As crazy as it may sound, there are Attorneys who are roaming around California, taking retainers and fees and they are not even licensed to do so. As part of doing your due diligence as a consumer when shopping for legal professionals ( my recent article on choosing a legal professional), especially an attorney, a simple search on your States Bar website could keep you out of hot water.
A simple search of your State Bar’s website can provide a wealth of information about a potential attorney you may be considering to hire. Easily enough, just navigate to the California State Bars website, click the preceding link to go there. On the homepage you will see a box on the left entitles “Attorney Search”. There you can enter the attorney bar number or attorney name, click “search” and you’re off to the races. What will display is a list of possible matches for the criteria you entered. For more common names look at the “City” column to find the attorney in question. The attorney name is a link to their California State Bar profile.
The important aspects of the attorney profile page will be their “Current status”, found at the top of the page. You want to see “Active”, showing they are currently active in the Bar System. The other important section on the profile will be a section at the bottom of the page entitle “Actions Affecting Eligibility to Practice Law in California”. This section will give you a peek at any potential dangers you need to be aware of.
That’s it. You have successfully completed a quick research on if your attorney to see if they are a good standing member of the California State Bar.