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  • Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What ABOTA is

In 1957, the jury system was under fierce attack by the press, legislators, judges and scholars. California’s Governor, Edmund “Pat” Brown, even suggested a commission to hear workers’ compensation, liability and other civil cases.

It was this dark cloud – the potential death sentence for the civil jury system – that provided the seeds for the birth of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

A handful of young lawyers began the organization and it was deemed to be “revolutionary”, according to most of their elders. The same forces – those people want to dismantle the civil jury system – are at work today, as they were in the late 1950s. The attacks are far less subtle, however.

The preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” is the primary purpose of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). We have as members attorneys who display skill, civility and integrity, help younger attorneys achieve a higher level of trial advocacy and educate the public about the vital importance of the Seventh Amendment.

Thomas Jefferson was of the opinion that the right to trial by a jury of fellow citizens was a more important safeguard of personal liberty than the right to vote. With a jury, the rights and duties of each of us will be decided by our fellow citizens, not by some bureaucrat or governmental functionary.

ABOTA agrees with Jefferson and is a leader in the fight to preserve and protect your right to a jury trial. ABOTA is dedicated to “Justice by the People.”