Having a good working relationship with your attorney requires trust. It is essential to make sure your Orange County family law specialist is legitimate. How often do they win? What is their experience? What kind of client reviews do they have? These are all important questions.
A vital starting point is verifying the credentials of the attorney representing you. Here are some questions you need answered to know if your family law specialist is legitimate.
Questions to Ask Your Family Law Specialist
Did They Pass the Bar?
That probably seems obvious, but it is surprising how many people fail to think about this. You should verify that your lawyer has passed the specific state bar exam needed.
Your lawyer should have a valid license in each state where they practice law. A highly rated lawyer in Texas, for example, cannot try your case in California unless they have a license from the State of California.
It takes less than a minute in California to verify if a lawyer has a valid, current license with the California State Bar Association. Simply click The State Bar of California and type in the Name or Bar Number of whomever you are considering.
Are there any Grievances?
Just because a lawyer is licensed doesn’t necessarily mean you have found a good one. Once you have confirmed whoever you are considering had a valid license, the next step is to see if any grievances have been filed against them.
When a grievance for misconduct is filed through the bar:
- The California State Bar investigates the grievance.
- If there is no merit to the grievance, the Bar takes no further action and dismisses the grievance.
- If the Bar finds merit to the grievance, the lawyer may face disciplinary action.
- In severe cases of misconduct, the California Bar may elect to suspend or disbar a lawyer.
It’s important to note that a grievance or disciplinary action doesn’t prove a lawyer is bad, but it is reason to pause and study their background further.
What does Google Reveal?
Once you’ve settled on a lawyer, take the time to run a Google Search for their name. Look for any information you can find about their past cases or reviews from current and former clients.
Can you Confirm the Information You’ve Found?
Does the information you found on the California State Bar website match the information you found in your Google Search? Take time to check for:
- Different spellings of your lawyer’s name. Should you find discrepancies, ask for clarification. There may be variations of an attorney’s name on that site.
- Consistent credentials. Confirm that information about law schools and licenses are the same across all the sources you found in your search.
- Awards. Some lawyers may boast awards and honors in their career. However, these extra credentials also need background checking to confirm that they are legitimate.
An attorney in good standing works within the rules of conduct and ethics, and has a transparent record that can be easily viewed by prospective clients. It’s worth spending a little extra time asking the right questions to ensure you can trust your family law attorney.
To narrow down your search, call us today to speak to Atty. Richard Masson, a certified family law specialist in Orange County, CA,