The “Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law (UPIL): A State-by-State Overview of Legal Mechanisms to Combat these Deceptive Practices” resource is intended for immigration attorneys, recognized and accredited representative, and community-based organizations assisting noncitizen clients who have been victims of unauthorized practice of immigration law.
Unauthorized practitioners of immigration law are often referred to as “notarios,” which is notary public in Spanish, or immigration “consultants.” These individuals can delay immigration matters, at best, and pose a threat to the ability of a noncitizen to successfully qualify for immigration benefits, at worst. Victims of unauthorized practice of immigration law also face indescribable loss, including dashed hopes for legal status in the United States, depletion of limited financial resources, and possibly deportation from the United States.
UPL Statute SummaryNebraska Revised Statutes, 64-105.03, Notary public, unauthorized practice of law; prohibited
- A notary public who is not an attorney shall not engage in the unauthorized practice of law as provided in this section.
- If notarial certificate wording is not provided or indicated for a document, a notary public who is not an attorney shall not determine the type of notarial act or certificate to be used.
- A notary public who is not an attorney shall not assist another person in drafting, completing, selecting, or understanding a document or transaction requiring a notarial act.
- A notary public who is not an attorney shall not claim to have powers, qualifications, rights, or privileges that the office of notary public does not provide, including the power to counsel on immigration matters.
- A notary public who is not an attorney and who advertises notarial services in a language other than English shall include in any advertisement, notice, letterhead, or sign a statement prominently displayed in the same language as follows: "I am not an attorney and have no authority to give advice on immigration or other legal matters".
- A notary public who is not an attorney may not use the term notario publico or any equivalent non-English term in any business card, advertisement, notice, or sign.
- This section does not preclude a notary public who is duly qualified, trained, or experienced in a particular industry or professional field from selecting, drafting, completing, or advising on a document or certificate related to a matter within that industry or field.
- A violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be considered the unauthorized practice of law and subject to the penalties provided in section 7-101.
Except as provided in section 7-101.01, no person shall practice as an attorney or counselor at law, or commence, conduct or defend any action or proceeding to which he is not a party, either by using or subscribing his own name, or the name of any other person, or by drawing pleadings or other papers to be signed and filed by a party, in any court of record of this state, unless he has been previously admitted to the bar by order of the Supreme Court of this state. No such paper shall be received or filed in any action or proceeding unless the same bears the endorsement of some admitted attorney, or is drawn, signed, and presented by a party to the action or proceeding. It is hereby made the duty of the judges of such courts to enforce this prohibition. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor, but this section shall not apply to persons admitted to the bar under preexisting laws.
Enforcement Mechanisms/Complaint Processes for UPIL Victims may file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, under the Nebraska Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which may be accessed here.
Nebraska consumer protection information and contact forms are here.
One may also submit a complaint to the Nebraska Judicial Branch’s Commission on the Unauthorized Practice of Law. Contact information may be obtained here.
If you are looking for any other state, you can find state-by-state UPIL rules and information here.
We hope you find this information helpful!
(Sometimes government web links might have been moved, updated or changed and no longer work.)
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