Pillars of Justice

Rick Friedman: Urgent Call to Fight for Civil Justice

March 11, 2017

We wanted to share a message from Rick Friedman regarding the need for all plaintiff lawyers to join the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and contribute to the fight for our clients:

“I am old enough to have lived through some very bad times for trial lawyers, including the birth, growth, and dominance of tort reform. Still, what we are faced with now is the most serious threat to our profession and clients I have witnessed in my life-time.

I have been an AAJ member since the early 80’s, but have never attended a single AAJ convention or been in any leadership role. AAJ has its faults, but in my view, is the equivalent of our union. They are the only organization interacting with and within the federal government on behalf of our clients. For years they have (mostly effectively) blocked proposed laws that would have hurt us and our clients. Those of us that are not members, are like someone getting all the benefits of a union workplace without paying union dues. Like any union, the more members AAJ has, the stronger it is. The stronger it is, the better for all of our clients.

I am asking that each of you put aside whatever philosophical justification you might have for not joining AAJ, and join.

It is time to be pragmatic. We must all do every ounce of what we can do.

If you are already a member, please look around your firm—every lawyer should be a member. I looked around my firm, and we are lining up the stragglers right now and making them members.

In conversations with other plaintiff lawyers, I urge you to ask if they are AAJ members. If they are not, try to convince them to join. I would suggest if someone is not an AAJ member, they should not be in a leadership position in a state trial lawyer organization because they lack the proper commitment to our cause.

I often find AAJ frustrating, even maddeningly so for a variety of reasons. Those reasons pale in comparison to the issues we face, and our need for a strong AAJ. Please:

  1. Join
  2. Get others in your firm to join
  3. Urge your friends and colleagues to join
  4. forward this post

It is time to fight back; and this is a concrete thing we can do right now. More will be required in the future. What a privilege it is to be able to fight for things we believe in.


This entry was posted on Saturday, March 11th, 2017 at 12:26 pm. You can follow our News & Press RSS 2.0 feed via through your favorite RSS reader.