Lee la alerta en Español
The State Bar of California's Office of Chief Trial Counsel issued the following fraud alert today to warn the public to report and watch out for potential legal fraud in response to separation of immigrant children from their parents and mass detention along the southern Unites States border.
In light of such events, the State Bar seeks to remind immigrants and their families that everyone, no matter their immigration status, has the right to counsel as well as due process.
The State Bar advises anyone in California to avoid fraud from attorneys and unlicensed legal providers, including non-attorneys using the title notario, by taking some of the following steps:
California law prohibits lawyers or others acting on the behalf of a lawyer from:
If someone hires an immigration consultant rather than an attorney, it's important to understand what an immigration consultant can and cannot do. Immigration consultants can help consumers fill out paperwork and translate and submit forms to government agencies, but they cannot give legal advice and cannot represent anyone in Immigration Court.
Attorneys or accredited representatives must be registered with the Executive Office of Immigration Review before appearing in Immigration Court. Immigration lawyers can practice immigration law in California even if they are licensed in another state. Still, any complaints about such attorneys will be forwarded to the correct state authorities.
Report notario fraud and other the unauthorized practice of law to the State Bar
People should report fraud by notarios and other unauthorized practice of law to the State Bar of California. Complaint forms are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian. Citizenship is not required to file a complaint, and the State Bar will not ask about immigration or citizenship status.
The State Bar, which regulates the practice of law in California, cannot represent clients or refer them to a particular attorney. People needing a lawyer can contact the State Bar of California to connect with a certified lawyer referral service at 415-538-2250 or email LRS@calbar.ca.gov