John D. Jopling talks about becoming a board certified trial lawyer and the benefit of having a board certified lawyer.
John D. Jopling: “Several of us are board certified, as I am in civil trial law. The certification program in civil trial law goes back to the, I believe, probably the mid to late 80’s, I became board certified in 1992. Back at that time, you could not even be considered or apply without, I think it then it was fifteen jury trials, actual jury trials in what we call first chair. In other words, the primary responsibility. There just isn’t any substitute for that in any area of the law, particularly, I think, in trial practice.
There are lots and lots of folks that refer to themselves as trial lawyers who haven’t seen the inside of a courthouse or not very often. First and foremost, I think it’s the guarantee to a client that your board certified lawyer actually has been there and knows how to do this. Second, you don’t get to be board certified without some review by your peers, don’t get to be board certified unless the judges that you’ve appeared in front of believe that you’re competent.
Finally, there’s the actual substantive test, fairly lengthy and pretty arduous that you must pass to show that that you’ve substantively know the various areas of the law, evidence and statutory law, and other things that affect the trial practice.”