ABOTA Presents Lifetime Achievement Award to L.A. Lawyer H. Gilbert Jones

Apr 07, 2009, 12:18 ET from American Board of Trial Advocates

1989 National President honored at National Board Meeting with organization's highest honor

SAN FRANCISCO, April 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Board of Trial Advocates presented its highest honor to former ABOTA National President H. Gilbert Jones the ABOTA Lifetime Achievement Award. Jones was honored at the organization's National Board of Directors meeting in San Francisco, April 4th.

A fixture within ABOTA almost since its inception 50 years ago, Jones is of counsel in the Orange County office of the firm Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP. In 1963 at age 35 he was inducted into ABOTA, at that time an organization only five years old. He was the 156th member of ABOTA. He is a past president of the Los Angeles Chapter and served as National President of ABOTA in 1989.

Jones joins only four others who have received the Lifetime Achievement Award, ABOTA's highest form of recognition honoring an individual whose leadership efforts have advanced the preservation of the right to trial by jury guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As the fifth recipient of the award, he joins Mark P. Robinson (2001), the Hon. William J. Rea (2002), Kermit J. Morgan (2004) and Robert D. Barbagelata (2004) as the other award recipients.

Jones' reputation as a top trial lawyer includes trying to conclusion in more than 175 jury trials earning him the rank of ABOTA Diplomate, ABOTA's highest membership rank. He has handled and argued important cases in the Supreme Court of California and other appellate courts.

"A great organization is never really the work of one person. But Gil Jones epitomizes what it means to be an ABOTA member," said John L. Holcomb, ABOTA National President and partner in the Tampa, Fla., firm of Hill Ward Henderson. "Our deepest appreciation goes out to him. His strong character has been a driving force within ABOTA for decades and he has cultivated a generation that adheres to the standards of civility and professionalism of ABOTA."

Holcomb described Jones as a "stabilizing voice of reason" who continues to work for the organization well after achieving its highest office, adding that he rarely misses a National Board of Directors meeting and remains active in the Los Angeles Chapter.

Jones recalled his years with ABOTA and talked about importance of the Anglo-American jury system and what it means to be a quality trial lawyer.

"The reality is, you, the ABOTA member, foster the preservation of the jury trial by providing the peaceful resolution of disputes and presenting the facts to a jury - that is the bedrock of our democracy," Jones said. He added that ABOTA is the leading organization for the promulgation and preservation of trial jury.

Jones, who was joined by his wife, Julie, at the presentation, said that while the organization consists of accomplished trial lawyers, he thanked the spouses who have supported ABOTA. "My wife, Julie, has been the real support and inspiration for me through the years," he said. "The spouses and companions have provided the cement that makes this organization as strong as it is."


Areas of practice: Professional liability defense including, medical and legal malpractice, products liability, wrongful termination, bad faith, general business matters and drug cases.


  • American Bar Association, State of California
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, 1963
  • Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1973
  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, 1974
  • American Academy of Forensic Sciences
  • Southern California Association of Defense Counsel
  • Robert Barnyard Inn of Court, Orange County
  • California Medical/Legal Committee


  • Who's Who in the world of Who's Who in the United States since 1975
  • Named 1999 California Trial Lawyer of the Year by American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Best Lawyers in America by Naifeh and Smith (1983, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1995-1996, 1997-1998, 1999-2000, 2001-2002, 2003-2004, 2005-2006) - Professional Liability, Personal Injury and Business Litigation - In the 1991 edition of Best Lawyers, Mr. Jones was the only defense attorney specializing in tort litigation listed in Orange County, California, where there were over 11,000 lawyers practicing.
  • Survey conducted by Medical Economics in 1985 of leading plaintiff attorneys around the country voted Mr. Jones as one of the six best medical malpractice defense attorneys in the United States


  • University of California at Los Angeles, Juris Doctor, 1956
  • Yale University, Bachelor of Science, 1947


The American Board of Trial Advocates, founded in 1958, is an organization dedicated to defending the American civil justice system. With a membership of 6,300 experienced attorneys representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases, ABOTA is uniquely qualified to speak for the value of the constitutionally mandated jury system as the protector of the rights of persons and property. ABOTA publishes Voir Dire magazine, which features in-depth articles on current and historical issues related to constitutional rights, in particular the Seventh Amendment right to trial by jury. ABOTA and the ABOTA Foundation's national headquarters are in Dallas.

    For more information contact:
    Brian Tyson at (800) 932-2682

SOURCE American Board of Trial Advocates