FROM: Amy Cornell, Public Information Officer   CONTACT PERSON: Stan Voyles, Deputy District Attorney 408-792-2735   For release on: July 18, 2008   FORMER IMMIGRATION LAWYER ARRESTED ON FELONY CHARGES OF GRAND THEFT AND PRACTICING LAW WITHOUT A LICENSE   50-year old James C. Lopez, a former immigration attorney, was arrested Thursday on a $50,000 warrant. Lopez is facing felony charges that include several counts of practicing law after he had resigned from the California State Bar, as well as charges of grand theft.   Lopez resigned from the State Bar in 2002 after disciplinary charges were brought against him, but he continued to unlawfully practice immigration law. While he did not make appearances in court, he did lead his clients to believe he was still an attorney by charging fees for giving legal advice, and preparing documents for use in immigration courts. Complaints from Lopez’s clients indicated there were serious questions regarding the competency of his work.   Prior to 2002, Lopez had been disciplined several times by the California State Bar. In 2000, Lopez was suspended from practicing law for three months for performing his legal duties incompetently. In 1998, Lopez received a stayed suspension of his practice for misleading a judge and failing to keep his clients informed. And, in 1995, he was reproved for performing his legal duties incompetently, and failing to keep his clients informed.    Lopez’s actions resulted in many complaints to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. If anyone has information about this case, they are asked to call District Attorney’s Office Investigator John Valenzuela at (408) 792-2524.   For clients of James Lopez who are seeking information and referrals regarding legal services in the community, they are asked to call Immigrant Relations and Integration Services at (408) 792-2300.   ###

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