It doesn’t happen often but there have been times when people hire a “lawyer” only to end up finding out down the road that the person was not even an attorney. The person was not admitted to practice law in their state – sometimes the person is not an attorney in ANY state. There are fraudsters out there that pretend to be an attorney and unwitting clients are the ones left holding the bag. So these two questions, though sensitive, should be asked at every interview with a potential attorney:
- Are you admitted to practice law in this state?
- What is your bar number
Once you have the attorney’s bar number it becomes part of your due diligence as the consumer to do a quick search online (at the court’s website) to confirm that this is an attorney admitted in the state and who is still “in good standing” in the state.