J. Scott Partlow is not a lawyer. He is not even truly J. Scott Partlow. His real name is Jeff Russell and he served time in Kansas before moving to Dallas, Texas and start claiming to be a lawyer. He has a facebook page for J. Scott Partlow, attorney. He has been representing himself as a lawyer since 2001.
He appeared in court in Hunt County, near Dallas, drunk recently. The presiding judge was so upset that he summoned deputies and told Mr. Partlow he would make sure he gets sanctioned by the state bar association. In contacting the bar, the judge learned that no J. Scott Partlow was listed as a member. Mr. Partlow is said to have taken thousands of cases in nearly ten years of practice. This will impact thousands of people. He has appeared in courts in Hunt, Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, and Bexar Counties. He has represented clients in legal actions against the IRS and the Texas Deparrtment of Family & Protective Services. He has appeared in civil, family and criminal courts. In at least one case, he represented a mother in Hunt County. Mr. Partlow failed to appear for a hearing and the mother lost custody of her child. Hunt County is investigating that case.
It is, of course, against the law to practice law without a license. He is facing jail time for this. His former clients may suffer more. He says his clients always won. See report. That may change now that courts realize he was not licensed.
Mr. Partlow never advertised his services. All his clients came via word of mouth. He worked out of his apartment, which he has subsequently lost after being jailed for contempt. See DFW stories.
In a recent interview, Mr. Partlow said he just could not keep dealing with the pressure and wanted a way out. He was apparently explaining why he came to court intoxicated that day. He did obtain a paralegal degree apparently while serving time in the 1990’s.
In Texas, lawyers are required to provide their state bar number on all legal pleadings. But, no entity or person routinely looks up the numbers or names. If an opposing lawyer in a case gets upset, s/he might look you up. I suppose no one has looked up Mr. Partlow before now because he has never antagonized an opposing lawyer before, – which is a rare feat in civil or criminal litigation.
So, the next time, a client tells me he could have done what I did, I will respond maybe, but you could not do it for almost ten years……