Q: What is a certified trial attorney?
A: Certified trial attorney is a designation granted by the New Jersey Supreme Court to Civil or Criminal Trial attorneys who are able to demonstrate sufficient levels of experience, education, knowledge, and skill in criminal trial practice. The Supreme Court, through its Board on Attorney Certification, designates only those lawyers who apply for certification and who are able to meet the standards set by the Board and approved by the Court.
Q: Why does New Jersey have a certification program?
A: The Certification program helps the public find attorneys who have demonstrated proficiency in specialized fields of law. Certification helps lawyers by giving them a way to make their experience known to the public and to other lawyers. Certification also encourages the maintenance and improvement of attorney competence in specialized fields of law.
Q: In what areas of law does the New Jersey Supreme Court certify attorneys?
A: At present, there are four specialty areas of practice that are approved for certification by the Supreme Court of New Jersey: civil trial law; criminal trial law; matrimonial law; and workers’ compensation law.
Q: How many attorneys are certified in New Jersey?
A: There are fewer than 250 Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys in the State of New Jersey.
Q: How does the consumer know if an attorney is Board certified?
A: Although many practicing trial attorneys now advertise in newspapers, on television, and in the Yellow Pages, only attorneys certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court are entitled to use the designation “Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney” on their letterhead, business cards, Yellow Pages listings, or in their advertisements.
Q: What does it mean when an attorney is certified?
A: A certified attorney is more than just an attorney who specializes in a particular area of law. A New Jersey attorney who is certified by the Supreme court as a civil or criminal trial attorney must have:
- Been a member in good standing of the New Jersey bar for over 5 years
- Fulfilled ongoing continuing legal education requirements
- Demonstrated a substantial level of experience in civil or criminal trial law
- Been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with his or her work
- Taken and passed a written examination in trial law
*Source: New Jersey Supreme Court Board on Attorney Certification