The Florida Bar

Criminal Trial Law Certification

Purpose:

Criminal Trial Board Certification logoTo identify those lawyers who practice criminal law and have the special knowledge, skills, and proficiency, as well as the character, ethics, and reputation for professionalism, to be properly identified to the public as board certified in criminal trial or appellate law.

Who May Apply

Minimum standards for criminal trial law certification, provided in Rule 6-8.3, include:

  • Practice of law for at least five years;
  • Substantial involvement in the specialty of criminal trial law — 30% or more — during the three years immediately preceding application;
  • Handling of at least 25 contested criminal cases, with 20 jury trials, tried to a verdict, 15 which involved a felony, and 10 as lead counsel;
  • 45 hours of approved criminal trial law certification continuing legal education in the three years immediately preceding application;
  • Peer review; and,
  • A written examination.

Becoming Board Certified

All applicants for board certification or recertification should carefully read the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar to be sure you have met each of the requirements prior to filing your application. Unless the rules provide for a waiver of a specific requirement, each of the requirements must be met by the dates indicated in the rule.

New Applicants

The application filing period runs September 1-October 31 of a given year to determine eligibility to sit for the exam in May of the subsequent year (see calendar for details). Applications must be postmarked by October 31. Eligible applicants who pass the exam will be officially certified in August.

REAPPLICANTS

If you’re eligible to sit for the exam from a previous application, you may file the short application.

Recertification

According to the rules, no certification shall last for a period longer than five years. Find out when your recertification application is due.

All applications for recertification must be postmarked by midnight July 31 at the conclusion of the 5-year period of certification. All requirements for recertification are to be completed by this date. August 1 after the fifth year of certification is the effective date of recertification.

A single 3-month recertification file extension will be granted if accompanied by a properly executed application for extension and payment of the appropriate fee.