On Tuesday, January 30, 2024, the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board Tri-Valley Hearing Panel #4 issued a one-year suspension against Attorney Garrett C. Kerr for professional misconduct while he was a law firm law clerk.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Garrett C. Kerr,” with case no. 23-19-GA.

The charges cited Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct 5.5, 8.1(b)(1), 8.4(b), 1.1(c), 1.2(a), 1.31, 4(a), 8.4(a), 8.4(c), and Michigan Court Rules 9.104(1), 9.104(2), 9.104 (3), 9.104(4), 9.104(7) and 9.113(B)(3). 

The panel found, through default as Kerr did not respond, that while working as a law clerk at a Michigan law firm he had committed misconduct. As a condition of his employment, Kerr was meant to apply for admission to the State Bar of Michigan but told his employer in July 2021 that he had not done so. He was then terminated from the firm.

It was later discovered that Kerr had presented himself as a licensed Michigan attorney to several clients, despite instructions not to sign documents, appear in court, or offer legal advice. He did provide legal counsel, signed retainer agreements, and intended to accept money for legal services, which constitutes practicing law without a license in Michigan.

Kerr also failed to respond to a request for investigation from the Grievance Administrator regarding his employment at the law firm. Based on the default, the panel found Kerr had violated numerous Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct related to unauthorized practice of law, dishonest conduct, failure to represent clients competently and diligently, and more.

As a result, the panel suspended Kerr for one year starting January 30, 2024. If he later seeks legal licensure or admission in Michigan, he must disclose this disciplinary action. Kerr was also ordered to pay costs of $1,897.69. The ruling serves as a reminder that only licensed attorneys may practice law and engage in legal work with clients.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Kerr is a consumer protection attorney in Frankenmuth, Michigan. He acquired his law license in Illinois in 2009. 

A copy of the original filing can be found here.