licensing Services says in its small-print “DISCLAIMER AND NOTICER [sic] REGARDING MR. BENNETT’S LEGAL BACKGROUND”:

While in law school, Mr. Bennett served as an intern in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s office.  Upon graduation, both law enforcement agencies offered  him positions. He was a licensed attorney, former Assistant United States Attorney and was Board Certified. At the present time he  is not a licensed attorney. His history of representing and working on licensing issues goes back to 1974 when he was hired  by the Interstate Commerce Commission as an enforcement attorney to review licenses and permits in the transportation industry. As you can tell from his avvo.com site, 165 former clients have used his services and over 41 attorneys have provided peer reviews of his licensing work. Since he is presently not a licensed attorney, he cannot provide legal advice but having worked nearly forty years with every imaginable professional license, he can  advise you about any business decisions concerning your license issue  and  if your fact situation is one that  you should have an attorney assist you or not. It may be that you license  concern or do to the  simplicity of the licensing  issue, your licensing issue  can be handled without hiring an attorney. Every licensing issue does not require the assistance of an attorney, but if you decide it does, Mr. Bennett is extremely well qualified to help you with your business decision ( at a price that is not lawyerly!) and provide recommendations as to the best attorney to handle your case. .  An example of this decision process may be helpful. Staff members with the  Texas Board of Law Examiners as a matter of course would tell applicants they did not need to hire an attorney. In some instances that was correct and in others it was disastrous. With years of experience with business decisions about your application or license, Mr. Bennett may be able to save you thousands of dollars, and the first phone call is free.

What he describes on LinkedIn as “legal services” here becomes “help[ing] you with your business decision.” By calling them “business decisions,” I imagine that he thinks he’s shielding himself from a) contempt charges; b) an unauthorized-practice-of-law suit; and c) another grievance (should he get his license back) for UPL.

Protip: whether it is practicing law or not does not depend on what you call it. According to Section 81.101(a) of the Texas Government Code,

In this chapter the “practice of law” means … a service rendered out of court, including the giving of advice … requiring the use of legal skill or knowledge….

Advising people on “handling licensing issues” is giving legal advice. “You’d better talk to a lawyer” might not be legal advice, but “you don’t need a lawyer” damn sure is. Making “business decisions” of this sort requires legal skill and knowledge.

In fact, the experience that Robert S. Bennett describes to explain his qualifications is all legal experience: law school, prosecutor intern, licensed attorney, AUSA, board certified, enforcement attorney, etc. If you eliminated his legal experience, there would be no experience left:

At the present time he  is not a licensed attorney. Since he is presently not a licensed attorney, he cannot provide legal advice but he can  advise you about any business decisions concerning your license issue  and  if your fact situation is one that  you should have an attorney assist you or not. It may be that you license concern or do to the  simplicity of the licensing  issue, your licensing issue can be handled without hiring an attorney. Every licensing issue does not require the assistance of an attorney, but if you decide it does, Mr. Bennett is extremely well qualified to help you with your business decision (at a price that is not lawyerly!) and provide recommendations as to the best attorney to handle your case. An example of this decision process may be helpful. Staff members with the  Texas Board of Law Examiners as a matter of course would tell applicants they did not need to hire an attorney. In some instances that was correct and in others it was disastrous. Mr. Bennett may be able to save you thousands of dollars, and the first phone call is free.

There is a sucker for every charlatan, but I have to wonder: if a law student has such horrible judgment that he would pay a disbarred lawyer for advice on how to get licensed, shouldn’t that law student be, ipso facto, barred from practicing law?


9 responses to “Robert S. Bennett (Absolutely No Relation)”

  1. If “you need to get a lawyer” isn’t legal advice, refraining from saying that can’t be either.
    And describing that refraint certainly can’t be advice; it’s a simple statement of fact.
    So what’s the operative difference between “I don’t advise you to get a lawyer” and “you don’t need to get a lawyer”?

    • If the client is expecting you (indeed, paying you) to tell him if you need a lawyer (a judgment that requires legal skill and knowledge), there’s no operative difference between “don’t get a lawyer,” “I don’t advise you to get a lawyer,” and silence. It’s all legal advice.

      If you tell the bartender that the police want to talk to you, he’s not practicing law by telling you to get a lawyer (because then the lawyer can advise you on preserving your rights) but he’s practicing law by telling you not to (because he’s advising you to give up your rights).

  2. As a still-licensed attorney who does administrative licensure defense, I would not tell a person dealing with a state agency regarding a licensing issue to represent themselves. While they may not take away your freedom, state agencies can effectively remove your ability to make a living (although the other Mr. Bennett seems to be trying, notwithstanding the State bar’s attempts).

    Many of my potential clients can’t afford an attorney (and often pay a price because of it). It makes me a bit angry to think that someone who needs real legal advice (and can afford it) would consider paying someone who can’t provide that legal advice.

  3. appear randomly on your site. was seeing some stuff about american law…
    it´s very different the “common law” system.

    where you can find the “finality” of the punition, and its only retribution? or are some more like relative theory’s / special\geral prevention positive and negative? when avoiding the person to comite a crime again ( incarcerate in ) it´s just because he his locked or it was a regenerate component?

    and, when u determine the “size” of the sentence /years, its based on the measure of guilt – not in the common sense, but as penal category individual from the species of dolus?

    or its just what is written in the law?

    and how its accepted the international law in the US juridic ornamentation ? automatic or must be legislated ( like copy past) or… just can be use at discretion, only by interpretation, and can be refused?

    How, can per example. a death sentence, or a life sentence can comply with the UDHR, DCR,and others? and… a giant sentence, how come not be disproportional and violate the dignity of the human and lots and lots of principles and INT conventions ?

    I was on the internet and randomly found a thing called Three Strikes Law and i be ( really) shocked and passed all day reading, and.. i find this blog don’t know why. If can answer i be pleased.

    ofc, diferent law families, and history its normal if u saw the law here u will think its strange too. But that 3 strikes law its preety sick and violate like 10000000 criminal law principles and conventions, and bla bla bla, so sick. But i can undersand if the only purpose its the punishment, but… it can even collude with the Ne bis in idem.

    Sorry for bad English. ty
    salute from portugal.

  4. Just last one. There are no trials by a single Judge? Are all by jury?

    How come a jury, normal people, without juridic formation can make a proper decision?

    How it is sustained? It must be?

    How can they determine the measure of guilt ( as a autonomy penal category), measure of sentence, kind ofdolu\negligence, other circumstance that can attenuate the guilt or the dolus, or negligence, etc?! If they don’t have a formal juridic education?

    Its just by feeling? And the sentence its like as the common sense of “guilt” or “not” like without any further consideration and argumentation?

    They have an ad-visor?

    Here that exist too, but its very very rare, and must be ask for both parts and in only special category of crimes,

    I really don’t know how it is. Just curious.

    In a paper i read from here, the suspects of crimes, said that jury convicted more and with heavy sentences than a normal trial with a single or collective judges.

    Here its the Judge, the state representative, and the lawyer, and… the civil part (person that can sue for damage decor rent of the crime and there are not punitive damage, just compensation, there is some “arbitrary” compensation when its moral damage, that you can´t measure in cash, like a dead of a person, but it´s not considered a punition, its just a compensation ).

    Do you think jury trials offers more warranties than a single Judge or colective of Judges?

    And the last. If someone is suspect of practice some crimes can the public defender, knowing that, with evidence, not to “sue” and just let it go? Here it´s mandatory, when they receive the facts they can´t give up on the case ( just on semi-public crimes – that the “victim” can give up anytime he wants, and they give up, if victim say nothing that go always to court if reasonable evidence exists and pass a filter phase)

    Sorry for polute.

    Thanks again and very nice blogue.

  5. Boy could use a proofreader, too. If I saw someone’s splash page had “It may be that you license  concern or do to the  simplicity of the licensing  issue, your licensing issue  can be handled without hiring an attorney,” I’d be disinclined to use his services, no matter how highly recommended he might come. If he can’t even proofread his own site, how closely is he going to scrutinize my legal documents?

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