paralegal guilty of practicing law without a license 7-23-2014
SAN DIEGO — A woman accused of practicing law without a license pleaded guilty this week to misdemeanor charges including grand theft and was ordered to serve time in custody.
Stephanie Strong, 48, was also placed on probation for three years Tuesday and ordered to pay restitution to her former clients.
Prosecutors said Strong, also known by the name Stephanie Overstreet, operated AA Legal Document Services, which she advertised on the Internet. She offered services though the business that she was not legally authorized to provide.
Strong also violated the terms of her probation in a previous case, according to the San Diego City Attorney’s Office. In 2012, she was convicted in San Diego Superior Court of practicing law without a license through two businesses: Always Affordable Legal Assistance and A1 Divorce & Paralegal Assistance.
An investigation in that case revealed Strong had advertised as an “independent paralegal” and had negotiated child custody, divorce and bankruptcy matters in California and Georgia, prosecutors said.
In California, paralegals have to operate under the direct supervision of a lawyer. Legal document assistants may type legal documents for people who are representing themselves in court, but cannot select the forms for clients, discuss legal strategy with them or negotiate with the opposing side on their behalf.
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