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Juvenile Law Specialty Board Certification in Florida

In Florida, attorneys can become Board Certification in Juvenile Law. The minimum standards for juvenile law certification are explained in Rule 6-29.3.

Task requirements include handling of at least 10 fully adjudicated trials or appellate proceedings arising from petitions for dependency, termination of parental rights, or delinquency, of which occurred during the five years immediately preceding application.

Certification is awarded by the Florida Board of Legal Specialization and Education (BLSE).

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About Board Certification for Juvenile Law in Florida

Definitions for Juvenile Law Certification

Pursuant to Rule 6-29.2, the term “juvenile law” is defined to include the area of law that inherently and directly impacts children. It includes, but is not limited to, dependency, delinquency, and termination of parental rights matters. It does not include adoption matters or matters arising in the context of family law proceedings not consolidated with dependency or termination of parental rights matters.

For purposes of qualifying for board certification in juvenile law, the term “trial” is defined as substantially preparing a case for court, offering testimony or evidence, or cross-examination and submission of a case to the trier of fact for determination of the matter in an adversarial proceeding before a trier of fact.

An applicant receives credit for 1 trial per case number, except that the applicant receives credit for:

  1. 2 trials for both dependency and termination of parental rights actions filed under a single case number; and
  2. 1 trial in a single consolidated dependency proceeding with multiple case numbers corresponding to related children.

For purposes of certification in juvenile law, the term “appellate proceeding” is defined as an action in a state or federal court seeking review of a decision of a lower tribunal.

The definitions for juvenile law were last amended on December 4, 2020 by The Florida Bar Board of Governors.


Minimum Standards for Board Certification in Juvenile Law in Florida

The minimum standards for becoming board certified in juvenile law in Florida are explained in Rule 6-29.3. 

(a) Substantial Involvement.

The applicant must have been substantially engaged in the practice of law for at least 5 years immediately preceding the application date by providing examples of service as the lead advocate on behalf of a governmental entity, child, parent, guardian, foster parent, or child’s relative with standing to litigate in a minimum of 10 fully adjudicated trials or appellate proceedings arising from petitions for dependency, termination of parental rights, or delinquency. 

The juvenile law certification committee may substitute other experience in juvenile law for trials or appellate proceedings for good cause shown. This experience may include, but is not limited to:

  1. handling school issues, including disciplinary issues and educational planning matters, participating in placement determinations, and the development of treatment and alternative plans;
  2. dealing with matters relating to governmental benefits;
  3. advocacy after termination of parental rights;
  4. advocacy before the Florida Department of Children and Families or other agencies;
  5. advocacy in juvenile delinquency matters other than trial or appellate proceedings;
  6. representation at administrative proceedings; and
  7. resolving health care matters.

(b) Peer Review.

(1) Lawyer References.

The applicant must submit the names and addresses of 6 lawyers who are neither relatives nor current associates or partners nor who practice in the same governmental entity as the applicant to complete peer review forms.

At least 4 of the references must be members of The Florida Bar.

Individuals serving as references must have experience in juvenile law and be sufficiently familiar with the applicant to attest to the applicant’s special competence in juvenile law, as well as the applicant’s character, ethics, and reputation for professionalism in the practice of law.

The board of legal specialization and education and the juvenile law certification committee may authorize references from nonlawyers.

(2) Judicial References.

The applicant must submit the name and address of 1 judge before whom the applicant has appeared in a juvenile law matter within the 5-year period immediately preceding application to complete a peer review form.

(c) Education.

The applicant must demonstrate completion of 50 credit hours of approved continuing legal education in juvenile law during the 3-year period immediately preceding the date of application. Accreditation of educational hours is subject to policies established by the juvenile law certification committee or the board of legal specialization and education.

(d) Examination.

The applicant must pass an examination administered uniformly to all applicants to demonstrate sufficient knowledge, proficiency, experience, and professionalism in juvenile law to justify the representation of special competence to the legal profession and the public.


Requirements for Recertification as a Juvenile Specialist in Florida

The rules for recertification as a specialist in juvenile law are explained in Rule 6-29.4. 

The attorney must satisfy the following requirements for recertification during the 5-year period immediately preceding application.

(a) Substantial Involvement.

The applicant must demonstrate continuous and substantial involvement in juvenile law throughout the period since the last date of certification or recertification.

The applicant must have had sole or primary responsibility in at least 10 trials or appellate actions involving juvenile law.

When primary responsibility is used to meet this requirement, the applicant must specifically identify any co-counsel and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the juvenile law certification committee that the applicant’s level of participation was substantial and direct.

The juvenile law certification committee may substitute other experience for any portion of the trials or appellate proceedings for good cause shown.

This experience may include, but is not limited to, the matters set forth in the substantial involvement requirement for initial certification.

Compliance with this provision constitutes a prima facie showing of compliance with the requirements of rule 6-29.4(a).

(b) Education.

The applicant must complete 50 credit hours of approved continuing legal education in juvenile law certification. Accreditation of educational hours is subject to policies established by the juvenile law certification committee or the board of legal specialization and education.

(c) Peer Review.

(1) Lawyer References.

The applicant must submit the names and address of at least 4 lawyers who are neither relatives nor current associates or partners nor who practice in the same governmental entity as the applicant to complete peer review forms. These lawyers must have experience in juvenile law and be familiar with the applicant’s practice.

(2) Judicial References.

The applicant must submit the name and address of at least 1 judge before whom the applicant has appeared within the last 5 years to complete a peer review forms.


Details

Directory of Board Certified Attorneys in Juvenile Law in Florida

Lawyer Legion maintains a directory of board certified Juvenile Law specialists in Florida. This directory provides the public with a valuable resource allowing them to narrow their search to local attorneys who have earned board certification in Juvenile Law by The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

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 Juvenile Law offered by The Florida Bar.

Use this directory to connect with lawyers who are board certified specialists in Juvenile Law. Begin your search by choosing your county from the list below.


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