A. Just like doctors can be “board-certified” in surgery or pediatrics or a large number of specialties, lawyers can choose to seek board certification in several different areas in the law.
There are several civil trial certifications available in Tennessee – civil trial specialist, medical malpractice, legal malpractice and family. A civil trial specialist must (a) have a demonstrated level of experience in trying civil cases; (b) pass a written examination that covers certain aspects of civil law, evidence, and ethics; (c) receive positive recommendations from judges and attorneys that he or she has tried cases against; (d) have a good disciplinary history. The attorney applies for civil trial and family trial certification with the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a division of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification. Medical and legal trial certification is available from another group.
If a Tennessee attorney is certified by this group, the attorney must then apply to the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization Commission for certification in Tennessee. The Tennessee Commission imposes additional requirements, including professional liability insurance and client recommendations.