Governor Chris Christie signed BIll A-1050 into law last week, upgrading the unauthorized practice of law penalties. The amendment to NJSA 2C: 21-22(b) now provides that it is a crime of the third degree to knowingly engage in the unauthorized practice of law and:
1) Create or reinforce a false impression that the person is licensed to engage in the practice of law; or
2) Derive a benefit; or
3) In fact cause injury to another.
The new law also provides that aggrieved parties who suffer ascertainable loss of money or property may also bring civil actions against the person(s) responsible. NJSA 2C:21-31, which covers the unauthorized practice of immigration law, was also amended, so interested parties should consult the statute.
Kudos to Governor Christie for taking a more aggressive stance against consultants and other types of individuals who profess authorization to practice something which they are not licensed to do. These new measures will hopefully deter the predators out there....