Specialty Areas

 

The National Board of Trial Advocacy was the first American Bar Association accredited attorney board certifying agency in the world. Founded in 1977, NBTA offers board certification in: civil trial law, criminal trial law, family trial law, civil pretrial practice and Social Security disability law. To qualify for one of these five certifications lawyers must have extensive experience in their specialty and meet rigorous objective quality standards. To learn more about a specialty area please click on one of the certifications below:

*Please contact the NBTA office for civil pretrial practice information.


 

Civil law

Civil Trial Law

About Civil Trial Lawyers

 

What is civil trial advocacy? First, civil trial advocacy may include civil litigation, personal injury litigation, and any other type of litigation that is not criminal in nature, such as property disputes, construction or insurance claims and a wide array of other civil controversies. Second, usually money damages are at stake in civil litigation.

Despite what is seen on television dramas, cases do not always have to go to trial. However, it is impossible to know in advance which cases will settle and which will go to trial, and because settlement amounts reflect predictions about the most likely result if the case is tried, it is wise for people to hire well qualified trial attorneys to handle their claims or defense of claims whether they think the case will be tried or settled out of court. It is important to understand

Trial attorneys must have knowledge,experience, great communications skills and a thorough understanding of group decision making dynamics and persuasion. In trial practice a misstep can end a case, so having a trial attorney who is making his trial debut may be dangerous, especially in a case involving substantial damages.

A good trial lawyer is always thinking several steps ahead. The "what if's" of the case must be mapped out long before the trial begins. Great trial lawyers are ready for surprises and will be well prepared, down to the last detail.

Once a trial begins, each side will be given the opportunity for opening statements and this is where many trial attorneys shine. They say that many a case has been won or lost on the opening statement, so it is imperative that the words be strong, both in their meaning and their delivery.

Think about your first meeting with the trial attorney, were you impressed or did the meeting leave you thinking that the attorney did not have enough experience or education? If you know that your case may go to trial, you want someone who will impress the jury from the first word of the first sentence and will be able to control the situation to your benefit.


Criminal LawCriminal Trial Law

Board Certified Criminal Lawyers: Do Not Try to Defend Yourself


There is no need to ever try to represent yourself in court, especially when the charge can carry substantial penalties if you lose your case. Not only does the law provide for defense by a court appointed criminal attorney, there are other options to consider as well. It is strongly recomended that you use a board certified criminal defense lawyer.

If you have never been arrested before, this is very likely to be the scariest time in your life. A good criminal defense attorney can guide you through each step of the process, and can help you find the right defense for the charge you are facing. Depending on where you are arrested, your age at the time of the alleged crime and the severity of the crime, you will first want to find board certified criminal attorneys to help you get bonded out of jail so that you can focus on your defense more clearly.


 

Family lawFamily Trial Law

Family Law: Complex and Changing

 

An attorney board certified as a family law specialist must stay current on the law and demonstrate a proficiency based on passing a written examination, demonstrating a high level of experience, fulfilling educational requirements, and being favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with his or her work. Board certified family lawyers can:

  • Prepare Marital Settlement Agreements and Parenting Plans for children.
  • Draft Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements.
  • Address legal issues involving distribution of property, and the payment of child, spousal and family support.
  • Negotiate or mediate difficult and emotional issues relating to legal separation, divorce, dissolution of marriage, and arrangements for children.
  • Assist clients who need protection from domestic violence.
  • Provide quality representation in court.
  • Handle matters relating to modifications of arrangements for children, spousal support and/or child support.
  • Offer a collaborative process enabling clients to resolve disputes without court intervention.


Whether or not your family law matter is complex or simple, board certified family lawyers can assist with proficiency based on his or her experience, continued legal education, and knowledge of family law.


Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Law

Social Security Disability Lawyers & Attorneys - Helping to Get Your Disability Benefits

 

It is unfortunate how many people who have legitimate claims for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability Benefits are denied. Once a person is denied, the Social Security Administration has set up an often confusing and complicated system of appeal, which appears easy to navigate on your own.

Be aware, this is not easy do this by yourself, with a non-attorney, or an inexperienced attorney. There are many deadlines in which to file appeals and you may be asked to fill out forms, and collect and submit medical records in order to prove your disability. If your claim goes to a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge, you may have to cross-examine doctors and vocational experts hired by the government to testify in your case.

To become certified Social Security disability attorneys, a lawyer must pass all the requirements of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. All certified Social Security disability lawyers must be in "good standing" with a "period of practice" in the area. They must also show "substantial involvement" in the practice of Social Security disability law.

A board certified Social Security disability lawyer can be your first step to getting the benefits to which you are rightfully entitled. Social Security disability lawyers can help guide you through the process, including the appeals process and being present at your hearing.  After you have filed your initial claim and have been denied, do not delay any further but seek advice from qualified, determined, board certified Social Security disability lawyer. When you start your search for an attorney, keep the following questions in mind:

  • How long has the attorney represented Claimants in Social Security Disability Claims?
  • How many hearings has the attorney appeared as Counsel for a Claimant?
  • Are they familiar with the Judges in the area?
  • Do they handle appeals after a denial with an Administrative Law Judge?
  • Will I be represented by a board certified attorney at my hearing?

Many law firms that represent themselves as experienced representatives may not actually be board certified Social Security disability attorneys. If you have been supplied representation by your Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance carrier, they may not be Board Certified attorneys. In most cases involving LTD claims, you have the right to obtain you own legal representation for handling your Social Security disability claim.

Fees for legal representation in these cases are set by the Social Security Administration. It will not cost you more to have a board certified Social Security disability lawyer representing you.

In order to assist your board certified Social Security disability lawyer, please have as much information available when you call. Try to have a copy of your last denial, a list of the doctorsor hospitals where you have been treated, information about your work history, and a list of your medications. You should keep track of and attend all of your appointments with doctors, therapists, and other medical team members, as well as taking all your prescribed medications as instructed.