Yesterday our colleague, Deborah Niedermeyer won the top annual award from the Washington State Bar Association along with attorney Manny Rios. Deborah received the Award of Merit for her work bringing the first Washington lawsuit against an unauthorized immigration practitioner (called a notario publico).
Deborah and Manny sued a notario for violating Washington’s Consumer Protection Act (CPA). Under that law, it is illegal for anyone other than an attorney or licensed representative to do immigration work. It is illegal for someone to advertise that they are a notario, to advise people about what immigration benefits they are eligible for, and to help them complete the legal forms. Deborah’s lawsuit was against a notario who had given terrible legal advice, in violation of Washington law, and caused his customer to end up in deportation proceedings.
Deborah’s work is an important step to ensure that immigrants are not the victims of scams. Sadly, it is common for immigrants to get illegal help from notarios, sometimes leading to terrible results.
Sound Immigration is proud to be pursing second Washington lawsuit against an illegal notario. Last week we served a lawsuit against a defendant who provided illegal immigration assistance to our clients. We are proud to be continuing Deborah’s work to ensure immigrants are not victimized.
Deborah has previously worked with Sound Immigration, where she has assisted with complex legal work. She has also co-authored scholarly work with me on issues of legal ethics. Deborah is one of the greatest legal minds I have ever known, and it’s an honor to be able to work with her.