DALLAS, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) will inaugurate William C. Callaham as its 50th president on Jan. 26. This year marks the 50th anniversary for an organization whose members seek to achieve a higher level of trial advocacy and to educate the public about the vital importance of the Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury. For its 50th Anniversary celebration, ABOTA is returning to Los Angeles where it started in 1958. A small group of lawyers formed the organization to thwart attacks from California's then governor, who wanted to eliminate the jury system. Since then, ABOTA has grown into a national organization of more than 6,300 members with 93 chapters. ABOTA's charitable arm -- the ABOTA Foundation -- was formed in 1993 to continue ABOTA's mission through its professional education program and by promoting the concept of trial by jury in the nation's school systems. Callaham, of the Sacramento, Calif., law firm of Dreyer, Babich, Buccola & Callaham, was elected by the general membership of ABOTA. He took office Jan. 1 and will be sworn in by the Hon. Consuelo Callahan, appellate judge with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. "The challenges we face in the task of protecting and preserving our precious right to trial by jury are increasing dramatically," Callaham said. "We have all seen escalating attacks on the jury system and the judiciary. ABOTA has had some satisfying success in defending unwarranted attacks on the independence of our judicial officers, both nationally and at the local level. "I am proud and humbled to serve our organization during its 50th year as we continue to increase efforts to preserve the independence of our judiciary and our Seventh Amendment jury trial rights." Callaham said one of the attributes that makes ABOTA unique is the balance between plaintiff and defense lawyers. The other national officers to be sworn in are: President-elect John L. Holcomb, of the Tampa, Fla., firm of Hill Ward Henderson; Vice President Craig Lewis, of the Lewis Law Firm in Houston; Treasurer Michael P. Maguire, of the Costa Mesa, Calif., firm of Michael P. Maguire and Associates; and Secretary Michael T. Callahan, of the St. Petersburg, Fla., firm of Callahan and Martinez LLC. ABOTA and its members are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Foundation of ABOTA is an affiliated charitable entity, whose mission is to support the purposes of ABOTA through education and research. ABOTA publishes Voir Dire magazine quarterly. The award-winning publication features in-depth articles on current and historical issues related to constitutional rights, in particular the Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury.
SOURCE American Board of Trial Advocates