« on: August 20, 2015, 02:03:51 PM »
Maintain, I didn't say anything about notarios. Soy de Los Angeles, so I am certainly familiar with them. I was more shocked that the poster was alleging that attorneys were violating their professional responsibilities by advocating for immigrants.
Advocating for an immigrant, even an illegal immigrant, is not in itself a violation of any professional duty.
Your argument is that by assisting the illegal immigrant in becoming legal, the lawyer is furthering the illegal activity? I see the logic, but no. And this isn't just an issue of politics or political correctness.
Lawyers are permitted to assist clients who are currently afoul of the law but wish to become compliant. Think of a client walking into a tax lawyer's office and saying "I haven't paid income tax in five years, but I want to get right with the IRS and avoid jail." As long as the lawyer does not assist the tax fugitive in hiding assets, or setting up offshore accounts, or producing fake returns, he can assist the client in clearing up his legal problems with the IRS.
So, if an immigration lawyer tells an immigrant to claim political asylum when he knows it's a bogus claim, or tells the client to lie about how long he's been in the country to take advantage of an amnesty, or whatever, then he's breached his ethical duties. But not just by representing and advocating zealously on behalf of the client.
Going completely afield of the original topic, IIRC, isn't it it the case that there is a difference between the function of an American notary and notaries in (some) other countries? For example, I believe that certain European notaries have what some of us would view as quasi-lawyer abilities.
Might that be the case with "true" Mexican (in Mexico) notaries, thus causing some confusion?
Yes, definitely. Notarios are common in Latin America and usually have some degree of training or certification. They have very clear roles, and can only perform certain tasks. How well this is regulated varies according to the country.
The problem in the U.S. is that many people calling themselves "notarios" and running storefront offices have zero training in American law. I believe Calbar was looking into some sort of training or regulatory action, but I don't know what came of it.