Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Bill Making Unauthorized Practice of Law a Wobbler Moves to Senate Floor
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A bill allowing the unlicensed practice of law to be prosecuted as a felony on the second offense edged closer to becoming law as it passed the Senate Public Safety Committee yesterday.
Senate Bill 1459 now moves to the Senate floor and may be voted on as early as Thursday, John Hooper of state Sen. Gloria Romero’s office told the MetNews.
Romero, D-Los Angeles, said she authored the bill to protect the public from those who claim to have the authority to practice law, or offer legal advice. Anyone not authorized by the State Bar or by court order to practice law in California would be in violation of the new law if the bill is passed.
Current laws apply felony charges to disbarred lawyers or any lawyer not authorized to practice in California. Those who never held a license to practice law can be charged only with misdemeanors. This bill would make that offense a “wobbler” for repeat offenders, prosecutable as a felony or misdemeanor.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company