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(a) It is unlawful for an attorney to demand or accept the advance payment of any funds from a person for immigration reform act services in connection with any of the following:
(1) An immigration reform act as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 6240, before the enactment of that act, when the relevant form or application is released or announced and is not subject to any pending legal action, or when the acceptance date of the relevant form or application has been announced, whichever is sooner.
(2)(A) Requests for expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under an immigration reform act as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 6240, before the date the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services begins accepting those requests.
(B) Requests for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) under an immigration reform act as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 6240, before the date the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services begins accepting those requests.
(C) Any relief offered under any executive action announced or executive order issued, on or after the effective date of the act adding this subparagraph, that authorizes an undocumented immigrant who either entered the United States without inspection or who did not depart after the expiration of a nonimmigrant visa to attain a lawful status under federal law, before the executive action or order has been implemented and the relief is available.
(b) Any advance payment of funds for immigration reform act services that was received after October 5, 2013, but before the enactment or implementation of the immigration reform act for which the services were sought, shall be refunded to the client promptly, but no later than 30 days after the receipt of the funds or placed into a client trust account, which must be returned or utilized under the provisions of the act amending this subdivision no later than January 20, 2017.
(c)(1) If an attorney providing immigration reform act services accepted funds for immigration reform act services prior to the effective date of this amendment to this section, and the services to be performed in connection with payment of those funds were rendered, the attorney shall promptly, but no later than 30 days after the effective date of this amendment to this section, provide the client with a statement of accounting describing the services rendered.
(2)(A) Any funds received before the effective date of this amendment to this section for which immigration reform act services were not rendered prior to the effective date of this amendment to this section shall be either refunded to the client or deposited in a client trust account.
(B) If an attorney deposits funds in a client trust account pursuant to this paragraph, he or she shall provide a written notice, in both English and the client's native language, informing the client of the following:
(i) That there are no benefits or relief available, and that no application for such benefits or relief may be processed, until enactment or implementation of an immigration reform act and the related necessary federal regulations or forms, and that, commencing with the effective date of this amendment to this section, it is unlawful for an attorney to demand or accept the advance payment of any funds from a person for immigration reform act services before the enactment or implementation of an immigration reform act.
(ii) That he or she may report complaints to the Executive Office for Immigration Review of the United States Department of Justice, to the State Bar of California, or to the bar of the court of any state, possession, territory, or commonwealth of the United States or of the District of Columbia where the attorney is admitted to practice law. The notice shall include the toll-free telephone numbers and Internet Web sites of those entities.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - California Code, Business and Professions Code - BPC § 6242 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/business-and-professions-code/bpc-sect-6242.html
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