Are You Talking to a Certified Specialist?
Any lawyer with a checkbook can buy advertising, and they do. That does not mean they have the qualifications and expertise needed to get the best results. Here is the truth; lots of lawyers advertise themselves as Workers Compensation Lawyers, but very few are actual Specialists in the field.
The Rules of Professional Conduct do not allow lawyers to hold themselves out as a Specialist, unless they are so recognized by an authorized Certifying Organization. The reason behind this is simple; it is to protect the public. It is not in the public’s interest for lawyers to advertise themselves as an expert in an area, unless the expertise is genuine and demonstrated. It really is to protect the public from false and misleading advertising.
In 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recognized the Workers Compensation Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association as a Certifying Organization in the area of Workers Compensation. It is the only Certifying Organization in Pennsylvania for Workers Compensation Lawyers. A committee was established and very strict standards were set. The rules allow a lawyer who wishes to hold himself or herself as a Specialist in Workers Compensation to obtain recognition of their expertise and only then represent themselves to the public as a Specialist.
In order to be awarded the Certification, an attorney must be actively engaged in the practice of law for five (5) years. They must devote fifty percent of their practice to Workers Compensation and they must demonstrate expertise in every aspect of Workers Compensation law and practice. The attorney must submit for review samples of written work in the field of Workers Compensation and representative cases for review. They must pass a very rigorous written examination and, finally, in order to maintain the Certification, they must attend many hours of continuing legal education annually and recertify every five years.
I became a Certified Workers Compensation Specialist in the first year it was available and have maintained that Certification to this date. I am very proud of that achievement.
In choosing a Workers Compensation lawyer, it is important not to be misled by slick advertising. Simply stated, if your worker’s compensation lawyer is not a Certified Specialist, you have the wrong lawyer.
Ask the question before you sign the agreement. If he or she is not a recognized Specialist, contact me for a Free Consultation. I am a Certified Workers Compensation Specialist.