There are lawyers who have studied hard, taken the bar exam, passed the background checks, then paid dues and gone to Continuing Legal Education ("CLE") classes to maintain their licensure. And then there are some that have not.
Even though she had never been licensed by the Virginia State Bar, a Williamsburg patent lawyer has been suspended from performing any legal work in the state for two years. A three-judge circuit court panel sitting in the Circuit Court for James County and the City of Williamsburg approved a two-year suspension of Bambi Faivre Walters for unauthorized practice of law and misuse of client money according to the article in this week's Virginia Lawyers Weekly
The North Carolina bar reprimanded Walters in 2010 based on the same allegations of practicing law in Virginia without a license. It is important to verify that your lawyer is in fact a member in good standing with the state bar where your case may be brought. You can call the Virginia State Bar ("VSB") at 804-775-0500 and verify membership. You should also verify that a lawyer has insurance coverage and has handled cases like yours successfully. The VSB has an easy to use site for this as well. Whoever you choose to represent you in your injury, Social Security Disability, workers comp or other claims, please make sure that they are members in good standing of the bar, that they are insured and experienced.