In our series, The PA DUI Attorney Challenge, we have proposed a number of clues you should look for to help you evaluate and differentiate between various DUI lawyers in Pennsylvania. Today we discuss the second clue: Board Certification in DUI Law.
In 2003, the American Bar Association (ABA) recognized DUI as a specialized field of law and in 2004 accredited the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) to certify attorneys in DUI law. Currently, the NCDD is the only body accredited by the ABA to certify DUI lawyers.
The NCDD has installed a very thorough certification process as described on their site:
In order to be Board Certified, an applicant must satisfy certain minimum practice requirements and pass both written and oral examinations testing his or her knowledge of substantive and procedural law in this field. Specifically, the examination focuses on scientific issues, the NHTSA guidelines on field sobriety tests and drug recognition tests, as well as other legal and ethical issues applicable to the defense of drunk driving cases.
One of the purposes of these types of certifications is to help people find those attorneys who possess the requisite knowledge and experience to be considered a specialist in DUI. Currently, the first and only attorney in Pennsylvania who has been Board Certified in DUI Defense is Justin McShane of The McShane Firm in Harrisburg.
So let’s say you or a loved one was dealing with a serious heart ailment. You did some research and found two doctors who are both very experienced. By the looks of it, they are both equal except for one thing, one is board certified in cardiology and the other isn’t. Based on this information, which doctor would you choose? So why should it be any different for a DUI Attorney.