Does having a personal injury lawyer that is board certified provide any value to clients? What exactly does it mean to be a board certified personal injury trial law attorney, and does it provide any value to clients?
One of the first steps in getting board certification is to submit references to the board. These references are other legal professionals, four attorneys and one judge, that are "vouching" for the applicant. Additionally, one of the referring attorneys must have gone up against the applicant in a trial. This process of referrals tells any future clients that the board certified attorney is respected by his peers, and acknowledged as a substantial injury trial lawyer. More importantly, it shows to any opposing insurance companies that he will not accept any low settlement offers to avoid taking a claim to trial.
Aside from the references, an applicant must also have tried at least ten cases in civil court, of which, five must have been personal injury cases. Once this and several other retirements are met, the applicant must pass a day long examination administered by the Texas State Board of Legal Specialization.
Once the peer review process, evaluation and examination is passed, the attorney is granted board certification, and must maintain a level of continuing legal education to ensure he is up to date with changes in personal injury tort law.
Board Certification doesn't necessarily mean that one personal injury lawyer is better than another. What is does do is show to potential clients that the board certified attorney has been through the evaluation and exam, and is acknowledged by his peers as a competent personal injury trial lawyer. Given how difficult it can be to choose an attorney for an injury claim, this certification provides assurance to clients that the lawyer has gone above and beyond to earn their business, deservingly.
Roy Murphy is a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer who has been practicing in Texas for almost 40 years.