Michigan lawyer Ali Zaidi may face disbarment after making false claims about his employment history and credentials in both his resume and online.
Michigan lawyer Ali Zaidi may face disbarment after making false claims about his employment history and credentials in both his resume and online. Zaidi’s resume included many outlandish and embellished assertions, including that he was part of a U.S. field hockey team which participated in the 1996 Olympic games. He held several fictitious positions at law firms and even falsely indicated he held a Master of Liberal Arts from Harvard University. Zaidi also claimed he was admitted to practice law in Connecticut and Missouri, which was not the case.
Many of the Michigan attorney’s claims weren’t entirely untrue, according to Ali Zaidi, but rather, works in progress that had yet to come to fruition, or half truths. Zaidi created a website his law firm Great Lakes Legal Group, which included statements that Zaidi worked with attorneys nationwide. Turns out, that simply wasn’t the case. No such Legal Group exists. Zaidi admitted Great Lakes was simply an idea of his that had yet to be.
The Grievance Administrator, the State of Michigan, filed a three count complaint alleging Ali Zaidi failed to correct his resume during his employment with one firm, submitted fraudulent resumes to a potential associate, a staffing consultant seeking to fill a position, and to the State, repeatedly failed to provide his correct address to the State Bar, submitted misrepresentations in and related to his website for Great Lakes Legal Group and improperly answered the Request for Investigation. Zaidi responded to the misconduct allegations by indicating he “neither admits nor denies” he did anything wrong, claiming ignorance to the inappropriateness of his actions, more or less, unless proven otherwise.
Zaidi presumably attempted to drag out his case by pushing back court dates for various personal family reasons, including a surgery and a birthday party. At one point he sought adjournment and failed to appear because of an “emergency” that ended up being related to not being able to find care for his children. Zaidi submitted a statement indicating he felt it was unjust to move forward in his absence because he was unable to present evidence on his own behalf. However, his inability to provide an “adequate reason for his absence” in the first place allowed the court to dismiss the statement. Zaidi did appear at his sanctions hearing, but continued to misrepresent himself and failed to present viable evidence to support his position.
Zaidi evidently stated his actions were made in an attempt to gain trust with his clients. He wanted to make them believe he had staying power despite moving around a lot, and wasn’t just another fly by night attorney. The Administration argued that “as a member of the State Bar, [Zaidi] had a duty to honestly represent himself and his qualifications to potential clients and employers. He clearly failed, admitting that much of the information included on his resumes was false. [He also] knowingly and intentionally made multiple misrepresentations regarding his law licenses, work history, and education, in order to obtain employment with various law firms and businesses.” The argument supports disbarment.