Does the State Bar Make Attorney Referrals?
No the State Bar does not make lawyer referrals per se. However the state bar does provide information on an attorney’s education background, as well as any disciplinary actions taken against an attorney for unethical or legal conduct. If you live in California then go to the California State Bar website attorney search page. I suggest the state bar quick search page. Type in the attorney’s name or state bar number.
Disbarment by the California State Bar
For an exercise in performing your own attorney review, go to the State Bar Quick Search page and type in the name David Burkenroad, State Bar No. 110320. This attorney was disbarred on April 22, 2011 and has a heinous record that is available on the state bar website. There are several downloadable pdf files that tell the sordid tale of Mr. Burkenroad’s road to ruin.
The State Bar found Burkenroad guilty of twenty acts of misconduct and moral turpitude. Judge Richard Honn recommended Burkenroads disbarment for misappropriation of client funds, failure to report sanctions, practicing law on a suspended license and using client trust accounts to pay for his personal expenses.
While he was on suspension Burkenroad created a ruckus at the UCLA law library that led to his arrest by the Los Angeles Police Department. This errant lawyer then had the audacity to send a letter on his law firm letterhead demanding that the library change its rules and reprimand a staff member. Burkenroad also threatened to file a lawsuit if his demands weren’t met.
Although attorney Burkenroad presented evidence that he was bipolar, Judge Honn said there was no evidence he no longer has mental problems. In addition, he had been disciplined three times previously. In 2005, he was privately reproved for for failing to perform competently or refund unearned fees. He was suspended in 2008 for violating a court order and abandoning a client, and in 2010, he was suspended for violating probation conditions.
“It is evident that (Burdenroad’s) prior discipline, coupled with his prior probation, has not served to rehabilitate or to deter him from further misconduct,” Honn wrote. “In such circumstances, disbarment is appropriate.”
Therefore the state bar provides anti-referrals, if you need a precise answer to the question that began this discussion. Let the buyer beware when retaining and attorney. Simply look up your prospective attorney on the state bar website and see if she has been suspended or disbarred.
I have written so many articles on attorneys that I am getting really good at it. In the last year I have really increased my writing speed and productivity. The important thing is that all of my writing is geared towards search engine optimization. It is really important to have outbound links on your legal website. Linking to other legal websites tells the search engines that you are providing authority for your articles. In the words of my webmaster and mentor M, outbound links prove you are a valid element in the cyberspace ecosystem, not just a self-promoting spammer. I know because I started out a self-promoting spammer with no real karma in the online ecosystem. All of that has changed now. I used to be angry now I am just prolific.