Q:What is a Certified Family Law Specialist, and why is it important for me to retain a specialist instead of a general practitioner?
A:Brian Kramer is a Certified Family Law Specialist, which means he is part of an elite group of attorneys who practice family law.
The State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization grants certification status to qualified lawyers in the practice of family law. Certified Family Law Specialists have expertise in all areas of California family law including divorce, annulment, property division, child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, domestic violence, tax consequences of divorce, settlement negotiations, and trial of disputes. Of the nearly 200,000 lawyers in California, less than 1,100 have been certified as family law specialists throughout the state —one-half of 1% of all attorneys in California.
Certified Family Law Specialists are distinguished by substantial experience, successful completion of a demanding specialist’s examination, focused continuing legal education, and peer recognition.
But why should you consider hiring a Certified Family Law Specialist? In his highly regarded handbook, California Family Law Judge James W. Stewart (Ret.) has this to say:
“Certified versus noncertified practitioners. Another difficult question is whether you should limit your list to attorneys certified as specialists in family law by the California State Bar. As a general rule, this is a good idea, at least for three of the four attorneys you interview. Certified specialists have passed a fairly rigorous examination in family law to obtain certification and are required to take a given number of hours of instruction each year to keep their knowledge of the law current.”
Justice David Sills of the California Court of Appeal in the Fourth Appellate District commented on the complexity of family law in the 1997 case of In Re Marriage of D’Elia. He wrote:
“Family lawyers do not get the respect they deserve. In terms of the potential breadth and complexity of issues which they face, family practitioners work in one of the most, and perhaps the most, exacting and demanding areas of concentration in the law. Under California’s community property laws, every item of marital property presents a host of challenging issues. Not only must the family practitioner worry about the characterization and valuation of each asset, he or she often must consider future tax consequences involved in various items of community property. On top of that, support and custody issues involve different considerations, in which a human relationship – -as distinct from a discrete event –is the subject of the litigation.” (58 Cal.App.4th 415, 424).
What this means for Brian’s clients is simple, but very important. Regardless of the complexity of the issues they may face, Brian’s clients can rest assured that they will receive expert guidance and representation of the highest caliber in the Family Law courts. Given the fundamental importance and complexity of the issues unique to family law, having a Certified Family Law Specialist on a client’s side provides a huge measure of peace of mind while navigating a painful, and at times, confusing court process.
12100 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 800 | Los Angeles, California 90025; Phone: (424) 228-4133
Copyright © 2016 Brian J. Kramer, P.C.