How do you find out if an attorney is disbarred?


Quick Answer

To determine whether an attorney has been disbarred, Law Sites advises you contact the disciplinary agency responsible for attorney discipline in the state where the attorney practices law or consult Avvo.com, an attorney-directory website. Additionally, the Center for Professional Responsibility for the American Bar Association states that it provides disciplinary history on attorneys for a fee.

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Full Answer

Attorneys must be licensed in any state in which they practice law, according to the American Bar Association. Each state has an agency responsible for disciplining attorneys who have committed ethical violations. An attorney who has been disbarred has committed a gross ethical violation and is no longer authorized to practice law in that state.

Some state disciplinary agencies do not publish attorney disciplinary information online or provide limited information. Avvo.com maintains information on attorney discipline derived directly from the state disciplinary agencies. The website is useful to quickly determine whether an attorney has been disbarred since it allows for a nationwide search for disciplinary history in all of the states an attorney may have been licensed, according to Law Sites. However, such information may not be complete.

The American Bar Association may provide more comprehensive information on whether an attorney has been disbarred but charges a fee to research the information.

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