MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS

Membership is by invitation only and must be approved by the chapter executive committee and by the majority of the chapter membership. Any trial lawyer who is of high personal character and honorable reputation, and who is a member of the Bar of the State, province, district, territory or country in which he or she practices, and who has met the qualifications as prescribed as in Article III, Section 2 of the ABOTA Constitution (see below), may become a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates upon nomination, election, and payment of initiation fees and dues.




THE NINE CLASSES OF MEMBERSHIP THAT ARE AVAILABLE FOR OC ABOTA

There are nine classes of membership, admission to which shall be dependent upon the qualifications listed below.

Member – Shall have completed (10) civil jury trials to jury verdict or hung jury as lead counsel. The applicant shall further possess the other and additional professional and ethical attributes and accomplishments as becomes one committed to the preservation of the Seventh Amendment. Each such person shall be admitted to the rank of “Member” and shall have all the rights of any other class of membership.

Associate – Shall have at least five (5) years of active experience as a trial lawyer and as a member of the Bar of the state, province, district or territory in which he or she practices, and shall have tried a minimum of twenty (20) civil jury trials to a jury verdict or hung jury as lead counsel or, in the alternative, shall have tried a minimum of ten (10) civil jury trials to a jury verdict or hung jury as lead counsel and twenty (20) felony criminal trials to a jury verdict or hung jury or, as a second alternative, shall have tried ten (10) civil jury trials to a jury verdict as lead counsel and have acquired 200 points under the trial experience equivalency provisions as defined by Bylaw IV, Section 1.

Advocate – Shall have at least eight (8) years of active experience as a trial lawyer and as a member of the Bar of the state, province, district or territory in which he or she practices, and shall have tried a minimum of fifty (50) civil jury trials to a jury verdict or hung jury as lead counsel or, in the alternative, shall have tried twenty-five (25) civil jury trials to a jury verdict or hung jury as lead counsel and shall have acquired 500 points as defined by Bylaw IV, Section 1.

Diplomate – Shall have at least twelve (12) years of active experience as a trial lawyer and as a member of the Bar of the state, province, district or territory in which he or she practices, shall have held the rank of Advocate for a minimum of three (3) years and shall have tried a minimum of one hundred (100) civil jury trials to a jury verdict or hung jury as lead counsel or, in the alternative, shall have tried fifty (50) civil jury trials to a jury verdict or hung jury as lead counsel and shall have acquired 1,000 points as defined by Bylaw IV, Section 1. r

Honorary Diplomate – SShall be a member or former member of the Bar in good standing, or other person of national or international prominence, who has been nominated by unanimous vote of the chapter executive committee and then approved by unanimous vote of those voting in any sponsoring chapter, who has thereafter been unanimously recommended for approval by the National Membership Committee, and then approved by the unanimous vote of the National Executive Committee. The National Executive Committee shall then submit the candidate for admission to the National Board of Directors, who shall approve the nominee only by a unanimous vote of approval. A member or former member of this organization shall not be eligible to admission as an Honorary Diplomate. A nominee for the rank of Honorary Diplomate must have, over a period of time, made continuing and significant contributions to the cause of justice and to the right to jury trials in civil cases. An Honorary Diplomate shall have no voting privilege, nor shall he or she be required to pay an initiation fee, dues or assessments.

Judge – Any judge who by reason of his or her standing in the community and his or her contribution to the advancement of the cause of justice under the jury system, and who is a member or a former member of a State Bar Association and prior to becoming a judge has acquired the minimum qualifications required of a Member, shall be eligible for admission to membership, provided he or she has received an affirmative vote in accordance with Article III, Section 3, Subsection 3.
AAn applicant under this class of membership shall be required to pay an initiation fee equivalent to that of an associate member and shall be subject to the payment of dues and assessments.

Emeritus Member – Upon recommendation of the local chapter, an Associate, Advocate, or Diplomate who has served ABOTA or the legal profession with distinction, has been a member of ABOTA in good standing for 10 years, and who has ceased to engage in the active practice of law by reason of age, illness, injury, infirmity or other reason satisfactory to the local chapter and the National Board, shall be eligible for designation as an Emeritus member. Designation as an Emeritus member shall be at the complete discretion of the National Board present and voting at a Board meeting. Emeritus status shall continue all rights and duties previously held by the member, but he or she shall be relieved of the obligation to pay dues to ABOTA National and any state or regional organization. Extant Emeritus members as of January 2011 shall retain that rank.

International Member – This is an honorary category of membership, by invitation of a member of the National Executive Committee only. A person in this category shall be a member or former member of the Bar in good standing, or a member or former member of the Judiciary in good standing of a country other than United States of America in which he or she resides who believes in the general principles of this organization and in the preservation and promulgation of the right to jury trial in contested litigation. Such membership shall require a seventy-five percent (75%) vote of the National Executive Committee (presently six out of the eight members) and by a ratification vote of the National Board present and voting at a National Board meeting. An International Member shall have no voting privilege nor shall he or she be required to pay any initiation fee, dues or assessments except as stated by Bylaw V, Section 2.

Senior Member – An Associate, Advocate or Diplomate who has been a member in good standing for 10 years and has reached the age of 75, or who has ceased to engage in the active practice of law due to illness, injury or, infirmity at an earlier age may submit an application to his or her local chapter for Senior Status. Upon recommendation of the local chapter and approval by the National Board, Senior Status will be granted to such member and such member will thereafter be obliged to pay 50% of the ABOTA National annual dues. However, said member shall be subject to any amount assessed by a state or regional organization of ABOTA.

Please Note: Expedited Jury Trials can be used in calculating points for admission to ABOTA.

Sectons in italics are under review with the OC ABOTA board and may be updated in the near future.


 
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