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Criminal Law Board Certification in California

In California, attorneys can earn certification as a Criminal Law Specialist by the State Bar of California's Board of Legal Specialization (CBLS). Board-certified attorneys include criminal defense attorneys in private practice, public defenders, or prosecutors. These attorneys work within the criminal justice system at the local, state, or federal level.

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About Criminal Law Board Certification in California

Attorneys with this designation can identify themselves as "certified specialists" in California for the specialty practice area of Criminal Law. Earning the certification awarded by the CBLS requires that the attorney:

  • pass a written examination;
  • demonstrate a high level of experience in criminal law as demonstrated by the number of jury trials conducted by the attorney to verdict; complete rigorous continuing education requirements; and
  • be favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with the attorney's work in the field of criminal law.

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California Board Certified Criminal Lawyers Active on Lawyer Legion

Jason Scott Leiderman
Law Offices of Jay Leiderman
Ventura, CA
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Jacqueline Goodman
Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman
Fullerton, CA
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Christopher Francis Morales
The Morales Law Firm
San Francisco, CA
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David Jean Kaloyanides
David J.P. Kaloyanides, A Professional Law Corporation
Chino, CA
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Graham D Donath
Law Offices of Graham Donath, A.P.C.
Riverside, CA
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Directory of California Certified Criminal Law Attorneys

Lawyer Legion maintains a directory of board certified criminal law specialists in California. This directory provides the public with a valuable resource that allows them to narrow their search to local attorneys who have earned board certification in criminal law by the State Bar of California.

Lawyer Legion is the only commercial lawyer directory to properly acknowledge all ABA-accredited specialization programs and provide a dynamic directory of virtually every lawyer who has earned each certification, including board certification in criminal law offered by the State Bar of California.

Use this directory to connect with lawyers who are board certified specialists in criminal law by the State Bar of California. Start by choosing your county from the list below.


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More About California's Board Certification in Criminal Law

Types of Criminal Justice Attorneys Seeking Certification

Attorneys in both private practice and in the public sector can seek certification. Board-certified attorneys in criminal law work at every level of the criminal justice system including as private criminal defense attorneys, public defenders, or as prosecutors.

Prosecutors in California work at the state level (in the Attorney General's Office) at the county level (in the District Attorney's Office) or at the local level as a City Attorney. Federal prosecutors work in the various divisions of the United States Attorneys' Office.


Definition of the Criminal Law

For purposes of the certification program, the term "criminal law" is defined to include both the defense and prosecution of persons accused of crimes in federal and state court, and minor children subject to wardship proceedings in juvenile court based on allegations of their criminal misconduct.

The definition of criminal law also includes both trial and appellate advocacy, and other ancillary proceedings such as civil and criminal forfeiture proceedings.


Specific Requirements for Certification

The standards for certification in criminal law should be read in conjunction with the rules Rules Governing the State Bar of California Program for Certifying Legal Specialists.

Requirements for certification generally include a showing of criminal trial practice task requirements. The showing of substantial involvement in the practice area of criminal defense relates to the five years prior to submitting the application.

Task requirements include a showing that the attorney was the lead counsel of record in certain types of proceedings including felony jury trials, additional jury trials, and additional criminal matters, hearings, petitioners of answers in extraordinary writ proceedings, and appeals. In some cases, the substantial involvement showing can be made through one of the following:

  • The practice of law in a government agency in which the attorney is engaged in activities substantially equivalent to criminal law practice;
  • Research, writing and/or special studies of criminal law and procedure; or
  • Other showings that amount to a substantial equivalent of the criminal law practice task requirements.

The attorney must meet certain educational requirements for certification within the three years prior to application for topics related to criminal law which can include substantive criminal law and procedure; writs, appeals, and ancillary proceedings; evidence; and trial advocacy.

The attorney must also submit to independent inquiry and review requirements for certification. Requirements include recommendations from lawyers, judges, co-counsel and opposing counsel.


Other Specialty Certification Programs for Criminal Law

In addition to the CBLS, the National Board of Trial Advocacy also designates California attorneys as specialists in criminal trial law.

Although CBLS does not currently have a specific legal specialty designation for DUI defense law, the National College of DUI Defense has been accredited by the American Bar Association to designate attorneys as a California board-certified specialist in DUI Defense Law.

In addition, several other programs throughout the country have been accredited by the ABA to grant board certification in criminal law and related areas of practice:


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Other Specialty Areas Offered by The State Bar of California

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