I’ve always been honored to call myself a trial lawyer. Obviously, it’s not the most accurate term since for every trial a plaintiff’s attorney tries there is (normally) a defense attorney on the other side. In reality both sides are represented by trial lawyers.
For whatever reason, over time plaintiff’s lawyers became known as trial lawyers. Our bar associations became known as the trial bar. Then we decided to run away from that term. Our bar organizations changed our names – for good or bad – to justice associations. Now most people assume we are criminal defense lawyers and, rightfully so, since, at least in my humble opinion, justice systems have a criminal connotation.
We should be proud to call ourselves trial lawyers. The members or this organization are Miami’s trial lawyers. We are Miami’s trial bar. We should not run away from who we are.
As this year’s president, one of my major goals is to make sure each and every trial lawyer in Miami is a member of our organization. Our opponents have numerous bar associations and other legal associations that allow them to share ideas and information. We don’t. Locally, we only have the MDJA.
I urge each member of our organization to make sure their membership is active and each lawyer in their firm is a member. We must remind our colleagues how vital our organization is. For our current members, we need you to stay active and come out to our events. Your board of directors is working on seminars, meetings, and an enhanced website that enables us to share our knowledge, and help our colleagues.
We should not be afraid to call ourselves trial lawyers. It may not be the perfect term for what we do, but it’s a term we should carry with pride. It’s a term all our colleagues should rally around for the sake of our practices and, most importantly, for our clients.
MDJA President - 2014