Assembly Member Dickinson has introduced AB 888, an act to amend Section 17206 of, and to add Sections 6126.6 and 6126.7 to, the Business and Professions Code, relating to the State Bar.

Existing law prohibits a person from practicing law in California, or from advertising or holding himself or herself out as practicing law, unless the person is an active member of the State Bar, or otherwise authorized, as specified, to practice law in this state. A violation of these provisions is a crime.

This bill would, for violations of the above-described provisions, require the State Bar to disclose, in confidence, the information in its investigation to the agency responsible for the criminal enforcement of these provisions or exchange that information with that agency. This bill would authorize the State Bar to request the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney acting as a local prosecutor, to bring an enforcement action or bring a civil action in its own name, as specified.

The bill would require the court, in a civil enforcement action by the State Bar for the unlawful practice of law, to impose a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500, to be paid to the State Bar.  The bill would also require the court to impose a civil penalty not to exceed $6,000 for the intentional violation of any injunction prohibiting the unlawful practice of law.

The bill would also require the court to consider, when applicable, additional relief provided under existing law and to award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, as specified.

Go here to read the complete analysis of this bill.  On July 2, 2013, the Senate ordered the bill to a third reading.

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