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12/07/06

Board certification to identify IP practitioners


A new certification area has been added to the coffer of available specialization credentials in Florida. The Florida Supreme Court recently approved the first legal specialty credential in intellectual property law. The certification is valid for a period of five years. During this tenure, the certified lawyer must continue to practice law, and to attend Florida Bar-approved continuing legal education courses. Under the provisions of certificate qualifications, active and reputed members of The Florida Bar who have at least an immediate experience of five years in the practice area prior to applying for the certificate, may be issued as a "Board Certified Intellectual Property Lawyer."

The Florida Supreme Court's remaining minimum required standards for intellectual property law board certification include the following: applicant lawyer should be a registered patent attorney or agent; at least 30% immediate experience in matters related to IP law, and at least 45 hours of continuing legal education, both within a three year period; approval of ethical, professional, and personal character values through review and assessment by colleagues in the same practice area; and finally, an individual written examination to ascertain depth of knowledge, skill and proficiency.

A nine-member certification committee has been appointed by the Florida Bar to review the first class of applicants. In addition to drafting and administering the first examination, this committee will develop policies to uphold certification standards under the guidelines of the Florida Supreme Court.

The new certification, according to a committee release, stems from the growing concern over the ever increasing periphery of the practice area, as well as the need for protecting intellectual property rights in every sphere. The certificate also fulfils the public need to identify qualified experts practicing IP law, explains James A. Gale, chairman of the intellectual property certification committee.

Foley & Lardner's extranet serves clients better
Law firm Foley & Lardner LLP has gone technological. With the implementation of its Extranet, Foley offers its clients a secure way to keep track of their legal dealings with the firm. It enables attorneys to serve their clients needs in a more efficient way. Through using the extranet, the firm can provide an online network through which clients can access any legal information pertaining to their cases. The technology is tailored to serving the clients' needs, and adapts to any newly added information. Extranets help to build a better client-firm relationship, as both enjoy unlimited access to necessary information, as well as ease in keeping up with work in progress. The annual InformationWeek 500 list of the nation's most innovative information technology (IT) organizations named Foley & Lardner among the top 200 firms.

Foley & Lardner LLP

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