young atty allen Caught in Big Lie
Multiple Bar Complaints Filed Against New Admittee.
By Joel Bander and the PinoyWatchDog.com investigative team
“Horribly misleading.” Those were the words used by Attorney Matthew Spielberg of Castro Valley, CA upon learning that Attorney Paul Allen was misrepresenting to the public that he was a certified specialist in bankruptcy law. Allen has been admitted to the bar for just nine months. “Allen is pretending to be a certified specialist,” Spielberg continued. “People who read the ad will assume he’s a specialist. I think this is awful.” Attorney Allen’s Twitter and Tumbler advertising stated that he was a “California State Bar Certified bankruptcy lawyer.”
This false advertising was taken down by Allen after PinoyWatchDog.com’s investigative team starting contacting other bankruptcy lawyers for comment.
A California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization Certified Bankruptcy Law Specialist, a distinction held by about only 100 lawyers in California, a truly preeminent group. This highly elite legal class is required to pass an extensive written examination and demonstrate a high level of experience in bankruptcy law, and be favorably evaluated by bankruptcy trustees, the U.S. Trustee’s office, other bankruptcy attorneys and bankruptcy judges familiar with their work.
No one denies this certification process is quite rigorous and only the ‘true’ experts have a chance at succeeding. Additionally, these pre-eminent highly skilled lawyers carrying this certified specialist distinction must practice law for at least five (5) years. Attorney Paul Allen is more than four years short of that requirement, being admitted as a lawyer only in June 2011, even though, as reported in the last edition of PinoyWatchDog.com, he was exposed representing in other advertising as having over ten (10) years of bankruptcy experience, or since his late teens.
Attorney Louis J. Esbin of Stevenson Ranch, CA, is also a Certified Bankruptcy Specialist and very involved at the State Bar level with attorneys who falsely advertise. He told the PinoyWatchDog.com’s investigative team in guarded language that Attorney Allen’s advertising was “already being considered by the proper administrative authority”, understood to be the State Bar of California.
Attorneys may advertise or identify themselves as a certified bankruptcy specialists in California only if they are certified either by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a bankruptcy specialist, or by an organization whose bankruptcy specialist certification program has been accredited by the California State Bar. Attorney Allen has no such certification
PinoyWatchDog.com has been provided multiple California State Bar Complaints filed against Attorney Paul Allen independent of the action taking by leading Attorney Esbin’s personal involvement with the State Bar of California in the misrepresentation in legal advertising. One bar complaint against Attorney Allen states that he had a web advertisement stating that “‘We are a federally designated debt relief agency.’ However, the advertising did not have the federal mandated advertising language that ‘We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code’ or substantially similar language, as required by federal law. The filed bar complaint continues that by stating ‘we are a federal designated debt relief agency’ it is deceptive as it implies that Allen has applied for and received some type of special ‘designation’ from the federal government when in fact the terminology is nothing more than an advertising requirement under federal law, an act of deception, and implies relationship with the federal government of being ‘designated’.”
The concerns of that filed State Bar Complaint were similar to Attorney Bruce Fink, also a State Bar Certified in Bankruptcy Law, practicing in Orange, CA, in reference to the false claim of certification, that the “word Certified is the issue because it somehow implies some authorization and approval by someone who certifies.”This is the same type of misrepresentation as the ‘federally designated debt relief agency’” said one attorney consulting with PWD said. “It is made to sound as if government approval has been obtained when in fact it has not, and hence is misleading.”
Attorney Spielberg said “the State Bar of California will not be happy” with Allen.