John L. Holcomb to Be Sworn in as National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates

Jan 07, 2009, 15:52 ET from American Board of Trial Advocates

Holcomb is ABOTA's first president from Florida

DALLAS, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John L. Holcomb of the Tampa, Fla., law firm of Hill Ward Henderson will be sworn in as National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates at the organization's National Board of Directors meeting at The Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Fla., Jan. 17.

Holcomb was elected by the general membership of more than 6,300 members -- balanced between plaintiff and defense lawyers, as well as judges -- and will be the first National ABOTA President from the state of Florida.

"It is rewarding to work with members of both sides of the civil trial bar to protect and advocate the right to a trial by jury guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment to our Constitution," Holcomb said. "Trial by jury is - unfortunately - a forgotten constitutional right that most Americans don't even realize is being taken away from them. Eliminating the jury system in favor of justice by a bureaucracy is an attack on the very reasons this country was founded."

Holcomb is a defense lawyer and a longtime member of ABOTA's National Board of Directors. During his tenure on the board he helped organize seven new chapters and worked to expand ABOTA's membership. He has also served for several years on ABOTA's Executive Committee and as a Trustee for the ABOTA Foundation. ABOTA is an invitation-only organization whose members must have tried at least 10 civil jury trials to conclusion and possess additional litigation experience, as well as exhibit the principles of courtroom civility, integrity and professionalism.

Holcomb said ABOTA members work to respond to attacks on the jury trial system. "ABOTA is expanding its membership without diluting the quality of the lawyers we represent. This will enhance our ability to promote the right to a jury trial," he said.

Patricia D. Crauwels, President of the Florida Chapters of ABOTA and member of the Sarasota/Bradenton Chapter of ABOTA, will welcome the National Board to Sarasota. "ABOTA provides a venue on national and regional levels where the nation's top attorneys can meet to discuss the ways in which the standards of integrity, honor, and courtesy in the legal profession can be elevated. We're particularly proud that ABOTA chose to hold its first meeting of 2009 in Sarasota," said Crauwels, who is with Sarasota firm of Matthews, Eastmoore, Hardy, Crauwels & Garcia.

Judge Chris Altenbernd of Florida's Second District of Court of Appeal is swearing in Holcomb. The other national officers to be sworn in are: President-elect Craig Lewis of the Lewis Law Firm in Houston; Treasurer Mark P. Robinson Jr., of the Newport Beach, Calif., firm of Robinson, Daccagnie and Robinson; and Secretary Michael T. Callahan of the St. Petersburg, Fla., firm of Callahan and Martinez LLC.

John L. Holcomb Professional Information:

Diplomate, American Board of Trial Advocates; National Secretary of American Board of Trial Advocates 1999-2000; Member of Executive Committee and Trustee of ABOTA Foundation 1999/2000; Past President of FLABOTA 1998; Masters in Trial Award, ABOTA Foundation 1996; FLABOTA Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2006; Chair, Professional Education Committee 2001-2006; Chair, Chapter Relations and Revitalization Committee 1994-1998; Co-Chair of Eligibility Criteria Committee 2004; Chair, President's Leadership Conference 1997, 2006; Past President of Tampa Bay Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates 1995; Senior Life Fellow, Foundation of the American Board of Trial Advocates; Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by The Florida Bar; Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy; Master of the Bar, William Glenn Terrell Inn of Court; Who's Who in American Law; American Bar Association, Tort and Insurance Section; Federal Bar Association; "Leading American Attorney" by American Research Corporation; Recognized in "Leading Florida Attorneys in Personal Injury Defense Law"; Listed in Best Lawyers in America; Listed in Florida Super Lawyers; Member, DRI; National Board of Directors of American Board of Trial Advocates since 1991; Partner, Hill Ward Henderson.

Founded in 1958, ABOTA and its members are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the 7th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Foundation of ABOTA is an affiliated charitable entity, the mission of which is to support the purposes of ABOTA through education and research. ABOTA publishes Voir Dire magazine, which features in-depth articles on current and historical issues related to constitutional rights, in particular the 7th Amendment right to trial by jury.

SOURCE American Board of Trial Advocates