SB 0422
Relating to Law Practice Restrictions 

S422     GENERAL BILL by Senator Geller 
Law Practice Restrictions; increases penalty for committing prohibited  acts constituting unlicensed practice of law to third-degree felony;  deletes provisions prohibiting sheriff from practicing law in this  state. Amends 454.23,.18  EFFECTIVE DATE: 07/01/2004.  
10/22/03 SENATE Prefiled  
10/30/03 SENATE Referred to Judiciary; Criminal Justice

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions. 

  1                      A bill to be entitled
  2         An act relating to restrictions on the practice
  3         of law; amending s. 454.23, F.S.; increasing
  4         the penalty for committing prohibited acts
  5         constituting the unlicensed practice of law to
  6         a third-degree felony; amending s. 454.18,
  7         F.S.; deleting provisions prohibiting a sheriff
  8         from practicing law in this state; providing an
  9         effective date.
11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
13         Section 1.  Section 454.23, Florida Statutes, is
14  amended to read:
15         454.23  Penalties.--Any person not licensed or
16  otherwise authorized by the Supreme Court of Florida who shall
17  practice law or assume or hold himself or herself out to the
18  public as qualified to practice in this state, or who
19  willfully pretends to be, or willfully takes or uses any name,
20  title, addition, or description implying that he or she is
21  qualified, or recognized by law as qualified, to act as a
22  lawyer in this state, and any person entitled to practice who
23  shall violate any provisions of this chapter, commits shall be
24  guilty of a felony of the third misdemeanor of the first
25  degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, or s. 775.083,
26  or s. 775.084.
27         Section 2.  Section 454.18, Florida Statutes, is
28  amended to read:
29         454.18  Officers not allowed to practice.--A No sheriff
30  or clerk of any court, or deputy clerk of the court thereof,
31  may not shall practice in this state, and nor shall any person


 1  who is not of good moral character, or who has been convicted
 2  of an infamous crime is not be entitled to practice. A But no
 3  person may not shall be denied the right to practice on
 4  account of gender sex, race, or color.  And any person,
 5  whether an attorney or not, or whether within the exceptions
 6  mentioned above or not, may conduct his or her own cause in
 7  any court of this state, or before any public board,
 8  committee, or officer, subject to the lawful rules and
 9  discipline of such court, board, committee, or officer.  The
10  provisions of this section restricting the practice of law by
11  a sheriff or clerk, or deputy clerk of the court do thereof,
12  shall not apply in a case where such person is representing
13  the office or agency in the course of duties as an attorney.
14         Section 3.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.
16            *****************************************
17                          SENATE SUMMARY
18    Increases the penalty for the unlicensed practice of law
        to a third-degree felony. Deletes provisions that
19    prohibit a sheriff from practicing law in this state.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.