Michael T. Callahan of St. Petersburg, Fla., Sworn in as ABOTA National President

Michael T. Callahan of the St. Petersburg law firm of Callahan Martinez, L.L.C., was sworn in as National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates at the association’s National Board Meeting in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Hon. J. Thomas McGrady, Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida, swore in Mr. Callahan.

“I extend my sincere thanks to ABOTA for the honor of being president,” said Mr. Callahan, who emphasized that being an ABOTA member requires a deep commitment to serve their country and their communities.

The Hon. J. Thomas McGrady, Chief Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Florida (left) swore in Michael T. Callahan as National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

“ABOTA members believe in professionalism, courtesy and acting that way at all times,” he said. “While ABOTA members are highly successful and skilled, they are dedicated to preserving the 7th Amendment right to a jury trial to resolve the hardest disputes.”
Mr. Callahan said that ABOTA supports adequate judicial funding and a judiciary that is independent of control by the legislative and executive branches of government. “Defending judges from unfair criticism and interference by politicians is a hallmark of ABOTA,” he said.
He thanked members for spending thousands of hours without pay to educate children in civics, government, and the basic principles of the constitution.  He emphasized programs such as the Journalist Law School and the Teachers’ Law School that ABOTA uses to give journalists and teachers a forum to learn about law that was not otherwise available to them. He added that ABOTA members are teaching professionalism and civility in law schools across the country.
“ABOTA has taken America’s form of law overseas to other countries, not to force feed them, but to demonstrate how the American judicial system works and hold discussions on the commonalities and differences between countries,” he said. ABOTA has recently held international educational conferences in Latvia, Portugal, South Korea and Japan. 
“We can look with pride to what ABOTA’s members have done,” he said. “I will devote the same energy and enthusiasm I have given you in the past to take those new ideas and suggestions coming out of our members and chapters to create even better programs for the next decade.”
Chief Judge McGrady also swore in the 2013 National ABOTA officers: Mark P. Robinson, Jr., President-Elect, of the Newport Beach, Calif., firm of Robinson, Calcagnie, Robinson, Shapiro & Davis; Joel W. Collins, Jr., Vice President, of the Columbia, S.C., law firm of Collins & Lacy, P.C.; Joshua A. Whitman, Treasurer, of the Jacksonville, Fla., law firm of Whitman, D'Andrea & Eslinger, P. A.; and Christopher A. Duggan, Secretary, of the Boston law firm of Smith Duggan Buell & Rufo LLP.
Michael T. Callahan Background:
  • ABOTA National Secretary, 2008-2010
  • ABOTA Executive Committee, 2008-present
  • FLABOTA President, 2002
  • Board Certified Circuit Civil Mediator
  • President of Tallahassee Chapter of ABOTA, 1997
  • Member of the Board of Directors of ABOTA (Tallahassee Board Representative, 1998-2002, Tampa Bay Board Representative, 2003-2008
  • Masters in Trial Award, ABOTA Foundation, 2006
  • ABOTA Foundation Legacy Life Fellow
  • Masters in Trial Faculty in numerous programs, 1997-2010
  • Chair of International Issues Committee, 2005-2008
  • Organizer, ABOTA international conference and MIT, Riga, Latvia, 2006 and Lisbon, Portugal,  2008
  • ABOTA International Committee
  • James Otis Lecture programs, 2009-2010
  • Florida Super Lawyer 2009, 2010
  • Charter Member, Tallahassee American Inns of Court, 1990, and current Emeritus member
  • Diploma, National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2005; Trial Lawyers Sections of Florida and Utah Bars; Member of the Florida Bar since 1973
  • Member of the Utah Bar since 1991
  • Lecturer for AAJ, Florida Bar CLE and CME Insurance programs on topics including Confidentiality, Malpractice, Civil Trial Practice, Insurance Practice, and Bad Faith Litigation, 1980-2010
  • BA, University of Florida; JD, University of Florida Law School, 1973.
ABOTA and its 7,000 members and 97 chapters are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the 7th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Foundation of ABOTA is an affiliated charitable entity, the mission of which is to support the purposes of ABOTA through education and research. ABOTA publishes Voir Dire magazine, which features in-depth articles on current and historical issues related to constitutional rights, in particular the 7th Amendment right to trial by jury.