Nationwide, the members of ABOTA consist of judges, plaintiffs’ attorneys and defense lawyers Judges have described the members of ABOTA to be “elite” and the “best of the best” trial lawyers — in the U.S. This is a “by invitation only” organization. The three pillars of the organization are: maintaining the right to trial by jury in civil cases, educating America’s youth on the 7th Amendment, and the independence of the judiciary. The organization was one of the first in the U.S. to promote professionalism and civility, and it took the lead in having states adopt “civility” to be in the oath of office in state courts across the country.
William Clayton’s Membership in ABOTA and Leadership Roles
William Clayton has been a member of ABOTA for over 25 years. When he was admitted, a criterion was to have tried at least 20 jury trials to verdict. He easily accomplished this feat.
He was honored to be selected to be President of the Fort Lauderdale Chapter of ABOTA. While an officer in the Florida Chapter, he was a leader and was Co-Chair of “Masters in Trial” Programs and “Professionalism & Civility” programs in Broward County, Florida.
He has participated on trial teams (always on the plaintiffs’ side) in one-day mock jury trials in a wrongful death fact pattern (the fact pattern: a premises liability case, where the victim was a medical doctor who was shot and killed due to a casino shooting) and a negligence and product liability fact pattern (an accident at a bottling plant, where an employee lost a limb on a mechanical product line). Hundreds of lawyers attended a “Masters in Trial” program in Fort Lauderdale. William Clayton has served as a faculty member in MIT programs from Fort Lauderdale to Boston, and Boston to Berlin.
In the “Professionalism & Civility” programs in Broward County, William Clayton organized multiple events and invited federal and state court judges to teach on one-half day panels. With over 10 federal or state court trial judges in Broward County on the faculty, over 150 lawyers attended one such program.
State-wide in Florida, he was chosen to be President of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Florida Chapters.
More on One-Day Masters in Trial Programs
The ABOTA Foundation is dedicated to training the next generation of lawyers to meet the highest standards of professionalism in the practice of law. The Masters in Trial (MIT) program demonstrates the skills and techniques that the nation’s leading trial advocates use. MIT programs are held across the county each year.
The Masters in Trial shows how experienced trial lawyers persuasively conduct a trial without “war stories.” All of the trial team counsel are ABOTA members and are well-known and highly respected in their fields. The mock trial demonstration is presented before a presiding judge complete with fact and expert witnesses. The trial skills demonstrated are applicable to virtually every other civil case. This is a program that is of value to attorneys who are just beginning their trial practice, as well as experienced attorneys who appreciate observing new ideas and methods.
ABOTA Membership Requirements as of 2020
“Membership is by invitation, only. Any trial lawyer who is of high personal character and honorable reputation, and who is a member of the Bar of the State, province, district, territory or country in which he or she practices, and who has met the qualifications listed below, may become a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates upon nomination, election, and payment of initiation fees and dues.
Regardless of the number of trial experience equivalency points an applicant may have accumulated, an applicant MUST have tried at least 10 civil jury trials to jury verdict or hung jury as lead counsel for the minimum requirements to have been met…”