IS BARBARA BALENT REALLY A PARALEGAL?


As most of you are probably unaware, John Balent's Paralegal known to most of you as Barbara McNabb, is in reality John Balent's Wife Barbara Balent. They hide this fact from you likely because it might appear a bit unprofessional to you. We believe that John Balent can no longer afford to hire a Paralegal as his previous Paralegals known to us, Tegan Hopp (Whom was also a client) and Gloria Pinon (who told us she was let go because John Balent was downsizing his office) are no longer in his employ. However, is Barbara Balent a real paralegal according to the law? It's possible, but we seriously doubt it. The California Business and Professions Code 6450 (C) requires the following of those holding themselves out as Paralegals:


(c) A paralegal shall possess at least one of the following:
(1) A certificate of completion of a paralegal program approved by
the American Bar Association.
(2) A certificate of completion of a paralegal program at, or a
degree from, a postsecondary institution that requires the successful
completion of a minimum of 24 semester, or equivalent, units in
law-related courses and that has been accredited by a national or
regional accrediting organization or approved by the Bureau for
Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education.
(3) A baccalaureate degree or an advanced degree in any subject, a
minimum of one year of law-related experience under the supervision
of an attorney who has been an active member of the State Bar of
California for at least the preceding three years
or who has
practiced in the federal courts of this state for at least the
preceding three years, and a written declaration from this attorney
stating that the person is qualified to perform paralegal tasks.
(4) A high school diploma or general equivalency diploma, a
minimum of three years of law-related experience under the
supervision of an attorney who has been an active member of the State
Bar of California for at least the preceding three years or who has
practiced in the federal courts of this state for at least the
preceding three years, and a written declaration from this attorney
stating that the person is qualified to perform paralegal tasks. This
experience and training shall be completed no later than December
31, 2003.
(d) Every two years, commencing January 1, 2007, any person that
is working as a paralegal shall be required to certify completion of
four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in legal ethics
and four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in either
general law or in an area of specialized law. All continuing legal
education courses shall meet the requirements of Section 6070.
Certification of these continuing education requirements shall be
made with the paralegal's supervising attorney. The paralegal shall
be responsible for keeping a record of the paralegal's
certifications.

We have been unable to verify if Barbara Balent has a certificate of completion of a paralegal program, but if she doesn't there is only one other way she could hold herself out as a paralegal and that would be if she holds a baccalaureate or advanced degree, which is very possible given her facebook page says she studied at UCLA, but doesn't mention a degree (and we are checking with UCLA), and that she has a minimum of one year of law-realted experience under the supervision of an attorney who has been an active member of the State Bar of California for at least the preceding three years. OOPS! John Balent was suspended from the practice of law in 2015 and therefore HAS NOT been an active member of the State Bar for the preceeding three years. Depending on how that code is inturpeted, it may be possible that she can not work as a Paralegal in John Balent's Office until June 2019. Why 2019 and not 2018? Because Barbara Balent would need to work under the supervision of an attorney who has been an active member of the State Bar for 3 years and she won't be able to begin that year of supervision until AFTER John Balent has been an active Bar Member for 3 years which will not occur until June 2018. She could of course maybe get the lawyer next door, William Hinz (who relocated to Fullerton in 2016) to make a declaration for her, but if he does that, we will turn him into the State Bar as he dumped even more personal client information in the garbage than John Balent did. So a word of caution to Mr. Hinz.....Don't get your self suspended or disbarred for John Balent!

The problem here is that public records show that Barbara Balent has been signing off on certain court related documents as a paralegal over the past year since John Balent was suspended for 60 days in 2015. Additonally John Balent was to provide a written declaration stating that she is qualified to perform paralegal tasks, which of course John Balent cannot really do because he has not been an active member of the State Bar for the previous 3 years. Worse yet, Business and Professions Code 6052(B) states"

(b) An attorney who uses the services of a paralegal is liable for
any harm caused as the result of the paralegal's negligence,
misconduct, or violation of this chapter.

Another fun fact is that section 6053 of the Business and Professions Code states:

A paralegal is subject to the same duty as an attorney
specified in subdivision (e) of Section 6068 to maintain inviolate
the confidentiality, and at every peril to himself or herself to
preserve the attorney-client privilege, of a consumer for whom the
paralegal has provided any of the services described in subdivision
(a) of Section 6450.

Why is that section important? As this website notes, John Balent had thrown personal information on hundreds of his clients in the garbage in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct and now John Balent cannot defend his actions by having his wife state that she made a mistake by accidently throwing some client personal in the trash. First off, an attorney is responsible for his staff and that honest mistake he will be claiming wasn't so honest as they would have "accidently" dumped client personal information in the garbage for 150 consective weeks (we know, we recovered it). So now they will have to blame his office manager Kerry "The Human Mistake Machine" Mahler for the error as John Balent has done in the past at the State Bar level. The probelm there is the number of weeks they dumped personal client information in the trash (Because it wasn't a one time goof up or honest mistake) and whenever we protested in front of John Balent's office, we kept records of the comings and goings of Kerry Mahler, Barbara Balent and John Balent and amazingly, personal information was tossed in the garbage on days and weeks the Kerry Mahler was not in the office.

So on top of the fact that John Balent is gulity of false advertising, Lump/block billing pratices, been sued multiple times for Malpractice, Sued by creitors, suspended by the State Bar and placed on two years probation and dumped your personal information in the garbage (and probably did a horrible job as your attorney), he also appears to cut corners by using his wife as his paralegal who very likely isn't one.

We are happy to report that a Bar Complaint will be filed in June 2016 on this very topic, as John Balent is fully aware that while on probation until June 2017 he is required not to violate any laws or the Rules of Professional conduct. We strongly urge clients to also file State Bar complaints with regard to this issue.

HEY BARBARA AND JOHN! How about you forward to us Barbara Balent's certification or John Balent's Declaration that Barbara Balent can hold herself out as a paralegal? If you do that, we will gladly remove this link from out website and issue a correction.