The Importance of Board Certified Lawyers
Two of the Five Board Certified Lawyers in All of South Carolina are Members
of Kahn Law Firm
Of the only five board certified medical malpractice plaintiff attorneys
in the State of South Carolina, two are with
Kahn Law Firm, LLP. Although we are located in Charleston, SC, we also handle medical malpractice
cases throughout all of South Carolina. We also work with attorneys who
wish to associate with us on their medical malpractice cases.
Why Choose a Board Certified Lawyer?
Most people have some understanding of board certified doctors. For example,
suppose you experienced severe chest pains and went to an emergency room
where an imminent heart attack was diagnosed. Suppose the emergency room
doctor informs you that he is calling in a general practitioner to assess
your situation and initiate treatment. What? A general practitioner? Of
course not. The likelihood is that you will be seen by a specialist, a
cardiologist; assuming you’re in a metropolitan area.
Now, suppose there are two cardiologists available to treat you. Each has
equal years in practice. One is board certified in cardiology and one
has no board certification. Which one would you choose? The one board
certified, of course. Why? Because, sight unseen, one presumes the board
certified cardiologist has superior skill, knowledge and experience. At
the very least, we know one made the effort to go beyond the minimum practice
requirements. That effort suggests, does not prove but does suggest, a
more serious dedication to superior medical practice.
Many people are familiar with physician board certification and generally
know what it implies. So, as a lay person, assume you choose the board
certified cardiologist, but during catheterization he pokes a hole in
your heart. You look for a lawyer to file a medical malpractice claim.
Do you, as a lay person, know that lawyers, like doctors, can be board
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of Americans, there is no knowledge
that lawyers, like doctors, can be board certified. Of course, lawyer
board certification programs are voluntary. No lawyer is prohibited from
practicing in any specialty field, and certified lawyers can practice
outside of their field of certification.
The ultimate answer is that potential clients should know that board certified
lawyers have made the effort beyond minimum practice requirements. Board certified lawyers are required to attend continuing legal education
programs in their specialty. The board certifying organizations, approved
by the American Bar Association, require proof of high ethical conduct
in order for board certification to continue.
Board certification in a specialty also strongly suggests an active interest
and expertise in that area of the law. So, the question is: Why not seriously
consider a lawyer or lawyers who are board certified in a specialty to
handle a matter in that specialty for you?
Qualification for Board Certification
Any candidate for Board Certification must be viewed by the American Board
of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA) as having met ABPLA's
high standards in each of these five key areas before the attorney can
be Board Certified. The ABPLA certifies lawyers who specialize in either
Medical or Legal professional liability.
Experience - To qualify to be a Board Certified malpractice attorney a lawyer must
have extensive experience in the area of professional negligence, requiring
that a significant portion of his or her practice be devoted to this area
of the law. Additionally, each applicant must meet minimum requirements
for experience in trial, mediation, arbitration and discovery in cases
specifically devoted to professional liability.
Ethics - Each Board Certified professional negligence attorney must be a current
bar member in good standing and must immediately report any disciplinary
action to the board.
Education - Board Certification requires the attorney to meet ABPLA's minimum
standards for continuing legal education, staying current in the area
of professional liability litigation, as well as meeting all continuing
legal education requirements of the attorney's state bar association.
Examination - To become Board Certified, each lawyer must pass an examination administered
by ABPLA to demonstrate competency in the area of professional malpractice
Excellence - Each attorney must supply references by no less than three judges and
three attorneys familiar with his or her practice and attesting that the
attorney is substantially involved and highly competent in professional
ABPLA's Mission Statement
ABPLA recognizes that the public needs help navigating the confusing waters
of attorney selection and needs some method by which they can identify
malpractice attorneys with superior knowledge and expertise to handle
this highly technical litigation. Through meticulous screening of applicants
and administration of examinations in their particular areas of malpractice
the ABPLA identifies highly qualified lawyers, vetted by objective measures,
which the public can rely upon to be among the best malpractice attorneys
in the country.
In a similar way, lawyers who do not practice in the area of professional
negligence also need a method of selecting qualified malpractice attorneys
to whom they can refer clients with bona fide malpractice claims. Board
certification is a mechanism by which members of the legal profession
can recognize trial lawyers with this specialized experience and be confident
that the client will be well served.
Beyond identification and certification, the ABPLA's further purpose
is continued training and education of outstanding malpractice lawyers, as well as training promising younger lawyers who express an interest
in practicing professional liability law. Through the tutelage of leaders
in malpractice litigation, aspiring malpractice trial attorneys are introduced
to cutting edge concepts to promote outstanding results in professional
Moving forward in the twenty first century, the mission of ABPLA is to
take advantage of information technology to improve its ability to identify
and certify leading malpractice lawyers, and to provide consumers with
a simple and easily accessible method of locating board certified attorneys.
By giving consumers and lawyers a choice of malpractice attorneys who
meet and exceed the highest of objective standards, clients can be confident
that they will have exceptional representation in their malpractice lawsuits.