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Civil Pretrial Practice Board Certification Exam
Exam Format and Purpose
The 6-hour exam tests your knowledge of Civil Procedure, Evidence, Ethics and Civil Litigation Practice. The questions – which may be any combination of Essay, Short Essay and Multiple Choice – are based on hypothetical cases and fact patterns. They are geared to evaluate your basic knowledge of the usual legal procedures, core substantive law and pretrial ability that is common to specialists in the area of civil pretrial practice.
Your answers should demonstrate your ability to analyze the facts presented by the questions, select the material from the immaterial facts, discern the points upon which the case turns, and identify and resolve the issues.
Your answers should show your knowledge and understanding of evidence, ethics, the pertinent principles and theories of law, their relationship to each other, and their qualifications and limitations.
Finally, your answers should evidence your ability to apply the law to the facts given and to reason logically in a lawyer-like manner to a sound conclusion from the premises adopted. Citations are expected where applicable.
This exam tests knowledge of the current law.
Register by March 1, 2013 to take the Civil Pretrial Practice Board Certification exam on April 20, 2013.
Subject Area 1: Professional Responsibility
1.1 Ethical duties to client, opposing counsel and the Court / attorney as witness
1.2 Basis of sanctions
1.3 Fee agreements / bases for fees / declining terminating representation
1.4 Prohibited referrals and inducements / contact with prospective clients
1.5 Dual representation / conflicts of interest / independent professional judgment
1.6 Unauthorized practice of law / restrictions on right to practice law
1.7 Client property
1.8 Dealing with an unrepresented person
1.9 Dealing with paralegals and other non-attorney staff
1.10 Trial publicity
Subject Area 2: Case Evaluation, Remedies and Defenses
2.1 Causes of action and defenses for commercial and contract disputes
2.2 Causes of action and defenses for business torts
2.3 Causes of action and defenses for personal injury torts
2.4 Relevant time limits
2.5 Identification of relevant economic issues including insurance coverage
Subject Area 3: Jurisdiction, Venue and Joinder
3.1 Subject matter jurisdiction
3.2 Jurisdiction over parties
3.3 Jurisdiction over property
3.4 Service of process and notice
3.5 Venue, forum non conveniens, and transfer
3.6 Joinder of parties and claims
3.8 Class action / certification
3.9 Removal and remand
3.10 Choice of law issues
Subject Area 4: Practice and Procedure
4.1 Pleading requirements and deadlines
4.2 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure generally
4.3 Federal procedure for pretrial discovery plan, scheduling conference and order
4.4 Rules governing motions and briefs generally
4.5 Rule 12 motions
4.6 Judicial findings and conclusions
4.7 Directed verdicts and dismissal of cases
4.8 Summary judgments and other dispositive adjudication without trial
4.9 Emergency and injunctive relief
Subject Area 5: Evidence
5.1 Authentication and introduction of evidence / mode and order / relevance and probative value
5.2 Relevance exclusions, including subsequent remedial measures, settlement offers and compromise, payment of medical expenses, plea negotiations, etc.
5.3 Character evidence and related concepts
5.4 Proper use of demonstrative and other trial exhibits / writings, recordings, photographs, experimental evidence and the optional completeness rule
5.5 Qualification of expert and lay witnesses / expert and lay testimony and opinions / scientific evidence
5.6 Judicial notice
5.7 Privileges and other exclusionary policies, including spousal immunity and marital communications, attorney-client, work product, etc.
5.8 Refreshing recollection and impeachment of witnesses
5.9 Hearsay and exceptions
5.10 Federal Rules of Evidence generally
Subject Area 6: Discovery
6.1 Scope of discovery and federal automatic disclosure requirements
6.2 Timing of and limitations on discovery
6.3 Expert designations, reports and privileges
6.4 Deposition practice and procedure
6.5 Interrogatories, requests for production and requests for admission.
6.6 Physical and mental examinations
6.8 Non-party subpoena practice
6.9 Federal rules governing electronic discovery
An applicant must satisfy the requirements for eligibility in the specialty area prior to sitting for the examination. The initial application must be received 3 months prior to the examination dates for the Fall or Spring Exam administration. (For the upcoming October 13, 2012 exam the application must be received and processed by September 14, 2012.)
Applicants choose an exam site located in their geographic area from a list provided by NBLSC. Applicants will receive an exam number that MUST be used on all exam materials.
Applicants must supply paper and pens, however a form will be provided for the multiple choice questions. Use of the Internet by laptop takers is strictly forbidden.
A passing score is 75 percent. Results are released 15 weeks after exam administration.
References allowed: Federal Rules of Evidence (without commentary), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (without annotations or commentary) and either ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility, The Model Rules of Professional Conduct or state ethics rules (with commentaries by rule drafters not case law).
$400.00 for both writing and laptop PC (in addition to the application fee). Cancellations 24 hours or less are assessed a $150.00 “No show” fee.
Release of Results
Legal Specialization exam results are generally released approximately four months after the examination is administered. results will be mailed to each applicant to the State Bar address on record or to the address provided at the time of registration.
Questions about the exam or eligibility for certification can be directed to:
Gwen Arcangelo, Assistant Director
E-mail – email@example.com
200 Stonewall Boulevard, Suite 1
Wrentham, MA 02093