Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Martinez Barroso v. Gonzales (9th Cir. - Nov. 18, 2005)

What joy it must be to steal from illegal immigrants by pretending to be a lawyer. What fun it must be to do such an incompetent job that they're almost invariably deported. And what a pill it must be to be a lawyer who works alongside such an unethical practice.

Judge Reinhardt describes in this opinion the business ethics of various notarios in federal immigration proceedings who pretend to be attorneys and prey on legally unsophisticated immigrants. He also describes what a bang-up job one of them -- Abad "Nork" Cabrera -- did here, as well as the various actual attorneys who worked alongside (and were seemingly employed by) Cabrera. Who, for the record, were Xavier Vega, a Santa Clara law grad who works out of a tiny office on Sixth Street in Los Angeles, Ronald Peake, a University of West Los Angeles grad who holds forth two blocks from the ocean on Catalina Street in Redondo Beach, and Ramin Ghashghaesi, another U. W.L.A. grad and who's office is in mid-Wilshire.

Worth reading are some of the not-very-nice things said in the opinion about both Cabrera and various of the actual lawyers in the case. Interestingly, although the opinion doesn't mention it, it's a reasonable inference that the involvement of Mr. Peake alongsides Mr. Ghashghaesi may not be coincidental, since they graduated from the same law school and were admitted to the Bar on the same day, and hence may well know each other and work on various cases together. Which I'm obviously fine with. But they really need to stop working for a notario like Cabrera. And also probably do a better job than they did here. As this opinion is not how I'd like to see my name in print.