by: Scott Mendlestein & Norman Waas
The American Board of Trial Advocates ("ABOTA") Miami Chapter is seeking new members to join its prestigious organization.
Founded in 1958, ABOTA is a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges. ABOTA and its members are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. ABOTA membership consists of more than 7,600 lawyers—equally balanced between plaintiff and defense—and judges spread among 96 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. ABOTA is an invitation-only organization. Members must have at least five years of active experience as trial lawyers, have tried at least 10 civil jury trials to conclusion and possess additional litigation experience. Members must also exhibit the virtues of civility, integrity and professionalism by following our Code of Professionalism and Principles of Civility.
ABOTA’s general purpose is to foster improvement in the ethical and technical standards of practice in the field of advocacy to the end that individual litigants may receive more effective representation and the general public be benefited by more efficient administration of justice consistent with time-tested and traditional principles of litigation.
The minimum requirement for consideration for ABOTA membership is acting as lead counsel in at least 10 civil jury trials to verdict or hung jury. Non-jury trial, bench trials and arbitration proceedings do not count toward this requirement. The jury must have returned a verdict. Directed verdicts, settlements, dismissals, mistrials (other than due to a hung jury), and nonsuits, do not fulfill the “to a jury verdict” requirement. Lead Counsel is defined as an attorney substantially responsible for the personal representation of the client during the trial. “Substantially responsible” means, at a minimum: (1) Selecting a jury, or opening, or closing, and; (2) Presentation of live witnesses through direct or cross examination. Applicants are subject to approval by 75% affirmative vote of the chapter Executive Committee and a 75% vote of the membership in attendance at out yearly membership voting meeting.