If the attorney is licensed in California he can practice in all areas. It is usually best to hire an attorney that specializes in that area of law. The State Bar also has certified specialist rating in certain areas of law. In order to become a certified specialist, the attorney must meet certain qualifications and pass a specialist exam. It should also be noted that a California attorney can practice in any California state court but he must admitted in federal court in that particular federal district in order to appear and represent clients before the federal court in that district.