What is Board Certified in Civil Trial or Personal Injury Trial Law & What are the Requirements?
In the State of Texas there are over 70,000 lawyers and in the city of Houston there are over 14,000 lawyers. Of course, not all lawyers practice personal injury trial work.
Some states offer Board Certification programs and others do not. The State of Texas does have a Board Certification process. This is managed by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and one of the areas of practice is called "Personal Injury Trial law." This specialty started in 1978.
According to the TBLS, the specialty of Personal Injury Trial Law is defined as: "litigation based on an individual's injury from automobile accidents, professional malpractice, defective products or negligence by another."
The TBLS requirements to become Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law are:
TEXAS BOARD OF LEGAL SPECIALIZATION
STANDARDS FOR ATTORNEY CERTIFICATION
SPECIFIC AREA REQUIREMENTS
PERSONAL INJURY TRIAL LAW
A. DEFINITION. Personal injury trial law is the practice of law dealing with litigation of claims involving trauma or disability, physical or mental, to a person. It includes, by way of definition, and not limitation, litigation involving personal injury aspects of:
- automobile and other vehicular accident reparations;
- governmental claims;
- professional malpractice claims;
- products liability claims;
- statutory claims;
- insurance contract claims; or
- any negligent or intentional tort claims.
B. SUBSTANTIAL INVOLVEMENT. Applicant must show substantial involvement and special competence in Texas personal injury trial law practice by providing such information as may be required by TBLS.
a. Percentage of Practice Requirement. Applicant must have devoted a minimum of 25% of his or her time practicing personal injury trial law in Texas during each year of the 3 years immediately preceding application as defined in Section VI, A of the Specific Area Requirements for Personal Injury Trial Law.
b. Task Requirements. Applicant must provide information as required by TBLS concerning specific tasks he or she has performed in Texas personal injury trial law. In evaluating experience, TBLS may take into consideration the nature, complexity, and duration of the tasks handled by applicant.
(1) Applicant must have tried during his or her entire practice, as lead counsel, at least 10 contested civil cases which were submitted to the trier of fact in a court of record in Texas. Five of the required 10 cases must have been personal injury jury trials.
2. Recertification. Applicant must have devoted a minimum of 25% of his or her time practicing personal injury trial law in Texas during each year of the 5 year period of certification as defined in Section VI, A of the Specific Area Requirements for Personal Injury Trial Law except as provided for in Part I–General Requirements, Section VI, C,1(b).
C. REFERENCE REQUIREMENTS. Applicant must submit a minimum of 5 names and addresses of persons to be contacted as references to attest to his or her competence in personal injury trial law. These persons must be substantially involved in personal injury trial law, and be familiar with applicant’s personal injury trial law practice.
1. Certification. Applicant must submit names of persons with whom he or she has had dealings involving personal injury trial law matters within the 3 years immediately preceding application.
2. Recertification. Applicant must submit names of persons with whom he or she has had dealings involving personal injury trial law matters since certification or the most recent recertification.
3. Reference Types. Applicant must submit the following types of references:
a. Four Texas attorneys who are substantially involved in personal injury trial law. Applicant must have tried a personal injury trial law matter with or against one of these attorneys.
b. One judge of any court of record in Texas whom applicant has appeared before as an advocate in a personal injury trial law matter.
Personal Injury covers a variety of accident types, including burn injuries caused by fires, auto accidents, truck wrecks, radiation, or any other type of burn injury. Though there is not a specific certification in the area of "Burn Injury," it clearly falls within the scope of a Personal Injury Trial Law specialization because it involves:
- Proving physical injuries such as first degree, second degree, third degree, and fourth degree burns, inhalation injuries, and the like;
- Seeking compensation for an injury through a negotiated settlement or through filing a lawsuit in one of the available civil courts;
- Engaging in discovery including Requests for Production, Interrogatories, Requests for Admissions, and Depositions;
- Conducting a trial to either a jury or judge.
If you are seeking a burn injury lawyer, you need to know that a lawyer does not need to be board certified to handle your burn injury claim. The lawyer you retain should, however, be experienced in handling personal injury claims. If a lawyer is board certified in Houston by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, they are entitled, under the rules governing lawyer advertising, to state that they are "Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization." When in doubt, just ask them or go to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization official site.
Houston Burn Injury Lawyers Serve Houston and Surrounding Areas
Houston Burn Injury Lawyers serve clients throughout Southeastern Texas, including Aldine, Baytown, Bellaire, Beaumont, Channelview, Cloverleaf, Conroe, Deer Park, Friendswood, Galena Park, Galveston, Hedwig Village, Highlands, Hilshire Village, Humble, Jacinto City, Katy, League City, Magnolia, Mission Bend, Missouri City, Pasadena, Pearland, Porter, Sealy, South Houston, Spring Valley, Stafford, The Meadows, The Woodlands, Waller, West University, and other communities in Fort Bend County, Harris County, and Montgomery County.