Individuals seeking guidance in identifying attorneys to help them pursue litigation – or defend themselves in a lawsuit – were given an invaluable aid in the 1980s. The Board on Attorney Certification was established by the Supreme Court of New Jersey for the purpose of helping consumers find attorneys who have a recognized level of competence in particular fields of law.
As a result attorneys are designated by the Supreme Court as “certified attorneys” if they: are able to demonstrate sufficient levels of experience, education, knowledge and skill in a specific area of law or practice; have passed a rigorous examination; and have been recognized by their peers as having sufficient skills and reputation in the designated specialty.
Barry A. Knopf and Peter S. Pearlman, senior partners with Saddle Brook law firm, Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf LLP, were recently notified that the Supreme Court of New Jersey Board on Attorney Certification has recertified them as New Jersey Civil Trial Attorneys. Knopf and Pearlman were originally certified in 1982 when the state first began certifying attorneys. They have been recertified every five years since that time, so at the end of their recent recertification, in 2023, they will have had their recertification for 41 years.
While they are the longest such certified attorneys at Cohn Lifland, they are among five litigators who are Certified Civil Trial Attorneys. The others are Charles Cohen, Leonard Kaufmann and Joseph Maurice. Five Certified attorneys among 13 partners at the firm is an unusually high percentage.
An attorney must meet the following requirements to become certified:
- has been a member in good standing of the New Jersey Bar for at least five years;
- has taken a specific number of continuing legal education courses in the three years prior to filing an application;
- demonstrates substantial involvement in preparation and trial of litigated matters;
- demonstrates an unblemished reputation by submitting a list of attorneys and judges who will attest to the applicant’s character and ability; and
- passes a written examination covering various aspects of practice in the designated specialty.
The Attorney Certification process has made it easier for consumers to identify experienced, highly regarded attorneys to help them address their legal needs.