The American Board opposes the British rule of “Loser Pay All” as an economic prohibition to access to the court system. (March 22, 1986)
The American Board opposes any legislative attempt to place mandatory limits on a jury award of pain and suffering damages. Such an attempt is viewed as
interfering with the right to trial by jury. (March 22,1986)
The American Board opposes any legislative attempt to place mandatory caps or limits on attorney fees, both plaintiff and defense. (March, 22, 1986)
The American Board opposes any federal preemption of existing state causes of action. (April 4, 1987)
The American Board condemns frivolous actions or defenses or other proceedings which are totally and completely without merit or maintained for the sole
purpose of harassing an opposing party. (September 26, 1987)
The American Board favors the doctrines of additur and remittitur which, when fairly applied, allow the courts to increase or decrease a jury verdict with an
option for a new trial to be allowed to the party adversely affected. (September 26, 1987)
The American Board favors voluntary resolution of lawsuits by structured settlements, however opposes mandatory structured settlements by legislation.(September 26, 1987)
The American Board opposes no-fault legislation as an invasion of the right to trial by jury.(March 19,1988)
The American Board opposes any congressional attempt to eliminate diversity jurisdiction in the federal courts. (September 10, 1988 / April 20, 1990)
The American Board opposes any attempt to place mandatory limits on a jury award for non-economic damages. (September 10, 1988 / March 28, 1992)
The American Board opposes the abolishment of Jones Act cases. (April 21, 1990)
The American Board opposes any attempt to abolish FELA cases. (April 21, 1990)
The American Board opposes any mandatory alternative dispute resolution. ABOTA supports non-binding, voluntary ADR. (April 21,1990)
The American Board opposes any legislation or any court rule requiring peer review and approval before suit. (March 28, 1992)
The American Board opposes any arbitrary damage limits in any case. (March 28, 1992)
The American Board opposes the use of juries not composed of randomly selected juror laypersons from the venue of the court. (March 28, 1992)
The American Board supports the use of affidavits in all professional negligence cases as a method to reduce unmeritorious lawsuits. (March 28, 1992)
Resolved, the American Board of Trial Advocates deems appropriate for members the use of the name ‘American Board of Trial Advocates’ or ‘ABOTA’ in the following instances: business letterheads, business cards, firm brochures, and resumes or curriculumvitaes. This does not include newspapers or commercial printings, ‘yellow page’ directories, radio or television advertisements.” (September 23, 1989 / September 21, 1996 / April 10, 1999)
The American Board supports legislation or court rules restricting lawsuits from stating other than “claims in excess of jurisdictional limits.”
(March 28, 1992)
The American Board supports prohibiting the use of annuity amounts in settlement press conferences. (March 28, 1992)
The American Board states that paying nuisance settlements amounts to lawyers prosecuting frivolous lawsuits and encourages continued frivolous lawsuits. Thus insurance companies should be encouraged to use the jury system to resolve non-meritorious cases. (March 28, 1992)
The American Board is opposed to any form of direct solicitation of clients, whether through the use of the mails, telephone, telegrams or any form of direct written or oral communications. (September 11, 1993)
The American Board favors the use of voluntary Contingency Fee contracts. Moreover, the American Board favors resolution of fee disputes on a case-by-case basis. (September 17, 1994)
The American Board deplores, as unprofessional and contrary to public interest, unsolicited contact by lawyers with victims of disasters.
(September 17, 1994)
ABOTA opposes the amendment of the rules of evidence, the rules of civil procedure and the rules of criminal procedure without subjecting proposed
changes to the vigorous scrutiny of the usual and customary procedures of the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Supreme Court. (January 21, 1995)
ABOTA supports full disclosure, pursuant to the Rules of Professional Conduct, as to all matters related to attorneys’ fees but opposes Federal attempts to regulate the conduct of attorneys, including fees, which should be left to the individual States. (January 21, 1995)
ABOTA opposes legislation which seeks to limit the right of access to the courts. (January 21, 1995)
It has been and continues to be the policy of the American Board of Trial Advocates that membership be open to all qualified persons of diverse back-
grounds, without regard to age, color, ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or handicap. (September 21, 1996)
ABOTA urges the restoration of compensation levels to their past equivalent, in terms of real income, and changing the procedure for adjusting future compensation of Justices and Judges of the United States. (May 10, 1997)
ABOTA endorses congressional opposition to the ERISA immunity shield protecting HMO’s and other managed care providers in medical malpractice liti- gation. (November 8, 1997)
ABOTA opposes proposed Y2K legislation pending in Congress because it federalizes traditional state causes of action; alters obligations and remedies on contracts already in existence; blurs the existing distinction between contract and tort law and some versions of the legislation take away the power of a civil jury to make factual determinations damages. (April 10, 1999)
ABOTA urges the United States Congress to reinstate compensation as imposed for victims’ families of the air mishap in Italy. (May 19, 1999)
ABOTA recommends to the United States Congress and the legislatures of the various states that there be laws enacted to increase the funding of the judicial systems generally, and that specifically, there be increased salaries paid to those who serve as judges. (April 8, 2000)
ABOTA resolves to oppose efforts to change the ethical rules governing the practice of law to allow the sharing of ownership, control, and legal fees of law
practices with non-lawyers (i.e., multidisciplinary practices, or “MDP”). (January 29, 2000/July 1, 2000)
The American Board of Trial Advocates recognizes that the present extraordinary number of vacancies on the Federal bench impedes the people’s rights to justice and trial by jury as guaranteed by the 7th Amendment to the United States Constitution. We urge the President and each member of the U.S. Senate to cooperate and expeditiously fill the present vacancies in the federal judiciary. (January 19, 2002)
The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) believes objective peer evaluations of the professional qualifications of federal judicial candidates by the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judiciary (the Committee), based on criteria of professional competence, integrity and judicial temperament,contribute a valuable perspective to the process of choosing and confirming federal judges; further, in performing evaluations the Committee provides an important public service that has helped ensure the high quality of our Federal Judiciary and has earned the respect and confidence of both the legal com- munity and the public. ABOTA therefore urges the President and the Senate to carefully consider evaluations of the professional qualifications of federal judicial nominees conducted by the Committee. (January 19, 2002)
The American Board of Trial Advocates urges the Administration and Congress to maintain federal support for the State Justice Institute. The American Board of Trial Advocates urges Congress to fund the operations of the State Justice Institute at adequateand reasonable levels to enable it to carry out its mandate to award federal grants to improve the administration and quality of justice in state courts. The American Board of Trial Advocates supports the State Justice Institute’s request for an appropriation of $13.55 million for Fiscal Year 2003. (January 18, 2003)
The legislation currently pending in the U.S. Senate commonly known as the HEALTH (“Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare) Act of 2003 violates eight of ABOTA’s resolutions. The bill violates the patient’s 7th Amendment right to a jury determination of the damages in a case. We also oppose federal preemption of the tort systems of the fifty states. Since 1987, ABOTA has opposed this concept. Each state should be left to decide what tort rules are best for its citizens. ABOTA strongly recom mends the U.S. Senate reject this proposed legislation.Specific ABOTA resolutions the HEALTH Act of 2003 violate are:
Resolution 2: Caps on Pain and Suffering Damages, passed March 1986
Resolution 3: Caps on Attorney Fees, passed March 1986.
Resolution 4: Federalization of State Causes of Action, passed April 1987.
Resolution 7: Structured Settlements, passed September 1987.
Resolution 10: Caps on Non-Economic Damages, passed September 1988, March 1992.
Resolution 15: Arbitrary Damages Limits in Certain Types of Cases, passed March 1992.
Resolution 26: Conduct of Attorneys, Including Fees, passed January 1995.
Resolution 27: Right of Access, passed January 1995. (April 26, 2003)