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Mimi Coffey is a trial lawyer board-certified in DWI Defense by the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD)

 

Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD, who has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks and is a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

She is the ONLY attorney in North Texas that is board certified in DWI Defense by the NCDD. Mimi is one of only a handful across the entire state. Mimi is among the most highly qualified lawyers in the State of Texas in the field of DWI Defense.

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The NCDD is the ONLY organization accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) to provide certification in DUI Defense

The National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) is an organization that provides board-certification in the practice area of DUI Defense. The NCDD board certification in DUI Defense is the ONLY DUI Defense specialization accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). It is also the ONLY board certification in DUI Defense that is recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The Board Certification Program was established to help the public in identifying qualified lawyers in the field of DUI Defense.

ANY other certification in DWI Defense that a lawyer claims to have is NOT recognized by the ABA. Such certification is also not recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

How does a lawyer become “board certified” by the NCDD?

The Board Certification in DUI Defense by the NCDD is a certification that is not easily or freely granted. The NCDD has strict requirements as to how a lawyer may earn the board certification. The requirements are strict to show that any lawyer who has earned board certification in DUI Defense should be considered a top attorney in the field of DUI Defense.

First, a lawyer must “demonstrate substantial involvement in the practice area of DUI Defense Law,” which requires that the lawyer to have practiced in the area of DUI Defense Law for a MINIMUM of five (5) consecutive years before applying. The lawyer must also devote AT LEAST 50 percent (50%) of the lawyer’s practice to DUI Defense at the time the lawyer applies.

Furthermore, the lawyer must meet what the NCDD calls its “Experience Requirements.” The lawyer must have at MINIMUM:

  • She must have been Lead Counsel (also called “first chair”) in at least FIFTEEN (15) DUI trials to trial or judgment; AND
  • Must have been Lead Counsel in FORTY (40) contested matters involving the taking of evidence (such as motions and hearings) that are not included in the trial requirement above.
    • A “contested matter” is a matter
      • Argued before a prosecutor
      • In a court of law
      • Where evidence is admitted either by stipulation (agreement between parties) or by testimony of witnesses; AND
      • Decided by a judge licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction of the proceeding.

To summarize, a lawyer who wants to be board certified must have at least five years of experience in DUI Defense Law, must have been the lawyer primarily handling a MINIMIUM of 15 DUI Defense Trials to completion, and must have been the lawyer primarily handling a MINIMUM of 40 DUI Defense matters that are unrelated to the trial requirement. This means that the lawyer must be the primary lawyer on a MINIMUM of FIFTY-FIVE (55) DUI Defense matters. A single case, depending on local court rules, can take anywhere from 90 days to 5 months to be completed. In addition, a case set for trial can take up to two (2) years to reach verdict or judgment.

The Lawyer must also have AT MINIMUM three (3) judges and three (3) attorneys act as references, for a MINIMUM of six (6) references. These references must have personal knowledge of the lawyer’s competency in the area of DUI Defense Law. Also, the references must have personally observed the lawyer try a DUI Defense matter. The Board reviews each applicant to determine both legal AND scientific knowledge related to DUI Defense. They also review experience with trial advocacy in DUI Defense and dedication to the best interests of her clients.

 

As part of the reference requirement, the lawyer must offer to the NCDD a list of at least eight names and no more than twelve names as references, with a minimum of four lawyers and four judges being named as references.

The NCDD also has a strict education requirement. A lawyer must have completed thirty-six (36) hours of NCDD-approved education in DUI Defense. Teaching in the subject of DUI Defense, being published in the area of DUI Defense, and speaking at an educational or professional conference in DUI Defense are other ways to satisfy this requirement.

Further, a lawyer must pass both a written and oral exam in order to be board certified in DUI Defense. This exam is designed to test the knowledge and skills needed for the special problems presented for DUI Defense trial advocacy.

The lawyer must also fulfill these same requirements during her certification period, which is 5 years in order to be re-certified. The lawyer must be lead counsel in at least 15 DUI Defense trials. Alternatively, she can be lead counsel in 40 contested DUI Defense matters. The Lawyer must also have at least 5 legal or judicial references when applying for recertification. Finally, the Lawyer must maintain the educational requirements within the three years prior to applying for recertification.