On October 13, 2015, Jeffrey T. Hammerschmidt, partner at Hammerschmidt Broughton Law Corporation, was appointed the new Chair of the California State Bar Criminal Law Advisory Commission. Mr. Hammerschmidt has been certified by the California State Bar as a Criminal Law Specialist since 1998. Mr. Hammerschmidt has served three years on the Advisory Commission and served the previous year as Vice Chair.
Mr. Hammerschmidt states, “One of the top priorities of the Commission during my year as Chair is to revise the Criminal Law Specialist Application so that it reflects requirements more consistent with the current state of criminal law. Our goal is to make it easier to understand and to make the requirements for admission more flexible, while still requiring that the applicants prove a high level of competence in the practice of criminal law.”
The Advisory Commission is responsible for drafting and grading the exam that an attorney must take to become a certified legal specialist, reviewing applications of attorneys applying to become a certified law specialist, and evaluating providers of continuing education. Currently, there are approximately 400 attorneys certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization as Criminal Law Specialists.
The Criminal Law Advisory Commission is one of eleven commissions of specialization overseen by California State Bar Board of Legalization. The Criminal Law Advisory Commission consists of eight attorneys and one public member; at least seven of the attorneys serving must be a certified legal specialist for the Advisory Commission they are serving. The Advisory Commission is honored to have former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos serving a three year term on the Commission as the public member.