American Civil Trial Bar Roundtable

The American Civil Trial Bar Roundtable mission is to improve and protect all aspects of the civil justice system through shared, substantive and collaborative discourse on matters concerning the civil justice system, including the right to trial by jury, the existence of an adequately funded and independent judiciary, assurance of ethics and civility in the practice of law, and civic education of the public.

History of the Roundtable

It all began in 1995 at the Polo Lounge in New York City. Claude Smart, Past President of DRI and Michael Colley, Past President of ATLA discovered they both had the same goal: to unite all of the premier trial groups together for the good of the civil trial bar and the legal profession.
First came the Bar Coordinating Committee, established in 1996.  Claude and Michael met with the leaders of several legal organizations with the purpose of convincing them that the concept of a united organization could work.  They discussed setting down guidelines, establishing a name, location, administrator, a format and creating some policies.  By 1997 the Roundtable had been created, the founders became the first facilitators and the participants were representatives from 9 legal organizations. The groups would meet twice a year in Washington, DC, at the Willard Hotel, where an actual round table was assembled for the group.  Because ABOTA was half plaintiff and half defense and had no outside agenda they were designated the hosts and volunteered to pick up the meeting costs.  Financial support for the Roundtable would come from the newly created ABOTA Legislative Analysis Fund, chaired by Michael Colley, Ed Chapin, Stuart Grossman and Aubrey Harwell.  The majority of those representing the legal organizations at this time were also members of ABOTA and annually contributed to the LAF.

Participating Organizations

American Association for Justice
American Bar Association
American Bar Association, TIPS
American Bar Association, Litigation
American Bar Association, Jury Project
American Board of Trial Advocates
American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
Association of Defense Trial Attorneys
DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar
Federal Bar Association
Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
International Association of Defense Counsel
International Academy of Trial Lawyers
International Society of Barristers
National Bar Association
National Victim Crime Bar Association

Members with Observer Status

American College of Trial Lawyers
Council for Court Excellence
Institute for Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS)
Lawyers for Civil Justice
National Association of Women Judges
National Center for State Courts
National Judicial College