So far, I've published 4 blogs, commenting on:
- conflicts of interest in representation of NWIRP in that lawsuit;
- conflicts of interest within NWIRP Board of Directors and staff;
- the lack of merit of NWIRP's claim that attorneys have a constitutional right to ghost-write for pro se parties and to stretch the considerable resources of the non-profit to provide representation in a fraction of a case for 10,000 people rather than to fully represent 100 people; as well as
- the murky alleged "state interest" of the State of Washington in regulating federal practitioners appearing in front of federal agencies (while the State of Washington is not suing, but supporting NWIRP, its paid snitch and "partner" in eliminating its own competition, and a state-regulated non-profit that has two high-ranking officers of the State of Washington as its Board Members).
There are plenty of articles on the web - not related to services by attorneys or by lay representatives in administrative proceedings - showing that occupational regulations often are used as an excuse for completely inhumane practices, such as:
- blocking teenagers from clearing sidewalks from snow for those who may not be able to do that on their own, protecting aged people and people with disabilities from slip-and-falls - because the teenagers did not pay $450 for a shoveling license while they would only stand to earn much less than that on their one-day snow-shoveling stints;
- blocking people, through criminal prosecutions, from selling umbrellas on a rainy day, or any other street vending without unreasonably high-priced and long-term street vendor licensing - and thus preventing the poor (and the immigrants) from earning an honest living and thus practically pushing them on the path to commit crimes;
- prohibiting people from feeding the hungry, and snatching and destroying the food meant for the hungry, right in front of them - claiming that it is for the benefit of those same hungry people whose food was destroyed in front of them.
Moreover, there are more conceptual glitches in Washington State AG's enforcement efforts about "notario fraud" that the "mainstream" media, including mainstream "legal" media would not cover.
Presumption of knowledge of the law
The concept of presumption of knowledge of the law is, of course, an ancient legal fiction. Nobody can actually know all laws, even attorneys, even attorneys specializing in that same law. There are reference books for that, so that a person can consult those laws.
Yet, the concept of the "presumption of knowledge of the law" is indispensable for law enforcement, because otherwise people would always raise as a defense that they did not know that the law they are charged with violating existed.
Nevertheless, if the government uses presumption of knowledge of the law BY ALL for law enforcement purposes, the government should be estopped from pretending that people who are not licensed to "practice law" are suddenly presumed not to know that same law - and that refers to both providers of "legal" services and to consumers choosing such providers.
First, if knowledge of all laws by all people is presumed, there can be no such thing as "notario fraud", or as "unauthorized practice of law", and regulation of legal services is completely non-sensical - because such regulation seeks to protect consumers of legal services on the presumption that they DO NOT know the law.
The government may not at the same time assert two diametrically opposite concepts - that the same providers, or the same consumers, are PRESUMED to know the law, and are presumed NOT to know the law.
But, being consistent with the concept of presumption of knowledge of the law requires deregulation of the legal profession - a lucrative market controlled by a "chosen few" who regulate themselves and sieve out those they do not like.
Law schools are expensive, lawyers, naturally, put the cost of their education and licensing into their fees - and, as a result, people cannot afford an attorney, but are prohibited by the government to hire anybody who is not licensed.
Due Process Notice of the law
At the same time as people are presumed to know the law, Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires notice of the law - of statutory law.
Knowledge of a court rule, or a court opinion/precedent, does not normally constitute knowledge of the "law".
But, in any event, people can only get constitutional notice of the law and form knowledge of the law if the law is understandable to a person of reasonable intelligence and education, let's say, a person with a high school diploma.
If laws are constitutional (give constitutionally acceptable notice), they do not need extra knowledge to navigate or explain to others - making attorney regulation unnecessary from that point, too.
Moreover, in the State of Washington, "practice of law" is defined (with certain exceptions) as this:
"Giving advice" can be simply reciting the law that is:
- enacted on behalf of the other person as a part of popular sovereign (we the People); and
- that the person receiving "advice" is PRESUMED to know.
- help out others in filling out forms, or
- help out others in "navigating" administrative proceedings - without representation, which can be simply giving information, not advice, and without any representation.
- representation by a representative of THEIR CHOICE - approved or not approved by the government; it is actually counter-productive and conflict-ridden to have to choose your own person of trust, your own representative AGAINST the federal government in immigration proceedings, from a list of people approved BY that same government;
- forms that are understandable for a person of reasonable intelligence, and which are easy to fill out;
- forms in their own language - it does not cost much to translate those forms into the languages that at least the majority of immigrants speak, and have them available in a pdf-fillable format;
- provide to immigrants subject to immigration proceedings, whether they are detained by the government or not, Internet access to pdf-fillable forms in their own language;
- introduce e-filing for all applicants, and make it easy, using pdf-fillable forms;
- have automatic translation service of forms filed in languages other than English, for the court - the quality of computer translation is enough to adequately translate what people put as answers to form questions. Form questions do not need translation, as they must be the same in all languages;
- translation services MUST be available for free in immigration proceedings - otherwise it is a basic human rights violation to adjudicate a case when there is no two-way understanding between the court and the respondent as to what the respondent is saying and what the court is saying, respectively.
- depriving consumers of their own choice of representatives;
- reducing consumers' choice in proceedings litigated by the government to providers approved by that same government - an irreconcilable conflict of interest for the government; and
- making such services unaffordable, thus creating and widening the justice gap.