Two members of the 36th Prosecutorial District Attorney’s Office were recently recognized as Specialists in State Criminal Law by the North Carolina State Bar.
Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lippert, who practices in Burke County, and her husband, ADA Scott Lippert, stationed in Catawba County, received confirmation from the State Board of Legal Specialization on Friday, December 4, 2020, they had passed their Specialization Exam and were now board-certified Specialists in North Carolina Criminal Law.
“I am always supportive anytime a prosecutor in my office seeks to improve their legal abilities and training,” District Attorney Scott Reilly said. “Becoming a Specialist is an impressive achievement for any attorney, and I’m tremendously proud of both Scott and Michelle for their success.”
The Board of Legal Specialization in North Carolina is one of 19 attorney specialization committees in the United States accredited by the American Bar Association, and their goal in certifying attorneys as “Specialists” is to “assists in the delivery of legal services to the public by identifying those lawyers who have demonstrated special knowledge, skill and proficiency in a specific field” as well as to provide North Carolina attorneys with an incentive to improve their competency in the law.
By law, only attorneys who have been recognized by the Board of Legal Specialization may claim to be “specialists” in their respective field.
Both Michelle and Scott applied to take the Specialization Exam in May of this year. The application process included providing 10 attorney and judge character references, a complete list of prior criminal trials and serious felony case experience, as well as a summary of their criminal law experience for the past five years.
After being approved to sit for the exam, Michelle and Scott took the day-long test on October 29, 2020. Across the state, only 10 attorneys were certified as Specialists in State Criminal Law as a result of the 2020 exam.
Fewer than 4 percent of attorneys in North Carolina are recognized as Specialists, and Michelle and Scott are the only two Criminal Law Specialist Attorneys in all of Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties.
The Lipperts have served as prosecutors in the 36th Prosecutorial District since January 2015.
CONTACT: Nathan Key