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Trial by Jury, a Precious Right

America’s greatness lies in its people. And in its people lies the foundation of justice, trial by jury. The 7th Amendment is a precious right that is increasingly under attack by those who would eliminate justice by the people in favor of justice by the bureaucracy.

The American Board of Trial Advocates membership consists of more than 7,300 trial lawyers representing equally the plaintiff and defense bars, as well as judges, spread among 96 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The San Francisco Chapter has over 300 members. Since its inception in 1958, ABOTA’s primary mission has been the preservation of the right to a civil jury trial guaranteed by the 7th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.” The Constitution of the United States, Amendment VII, Ratified December 15, 1791.

ABOTA is an invitation-only organization. Prospective members must have at least five years of active experience as trial lawyers, have tried at least 10 civil jury trials to conclusion and possess additional litigation experience, and exhibit the virtues of civility, integrity and professionalism.

Through its membership and specialized committees, ABOTA responds to seemingly endless attacks on the Civil Jury Trial System. We support a diverse, inclusive, and civil justice system through initiatives on education, promoting the right to trial by jury, judicial independence, and the rule of law.

ABOTA Code of Professionalism

As a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, I shall:


Always remember that the practice of law is first and foremost a profession.

Encourage respect for the law, the courts, and the right to trial by jury.

Always remember that my word is my bond and honor my responsibilities to serve as an officer of the court and protector of individual rights.

Contribute time and resources to public service, public education, charitable and pro bono activities in my community.

Work with the other members of the bar, including judges, opposing counsel, and those whose practices are different from mine, to make our system of justice more accessible and responsive.

Resolve matters and disputes expeditiously, without unnecessary expense, and through negotiation whenever possible.

Keep my clients well-informed and involved in making decisions affecting them.

Achieve and maintain proficiency in my practice and continue to expand my knowledge of the law.

Be respectful in my conduct toward my adversaries.

Honor the spirit and intent, as well as the requirements of applicable rules or codes of professional conduct, and shall encourage others to do so.

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