Why a Certified Specialist?
The State Bar of Arizona certifies attorneys as specialists in eight fields of law, including Family Law. They are those attorneys who devote full-time to the field and specialize in one area. To be certified, an attorney must have: (1) been licensed to practice law for at least seven years; (2) devoted the equivalent of 50% of his practice over the past four years in Family Law; (3) completed 30 hearings as lead counsel within the last five years; (4) negotiated 45 settlement agreements or decrees in the past five years as lead counsel; (5) demonstrated integrity, professionalism and a high degree of competence; (6) received favorable peer review approval from other judges, attorneys and professionals in the Family Law field; and (7) passed a four-hour written essay examination. There are presently 63 certified specialists in Family Law out of a total State Bar membership of over 17,000 active attorneys. Certification continues for a period of five years, after which an attorney may apply for re-certification. Continuing Legal Education requirements include 15 annual hours in the specialty field, including three hours of ethics.
At Udall Shumway PLC, we are one of only a handful of law firms in the entire State of Arizona and one of two law firms in the East Valley fortunate enough to have two certified Family Law specialists, Steve Everts and Barry Dickerson. Their experience and qualifications far exceed those required for specialization. Both have practiced over 40 years and have handled thousands of Family Law cases. Both also serve as Judge Pro-Tem in Maricopa County Superior Court, lecture at various seminars, and serve on Family Law Committees.