Bankruptcy Law is under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and bankruptcy matters are heard in federal court. There are both national and state-specific certifications; the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (CBLS) awards the board certification for bankruptcy law in California. A Bankruptcy Certified Specialist Attorney has had substantial involvement in the area of bankruptcy law. Their involvement is demonstrated by the certified specialist attorney's field experience in Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, contested matters, or adversary proceedings under the United States Bankruptcy Code.
In California, the board certification for bankruptcy law is awarded by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (CBLS). Only these attorneys can advertise or identify themselves as "certified specialists" or "board certified" in California for that legal field.
For purposes of the program, the term bankruptcy law is defined as the practice of law under the United States Bankruptcy Code (11 U.S.C. §101, et seq.) ("Code") which includes representation of creditors, debtors, committees, trustees, and all other interested parties under the Bankruptcy Code. Bankruptcy cases can be filed under Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.
The bankruptcy attorney must demonstrate that he or she is substantially involved in the practice of bankruptcy law. The term substantial involvement in the area of bankruptcy law is shown by a demonstration that the bankruptcy attorney has principal responsibility for representation of more than one hundred Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, or Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, contested matters, or adversary proceedings under the United States Bankruptcy Code.
To earn the board certified specialist distinction, the bankruptcy attorney in California must show that he or she has completed at least 45 hours of approved educational activities focused on bankruptcy law.
The bankruptcy attorney must submit the names and mailing addresses of a bankruptcy trustee, a trustee's attorney, fellow lawyers, opposing counsel and at least one judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court or District Court familiar with the attorney's practice as an advocate in a recent bankruptcy proceedings and contested / adversary proceedings.
Additionally, the Commission is permitted to select additional attorneys or judges who practice in the same geographical area in California for further evaluation of the bankruptcy attorney's proficiency in the practice of bankruptcy law.
Even after obtaining certification, the attorney must continue to show that during each five-year certification period the attorney has continued to have direct and substantial participation in the practice of bankruptcy law, completed continuing legal education requirements for the specialty area, and independent inquiry and review.
At Lawyer Legion, we recognize the importance of board certification programs in bankruptcy law. These programs provide a powerful tool when the public begins their search for a bankruptcy law attorney.
In addition to the certifications awarded directly by the CBLS, the CBLS also accredits the third party organizations to offer certification in certain areas of law. The American Board of Certification is accredited by the CBLS to offer certification to attorney in California for Business Bankruptcy Law, Consumer Bankruptcy Law, and Creditors' Rights Law.
Finding a good bankruptcy attorney in California can be a challenging and difficult task. At Lawyer Legion, we make that task easier by recognizing board-certified attorneys in our online directory. Use our directory to find California attorneys board certified in bankruptcy law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.