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(210) 888-2133
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(210) 888-2133

What is a "Board Certified Attorney"?

How is a "Board Certified Attorney" Different From a Non-Certified Attorney?


A Board Certified Attorney is a tried and tested Specialist in a certain area of law.  No attorney can claim they are a Specialist in a certain area of law without having gone through the rigorous State Bar of Texas Board Certification investigation and process.  The State Bar has summarized a part of the certification process as follows:

Demonstrated Expertise

Each Board Certified attorney is a specialist in one of 20 specific areas of law. Each has answered the challenge laid down 35 years ago by the Supreme Court of Texas and the State Bar of Texas to advance the standards of the legal profession. To become Board Certified®, an attorney must:
  • Be licensed to practice law for at least five years;
  • Devote a required percentage of practice to their specialty area for at least three years;
  • Handle a variety of law matters in their specialty to demonstrate experience and involvement;
  • Attend continuing education seminars in their specialty area;
  • Be evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges; and
  • Pass a day-long written examination.

Standards for Certification in Family Law

DEFINITION. Family Law is the practice of law dealing with, by way of definition not limitation, matters involving:
  • Texas Family Code, Titles 1, 2, 4 or 5
  • Texas Penal Code, Chapter 25 (offenses against the family)
  • The law of homestead and other exempt property; the taxation law of divorce and interspousal transaction
  • Torts relevant to family law matters; the trial of cases arising out of the above matters
  • Appeals arising out of the above matters

Percentage of Practice Requirement

Applicant must have devoted a minimum of 35% of his or her time practicing family law in Texas during each year of the 3 years immediately preceding application.

Task Requirements

(1) Applicant must show substantial involvement and special competence in Texas family law within the 3 years immediately preceding application by participation in as lead counsel for a party in the following:
(a) A total of 9 contested final trials or binding arbitrations in Texas family law cases in which oral testimony was taken and in which issues were determined by a finder of fact in a court of record, excluding default judgments. At least four (4) of the trials must have involved issues of property division and at least four (4) trials must have involved appointment or modification of managing conservatorship; and
(b) 30 contested Texas family law matters involving issues pertaining to Texas Family Code, Titles 1, 2, 4, or 5, handled and dis posed of, prior to and without the necessity of, a contested final hearing or trial of the matters on the merits.
(2) In addition, applicant must meet 2 of the following 3 categories within the 3 years immediately preceding application:
(a) 2 Texas civil jury trials at the county court at law or district court level; one involving family law, submitted to the jury for decision; or
(b) 1 Texas civil appeal involving family law, in which briefs were filed by the applicant; or
(c) 10 Texas mediations involving family law either as an attorney representing a litigant or as a mediator.

Call or email me to schedule an appointment for your initial consultation regarding your family law issues and/or proceedings.

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    Christine Tharp

    Attorney at Law
    777 E Sonterra Boulevard
    The Terrace at Concord Park, Suite #320
    San Antonio, TX 78258

    Phone: (210) 888-2133

    Email: info@tharpfamilylaw.com
    Office Hours: 
    Mon - Thu: 08:30 AM - 06:00 PM
    Fri: 08:30 AM - 03:00 PM
    In Business Since 1990
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