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.”

2020 James Otis Lecture Series Program

The annual TEX-ABOTA James Otis Lecture Series is going virtual and will be held on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Prof. H.W. "Bill" Brands will graciously be our speaker again this year. He presents the Constitution and its meaning and values, in a way that leaves the...

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TEX-ABOTA Newsletter July 2020

Dear TEX-ABOTA member:I’m sending this email today on a singularly important issue, and I hope that you will take the time to read this entire email. At its recent national board meeting, ABOTA adopted the following resolution regarding racism:ABOTA opposes racial...

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TEX-ABOTA Speaks Up

TEX-ABOTA has once again come to the defense of a judge whom it believes to have been treated unfairly by the media, State District Judge Eric Moye of the 14th Judicial District Court. The case involved the sentencing of a salon owner for violating the orders of...

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2020 Santa Fe CLE Roundup – CANCELLED

4/1/20 Regretfully, the TEX-ABOTA annual gathering in Santa Fe must be canceled for this year for obvious reasons.  Dicky Grigg deserves thanks once again for putting together a great group of speakers, and hopefully things will return to normal so we can hear them...

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