What is the difference between a lawyer who says he is a “trial lawyer” and someone who is a “Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer” in Florida? It’s a valid question, especially with so many lawyers advertising themselves on mass media, and where there are over !00,000 lawyers in Florida.
The attorneys who are Florida Bar Board Certified have taken extra steps to have their competence and experience objectively evaluated by The Florida Bar. In order to become Board Certified in Civil Trial Law, applicants must:
- Practice law for at least five (5) years
- Handle at least 15 contested civil cases including cases before juries as lead trial counsel
- Demonstrate substantial involvement in the specialty of civil trial law — 50% or more — during the three years preceding application
- Pass peer review in character, ethics and professionalism
- Meet the standard of having 50 hours of approved civil trial certification in legal education in the three years preceding application
- Pass a written test on the lawyer’s knowledge and competence in the civil trial area
In Florida, there are 101,300 lawyers admitted to The Florida Bar. Of that number, only about 970 are Board Certified as Civil Trial Experts — approximately 1%.
When you consider hiring a lawyer, you may wish to ask if she or he is “board certified” in civil trial space in Florida. If the answer is, “Yes,” then you can have confidence the lawyer has earned this distinction by rigorous, objective standards.