“Paralegal Faces Trial”

Oh, no, definitely not good news:

"A July 6 trial date has been set for a Fort Smith paralegal accused of giving legal advice while not licensed to practice law.

"A complaint filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court by attorney Jim Hollis of the U.S. Trustee’s Office in Little Rock alleges that Mary Angela Barnett, a paralegal employed at the Sexton and Sanders law firm in Fort Smith, gave legal advice to Richard Wayne Graham and Tommie Anne Graham while serving as their bankruptcy petition preparer. The Grahams filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case in October.

"A bankruptcy petition preparer is defined as a person other than a lawyer who prepares a bankruptcy document for filing for a fee. Federal law states that a bankruptcy petition preparer cannot give legal advice.


"Barnett has shown a ‘clear and consistent pattern’ of violating the law in this case and several other cases in which she prepared bankruptcy documents, the complaint alleges."