Civil Trial Law

The specialty field of civil trial law is the practice of law dealing with the representation of parties before federal and state courts in non-criminal matters. The Standards and Requirements for Certification can be found here.

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You are eligible to be an MSBA Certified Civil Trial Law Specialist if you have been admitted to the practice of law continuously for at least five years and 50% of your full-time practice is in active participation in civil trial law.

Combine these qualifications with your high ethical standards, excellent peer reviews, specialized legal education, tested knowledge, and evidence of the basic experience requirements listed below to achieve the honorable distinction of Certified Specialist. Your experience will be measured by meeting the following experience requirements:

  • Two (2) Jury Trials, involving live testimony and lasting at least two (2) full days
  • Ten (10) additional Trial Units; jury trials counting for two (2) units and court trials counting as one (1) unit.
  • Seventy-Five (75) Experience Units, including jury trials, court trials, and contested matters such as arbitrations, administrative hearings, evidentiary hearings, depositions, and pre and post-trial motions.

The Standards and Requirements for Certification can be found here

Exam Information

Saturday, November 2, 2024
Deadline to register: October 2, 2024

8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Break - 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Complete application, see link above right
Standards for Certification

Online Examination through the NBTA

Part 1: Multiple Choice
8:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
Civil Evidence (30 Multiple Choice) and Civil Ethics (30 Multiple Choice)

Part 2: Essays
12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 
Civil Litigation Practice – 4 essays
Civil Ethics/Evidence/Trial Practice – 7 Essays
Civil Trial Practice – 12 Essays

The following reference materials may be used during the exam:
• Federal Rules of Evidence 
• ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility 
• Model Rules of Professional Conduct 

$400, payable directly to the NBTA

Civil Trial Board

Scott M. Rusert, Chair
Valerie Sims, Vice Chair
Stephanie Angolkar
Brett W. Olander
Daniel B. O'Leary
Charles Slane
Janet G. Stellpflug
R. Stephen Tillitt


Civil Trial News