Effective October 5, 2013,
any person who is not an attorney is guilty of the unauthorized practice of law for literally translating from English into another language any words that imply that the person is an attorney, including “notary public,” “notary,” “licensed,”
“attorney,” or “lawyer” in any advertisement or other document. The literal transaction of the phrase “notary public” into Spanish as “notario publico” or “notario” (which means in Spanish an attorney with special credentials, not a notary public) are explicitly prohibited by anyone other than an attorney.
A person who violates this law may be held liable in a civil action brought by the State Bar for a penalty up to $1,000 per day for each violation. The civil penalty is in addition to any other remedies, including criminal prosecution for a misdemeanor punishable by one year imprisonment, plus a $1,000 fine. Assembly Bill 1159.