What It Takes To Become ABPLA Board Certified

An AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (ABA) Accredited Organization

REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION
Medical Requirments                                                                         Legal Requirements

 

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BOARD CERTIFICATION

ALL Applicants for Board Certification in Legal or Medical Professional Liability must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Pass ABPLA’s written examination in either Legal or Medical Professional Liability; 
  • In the last 3 years, have completed a minimum of 36 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) in Legal or Medical Professional Liability, or met the CLE requirements of   your State Bar, whichever is greater; and
  • Provide 10 references: 5 judges or 5 attorneys who practice in Legal or Medical Professional Liability. The ABPLA certification committee may ask for additional references from the ones the applicant has provided.

In addition to these requirements the applicant must meet specific requirements under the specialty area he/she is seeking certification before submitting the application:
 

MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY REQUIREMENTS

To become Board Certified in the area of Medical Professional Liability, the following requirements specific to the practice of Medical Professional Liability must also be met within your career:

  1. The applicant shall furnish evidence of his or her current admission in good standing in one or more states or territories of the United States or the District of Columbia (if admitted in more than one state, or territory of the United States or District of Columbia, then the applicant shall furnish of evidence of his or her current admission in good standing in the state or territory of principal practice). 
  2. Immediately preceding application, the applicant must have spent five (5) years in the actual practice of his or specific area of professional liability law.
  3. The term Medical Professional Liability “case” or “claim” or “contested matter” includes actions for and against nursing homes, hospitals, pharmacies, physicians, dentists, nurses, and other recognized healthcare professionals and institutions.
  4. The term “performance” includes participation in contested professional liability matters in the specialty for which the applicant is applying.  Performances include arbitration proceedings where the applicant takes testimony, depositions, or hearings at which either oral argument was made or testimony was taken by the applicant.  Each “performance” required herein can be related to the same contested matter
  5. The applicant must make a satisfactory showing of substantial involvement in Medical Professional Liability; with at least twenty-five (25) percent of his or her time engaged in the litigation of this specific area of professional liability litigation in each of the three (3) years immediately preceding the filing of the application.
  6. The applicant for certification in the area of Medical Professional Liability must further demonstrate substantial involvement by showing that within the applicant’s career he or she has:
    1. Participated as lead counsel in not less than twelve (12) civil contested matters, which went to trial or arbitration (not necessarily Medical Professional Liability trials or arbitrations) and where testimonial evidence was presented and the matters were submitted to the fact finder.  (Settlement during jury deliberations or while awaiting decision of the arbitrator will qualify.)
    2. Of the twelve (12) contested matters required in section (6.1) above, three (3) must involve Medical Professional Liability jury trials and each shall have been submitted to a jury (Settlement during jury deliberations will qualify).
  7. In addition to the requirements of Section (6.1), the applicant shall also have resolved twenty (20) additional contested matters involving claims of Medical Professional Liability, where the applicant appeared as named counsel who took testimony for a party in the matter.
  8. Within three (3) years prior to submission of the application for Medical Professional Liability certification, ONE of the following FOUR conditions must be met:
    1. Five (5) days of trial (taking testimony) involving claims of Medical Professional Liability (a day is six or more hours).
    2. Resolution by jury or non-jury trial or by arbitration or by settlement of three (3) contested and litigated Medical Professional Liability matters where the applicant appeared as named counsel who took testimony for a party.
    3. Participation in twenty-four (24) performances. Performances include arbitration proceedings where the applicant takes testimony, depositions, or hearings at which either oral argument was made or testimony was taken by the applicant.  Each “performance” required herein can be related to the same contested matter.
    4. A combination of trial days, resolved matters, or performances (see definitions) which demonstrate substantial involvement in Medical Professional Liability as determined by the ABPLA Board Of Governors’ Standards Committee.
  9. Writing Sample.  The applicant must submit a writing sample consisting of a memorandum of law or brief to a trial or an appellate court a substantial portion of which was written by the applicant and involves issues within the area of Medical Professional Liability.
 

LEGAL PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY REQUIREMENTS

 

To become Board Certified in the area of LEGAL Professional Liability, the following requirements specific to the practice of Legal Professional Liability must also be met within your career. 

  1. The applicant shall furnish evidence of his or her current admission in good standing in one or more states or territories of the United States or the District of Columbia (if admitted in more than one state, or territory of the United States or District of Columbia, then the applicant shall furnish of evidence of his or her current admission in good standing in the state or territory of principal practice). 
  2. Immediately preceding application, the applicant must have spent five (5) years in the actual practice of legal professional liability law. 
  3. The term legal professional liability “case” or “claim” or “contested” matter includes prosecuting or defending lawyer malpractice claims and lawyer disciplinary cases if the disciplinary case was resolved with a finding of facts by a hearing officer or judge, following the presentation of evidence.  
  4. The term “performance” includes participation in contested professional liability matters in the specialty for which the applicant is applying.  Performances include arbitration proceedings where the applicant takes testimony, depositions, or hearings at which either oral argument was made or testimony was taken by the applicant.  Each “performance” required herein can be related to the same contested matter. 
  5. The applicant must make a satisfactory showing of substantial involvement in Legal professional liability with at least twenty-five (25) percent of his or her time engaged in the litigation of Legal professional liability litigation in each of the three (3) years immediately preceding the filing of the application. 
  6. The applicant, for certification in the area of legal professional liability must further demonstrate substantial involvement by showing that within the applicant’s career he or she has:
    1. Participation in not less than (10) civil trials or arbitrations in which the applicant served as lead counsel, where testimonial evidence was presented and the matters were submitted to the finder of fact.  
    2. Of the aforesaid ten (10) civil trials or arbitrations, one (1) shall be a jury trial involving claims in the area of legal professional liability.
    3.  Resolution of Twenty (20) additional contested matters involving claims in the area of legal professional liability for which the applicant seeks certification. This may include trials (jury or non-jury); evidentiary hearings or depositions; and motions heard before or after trial.
  7.  Within the three (3) years prior to application, one of the following conditions must be met: 
    1. Participation in two (2) matters which went to trial, arbitration, or some other form of alternate dispute resolution, involving claims in the area of legal professional liability for which the applicant seeks certification. , 
    2. Participation in thirty-six (36) performances which may include depositions or hearings at which either oral argument was made or testimony was taken, involving claims in the area of legal professional liability for which the applicant seeks certification. 
    3. A combination of trial days, participation in litigated matters or performances which demonstrate substantial involvement in the specific area(s) of legal professional liability as determined by the Standards Committee of the ABPLA Board of Governors.
  8. Writing Sample.  The applicant must submit a writing sample consisting of a memorandum of law or brief to a trial or an appellate court a substantial portion of which was written by the applicant and involves issues within the area of legal professional liability.