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Criminal Law Specialist -


       This title is given to attorneys who are certified as Legal Specialists in the area of criminal law. This is an important title for your attorney to have when you have a serious issue with the law and need good representation. The certification is a rigorous and demanding process for an attorney.

How an Attorney is Certified

       To be certified as a Legal specialist in criminal law a number of factors are necessary in order to qualify. Some of the requirements include experience, education, and peer evaluation.

Peer Evaluation - One requirement that is needed, is to submit names by mail, the contact information and addresses of four attorneys. This includes one judge and three attorneys who had been trial advocates in a criminal case. Other requirements include the names of opposing counsel/co-counsel and judges in criminal jury trials, names of opposing counsel co-counsel and judges in writ or appellate matters, referee or hearing officer and any opposing counsel/co-counsel in the last two administrative hearings that the prospective attorney applicant has conducted.

Experience Requirements - Before an attorney is able to apply for the certificate and become a criminal law specialist he must show that within the last five years preceding the submission of the written application show or demonstrate that he has been involved as a principal counsel of record in criminal proceedings. Some of the other requirements include at least five jury trials where the crime was a felony plus five other trials by jury, forty criminal matters that involve court proceedings in a court within the State of California or US District or Magistrate Court and other requirement as mandated by the Board of Legal Specialization in criminal law.

Education Requirements - Some of the requirements include 45 hours of approved completed study in criminal law that include writs, appeals and ancillary proceedings; criminal law and procedure; trial advocacy, evidence and other criminal law matters.

Board of Legal Specialization

       The Board of Legal Specialization certification program manages, recommends, promotes and provides guidelines as well as policies to this important program.

The program is under the auspices of the California State Bar and has advisory commissions for each specialty (e.g., criminal law, family law, etc.). The State Bar maintains a list of Certified Legal specialists in their particular specialty.

       In conclusion, an attorney who passed the rigorous process of becoming a criminal law specialist can be a great asset to your case. Their knowledge of criminal law, experience in the court room and peer evaluation of their job performance is imperative is when good representation is paramount to you and your case.

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