WEST virginia Legislature
2016 regular session
House Bill 4360
By Delegates Shaffer, Sponaugle, Shott, Reynolds, Miley, Mr. Speaker, (Mr. Armstead), Hanshaw and Weld
[Introduced February 2, 2016;
to the Committee on the Judiciary]
A BILL to amend and reenact §30-2-4 the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to increasing the criminal penalty for the unlawful practice of law.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §30-2-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW.
§30-2-4. Practice without license or oath; penalty; qualification after institution of suits.
shall be is
unlawful for any natural person to practice or appear as an attorney at law for
another in a court of record in this state, or to make it a business to solicit
employment for any attorney, or to furnish an attorney or counsel to render
legal services, or to hold himself or herself out to the public as being
entitled to practice law, or in any other manner to assume, use, or advertise
the title of lawyer, or attorney and counselor at law, or counselor, or
attorney and counselor, or equivalent terms in any language, in such manner as
to convey the impression that he or she is a legal practitioner of law,
or in any manner to advertise that he or she, either alone or together
with other persons, has, owns, conducts or maintains a law office, without
first having been duly and regularly licensed and admitted to practice law in a
court of record of this state, and without having subscribed and taken the oath
required by the next preceding section. Any person violating the provisions of
this section shall be is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 $10,000, or
confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and confined; but
this penalty shall not be incurred by any attorney who institutes suits in the
circuit courts after obtaining a license, if he or she shall qualify at
the first term thereafter of a circuit court of any county of the circuit in
which he or she reside.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the criminal penalty for the unlawful practice of law.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.