In Florida, board certification recognizes attorney’s special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice. So why should you hire a Board-Certified Lawyer over a lawyer that is not Board Certified? Board Certification for attorneys, like Board Certification for Doctors means that the professional has gone through additional testing and has demonstrated specific competency, experience and quality in reputation. The Florida Supreme court established Florida’s Board Certification program in 1982 so that consumers can identify qualified legal specialists who are dedicated to professional excellence. In 1982, 33,800 were members of the Florida Bar. Today, Florida has more than 95,000 attorneys practicing in numerous fields of law. Certification gives prospective client’s objective information on a lawyer’s special knowledge, skills and proficiency in specific fields of law. When a client is seeking the services of an attorney, one of the ways to determine if that attorney has a specialization in a particular field is through Board Certification. In fact, the Florida Bar only allows attorneys that are Board Certified to use the words “Specialist” or “Expert” regarding a particular practice area. Only a Board-Certified attorney is permitted by the Florida Bar to use the letter “B.C.S.” after their name. This means Board Certified Specialist.
To be Florida Board Certified, an attorney must earn this career achievement through testing, area-specific continued education and confidential peer review.
There are 27 current categories of Board Certified attorneys. These practice areas each have their own unique testing and certification requirements.
Attorneys that practice in the area of representing Plaintiff’s injured in accidents, medical malpractice or product liability can be certified in Civil Trial Law. Civil Trial Law is the practice of law dealing with litigation of civil controversies in all areas of law before State Courts, Federal Courts, Administrative Agencies and Arbitrators.
The minimum standards for Civil Trial Law certification include;
- Active practice of law for at least five (5) years;
- Substantial involvement in the specialty of Civil Trial Law – 50% or more during the three (3) years immediately preceding application;
- Handling of at least 15 contested Civil cases, including cases before juries as lead counsel and as trier of fact on some or all of the issues;
- 50 hours of approved Civil Trial Law Certification Continuing Legal Education in the three (3) years immediately preceding application;
- Peer review;
- and a Written examination.
Remember, Board Certification is not required however, certification provides an objective measure a potential client can rely upon when selecting a lawyer. Board Certification is the Florida Bar’s highest level of evaluation of the competency and experience of attorneys in the 27’s areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida. Board Certified lawyers are evaluated for professionalism, tested for expertise.
According to the Florida Bar only 7% of eligible Florida Bar members; approximately 5,000 lawyers are Board Certified. Not all qualified lawyers are certified, but those who are Board Certified have taken extra steps to have their competence and experience evaluated.
Jeffrey R. Davis is a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer. He is certified by the Florida Bar as specialist in his field. Jeffrey R. Davis, PA is a Civil Trial practice law firm that specializes in representing plaintiffs in a variety cases including catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, medical malpractice, automobile accidents, fall down injuries and premises liability claims, among others. Jeffrey R. Davis has been licensed to practice law by the Florida Bar since 1986 and handles cases throughout the state of Florida. For a free consultation please call Jeffrey R. Davis, PA at 305-577-3777. Our phones are answered on a 24-hour basis in English and Spanish. Please visit us at www.jeffdavislaw.com.