Goodbye job applications, hello dream career
Seize control of your career and design the future you deserve with LW career

Fake lawyer cops suspended jail sentence

A Victorian man masquerading as a lawyer has been threatened with jail time after giving legal advice to an accused rapist and his family.

user iconLauren Croft 20 October 2022 Big Law
Fake lawyer cops suspended jail sentence
expand image

Sixty-six-year-old Dennis Jensen has been banned from engaging in unqualified legal practice by a Victorian Supreme Court judge, who said that if Mr Jensen breaches the court order, he could face jail time.

He was found to be in contempt of court after acting against 2018 orders not to engage in legal practice. In 2018, an injunction was brought against Mr Jensen by the Victorian Legal Services Board (VLSB), resulting in Mr Jensen being “restrained” from engaging in legal practice in the state, including providing legal advice in relation to disputes, proceedings or potential proceedings and from drawing documents on behalf of, or as agents of litigants, including pleadings, affidavits and submissions.

In a recent judgment, Justice John Dixon sentenced Mr Jensen to a three-month prison term, suspended for one year. If he acts as a lawyer or offers legal advice during this time, he will be jailed.


VLSB submitted that under Order 75 of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2015 (Victoria), Mr Jensen had engaged in legal practice in the state of Victoria — and Justice Dixon agreed that “Mr Jensen’s contempt should be regarded as most serious”.

In 2020, Mr Jensen gave the parents of a person accused of rape legal advice, with a number of emails submitted as evidence against Mr Jensen.

“Mr Jensen gave the parents of the accused advice pertaining to their son’s defence of serious criminal charges that involved conduct that breached an intervention order (IVO) made against him for the benefit of the complainant. The parents trusted Mr Jensen and acted on his advice to their detriment,” Justice Dixon stated in his judgment.

“I find that Mr Jensen’s contempt was a serious criminal contempt with severe consequences. It warrants a custodial sentence. I sentence Mr Jensen to imprisonment for a term of three months. However, for the reasons that follow, I am satisfied that it is appropriate to wholly suspend the sentence for 12 months.”

According to the judgment, Mr Jensen deliberately encouraged the accused’s parents to breach the IVO against their son, in what Justice Dixon described as a “perverse or obstinate resistance to authority”.

“The injunction was made against him with a view to protecting the public from unqualified legal practice. He defied that injunction and exposed the accused to criminal consequences. The parties involved were desperate and vulnerable, and he created the impression that his advice would have certain legal consequences beneficial to the accused. He caused the parents to trust him and to trust that he could help their son out of a situation causing the son great distress, when Mr Jensen knew he could not and that he was prevented from doing so by a court order,” the judgment stated.

“Mr Jensen was evidently trying to get around the purpose and spirit of the injunction so that he could give advice of a legal nature to the parents, or (on his last version) facilitate or transmit advice and legal documents to the parents from another person whom he was well aware was not a qualified lawyer. His disclaimer that he was not a qualified lawyer and that he could only accept a donation instead of a fee, were (unsuccessful) attempts to overcome the technical terms of the order.

According to a recent A Current Affair episode, Mr Jensen also spent time masquerading as a medical professional, treating cancer patients whilst having no formal medical training.

Mr Jensen allegedly treated a number of patients, including one 50-year-old woman with cancer who he treated with black salve, a toxic and corrosive substance that chews through flesh. Mr Jensen also treated another patient with pancreatic cancer with a compound linked to cyanide poisoning: B17.

After the death of the 50-year-old woman, Ms Lawson, in 2018, the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner banned Mr Jensen from telling patients he could cure their cancer and from offering any general health services — following which Mr Jensen began offering legal advice as an unqualified lawyer.

Mr Jensen submitted that he is “deeply remorseful” for his actions and has accepted responsibility for his actions and apologised to the parents, the son, the court and the VLSB.  

He appeared to have found feelings for remorse from recently reading the mother’s affidavit about the effect of his conduct on her and her family. He expressed an apology in court but has not communicated that in any way to the victims of his conduct,” the judgment stated. 

I find that Mr Jensen has expressed recent contrition, notably since he was found to be in contempt. His son has attested that he is remorseful for his actions. Yet, his lack of insight and his belated expressions of contrition speak poorly of his likely future conduct and requires that the court impose a penalty that brings home to him the seriousness of his contempt.”

Because of Mr Jensen’s poor health and the caregiving role he plays for an ill friend, Justice Dixon suspended his sentence of imprisonment on a condition of good behaviour, which Mr Jensen must uphold until 12 October 2023 — and must not breach the injunction again.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member for free today!