Since at least 2002 — that’s 16 years for you without a high-level degree in mathematics — ASQ’s Bill Levinson has accidentally been claiming to be a lawyer, even though he doesn’t have a law degree.

To be fair, it’s probably not likely he really thought he was a lawyer, even if he fancies himself one offline. Instead, it’s more likely that not only does Levinson not have a law degree, he doesn’t know intermediate English grammar either.

Here’s a screenshot of his website from 2002:

Sez Lev:

I am probably qualified to supply expert testimony against some of the statistical arguments that are being used by gun control organizations (e.g. acting as co-counsels or friends of the court).

The use of “e.g.” – which means, in Latin, “for example” — would normally refer to the action of a sentence, in this case providing an “example” of his role in “supplying expert testimony.” As read, it appears that Levinson was granting himself the title of “co-counsel,” which in USA legal parlance refers to an attorney. That website stayed, unchanged, until earlier this evening. Which means, depending on your interpretation of his mangled grammar, Levinson was posing as an attorney for the last 16 years.

What’s more likely, however, is that Levinson is just a really shitty writer.

When I Tweeted about this, Levinson immediately altered his webpage, correcting the error. Not only does the page “frivolous lawsuits” no longer appear at all, the above quote was changed as follows:

Defense attorneys: I am probably qualified to supply expert testimony against some of the statistical arguments that are being used by gun control organizations (e.g. when the latter act as co-counsels or friends of the court).

(Emphasis added.)

Now it’s clear that Levinson was actually referring to the gun control organizations acting as co-counsel, which still doesn’t make sense because a “gun control organization” isn’t an attorney either. Presumably, he means to say that he’s “probably qualified” to go up mano-a-mano against the attorneys of gun control organizations, which would be hilarious to watch. I truly hope someone takes him up on it, since I’d pay money to see that.

Now you may say the plural he uses for “co-counsels” is the giveaway, and clearly he can’t be referring to himself if he speaks in the plural. But you’d be wrong there, too. Levinson has routinely referred to himself in the plural, using the term “we” to refer to himself on both his website since the early 2000’s all the way through his latest court filings as recent as last week. He does it so much, it’s not clear that he actually understand he’s not plural. For example, since 2010 he’s been one of those irritating “sitting kills!” chicken littles, obsessed with promoting standing desks; presumably, he’s very angry at his chair for something it said to his ass:

We have read several articles that suggest that long periods of sedentary work (e.g. at a computer) increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. We therefore offer a free downloadable recurring alarm that the user can set as a reminder to stand, stretch, and/or walk around at user defined intervals. Freeware, no warranties are implied or expressed, but we use it every day. Update March 6 2017. We are now using a variable-height desk that provides the option of standing while working. This has delivered tangible health and productivity benefits.

You see what I mean. Notice the “we” is plural, while the desk is not, which means if he really had any other co-workers, they’re all sharing a single desk. That’s cozy. Either that, or he’s French, pregnant, or has a mouse in his pocket.

Right now Levinson is probably threatening to sue for the tweet, and yet he edited the text thereby undercutting any legal argument; he’ll have a hard time convincing anyone his text was misinterpreted since he, himself, had to go in and fix it.

On a related note, I am “probably qualified” to perform your uncle’s brain surgery, “probably qualified” to launch monkeys into space, and “probably qualified” to balance a ten-ton block of brie on my head while high-wiring it across Niagara.

    About Christopher Paris

    Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 25 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001:2015. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.