DALLAS (January 22, 2021) — Grace Weatherly was installed as National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates at the organization’s Annual National Board Meeting, which was conducted virtually. Ms. Weatherly was sworn in by The Honorable Maricela Moore, presiding judge in the 162nd District Court of Texas.

ABOTA is an invitation-only national association of 7,600 experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to civil jury trials. ABOTA’s primary goal is to educate the American public about the history and value of the right to trial by jury and is dedicated to elevating the standards of skill, integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession.

Ms. Weatherly is a founding partner at Wood Weatherly Trial Law in Denton, Texas, practicing personal injury and civil trial law for nearly 30 years. Ms. Weatherly has served as a National Board Member for ABOTA since 2008, the President of TEX-ABOTA (which consists of all 1,600 members in Texas), and as President of the Dallas Chapter.

Prior to swearing in Ms. Weatherly, Judge Moore applauded ABOTA’s commitment to civics education to enable future generations to understand the importance of the jury trial in maintaining the separation of powers on which our democracy depends.

“We have the most dynamic system of justice in the world. And the strength of the system that most of us in this room have committed our professional lives to is only as strong as its three parts: the judiciary, the attorneys, and our juries. Of those three, we rarely focus on the quality of the jury system,” Judge Moore said. “It is often underappreciated.”

Ms. Weatherly has emphasized increasing diversity of ABOTA’s leaders and members, and applauded its efforts. “Increasing the diversity of ABOTA not only makes our organization more relevant and reflective of the society in which we serve, but it also promotes tolerance in our justice system,” Weatherly said. “ABOTA’s unique structure consisting of both plaintiff and defense lawyers with substantial trial experience makes it the best organization to change the public image of the judicial system and its advocates to help us spread our message about protecting the Seventh Amendment and an independent judiciary.”

Ms. Weatherly also delivered a brief message regarding the importance of civility in our nation’s discourse, whether it be by the members of the bar, elected officials, or casual posts on social media.

“We cannot combat hate with more hate. Words matter. We need to be measured and thoughtful to avoid using rhetoric that polarizes our fellow citizens, colleagues, neighbors, and families, as well as other ABOTA members with whom we have a difference of opinion, belief or values,” Ms. Weatherly said.

Ms. Weatherly is an alumna of the Dedman SMU School of Law (1993), the University of North Texas (1990), North Central Texas College and Gainesville (Texas) High School (1979).