2010 California Code
Business and Professions Code
Article 7. Unlawful Practice Of Law

BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE
SECTION 6125-6133



6125.  No person shall practice law in California unless the person
is an active member of the State Bar.



6126.  (a) 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 punishable
by up to one year in a county jail or by a fine of up to one thousand
dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. Upon a
second or subsequent conviction, the person shall be confined in a
county jail for not less than 90 days, except in an unusual case
where the interests of justice would be served by imposition of a
lesser sentence or a fine. If the court imposes only a fine or a
sentence of less than 90 days for a second or subsequent conviction
under this subdivision, the court shall state the reasons for its
sentencing choice on the record.
   (b) Any person who has been involuntarily enrolled as an inactive
member of the State Bar, or has been suspended from membership from
the State Bar, or has been disbarred, or has resigned from the State
Bar with charges pending, and thereafter practices or attempts to
practice law, advertises or holds himself or herself out as
practicing or otherwise entitled to practice law, is guilty of a
crime punishable by imprisonment in the state prison or a county
jail. However, any person who has been involuntarily enrolled as an
inactive member of the State Bar pursuant to paragraph (1) of
subdivision (e) of Section 6007 and who knowingly thereafter
practices or attempts to practice law, or advertises or holds himself
or herself out as practicing or otherwise entitled to practice law,
is guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment in the state prison
or a county jail.
   (c) The willful failure of a member of the State Bar, or one who
has resigned or been disbarred, to comply with an order of the
Supreme Court to comply with Rule 9.20 of the California Rules of
Court, constitutes a crime punishable by imprisonment in the state
prison or a county jail.
   (d) The penalties provided in this section are cumulative to each
other and to any other remedies or penalties provided by law.



6126.3.  (a) In addition to any criminal penalties pursuant to
Section 6126 or to any contempt proceedings pursuant to Section 6127,
the courts of the state shall have the jurisdiction provided in this
section when a person advertises or holds himself or herself out as
practicing or entitled to practice law, or otherwise practices law,
without being 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.
   (b) The State Bar, or the superior court on its own motion, may
make application to the superior court for the county where the
person described in subdivision (a) maintains or more recently has
maintained his or her principal office for the practice of law or
where he or she resides, for assumption by the court of jurisdiction
over the practice to the extent provided in this section. In any
proceeding under this section, the State Bar shall be permitted to
intervene and to assume primary responsibility for conducting the
action.
   (c) An application made pursuant to subdivision (b) shall be
verified, and shall state facts showing all of the following:
   (1) Probable cause to believe that the facts set forth in
subdivision (a) of Section 6126 have occurred.
   (2) The interest of the applicant.
   (3) Probable cause to believe that the interests of a client or of
an interested person or entity will be prejudiced if the proceeding
is not maintained.
   (d) The application shall be set for hearing, and an order to show
cause shall be issued directing the person to show cause why the
court should not assume jurisdiction over the practice as provided in
this section. A copy of the application and order to show cause
shall be served upon the person by personal delivery or, as an
alternate method of service, by certified or registered mail, return
receipt requested, addressed to the person either at the address at
which he or she maintains, or more recently has maintained, his or
her principal office or at the address where he or she resides.
Service is complete at the time of mailing, but any prescribed period
of notice and any right or duty to do any act or make any response
within that prescribed period or on a date certain after notice is
served by mail shall be extended five days if the place of address is
within the State of California, 10 days if the place of address is
outside the State of California but within the United States, and 20
days if the place of address is outside the United States. If the
State Bar is not the applicant, copies shall also be served upon the
Office of the Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar in similar manner
at the time of service on the person who is the subject of the
application. The court may prescribe additional or alternative
methods of service of the application and order to show cause, and
may prescribe methods of notifying and serving notices and process
upon other persons and entities in cases not specifically provided
herein.
   (e) If the court finds that the facts set forth in subdivision (a)
of Section 6126 have occurred and that the interests of a client or
an interested person or entity will be prejudiced if the proceeding
provided herein is not maintained, the court may make an order
assuming jurisdiction over the person's practice pursuant to this
section. If the person to whom the order to show cause is directed
does not appear, the court may make its order upon the verified
application or upon such proof as it may require. Thereupon, the
court shall appoint one or more active members of the State Bar to
act under its direction to mail a notice of cessation of practice,
pursuant to subdivision (g), and may order those appointed attorneys
to do one or more of the following:
   (1) Examine the files and records of the practice and obtain
information as to any pending matters that may require attention.
   (2) Notify persons and entities who appear to be clients of the
person of the occurrence of the event or events stated in subdivision
(a) of Section 6126, and inform them that it may be in their best
interest to obtain other legal counsel.
   (3) Apply for an extension of time pending employment of legal
counsel by the client.
   (4) With the consent of the client, file notices, motions, and
pleadings on behalf of the client where jurisdictional time limits
are involved and other legal counsel has not yet been obtained.
   (5) Give notice to the depositor and appropriate persons and
entities who may be affected, other than clients, of the occurrence
of the event or events.
   (6) Arrange for the surrender or delivery of clients' papers or
property.
   (7) Arrange for the appointment of a receiver, where applicable,
to take possession and control of any and all bank accounts relating
to the affected person's practice.
   (8) Do any other acts that the court may direct to carry out the
purposes of this section.
   The court shall have jurisdiction over the files and records and
over the practice of the affected person for the limited purposes of
this section, and may make all orders necessary or appropriate to
exercise this jurisdiction. The court shall provide a copy of any
order issued pursuant to this section to the Office of the Chief
Trial Counsel of the State Bar.
   (f) Anyone examining the files and records of the practice of the
person described in subdivision (a) shall observe any lawyer-client
privilege under Sections 950 and 952 of the Evidence Code and shall
make disclosure only to the extent necessary to carry out the
purposes of this section. That disclosure shall be a disclosure that
is reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose for
which the person described in subdivision (a) was consulted. The
appointment of a member of the State Bar pursuant to this section
shall not affect the lawyer-client privilege, which privilege shall
apply to communications by or to the appointed members to the same
extent as it would have applied to communications by or to the person
described in subdivision (a).
   (g) The notice of cessation of law practice shall contain any
information that may be required by the court, including, but not
limited to, the finding by the court that the facts set forth in
subdivision (a) of Section 6126 have occurred and that the court has
assumed jurisdiction of the practice. The notice shall be mailed to
all clients, to opposing counsel, to courts and agencies in which the
person has pending matters with an identification of the matter, to
the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar, and to any
other person or entity having reason to be informed of the court's
assumption of the practice.
   (h) Nothing in this section shall authorize the court or an
attorney appointed by it pursuant to this section to approve or
disapprove of the employment of legal counsel, to fix terms of legal
employment, or to supervise or in any way undertake the conduct of
the practice, except to the limited extent provided by paragraphs (3)
and (4) of subdivision (e).
   (i) Unless court approval is first obtained, neither the attorney
appointed pursuant to this section, nor his or her corporation, nor
any partner or associate of the attorney shall accept employment as
an attorney by any client of the affected person on any matter
pending at the time of the appointment. Action taken pursuant to
paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (e) shall not be deemed
employment for purposes of this subdivision.
   (j) Upon a finding by the court that it is more likely than not
that the application will be granted and that delay in making the
orders described in subdivision (e) will result in substantial injury
to clients or to others, the court, without notice or upon notice as
it shall prescribe, may make interim orders containing any
provisions that the court deems appropriate under the circumstances.
Such an interim order shall be served in the manner provided in
subdivision (d) and, if the application and order to show cause have
not yet been served, the application and order to show cause shall be
served at the time of serving the interim order.
   (k) No person or entity shall incur any liability by reason of the
institution or maintenance of a proceeding brought under this
section. No person or entity shall incur any liability for an act
done or omitted to be done pursuant to order of the court under this
section. No person or entity shall be liable for failure to apply for
court jurisdiction under this section. Nothing in this section shall
affect any obligation otherwise existing between the affected person
and any other person or entity.
   (l) An order pursuant to this section is not appealable and shall
not be stayed by petition for a writ, except as ordered by the
superior court or by the appellate court.
   (m) A member of the State Bar appointed pursuant to this section
shall serve without compensation. However, the member may be paid
reasonable compensation by the State Bar in cases where the State Bar
has determined that the member has devoted extraordinary time and
services that were necessary to the performance of the member's
duties under this article. All payments of compensation for time and
services shall be at the discretion of the State Bar. Any member
shall be entitled to reimbursement from the State Bar for necessary
expenses incurred in the performance of the member's duties under
this article. Upon court approval of expenses or compensation for
time and services, the State Bar shall be entitled to reimbursement
therefor from the person described in subdivision (a) or his or her
estate.


6126.4.  Section 6126.3 shall apply to a person acting in the
capacity of an immigration consultant pursuant to Chapter 19.5
(commencing with Section 22440) who advertises or holds himself or
herself out as practicing or entitled to practice law, or otherwise
practices law.



6126.5.  (a) In addition to any remedies and penalties available in
any enforcement action brought in the name of the people of the State
of California by the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a
city attorney, acting as a public prosecutor, the court shall award
relief in the enforcement action for any person who obtained services
offered or provided in violation of Section 6125 or 6126 or who
purchased any goods, services, or real or personal property in
connection with services offered or provided in violation of Section
6125 or 6126 against the person who violated Section 6125 or 6126, or
who sold goods, services, or property in connection with that
violation. The court shall consider the following relief:
   (1) Actual damages.
   (2) Restitution of all amounts paid.
   (3) The amount of penalties and tax liabilities incurred in
connection with the sale or transfer of assets to pay for any goods,
services, or property.
   (4) Reasonable attorney's fees and costs expended to rectify
errors made in the unlawful practice of law.
   (5) Prejudgment interest at the legal rate from the date of loss
to the date of judgment.
   (6) Appropriate equitable relief, including the rescission of
sales made in connection with a violation of law.
   (b) The relief awarded under paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of
subdivision (a) shall be distributed to, or on behalf of, the person
for whom it was awarded or, if it is impracticable to do so, shall be
distributed as may be directed by the court pursuant to its
equitable powers.
   (c) The court shall also award the Attorney General, district
attorney, or city attorney reasonable attorney's fees and costs and,
in the court's discretion, exemplary damages as provided in Section
3294 of the Civil Code.
   (d) This section shall not be construed to create, abrogate, or
otherwise affect claims, rights, or remedies, if any, that may be
held by a person or entity other than those law enforcement agencies
described in subdivision (a). The remedies provided in this section
are cumulative to each other and to the remedies and penalties
provided under other laws.



6127.  The following acts or omissions in respect to the practice of
law are contempts of the authority of the courts:
   (a) Assuming to be an officer or attorney of a court and acting as
such, without authority.
   (b) Advertising or holding oneself out as practicing or as
entitled to practice law or otherwise practicing law in any court,
without being an active member of the State Bar.
   Proceedings to adjudge a person in contempt of court under this
section are to be taken in accordance with the provisions of Title V
of Part III of the Code of Civil Procedure.



6127.5.  Nothing in Sections 6125, 6126 and 6127 shall be deemed to
apply to the acts and practices of a law corporation duly
certificated pursuant to the Professional Corporation Act, as
contained in Part 4 (commencing with Section 13400) of Division 3 of
Title 1 of the Corporations Code, and pursuant to Article 10
(commencing with Section 6160) of Chapter 4 of Division 3 of this
code, when the law corporation is in compliance with the requirements
of (a) the Professional Corporation Act; (b) Article 10 (commencing
with Section 6160) of Chapter 4 of Division 3 of this code; and (c)
all other statutes and all rules and regulations now or hereafter
enacted or adopted pertaining to such corporation and the conduct of
its affairs.



6128.  Every attorney is guilty of a misdemeanor who either:
   (a) Is guilty of any deceit or collusion, or consents to any
deceit or collusion, with intent to deceive the court or any party.
   (b) Willfully delays his client's suit with a view to his own
gain.
   (c) Willfully receives any money or allowance for or on account of
any money which he has not laid out or become answerable for.
   Any violation of the provisions of this section is punishable by
imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a
fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by
both.


6129.  Every attorney who, either directly or indirectly, buys or is
interested in buying any evidence of debt or thing in action, with
intent to bring suit thereon, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
   Any violation of the provisions of this section is punishable by
imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a
fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or by
both.



6130.  No person, who has been an attorney, shall while a judgment
of disbarment or suspension is in force appear on his own behalf as
plaintiff in the prosecution of any action where the subject of the
action has been assigned to him subsequent to the entry of the
judgment of disbarment or suspension and solely for purpose of
collection.



6131.  Every attorney is guilty of a misdemeanor and, in addition to
the punishment prescribed therefor, shall be disbarred:
   (a) Who directly or indirectly advises in relation to, or aids, or
promotes the defense of any action or proceeding in any court the
prosecution of which is carried on, aided or promoted by any person
as district attorney or other public prosecutor with whom such person
is directly or indirectly connected as a partner.
   (b) Who, having himself prosecuted or in any manner aided or
promoted any action or proceeding in any court as district attorney
or other public prosecutor, afterwards, directly or indirectly,
advises in relation to or takes any part in the defense thereof, as
attorney or otherwise, or who takes or receives any valuable
consideration from or on behalf of any defendant in any such action
upon any understanding or agreement whatever having relation to the
defense thereof.
   This section does not prohibit an attorney from defending himself
in person, as attorney or counsel, when prosecuted, either civilly or
criminally.



6132.  Any law firm, partnership, corporation, or association which
contains the name of an attorney who is disbarred, or who resigned
with charges pending, in its business name shall remove the name of
that attorney from its business name, and from all signs,
advertisements, letterhead, and other materials containing that name,
within 60 days of the disbarrment or resignation.



6133.  Any attorney or any law firm, partnership, corporation, or
association employing an attorney who has resigned, or who is under
actual suspension from the practice of law, or is disbarred, shall
not permit that attorney to practice law or so advertise or hold
himself or herself out as practicing law and shall supervise him or
her in any other assigned duties. A willful violation of this section
constitutes a cause for discipline.



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