young atty allen Caught in Big LieMultiple Bar Complaints Filed Against NewAdmittee.By Joel Bander andthe PinoyWatchDog.com investigative team
“Horribly misleading.”Those were the words used by Attorney MatthewSpielberg of Castro Valley, CA upon learning that Attorney Paul Allen wasmisrepresenting to the public that he was a certified specialist in bankruptcylaw. Allen has been admitted to the bar for just nine months. “Allen ispretending to be a certified specialist,” Spielberg continued. “People whoread the ad will assume he’s a specialist. I think this is awful.” AttorneyAllen’s Twitter and Tumbler advertising stated that he was a “California StateBar Certified bankruptcy lawyer.”
This false advertising was taken downby Allen after PinoyWatchDog.com’sinvestigative team starting contacting vother bankruptcy lawyers forcomment.A California State Bar Board of LegalSpecialization Certified Bankruptcy LawSpecialist, a distinction held by aboutonly 100 lawyers in California, a trulypreeminent group. This highly elitelegal class is required to pass anextensive written examination anddemonstrate a high level ofexperience in bankruptcy law, andbe favorably evaluated by bankruptcytrustees, the U.S. Trustee’s office, otherbankruptcy attorneys and bankruptcyjudges familiar with their work.
No one denies this certification process is quite rigorous and onlythe ‘true’ experts have a chance at succeeding. Additionally,these pre-eminent highly skilled lawyers carrying this certifiedspecialist distinction must practice law for at least five (5) years.Attorney Paul Allen is more than four years short of thatrequirement, being admitted as a lawyer only in June 2011, eventhough, as reported in the last edition of PinoyWatchDog.com,he was exposed representing in other advertising as having overten (10) years of bankruptcy experience, or since his late teens.
Attorney Louis J. Esbin of Stevenson Ranch, CA, is also a CertifiedBankruptcy Specialist and very involved at the State Bar level withattorneys who falsely advertise. He told the PinoyWatchDog.com’sinvestigative team in guarded language that Attorney Allen’sadvertising was “already being considered by the properadministrative authority”, understood to be the State Bar ofCalifornia.Attorneys may advertise or identify themselves as acertified bankruptcy specialists in California only if they are certifiedeither by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization asa bankruptcy specialist, or by an organization whose bankruptcyspecialist certification program has been accredited by the CaliforniaState Bar. Attorney Allen has no such certification
PinoyWatchDog.com has been provided multiple California State BarComplaints filed against Attorney Paul Allen independent of the actiontaking by leading Attorney Esbin’s personal involvement with the State Barof California in the misrepresentation in legal advertising. One barcomplaint against Attorney Allen states that he had a web advertisementstating that “‘We are a federally designated debt relief agency.’However, the advertising did not have the federal mandated advertisinglanguage that ‘We are a debt relief agency. We help people file forbankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code’ or substantially similarlanguage, as required by federal law. The filed bar complaint continuesthat by stating ‘we are a federal designated debt relief agency’ it isdeceptive as it implies that Allen has applied for and received some typeof special ‘designation’ from the federal government when in fact theterminology is nothing more than an advertising requirement underfederal law, an act of deception, and implies relationship with the federalgovernment of being ‘designated’.”
The concerns of that filed State Bar Complaint were similar toAttorney Bruce Fink, also a State Bar Certified in Bankruptcy Law,practicing in Orange, CA, in reference to the false claim ofcertification, that the “word Certified is the issue because itsomehow implies some authorization and approval by someonewho certifies.”This is the same type of misrepresentation as the ‘federallydesignated debt relief agency’” said one attorney consulting withPWD said. “It is made to sound as if government approval hasbeen obtained when in fact it has not, and hence is misleading.”Attorney Spielberg said “the State Bar of California will not behappy” with Allen.