I was admitted to the American College of Trial Lawyers as a fellow in 2002. The ACTL is the American College of Trial Lawyers. It’s a professional group, by invitation only, of lawyers in all different fields of trial practice both civil and criminal. Lawyers are invited to join the ACTL after they have a certain minimum number of trials. Then they go through a fairly rigorous investigation process that typically takes as much as a year, where literally every lawyer they’ve tried a case against, every judge they’ve appeared before, is interviewed. Essentially, you only get into the organization if everyone you’ve tried a case against, the judges that you’ve tried the cases in front of, recommend you as an excellent trial lawyer. In addition to the courtroom a person has to have demonstrated, pretty unanimously with their peers, highest levels of professionalism and ethics in order to get in.
There are roughly between a hundred and two hundred of us that are actively practicing fellows of American College of Trial Lawyers. I tend to get referrals through the American College from other fellows, and spent this afternoon working on a case where I was referred to from a large firm in New York. I have other work from Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta in the past. These tend to be large, complex litigation for the most part, commercial litigation often, sometimes personal injury but often commercial litigation, where the primary counsel in other places are looking for local counsel to assist them in the handling of the case. We get an interesting smattering of work of all sorts, which I enjoy because it’s different things. I’m involved in some things now that I’ve not had any exposure to before, but quite interesting. I enjoy the work.