Attorneys can check status, see CPF number at the click of a mouse

CPF listing

Screen grab of the Judiciary’s attorney listing page, which now includes every lawyer’s status and Client Protection Fund number.

My father tells me that every morning he opens the newspaper to the obituaries and, if he doesn’t see his name, makes breakfast.

Now Maryland lawyers can wake up every morning, check the Judiciary’s online attorney listing and, if they are listed as “active,” can go on with the practice of law.

Lawyers can also check the online listing for their individual Client Protection Fund number, which, unlike say, their Social Security or phone number, is probably not committed to memory.

Earlier this month, the Judiciary added the CPF number as a service to attorneys in this fledgling era of electronic filing in which they must include the 10-digit identifier in their digital submissions. The Judiciary began listing the status of attorneys as a service to actual and potential clients in need of legal services, said Judiciary spokeswoman Terri Charles.

“The status of attorneys is a frequently asked question, for example, when  people are planning to retain a lawyer,” Charles said in an email. “The effort to update the database has been underway for a while and it is to improve efficiency and transparency. Now anyone looking for this information online can get the CPF number and the status, which makes it easier for the attorneys and the public.”