The Florida Bar Journal


The Guide

Appellate Advocacy Tips

Opinions and Oral Arguments Archive


The Pro Se
Appellate Handbook







Appellate Practice Certification

Certification is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar of competency and experience within an area of law, and professionalism and ethics in practice. The Appellate Practice Section encourages attorneys to become Board Certified.

The Board of Legal Specialization and Education and the Appellate Practice Certification Committee are pleased to announce the following attorneys are now Board Certified as of June 1, 2017:

  • Derek Angell
  • Diane Dewolf
  • Melissa Giasi
  • Kenneth Hazouri
  • David Sales
  • Carrie Wozniak
  • Stephanie Zimmerman
  • Nicole Ramirez

Make It Your Goal Too!

Advanced Appellate Practice and Certification Review 2018
Monday, January 29, 2018 ‐ 8:00am-4:30pm
Hillsborough County Bar Association, Chester H. Ferguson Law Center, Tampa, Florida

Are you in need of credit for appellate-practice certification? Or maybe you are thinking about sitting for the appellate-certification exam? Then make plans now to attend the 2018 Advanced Appellate Practice & Certification Review course. This day-long appellate practice seminar will address practices in both Florida and Florida's federal appellate courts, including extraordinary writs. Three primary practice areas will be addressed at length — civil, criminal, and administrative. Shorter segments will be dedicated to tips for taking the board certification review exam and significant recent changes in appellate practice. The agenda for this very exciting and informative CLE is HERE.

General CLE Credit: 7.5 hrs.
Appellate Practice Credit: 7.5 hrs.
Civil Trial Credit: 2 hrs. Criminal Appellate Law Credit: 1 hr.

Register for live in-person or live webcast HERE. We look forward to seeing you there!

Appellate Practice is the practice of law dealing with the recognition and preservation of error committed by lower tribunals, and the presentation of argument concerning the presence or absence of such error to state or federal appellate courts through brief writing, writ and motion practice, and oral argument. Appellate practice includes evaluation and consultation regarding potential appellate issues or remedies in connection with proceedings in the lower tribunal prior to the initiation of the appellate process.

Board certified attorneys are the only Florida lawyers allowed to identify themselves as "specialists" or "experts" or to use the letters "B.C.S." to indicate Board Certified Specialist when referring to their legal credentials.

Board certification is The Florida Bar's highest evaluation of attorneys' competency, experience and professionalism in areas of law approved for specialization by the Supreme Court of Florida. Board certified lawyers are legal experts dedicated to professional excellence, and attorneys who become board certified are evaluated as to their character, ethics and reputation for professionalism in the practice of law. Florida offers 24 specialty areas for board certification, more than any other state. The Florida Bar maintains a free, online directory of board certified lawyers by specialty area and city at FloridaBar.org/certification. About 4,500 of Florida's 91,000 lawyers have earned board certification.

A lawyer who is a Florida Bar member in good standing and who meets the standards prescribed by the Florida Supreme Court may become board certified in one or more of the 24 certification fields. Minimum requirements for board certification are listed below; each area of certification may contain higher or additional standards.

  • A minimum of five years in law practice.
  • Substantial involvement in the field of law for which board certification is sought.
  • Satisfactory peer review from other lawyers and judges to assess competence in the specialty field as well as character, ethics and professionalism in the practice of law.
  • Completion of the board certification area's continuing legal education requirements.
  • A passing grade on the examination required of all applicants or satisfaction of strict criteria to exempt the exam.

Board certification is valid for five years, during which time the attorney must continue to practice law and attend Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education courses. Recertification requirements are similar to those for initial certification. Not all qualified lawyers are certified, but those who are board certified have taken the extra step to have their competence and experience evaluated.

Arlee Colman
Legal Specialization and Education
The Florida Bar

For more information from the Florida Bar:

Please click HERE for a list by city of all Florida lawyers that are Board Certified in Appellate Practice.