Civil Trial Law Expert Board Certification
Thomas R. Thompson is Certified by the Florida Bar as having special expertise in the field of Civil Trial law. He has been lead counsel on dozens of trials, both jury and non jury trials. He has been practicing law for 17 years in Floirda and Georgia and is admitted in all Florida and Georgia Courts.
Perhaps, you have never needed the services of an attorney, but now you do. Obviously, you want a lawyer who is able to handle your particular legal situation, and one who has expertise in the area of law relating to your legal problem. If your legal situation does not involve a crime or arrest, the issue is likely a "civil" or non-criminal matter. You want to talk to and hire attorneys who are recognized experts in the field of civil trial law
In order to be "certified" as an expert in civil trial law, a lawyer must be a member in "good standing" of The Florida Bar and must have practiced law for at least five years, devoting at least 30 percent of his or her practice to civil trial law during that time, including a minimum of 15 contested civil cases. The applicant must have passed a comprehensive written examination and peer review, and have completed 50 hours of continuing legal education specific to civil trial law.
To help you find a competent lawyer, the Supreme Court of Florida directed The Florida Bar to offer a Certification program for Florida Bar members. The program is designed to help the public make an informed decision when seeking and selecting a lawyer.
While all lawyers are allowed to advertise, only Board Certified attorneys are allowed to identify themselves as Florida Bar Board Certified or as a "specialist" or "Experts". Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.
Certified expert lawyers in civil trial law deal with litigation of civil controversies in all areas of substantive law before state and federal courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators. In addition to actual pretrial and trial process, civil trial law includes evaluating, handling and resolving civil controversies prior to the initiation of suit.
Every board certified civil trial lawyer has practiced law for years and been substantially involved in the area of civil trial law at least the minimum of the three years preceding application. To be certified, the lawyer is required to have conducted at least 15 contested civil cases in courts of general jurisdiction during the lawyer's practice, including cases before a jury and as lead counsel. This may not seem like much, but it is had for a lawyer to get one trial in civil law. To get at least 15 takes years.
Each certified lawyer must also have passed peer review acknowledging their qualifications, completed 50 hours of continuing legal education within the three years preceding application and passed a full days written examination demonstrating knowledge, skills and proficiency in the field of civil trial law to justify the representation of special competence.
A Board certification is valid for five years, during which time the attorney must continue to practice law, and attend Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education courses. To be recertified, requirements similar to those for initial certification must be met. Not all qualified lawyers are certified, but those who are board certified have taken the extra step to have their competence and experience recognized.
For more information, please contact:
The Florida Bar
Legal Specialization & Education Department
651 E. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2300