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In an unusual case, a Houston jury on Sept. 1 found that a non-attorney business owner and his immigration counseling service were in criminal contempt after they violated a permanent injunction 1,023 times that restricts them from representing clients in legal matters.

Officials with the Supreme Court of Texas Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee (UPLC) say complaints about immigration consulting businesses run by nonlawyers are a problem in Texas. Many people who use such services do not speak English. They are unaware that the people who run the businesses may not be attorneys and that their immigration issues might be mishandled by nonlawyers, officials say.

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