The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA)
Dedicated to Excellence in Malpractice Law

The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, organized in 1972, is a national organization comprised of leading trial advocates in the area of professional negligence law. It is the only organization accredited by the American Bar Association to identify and board certify attorneys in the areas of medical malpractice and legal malpractice.

Board Certification is restricted to those practicing attorneys who, because of their recognized ability in the area of professional negligence law, and their qualifications consistent with ABPLA standards, merit particular recognition as specialists in these areas of practice.

Becoming Board Certified by ABPLA

To become Board Certified as a professional negligence attorney by ABPLA, malpractice lawyers are evaluated by five objective measures:

  • Experience
  • Ethics
  • Education
  • Examination
  • Excellence

Any candidate for Board Certification must be viewed by the board as having met ABPLA's high standards in each of these five key areas before the attorney can be Board Certified.

Experience - To qualify to be a Board Certified malpractice attorney a lawyer must have extensive experience in the area of professional negligence, requiring that a significant portion of his or her practice be devoted to this area of the law. Additionally, each applicant must meet minimum requirements for experience in trial, mediation, arbitration and discovery in cases specifically devoted to professional liability.

Ethics - Each Board Certified professional negligence attorney must be a current bar member in good standing and must immediately report any disciplinary action to the board.

Education - Board Certification requires the attorney to meet ABPLA's minimum standards for continuing legal education, staying current in the area of professional liability litigation, as well as meeting all continuing legal education requirements of the attorney's state bar association.

Examination - To become Board Certified, each lawyer must pass an examination administered by ABPLA to demonstrate competency in the area of professional malpractice litigation.

Excellence - Each attorney must supply references by no less than three judges and three attorneys familiar with his or her practice and attesting that the attorney is substantially involved and highly competent in professional negligence cases.

ABPLA's Mission

ABPLA recognizes that the public needs help navigating the confusing waters of attorney selection and needs some method by which they can identify malpractice attorneys with superior knowledge and expertise to handle this highly technical litigation. Through meticulous screening of applicants and administration of examinations in their particular areas of malpractice litigation, the ABPLA identifies highly qualified lawyers, vetted by objective measures, which the public can rely upon to be among the best malpractice attorneys in the country.

In a similar way, lawyers who do not practice in the area of professional negligence also need a method of selecting qualified malpractice attorneys to whom they can refer clients with bona fide malpractice claims. Board certification is a mechanism by which members of the legal profession can recognize trial lawyers with this specialized experience and be confident that the client will be well served.

Beyond identification and certification, the ABPLA's further purpose is continued training and education of outstanding malpractice lawyers, as well as training promising younger lawyers who express an interest in practicing professional liability law. Through the tutelage of leaders in malpractice litigation, aspiring malpractice trial attorneys are introduced to cutting edge concepts to promote outstanding results in professional liability lawsuits.

Moving forward in the twenty first century, the mission of ABPLA is to take advantage of information technology to improve its ability to identify and certify leading malpractice lawyers, and to provide consumers with a simple and easily accessible method of locating board certified attorneys. By giving consumers and lawyers a choice of malpractice attorneys who meet and exceed the highest of objective standards, clients can be confident that they will have exceptional representation in their malpractice lawsuits.

Choose a Board Certified Malpractice Attorney

If you have the need to bring or defend a professional negligence lawsuit consult a Board Certified malpractice attorney.

ABPLA Board Certified medical negligence attorneys are among the best malpractice lawyers in the country. Each Board Certified attorney must meet and exceed rigorous standards through Experience, Ethics, Education, Examination and Excellence in professional liability law.


The American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys certifies lawyers who specialize in either Medical or Legal professional liability. Think youve got what it takes? Download a pdf version of our application request form today.

What does it take to become an ABPLA attorney? A lot! We verify our Attorneys' experience and competence through a rigorous application process that includes written examination.

American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys assists consumers and other lawyers in identifying qualified, competent and experienced professional liability specialists and conducts training for attorneys interested in the field.