Attorneys must be certified by the SPD before they can be given case appointments. There are several levels of trial and appellate certification. Certification levels are based on the complexity of the cases and/or the need for specialized training. Each certification level requires a different level of experience or training. All certification levels require that the attorney request certification and that the attorney is licensed in good standing to practice law in this state. All attorneys who have not been previously certified will be under provisional certification for one year.
Attorneys are expected to represent clients ethically and competently. Although an attorney may meet the criteria for a case type certification, s/he may not be competent to represent every client whose case falls within that case type. Attorneys should not accept cases unless they are confident they have the experience and ability to provide appropriate representation in the case. All attorneys receiving case appointments from the SPD are expected to meet minimum performance standards.