Steven W. Quattlebaum was installed as National President of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) at the organization’s annual National Board Meeting in Santa Barbara, California, on January 28, 2023.
Since his admission into the association in 1995, Steve has held a number of leadership positions, including two terms as National Secretary. He has served on several committees and chaired or co-chaired programs that have had a broad impact, notably as chair of the ABOTA COVID-19 Task Force, which produced and published “Guidance for Conducting Civil Jury Trials During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” a legal resource that addresses the process of conducting trials safely and the many issues faced by the courts, the legal community, jurors, and the public. His passion for helping young lawyers develop their courtroom skills is evidenced by his many years of involvement in the ABOTA National Trial College, first as a faculty member and later multiple times as co-chair of the week-long instructional program which has been held at Princeton University, Harvard Law School, and Yale Law School.
Gordon S. Rather, Jr., ABOTA National President in 1996 and a longtime friend and mentor to Steve, introduced him to the National Board, judges, and guests by describing him as someone who has made tremendous strides in advancing the legal profession. “We all know that there is no victory, no advantage, no fee, and no favor which is worth even the slightest blemish on your reputation for honesty and integrity,” Mr. Rather said. “Steve understands that no matter how successful you are, no matter how many trials you win, your professional life will not be fulfilled if you do not devote some measure of your energy and time to improving the legal profession.”
In his remarks to the group, Steve commented, “In the Founders’ eyes, the right to a jury trial was equal in importance to the right to vote. The civil jury trial, as an institution, is important to our democracy. It is imperative that the citizenry, consumer groups, and businesses recognize and understand the vital role of the jury system within our society.”
ABOTA is an invitation-only national association of 7,300 highly experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to civil jury trials. ABOTA’s primary goal is to educate the American public about the history and value of the right to trial by jury, and it is dedicated to elevating the standards of skill, integrity, honor, and courtesy in the legal profession.