American Board of Trial Advocates responds to criticism
against judicial system from the Executive Branch
DALLAS (Nov. 4, 2017) — The American Board of Trial Advocates defends judges who cannot
publicly respond to criticism due to ethical prohibitions. The organization provides information
to enable the public to understand legal problems facing our justice system when judges cannot
F. Dulin Kelly, ABOTA National President, issued the following statement:
Judges and lawyers who work in the U.S. justice system swear oaths to abide by the
Constitution and to enforce the laws of the land. This includes laws protecting the rights of
those accused of heinous crimes. Those accused are entitled to due process of law, an
attorney to defend their rights and an unbiased judge and jury.
Our justice system is the sum of our Constitution and statutes enacted by our democratic
process, overseen by both elected judges and judges appointed by presidents and approved
by the Senate. Every day, Americans sacrifice their personal and work lives to serve as
jurors to decide cases in a tradition as old as our country. Our justice system is not perfect,
but it is a model of fairness and due process.
The President of the United States has publicly stated that our justice system is a “joke”
and a “laughingstock.” His comments are wrong and unfair to those who work in the U.S.
justice system. Fairness, justice and due process of law are not laughing matters; rather,
these qualities are the bedrock of our democratic system.
About the American Board of Trial Advocates
Founded in 1958, ABOTA is a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges.
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. ABOTA membership consists
of more than 7,600 lawyers — equally balanced between plaintiff and defense — and judges spread
among 97 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.