By Joyce E. Cutler
A former inmate who continued to offer legal assistance to incarcerated individuals after he was paroled had hundreds of client files seized for the unlicensed practice of law, the California Bar said Wednesday.
Anthony David Urbano, who promoted his business as the “Jailhouse Lawyer 360,” argued that he is allowed to give legal advice to inmates as a parolee.
Inmates under California law can assist other incarcerated individuals complete briefs and other legal documents but must be incarcerated at the time of the assistance and can’t charge for the help. Urbano didn’t meet either of those requirements, according to the bar, which had served several cease-and-desist orders and complaints in an attempt to stop the illegal operation.
A state Superior Court order Tuesday authorized the bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel to seize Urbano’s records, which included 20 boxes with hundreds of files, the bar said. Urbano’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Among the complaints was filed by the fiancée of a man incarcerated in a Northern California state prison who paid Urbano a $1,174 advance. Her request for a refund once she found Urbano wasn’t an attorney was declined, the bar said.
State Bar of Calif. v. Urbano, Superior Court, Sacramento Cty., No. 34-2022-00314899, 2/8/22
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'Jailhouse Lawyer 360' Client Files Seized by California Bar – Bloomberg Law
01/07/2022 360 Photography