BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                                          
                             SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
                             Senator Noreen Evans, Chair
                              2013-2014 Regular Session


          AB 1159 (Gonzalez)
          As Amended September 6, 2013
          Hearing Date: September 10, 2013
          Fiscal: Yes
          Urgency: Yes
          BCP

                            PURSUANT TO SENATE RULE 29.10
          
                                        SUBJECT
                                           
                                Immigration Services

                                      DESCRIPTION  

          This bill would require that, when a contract for legal services  
          is required to be in writing, as specified, an attorney  
          providing immigration reform act services must provide a written  
          notice informing the client that he or she may report complaints  
          to specified entities. 

          The bill would also prohibit an attorney or an immigration  
          consultant from demanding or accepting the advance payment of  
          any funds for immigration reform act services before the  
          enactment of an immigration reform act, as defined, and would  
          require any funds received after the effective date of this  
          bill, but before the enactment of an immigration reform act, to  
          be refunded to the client.  The bill would require any funds  
          that were received before the effective date of the bill for  
          services not yet rendered to be either refunded to the client or  
          deposited in a client trust account, as specified.

          This bill would increase the amount of bond required to be filed  
          by an immigration consultant from $50,000 to $100,000, and  
          require consultants to itemize their contracts, establish a  
          client trust account, and to deposit any funds received from the  
          client prior to performing immigration reform act services.

          The bill would make it a violation of specified provisions of  
          law relating to the unauthorized practice of law for any person  
                                                                (more)



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          who is not an attorney to literally translate from English into  
          another language the phrases "notary public," "notary,"  
          "licensed," "attorney," "lawyer," or any other terms that imply  
          that the person is an attorney.



                                      BACKGROUND  

          The Immigration Consultants Act (ICA) was enacted in 1986 to  
          regulate activities of immigration consultants who perform a  
          variety of services for persons who seek adjustment of their  
          immigrant status at minimal cost.  The explosion of immigration  
          applications, a result of the 1986 federal and amnesty law  
          revisions, necessitated the regulation of these persons.  The  
          ICA and its subsequent amendments now require immigration  
          consultants to, among other things:  (1) provide clients with  
          written contracts; (2) file a bond with the Secretary of State;  
          and (3) post a notice of compliance with the bonding requirement  
          and a statement that the immigration consultant is not an  
          attorney (if pertinent) or that the attorney is authorized under  
          some other federal rule or is an attorney from another state.

          Due to concerns that pending federal immigration reform could  
          result in a similar increase in immigration applications, this  
          bill seeks to enact various restrictions on persons who would  
          offer services pursuant to that reform.  Regarding the impact of  
          the pending proposal for reform, the Border Security, Economic  
          Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744),  
          the United States' Senate Judiciary Committee Report noted:

            One of the key components of the Border Security, Economic  
            Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) is  
            the path to earned citizenship for the estimated 11 million  
            undocumented immigrants living and working in the shadows of  
            American society.  This legislation will give this  
            population a tough but fair opportunity to come forward and  
            earn their citizenship by meeting several requirements,  
            including paying fees and fines, passing national security  
            and criminal background checks, paying their taxes, and  
            learning English.

            During the Committee's consideration of S. 744, and its  
            extensive study and consideration of comprehensive  
            immigration reform in previous Congresses, the Committee has  
            heard from law enforcement officials, community leaders,  
                                                                      



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            faith groups, civil rights groups, and individual members of  
            the public about the urgent need to address the millions of  
            undocumented immigrants living in the United States.   
            Undocumented immigrants have a tenuous place in our  
            communities.  They live in constant fear of deportation. If  
            they are victims of crime, they often do not report those  
            crimes to State and local law enforcement. They work for low  
            wages, unable to defend themselves from employer harassment  
            and exploitation.  Many have been in the country for 10  
            years or more, have made valuable contributions to their  
            communities, and have immediate relatives who are American  
            citizens.  The prospect of deporting these individuals would  
            not only be prohibitively expensive, but would also have  
            untold damaging effects on our economy, which relies on the  
            work, taxes, and purchasing power of undocumented immigrants  
            even as our legal system fails to fully recognize or protect  
            them.  It would separate families and run counter to our  
            ideals as a Nation.  Instead, S. 744 outlines a tough but  
            fair path that will bring individuals out of the shadows and  
            into the lawful immigration system, by allowing eligible  
            applicants to adjust to the legal status of Registered  
            Provisional Immigrant (RPI).   
            (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CRPT-113srpt40/pdf/CRPT-113srpt 
            40.pdf.)

          S. 744 was passed by the Senate on June 27, 2013, and is  
          currently in the House of Representatives.  To proactively  
          address the fraud that likely will occur as a result of the  
          passage of S. 744, this bill would impose various restrictions  
          on immigration consultants and attorneys who offer services  
          pursuant to any pending or future immigration reform act,  
          including a prohibition on accepting advance fees before the  
          immigration reform is enacted.

          This bill was originally approved by this Committee on August  
          26, 2013, and, as a result of concerns expressed by committee  
          members, the author agreed to strike out provisions of the  
          bill that would have required attorneys to provide a  
          translated written contract.  The author subsequently removed  
          those provisions from this bill, and, on September 6, 2013,  
          amended the bill to, among other things, require an attorney  
          providing immigration reform act services to provide a written  
          notice informing the client as to where he or she may report  
          complaints.  AB 1159 is now before this Committee pursuant to  
          Senate Rule 29.10 for approval of those amendments.

                                                                      



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                                CHANGES TO EXISTING LAW
           
          1.    Existing law  requires all attorneys who practice law in  
            California to be members of the State Bar of California (State  
            Bar) and establishes the State Bar for the purpose of  
            regulating the legal profession.  (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec. 6000  
            et seq.)

             Existing law  provides that in non-contingent fee matters, an  
            attorney must have a written contract for services with their  
            client whenever the client's total expense, including fees,  
            will foreseeably exceed $1,000, as specified.  The written  
            contract must contain: (1) any basis compensation; (2) the  
            general nature of the legal services to be provided; and (3)  
            the respective responsibilities of the attorney and the client  
            as to the performance of the contract. Failure to comply with  
            the written contract requirement renders the agreement  
            voidable at the option of the client, and the attorney shall,  
            upon the agreement being voided, be entitled to collect a  
            reasonable fee. (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec. 6148 (a), (c).)

             Existing law requires a person who negotiates primarily in  
            Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean to deliver to  
            the other party to the contract a translation of the contract  
            or agreement in the language in which the contract or  
            agreement was negotiated, as specified.  That requirement  
            applies to various contracts and agreements, including, those  
            for the purpose of obtaining legal services.  (Civ. Code Sec.  
            1632 (b).)

             This bill  would provide that it is unlawful for an attorney to  
            demand or accept advance payment of any funds from a person  
            for immigration reform act services before the enactment of an  
            immigration reform act.  Any funds received after the  
            effective date of this bill, but, before the enactment of an  
            immigration reform act must be promptly refunded to the  
            client, as specified.

             This bill  would further provide that:
                 if an attorney providing immigration reform act services  
               accepted funds prior to the effective date of this bill,  
               and the services provided in connection with payment of  
               those funds were rendered, the attorney shall promptly  
               provide the client with a statement of accounting  
               describing services rendered; and
                 any funds received before the effective date of this  
                                                                      



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               bill for which immigration reform act services were not  
               rendered prior to the effective date, shall be either  
               refunded to the client or shall be deposited in a client  
               trust account.  If the attorney elects to deposit funds in  
               a client trust account, he or she shall provide a specified  
               written notice to the client, in English and the client's  
               native language.

             This bill  would provide that when a contract for legal  
            services is required to be in writing, as specified, an  
            attorney providing immigration reform act services shall  
            provide a written notice informing the client where he or she  
            may report complaints. 

            This bill  would require that notice to be attached or  
            incorporated into any written contract for immigration reform  
            act services, and, require the notice to be signed by both the  
            attorney and client if it is attached to a written contract.   
            This bill would require the notice to be in English and in one  
            of the languages translated by the State Bar, if the contract  
            for immigration reform act services was negotiated in one of  
            those languages.

             This bill  would require the State Bar to provide the form of  
            the notice, post the form and translations of the form on its  
            Internet Web site, and to translate the form into Spanish,  
            Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Armenian, Persian,  
            Japanese, Russian, Hindi, Arabic, French, Punjabi, Portuguese,  
            Mon-Khmer, Hmong, Thai, and Gujarati.  This bill would specify  
            that an attorney who meets specified criteria shall be  
            responsible for adding and translating the name of, toll-free  
            number of, and information on the Internet Web site for, the  
            bar or court in which he or she is admitted to practice law.

             This bill  would provide that failure to comply with the notice  
            and translation requirement renders the contract voidable at  
            the option of the client, and the attorney shall, upon the  
            contract being voided, be entitled to collect a reasonable  
            fee.

             This bill  would make the above notice and translation  
            provision operative when the State Bar posts on its Internet  
            Web site the required form and translations, and, require the  
            State Bar to post the form and translations as soon as  
            practicable but no later than 45 days after the effective date  
            of the bill.
                                                                      



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             This bill  would define "immigration reform act" as any pending  
            or future act of Congress that is enacted after the effective  
            date of this section but before January 1, 2017, including but  
            not limited to the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and  
            Immigration Modernization Act" (S. 744, 2013), as specified.   
            This bill would require the State Bar to announce and post on  
            its Internet Web site when an immigration reform act has been  
            enacted.

             This bill  would define immigration reform act services as  
            services offered in connection with an immigration reform act  
            that are necessary in the preparation of an application and  
            other related initial processes in order for an undocumented  
            immigrant, as specified, to attain lawful status under the  
            immigration reform act.

          2.    Existing law  provides that no person shall practice law in  
            California unless the person is an active member of the State  
            Bar.  (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec. 6125.)

             Existing law  provides that any person advertising or holding  
            himself or herself out as practicing or entitled to practice  
            law or otherwise practicing law who is not an active member of  
            the State Bar, or otherwise authorized pursuant to statute or  
            court rule to practice law in this state at the time of doing  
            so, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec.  
            6126(a).)

             Existing law  authorizes the State Bar to enjoin any violations  
            or threatened violations of the unauthorized practice of law  
            in a civil action brought in the superior court by the State  
            Bar.  (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec. 6030.)

             This bill  would provide that it is a violation of the existing  
            prohibition on non-attorneys advertising or holding themselves  
            out as entitled to practice law for any person who is not an  
            attorney to literally translate from English into another  
            language, in any document, any words or titles, including  
            "notary public," "notary," "licensed," "attorney," or "lawyer"  
            that imply the person is an attorney, as specified.  This bill  
            would provide that a person who violates the translation  
            prohibition is liable for a civil penalty not to exceed  
            $1,000, as specified.

             This bill  would provide that, in a civil action brought by the  
            State Bar, the civil penalty collected shall be paid to the  
                                                                      



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            State Bar and allocated to provide free legal services related  
            to immigration reform act services to clients of limited means  
            or to a fund for the purposes of mitigating unpaid claims of  
            injured immigrant clients.  

             This bill  would require the Board of Trustees of the State Bar  
            to annually report any collection and expenditure of funds for  
            the preceding calendar year to the Assembly and Senate  
            Committees on Judiciary, as specified.

          3.    Existing law  , the Immigration Consultants Act (ICA),  
            regulates the activities of immigration consultants by  
            requiring them to pass a background check conducted by the  
            Secretary of State (SOS), file a $50,000 bond with the SOS, to  
            comply with specified notice requirements, and to provide  
            clients with written contracts in their native language, as  
            specified.  (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec. 22440 et seq.)

             Existing law  further prohibits an immigration consultant from  
            literally translating words or titles that imply that the  
            person is an attorney, as specified.  (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec.  
            22442.3.)

             Existing law  provides that a violation of the ICA subjects a  
            person to a civil penalty not to exceed $100,000 for each  
            violation, is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less  
            than $2,000 or more than $10,000, and that the second or  
            subsequent violation is a felony.  (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec.  
            22445.)

             Existing law  allows a person claiming to be aggrieved to bring  
            a civil action for injunctive relief, or damages, or both, and  
            requires a court finding a violation to award the plaintiff  
            actual damages plus treble damages, as specified, and  
            reasonable attorney's fees and costs.  (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec.  
            22446.5.)  Existing law further allows a person who is awarded  
            damages to recover those damages from the required bond, as  
            specified.  (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec. 22447.)

             This bill  would additionally:
                     increase the amount of the bond to $100,000,  
                 effective July 1, 2014;
                     require each service to be performed to be itemized  
                 with an explanation of the purpose and process of the  
                 service, and make corresponding changes;
                     revise the existing exemptions for non-profit tax  
                                                                      



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                 exempt corporations who help client complete application  
                 forms by clarifying that only a nominal fee may be  
                 charged;
                     require an immigration consultant who provides  
                 immigration reform act services to establish and deposit  
                 into a client trust account any funds received from a  
                 client prior to performing those services;
                     allow an immigration consultant providing  
                 immigration reform act services for the client to  
                 withdraw funds received from that client:  (1) after  
                 completing one or more of the itemized services, as  
                 specified; or (2) after completing one or more of the  
                 documents listed, as specified;
                     prohibit an immigration consultant from demanding or  
                 accepting advance payment of any funds from a person for  
                 immigration reform act services before the enactment of  
                 an immigration reform act; 
                     provide that funds received after the effective date  
                 of this bill but before enactment of an immigration  
                 reform act must be refunded to the client;
                     provide that for funds received before the effective  
                 date of the bill: (1) the consultant must provide the  
                 client with an accounting for services that were  
                 rendered; and (2) any funds received for which services  
                 have not yet been rendered must be refunded or deposited  
                 into a client trust account, as specified; 
                     state that a person who violates the above  
                 restrictions on advance fees shall be subject to a civil  
                 penalty not to exceed $1,000, as specified, and require a  
                 court to grant a prevailing plaintiff reasonable  
                 attorney's fees and costs. ; and
                     expressly prohibit the literal translation of the  
                 phrase "notary public" into Spanish as "notario public"  
                 or "notario."

             This bill  would state that a violation of the existing  
            prohibition on translating terms that imply the person is an  
            attorney is a violation of the State Bar Act's prohibition on  
            non-attorney's holding themselves out to be authorized to  
            practice law.  In addition to the remedies and penalties under  
            the ICA law, this bill would provide that a person who  
            violates the translation prohibition would be subject to a  
            civil penalty of up to $1,000 per day for each violation, as  
            specified.

                                        COMMENT
                                                                      



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          1.   Stated need for the bill  

          According to the author:

            AB 1159 is an important consumer protection measure that  
            will immediately assist in helping to protect the vulnerable  
            community that will be seeking assistance under  
            comprehensive immigration reform.

            Immigration fraud has already begun.  A few bad actors are  
            already making guarantees they cannot fulfill, and are  
            already taking fees for services they cannot possibly  
            provide until the federal government has acted.

            If immigration reform passes, it is estimated that 11  
            million nationwide will be impacted.  Of that 11 million,  
            approximately 2.55 million live in California.  No one knows  
            how many of the 2.55 million will be victimized by fraud,  
            but we do know the risk of fraud is very high since the  
            fraud is already occurring. . .  AB 1159 is designed to  
            significantly help reduce fraud and to provide appropriate  
            enforcement tools to recover against those individuals who  
            do engage in fraudulent behavior.  
                 
            AB 1159 is a reasonable approach to ensure consumer  
            protection for immigrants.  By putting in place these  
            safeguards now, the bill will help prevent the fraud at the  
            front end, avoiding more significant repercussions down the  
            road.

          2.   September 6, 2013 Amendments  

          In response to concerns raised about the prior version of the  
          bill, the September 6, 2013 amendments inserted language that  
          requires an attorney providing immigration reform act services  
          to provide a written notice to the client as to where he or she  
          may report complaints.  The State Bar would be required to  
          provide the form of the notice and post the form and  
          translations on its Internet Web site.  The September 6, 2013  
          amendments further require the notice to be in English and one  
          of the specified languages, as necessary, provided by the State  
          Bar (if the contract was negotiated in one of those languages).   
          As a result, attorneys who are active members of the State Bar  
          would be able to comply with the requirements of the bill by  
          using one of the forms posted by the State Bar.  For attorneys  
                                                                      



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          who are not active members of the State Bar, but authorized  
          under federal law to practice law, this bill would require the  
          attorney to be responsible for adding and translating  
          information for the bar of the court in which he or she is  
          admitted to practice law.

          It should be noted that the above notice and translation  
          requirements would only apply when a contract for legal services  
          is required to be in writing (See Business & Profession Code  
          Sec. 6148), or, is required to be translated into the language  
          it was negotiated (Civil Code Section 1632).  Thus, the required  
          notice would be attached (or incorporated) into a contract that  
          is already required to be in writing pursuant to existing law. 

          Staff notes that, in addition to the notice and translation  
          provision discussed above, the September 6, 2013 amendments also  
          would:  (1) required the State Bar to direct civil penalties  
          recovered in civil actions relating to "notarios" to free legal  
                             services relating to the immigration reform act or for purposes  
          of mitigating the unpaid claims of injured immigrant clients;  
          (2) required the State Bar to announce and post on its Internet  
          Web site when an immigration reform act has been enacted; (3)  
          clarified timelines and requirements related to the prohibition  
          on advance fees for immigration reform act services; and (4)  
          made other clarifying changes.

          3.   Attorney provisions previously approved by this Committee  

          In addition to the provision described in Comment 2, this bill  
          would restrict the ability of attorneys to receive advance fees  
          for immigration reform act services before the reform is  
          enacted, and define the attorneys covered by the bill's  
          provisions.

            a.   Advance fee prohibition  

            This bill would prohibit an attorney from demanding or  
            receiving advance payment of any funds from a person for  
            immigration reform act services before the enactment of an  
            immigration reform act.  That prohibition seeks to target  
            attorneys who are reportedly advertising and collecting fees  
            for services in connection with immigration reform that may or  
            may not be enacted in the future.  Although, as noted in the  
            Background above, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity,  
            and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744) is  
            currently in the House of Representatives, it is unclear  
                                                                      



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            whether it will actually be passed, or, if passed, if it will  
            resemble the current form of the Act. As a result, this bill  
            seeks to prohibit the collection of fees that attorneys may be  
            currently collecting for reform that may never be enacted.

            The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), in  
            opposition, asserts: "AILA understands the need to restrict  
            the ability of attorneys to collect fees for a service that is  
            not permitted or warranted under existing law.  There are many  
            ethics rules attorneys must follow on this subject.  However,  
            [Section] 6242 of AB 1159 would also prohibit an attorney from  
            completing critical research and background work.  AILA  
            believes that these services are legitimate and permitted  
            under current law.  AB 1159 should not impede an attorney's  
            ability to service a client." It should be noted that, in  
            response to AILA's concerns, the author previously accepted an  
            amendment in this Committee to clarify that immigration reform  
            act services are those offered in connection with pending or  
            future immigration reform.  Staff notes that the recent  
            amendments have not fully addressed the concerns raised by  
            AILA. 

            This bill would further provide that if fees were collected  
            before this bill is enacted, and the services were rendered,  
            the attorney must provide the client with a statement of  
            accounting for those services.  For fees that were collected  
            before enactment and the services have not been rendered, this  
            bill would require the attorney to refund those fees or place  
            them in a client trust account.  If placed in a trust account,  
            the attorney must provide a specified notice in English and  
            the client's native language.  Any advance fees received after  
            the effective date of the bill, but before the enactment of an  
            immigration reform act, must be returned to the client.

            b.   Application of attorney provisions 
             
             This bill would apply the above provisions regarding advance  
            fees and written notices to attorneys who are active members  
            of the State Bar, as well as to attorneys who are not active  
            members but (1) provide immigration reform act services in an  
            office or business in California and (2) are authorized by  
            federal law to practice law and to represent persons before  
            the Board of Immigration Appeals of the United States  
            Citizenship and Immigration Services.  From a policy  
            standpoint, that provision would appear to apply the above  
            restrictions with some uniformity so that clients who visit  
                                                                      



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            attorneys in California are treated similarly.

            AILA, in opposition, contends that "[u]nder Immigration  
            practice, many out-of-state attorneys work with [U.S.  
            Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)] offices like the  
            California Service Center (CSC) to represent individuals in  
            California. The state should not be involved in seeking to  
            restrict the ability of an attorney, authorized by federal  
            law, to practice law in California.  Such regulations are  
            likely preempted by federal law.  AILA would ask that the  
            provisions relating to federal immigration attorneys be  
            removed."  The State Bar, in response, contends that:   
            "California under its police powers has jurisdiction over  
            non-California lawyers who are doing business in the State and  
            representing immigrant clients residing in the State.  Those  
            lawyers have to comply with all other existing laws when doing  
            business in the state.  The ban on no advance payments and  
            written contracts in AB 1159 regulates the transaction with  
            clients, not what the lawyer may or may not do before BIA or  
            USCIS."

          4.   Restrictions on immigration consultants approved by this  
          Committee  

          As noted in the Background, existing law imposes numerous  
          requirements on those who would act in the capacity of an  
          immigration consultant.  Consultants must pass a background  
          check, provide clients with a written contract in English and  
          the client's native language, conspicuously display a statutory  
          notice with specified information (including that the consultant  
          is not an attorney), and file a $50,000 surety bond with the  
          Secretary of State.  Existing law also prohibits consultants  
          from making false or misleading statements, making guarantees or  
          promises unless it is in writing and there a basis in fact for  
          the promise or guarantee, and making any statement that the  
          consultant can obtain special favors.  Violations of those  
          provisions is a misdemeanor, subject a person to a civil penalty  
          not to exceed $100,000, and can be a felony if there are repeat  
          violations.

          This bill would further strengthen those provisions by: (1)  
          requiring the written contract to itemize each service to be  
          performed; (2) requiring consultants who provide immigration  
          reform act services to deposit any funds received into a client  
          trust account and only withdraw funds upon completing an  
          itemized service or a document listed; (3) prohibiting  
                                                                      



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          consultants from demanding or accepting advance payment of any  
          funds from a person for immigration reform act services before  
          the reform is enacted; (4) imposing a civil penalty of up to  
          $1,000 per day for violations of the advance fee prohibition;  
          and (5) increasing the amount of the required surety bond from  
          $50,000 to $100,000.

          5.   Translation provision approved by this Committee
           
          Under existing law, immigration consultants are prohibited from  
          literally translating, with the intent to mislead, any words or  
          titles, including notary public, notary, licensed, attorney, or  
          lawyer, that imply that the person is an attorney.  (Bus. &  
          Prof. Code Sec. 22442.3.)  That prohibition was added by AB 2520  
          (Napolitano, Chapter 561, Statutes of 1994) in response to  
          instances of consumer fraud by non-attorney immigration service  
          providers.  This Committee's analysis noted that the prohibition  
          was supported by the findings of a State Bar Task Force as  
          follows:

            Testimony at the two public hearings revealed that the  
            highest incidence of consumer fraud appears to be engaged in  
            by non-attorney immigration service providers, although  
            complaints were also heard regarding activities engaged in  
            by both out-of-state and California-licensed attorney  
            immigration service providers.  Many non-attorney service  
            providers employ storefront advertisements which hold  
            themselves out as a "notario," "licenciado," or "abogado;"  
            terms which can connote legal training or licensure to  
            members of the Latin-American immigrant community.   
            Advertisements are often misleading and deceptive, raising  
            false consumer hopes in an attempt to attract business.  
            Non-attorney service providers appear to frequently change  
            business locations to: 1) avoid unhappy clients; 2) avoid  
            law enforcement investigation and prosecution; and 3)  
            attract fresh customers.

          This bill would strengthen that existing translation prohibition  
          (and a related prohibition regarding the surety bond) by  
          providing that a violation is also a violation of the State Bar  
          Act's prohibition on non-attorney's advertising or holding  
          themselves out as practicing or entitled to practice law,  
          expressly prohibit translation of the phrase "notary public"  
          into Spanish as "notario public" or "notario," and, add a civil  
          penalty of up to $1,000 per day for each violation.  This bill  
          would also add similar language to the State Bar Act that would  
                                                                      



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          prohibit any person who is not an attorney from literally  
          translating any words that imply the person is an attorney, and,  
          specifically prohibit the translation of the phrase "notary  
          public" into Spanish as "notario public" or "notario."   
          Consistent with the proposed change to the ICA, this bill would  
          add a $1,000 civil penalty to the prohibition on translation  
          that would be added to the State Bar Act.  

           Support (prior version of the bill)  :  American Federation of  
          State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO;  
          California Catholic Conference; California Labor Federation; San  
          Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc.; Sheriff Leroy D. Baca;  
          UFW; UNITE HERE Local 30; Western Center on Law & Poverty

           Opposition (prior version of the bill)  :  AIDS Legal Referral  
          Panel; American Immigration Lawyers Association; Asian American  
          Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area; Asian Law Alliance;  
          Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach; Central American Resource  
          Center; Justice for Our Neighbors - Bay Area Immigration  
          Taskforce; National Center for Lesbian Rights; National Lawyers  
          Guild Bay Area Chapter; Northern California Chapter of the  
          American Immigration Lawyers Association; Northern California  
          Chapter of the Iranian American Bar Association; Omid Advocates;  
          Pangea Legal Services; San Diego Chapter of the American  
          Immigration Lawyers Association; San Diego Chapter of the  
          Iranian American Bar Association; Southern California Chapter of  
          the American Immigration Lawyers Association; one individual

                                        HISTORY
           
           Source  :  State Bar of California

           Related Pending Legislation  :  AB 888 (Dickinson) would allow the  
          State Bar to bring a civil action for any violation of the  
          existing prohibitions on the unauthorized practice of law, and  
          require the court in those actions to impose a civil penalty,  
          consider providing relief to any injured party, and award the  
          State Bar reasonable attorney's fees and costs.  This bill is  
          currently on the Senate Floor.


           Prior Legislation  :

          AB 630 (Chu, Chapter 605, Statutes of 2006) increased the  
          regulation of immigration consultants by: (1) requiring  
          fingerprinting and background checks; (2) authorizing the  
                                                                      



          AB 1159 (Gonzalez)
          Page 15 of ?



          Secretary of State to issue cease and desist orders; and (3)  
          requiring the Secretary of State to post information on its  
          Internet Web site about bond compliance, filing of disclosure  
          statements, the passing of background checks, and photographs of  
          immigration consultants.
           
          Prior Vote  :

          Senate Committee on Appropriations (Ayes 7, Noes 0)
          Senate Committee on Judiciary (Ayes 7, Noes 0)
          Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic  
          Development (Ayes 9, Noes 0)

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