Non-Attorney Unauthorized Practice of Law Online Complaint
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To file a non-attorney unauthorized practice of law complaint, please fill out the online form. For questions call 800-843-9053. Please read the instructions below and then click Next at the bottom of this page to begin the complaint.
- Please provide your name, address, zip code, email address (if available), and telephone numbers (work, home and cell).
- As part of the online complaint form, you will be limited to 10 attachments, with a maximum of 4 MB each. If you need to submit more than 10 attachments please either combine files or submit a printed complaint form via mail.
- Be sure to give the full name, address and phone number of the non-attorney you are complaining about. If you wish to complain about more than one non-attorney, complete a separate statement of complaint for each non-attorney.
- If any of the blank spaces do not apply to your case, write N/A (Not Applicable).
- In the Statement of Complaint section, tell us about your complaint against the non-attorney. Tell us what the non-attorney did or failed to do that you believe may warrant State Bar action. We need to know the background of your case. Tell us in your own words what happened.
- If your complaint is about the non-attorney you hired, tell us: When did you hire the non-attorney? What agreement did you make with the non-attorney? Was the agreement verbal or in writing?
- If the complaint is about a non-attorney who has not represented you, please tell us: What is the connection you have with this non-attorney? If the non-attorney is representing a person or entity in a dispute with you, please identify that person or entity and explain the nature of the dispute.
- Provide any helpful documents. Send only copies and keep the originals. All documents you send, originals or copies, become the property of the State Bar and are subject to future destruction.
- If you are complaining about a non-attorney who represented you, provide copies of written fee agreements, payments or other letters (written or electronic) to the non-attorney. It may be helpful to provide copies of the front and back sides of all canceled checks and/or copies of receipts showing your payments to the non-attorney. Any documents in your possession could be very helpful.
The State Bar accepts complaints in over 200 languages. If you need translation services to communicate with the State Bar, please let us know by completing the Translation Information section of the complaint form. We will communicate with you through a translation service in the language of your choice. If you have a trusted friend or family member whom you would prefer to provide translation assistance and that person will accept communications from the State Bar in English, please provide their contact information in the Translation Information section of the complaint form.
The State Bar will review and evaluate your complaint to determine whether investigation and litigation is appropriate. You will be notified of our decision in writing. Thank you for your cooperation.
The State Bar's Office of Chief Trial Counsel (OCTC) reviews complaints of alleged unauthorized practice of law. Should OCTC seek court action relating to your complaint, you may be required to testify in court and/or provide a written declaration signed under penalty of perjury in order to prove charges against the non-attorney(s) involved. Below is a partial list of what OCTC can and cannot do when it considers a complaint against a non-attorney:
- If an investigation is initiated, OCTC will refer your complaint of unauthorized practice of law, which is a crime, to the appropriate law enforcement agencies or other regulatory agencies. OCTC will continue to conduct its own investigation of the complaint.
- OCTC cannot act as your attorney or otherwise help you in legal matters connected with your complaint. For example, OCTC cannot give you legal advice or perform legal service for you. You may have legal remedies available to you, but OCTC cannot advise you on your rights in a given situation or what you should do. OCTC cannot seek civil remedies for you.
- OCTC cannot give you the name of a particular attorney to help you with your legal matters. The State Bar does certify lawyer referral services, and a list of certified lawyer referral services is available on the State Bar's website or by calling 800-843-9053. The State Bar pamphlet Finding the Right Lawyer is also available online.
- If you have further questions, you may call the complaint line at 800-843-9053.
If you are unable to fill out the form online, you may print and mail the Complaint Form to the State Bar’s Intake Department.