How to check if someone really is a lawyer – Law Office of Andy I. Chen

How to check if someone really is a lawyer – Law Office of Andy I. Chen

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Hi everybody and welcome to my Youtube channel.
What Iíd like to use this channel for, at least initially, is to go over a lot of the
questions that I get asked. It turns out I found that a lot of the same questions pop
up over and over again and the answer to them is really not hard so I figured I would shoot
a video and you guys can maybe learn how I get the answer. If you have the same question
pops up for you, you guys can look it up yourself. You donít need to go through me and so forth
so. The first question I want to deal with today is how do you go online to verify an
attorneyís bar record. So that basically allows you to verify that the person is an
attorney. If they are, whether or not their license is active, what their mailing address
is, phone number, where they went to school, whether or not they have any disciplinary
complaints against them. So thatís a question that I get actually quite a bit, probably
the number one question. To answer it, all you really need is a web browser. So, tell
you what, why donít you hope online with me right now and I will show you how to do
it. Okay everyone, so the first thing you want to do is open a web browser. So, on my
computer, itís down here on the right, er, the left rather. And you go ahead and click
on it and it opens Google Chrome. So normally I log in to Gmail first but in this case what
I want to do is go to Google. And, lets go ahead and do California first. The way youíre
going to do it is California State Bar and type in ìattorney searchî. So if you were
doing this for, say, New York, you type in New York state bar attorney search ñ weíll
do that right after this. And then if youíre looking for Georgia, you type in Georgia State
Bar attorney search. Illinois, Texas, whatever state youíre looking for go ahead and type
that name in in place of California. So if you do California, though, you get this first
hit where it says Attorney Search and itís from the members ñ excuse me ñ the members
dot calbar dot ca dot gov home page. So go ahead and click on that and it takes you to
this page of the State Bar of California. And, you get this box here and it says enter
attorney name or bar number. So, for example, letís say youíve met an attorney that you
want to hire, but you want to make sure that their license is active, you want to see whether
or not theyíve been subject to discipline in the past. So what you do, letís say that
youíve met me so you go ahead and type in the attorneyís name, in this case, Andy Chen.
This box here on the lower left where it says include similarly sounding names. You can
check that if you want. What that basically does is it gives you search results not just
from what youíve entered here, but stuff that sounds phonetically similar. You can,
if you want, it just gives you more hits. Generally you can use this if you arenít
quite sure of the spelling something like that. But in this case, if youíre looking
up me Andy Chen then you donít really need to check this box. So, anyway, after you type
in Andy Chen, click on Quick Search and ñ lo and behold ñ you only get one hit. So,
on this kind of abbreviated view what you get is the last name of the attorney, whether
or not theyíre active or inactive ñ in this case Iím active, the bar number of the attorney,
the city where they live, and the admission date. In my case, I was admitted in December
of 2009. If you want a more detailed view, go ahead and click on the name and you get
to this page. This is what I would call ñ I guess ñ the public profile of every member
of the State Bar of California. So to go over some information here, at the top I have my
name and bar number. And over here I have my current status so in this case Iím active
and it says below that this member is active and may practice law in California. Going
on further, I have my bar number again. My mailing address so if you want go ahead and
shoot me a letter. My phone number, fax number, email if I disclose those. I havenít mainly
because I get a lot of spam, but you can always contact me by sending me a letter or giving
me a call. Undergraduate school so ñ in this case ñ where I went to college, law school,
county that I live in, district. Down here itíll list if Iíve ever gone inactive. In
my case I havenít so all it says is active. If, for example, I went inactive in 2011 itíll
say inactive as of March 1, 2011 and then if I became active again itíll say January
1, 2012 go back to active. Down here is where you would find Actions Affecting Eligibility
to Practice Law so if I had ever gotten in to trouble with the state bar it would be
listed here. If I had ever been subject to any administrative action, it would be listed
here also. So thatís the basic page that every member of the California State Bar has.
Over on the right here is additional stuff that Iíve chosen to put in. So, this is me,
thatís my picture. And it also says over here other languages I speak and its Chinese
and Mandarin. Over here it also says that the people who work for me also speak Mandarin
Chinese. And if you ever want to contact me or find me on the web, hereís my website
address thatís basically how you do it. The basic idea again is go
to Google and type in California State Bar Attorney Search, Illinois State Bar Attorney
Search, Washington State Bar Attorney Search, whatever your state happens to be, and then
at the search box go ahead and type in the name of the attorney that you want right here,
click on Quick Search, and it should give you the name and all the other information
that youíre interested in. So thatís how you do it for California.Iím also licensed
in New York so Iíll go over briefly how to do that too. So what you want to do is ñ
Iíll open up another browser and go back to Google. Before where we were typing California
State Bar Attorney Search, Iím going to type in New York State Bar Attorney Search, but
the logic is the same. So the first hit that you get is from the courts dot state dot ny
dot us server so go ahead and click on that. New York implements it a little differently,
but the idea is the same. For New York, you have to type in this number here just to make
sure that youíre not a machine so 31418, click submit, and you get to this box that
all these fields on it. In New York, Iím actually listed as Andrew so go ahead and
type in Andrew and Chen and here you can choose to sort by city, last name, state, etc. So
letís go ahead and sort by last name. Click on Find Attorney.In the state of New York
thereís actually 5 attorneys named Andrew Che. Um, actually, sorry, 6 attorneys named
Andrew Chen or some other similar sound thatís similar so there are a couple guys here named
Andrew Cheng ñ CHENG ñ but if you go through here, Iím actually the second one Andrew
Chen registration number 5048467 Los Altos, California. Currently registered and I just
got admitted in New York in 2012. So if you click on the name again it goes to the more
detailed view. And again hereís my address, phone number, got admitted in 2012, next registration
is May 2014, and I am a graduate of Santa Clara University Law School. So that is basically
how you do it. Again, go to Google, type in blank the name of your state attorney ñ er,
sorry ñ blank state bar attorney search and youíll get to a page that should have a way
to search the membership and if you type the name of the attorney it should pop up the
attorneyís name if theyíre a member of that bar and you can click on the more detailed
view and itíll show you their address, where they went to school, so on and so forth. Each
state does it a little bit differently. So hopefully that was helpful and hopefully that
was easy to understand, but that is basically how you do it. Thatís how I verify if somebodyís
an attorney and hopefully you guys can do that yourselves in the future too. Anyway,
if you have any other questions, go ahead and shoot me an email or leave me a comment
and, yeah, so go ahead and visit me online and I will see you soon. All
right, bye bye.

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