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(Updated 7/19/2020)

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California Attorney Discipline

Frequent Questions


How do I find out if an attorney is licensed in California?

The easiest way to find out if an attorney in California is licensed to practice law is by visiting the California State Bar's website and perform a search using the attorney lookup tool. 


Who is the governing authority for licensing and monitoring attorneys in California?

The State Bar of California is the regulatory agency for California lawyers in charge of admissions and discipline. 


How are lawyers regulated in California?

The California State Bar licenses attorneys to practice law in the state of California. The State Bar also conducts investigations and reviews complaints against attorneys.  The Office of Chief Trial Counsel is in charge of all reviewing attorney complaints.


When the investigation is finalized and if disciplinary charges are issued, the State Bar Court holds a hearing to review the charges. After reviewing all the evidence against the attorney, a State Bar Court judge makes a decision whether the attorney should face a suspension or disbarment. The proposed discipline then goes before the California Supreme Court for final approval.


How do you find an attorney's bar number?

You find an attorney's bar number by doing a name search using the attorney lookup tool, you can find this tool here


How do I report an attorney in California? 

You can file a report online, reports are available in multiple languages and can be found by calling 800-843-9053


How do I check lawyer's reviews in California? 

The State Bar of California does not maintain a record of clients' reviews (other than disciplinary records). You can use a variety of methods such as checking reviews from legitimate sources and attorney directories. Keep in mind though, most lawyer directories contain peer to peer reviews, other directories are paid listings. 


As a certified lawyer referral service, - California State Bar Lawyer Referral Service is controlled by statute (Business & Professions Code section 6155 and State Bar Rules Title 3. Programs and Services. Division 5. Providers of Programs and Services. Chapter 3. Lawyer Referral Services).





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