State Bar helps clients of bogus immigration law practice Friday, July 7, 2017 Categories: News Releases Update: The State Bar phone number for Bonilla's former clients to call is 213-765-1663. The State Bar of California announced today that it has obtained an interim court order to assist an estimated 2,000 clients who had paid for legal advice from a Los Angeles immigration practice that was operating without proper authority. The Los Angeles County Superior Court interim order signed Thursday, July 6, allows the State Bar to seize client files and other records of the unauthorized law practice of Servicio Latino Legal Office, SLLSCO Inc., 1625 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite M-107, Los Angeles. The State Bar will return clients' documents to them and inform them it may be in their best interest to seek other legal counsel. The court order also freezes the office's bank accounts. The State Bar sought the court order in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, which investigated, and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, which brought criminal charges against operator Eddie Rivas Bonilla earlier this year. All three agencies are part of an immigration services fraud working group that aims to protect vulnerable consumers from falling victim to legal scams. Bonilla had promised a Department of Consumer Affairs investigator posing as a potential client that there was an 85- to 90-percent chance he could obtain her asylum if she paid an advance fee of $5,000. Bonilla is not licensed by the State Bar of California and is not authorized under federal law to represent consumers before the Board of Immigration Appeals or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. On April 10, Bonilla pleaded no contest to the unauthorized practice of law and received probation, along with fines and penalties. On June 30, after a follow-up investigation showed the office was continuing to operate out of compliance, Bonilla's probation was revoked, leading to additional fines and penalties. Read the court order and the State Bar's petition, Part 1 and Part 2. As the state licensing agency for lawyers, the State Bar cannot represent clients or refer them to a particular attorney. Here are some of the State Bar's resources for consumers: File a complaint for the unauthorized practice of law File a complaint against an attorney Get advice on how to hire a lawyer Look up an attorney by name or bar number Organizations that receive State Bar grants to provide free legal services ### The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, protecting the public and seeking to improve the justice system since 1927. All lawyers practicing law in California must be admitted to the State Bar.