The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) announces a new attorney board certification in the legal specialty area of Patent Litigation which was recently awarded national accreditation. The NBTA is now accepting applications for board certification in this practice area.

The committed work of a new division of the NBTA, the National Board of Patent Litigation Lawyers (NBPLL), created the new board certification, which requires strict requirements of relevant experience, passing a rigorous examination, meeting high ethical standards, continuing legal education, and peer review. “The National Board of Trial Advocacy, the country’s largest and oldest national board certifying organization, is committed to ensuring that consumers of legal services get the representation they need and deserve,” said NBTA President Jim Richardson. He added, “those consumers will know and appreciate that an NBTA lawyer’s credentials have been fully vetted, and their knowledge thoroughly tested.”

According to Jim Wren, an NBTA past president, “Patent Litigation is highly technical and detailed, requiring a high degree of specialization and understanding.” He added, “There is now an objective and verifiable way to assure the patent litigation qualifications of attorneys in this unique legal area.”

Chief Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, a founding member of the NBPLL, said: “This provides a tangible means of identifying and properly recognizing those lawyers of both proven knowledge and established skill in the development and trial of patent cases.” “There has been a need for this certification for some time. I believe this new level of recognition will serve both the Bar and the Bench very effectively.”

The NBPLL is comprised of leading experts in this legal specialty, including nationally recognized attorneys and a distinguished law professor. The NBPLL was led by its President, The Honorable Rodney Gilstrap, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

The NBPLL Directors include:

  • Jack Blumenfeld Morris, Nicols, Arsht & Tunnell, Delaware
  • Morgan Chu Irell & Manella LLP, California
  • Ruffin Cordell Fisher and Richardson, Washington, D.C.
  • John M Desmarais Desmarais LLP, New York, New York
  • William F. Lee WilmerHale, Boston,MA
  • George F. Pappas Covington & Burling LLP, Washington, DC
  • Matthew Powers Tensegrity Law Group LLP, Redwood Shores, California
  • The Hon. Sue L. Robinson Farnan LLP, Wilmington, Delaware
  • Melissa Smith Gillam & Smith, Marshall, Texas
  • Theodore Stevenson III McKool Smith, Dallas, Texas
  • John R Thomas Law Professor, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

The National Board of Trial Advocacy is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1977 to guide consumers of legal services through a robust program of legal specialization and board certification. With this new certification, NBTA now offers board certification in the following legal specialties: Civil Trial Law, Civil Practice Advocacy, Complex Litigation, Criminal Trial Law, Family Trial Law, Patent Litigation, Social Security Disability, and Truck Accident Law.

Applications for National Board of Trial Advocacy board certifications are available at

For more information, contact Melissa Sternbach, Executive Director, at (508)384-6565 or

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