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What is a Board Certified Attorney?

Jul 9, 2014 - Personal Injury by

If you have seen commercials by the personal injury attorneys for Roberts and Roberts, you know many of our attorneys are board certified in personal injury trial law. Many people may not understand what that means and why we advertise that fact so often.

The reason is, there are many attorneys who advertise that they handle personal injury claims. However, there are very few attorneys that handle personal injury claims who are actually board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in personal injury trial law. Most of the attorneys advertising for personal injury matters have at the end of their ad, in very small print, a disclaimer that they are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in personal injury trial law.

Any attorney can practice in any area of law. However, in 1974, the Texas Supreme Court recognized that some areas of law were getting so specialized that it could be difficult for a general practitioner to practice in that area. The court also recognized that consumers needed to know whether or not the attorney they were hiring actually specialized in that particular area of law. As a result, the Texas Supreme Court created the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Its goal was to set standards for attorneys who wanted to specialize in specific areas of law.

One of those areas was the area of personal injury trial law. For a person to be eligible to be board certified in personal injury trial law, that attorney must have been in the practice of law for at least five years and must have specialized in personal injury law for at least three years. Additionally, that attorney must take 60 hours of continuing legal education in the area of personal injury trial law. Then, the attorney must submit to the Board of Legal Specialization a list of names of other attorneys and judges that attorney has practiced with or in front of to confirm his expertise in handling personal injury matters. Finally, the attorney must take a very difficult six-hour examination.

More importantly, once the attorney is board certified in personal injury trial law, you must maintain the certification by continuing to specialize in the area of personal injury, continuing to take legal education courses in the area of personal injury, and resubmitting references of other attorneys and judges to show that he/she continues to practice in the area of personal injury trial law. Currently, in Texas, only about 3 percent of all Texas attorneys are board certified in personal injury trial law.

Some consumers may be afraid to hire an attorney that is board certified in personal injury trial law. They may assume that because a lawyer is certified in trial law that by hiring that attorney, you are going to go to trial. That is not true. In fact, the opposite is true.

Insurance companies know which lawyers will try their cases and which attorneys will not. If an insurance company knows your lawyer is board certified in personal injury trial law and is very capable of trying your case, then the insurance company is more likely to want to settle your claim.

Additionally, most attorneys certified in personal injury trial law work on a contingency fee basis. This is the same as other attorneys who are not certified in personal injury trial law. This benefits the consumer in two ways, first they do not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses or fees to retain the board-certified lawyer, and he cost no more than any other attorney not certified or less experienced handling the same or similar-type case.

If you, or someone you know or love, have been seriously injured in a car crash, motorcycle accident, or collision with an 18-wheeler… call the personal injury attorneys of Roberts and Roberts. For nearly 30 years, they have been representing injured Texans in courts across the State of Texas. The call costs you nothing… it could mean everything.

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