Lawyers who handle personal injury cases can become board certified by the Florida Bar by taking and passing a written examination and proving that they have sufficient experience on an ongoing basis to competently handle personal injury matters.
The Florida Bar takes board certification very seriously and does a thorough investigation into the qualifications of a lawyer before that lawyer is board certified. In addition, a lawyer who wishes to be board certified has to give the names of individuals that he or she has tried cases with and against as well as the names of Judges before whom the lawyer has appeared. The Bar contacts lawyers on both sides of cases that have been handled by the lawyer seeking certification and obtains written recommendations both for and against certification for that lawyer.
The Board of Legal Specialization and Education asks both lawyers and Judges to assess the qualifications of lawyers applying for certification. That Board solicits information about the competence of the lawyer in their specialty field as well as the professionalism and ethics of the applying lawyer. In order to qualify for board certification, an applicant has to be recognized as having achieved a level of competence indicating special knowledge, skill and proficiency in handling matters in their specialty fields. The applicants are also evaluated as to character, ethics and reputation for professionalism. All inquiries into these subjects are handled completely confidentially and the lawyer has to sign a release agreeing to that confidentiality and waiving any right to have access to the responses generated by the investigation.
Even after being certified, lawyers have to periodically request recertification and show that they have kept up with the law and have continued to have an exemplary reputation in their field.
Not every lawyer is board certified. Lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases are certified in the area of civil trial law. The Florida Bar maintains records of all lawyers who are board certified and will provide that information upon request.
Theodore Babbitt is senior partner in the law firm of Babbitt & Johnson, P.A., and is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, which is limited to the top 100 personal injury lawyers in the United States. _________________________________________
Babbitt and Johnson, P.A.
1641 Worthington Road, Suite 100
West Palm Beach FL 33409
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