Dealing with a suspension can be hard. I get that. You don’t just get to lay low until it passes and hope nobody notices. You have to tell your clients and courts that you’ve been suspended. You may have to pay restitution and/or costs of the disciplinary proceeding while you can’t work (at least not as a lawyer). Your firm may need to take your name off the door (even if the firm will take you back after the suspension is over) and off their letterhead.

Beyond that, the profession is intertwined with many of our identities. I know when people ask about me, even if the question isn’t about what I do for a living, I respond that I’m an attorney, before I mention my family, hobbies, or really anything else.

If we’re not attorneys, then who are we?

Well, apparently a California lawyer decided to be someone else.

Jamaul D. Cannon, 43, of Carson, was convicted on felony violations of identity theft, unlicensed practiced of law and filing a false document, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office said.

Cannon was suspended from practicing law on Aug. 25, 2016, and was ultimately disbarred on Jan. 19, 2017, for his role in a fraudulent loan scheme, officials said.

Between November 2016 and August 2017, while his license to practice law was suspended, Cannon used the identity of another lawyer to file paperwork and to make appearances in the Ventura County Superior Court, the DA’s office said.

In November 2016, Cannon charged a Ventura County resident $12,000 for a family law matter, officials said.

The article did not explain a motive (and I couldn’t find any in a quick search), so I don’t know whether it was money, status, identity, or something else that drove him to do this. But regardless, there are better ways to deal with a suspension than by committing multiple felonies.