The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, ATLA, changed its name several years ago to the American Association for Justice (AAJ). ATLA’s motivation is a matter of speculation but it is safe to say that, over time, an endorsement of or contribution to a politician from ATLA arguably came to be a mixed blessing. From the AAJ, on the other hand, an endorsement or contribution sounds like it might be coming from Justice herself?
While wanting to seek distance from its name, however, ATLA had no interest in letting anyone else grab the name or letting anyone else adopt some very close and easily confused variant of the name. While the original ATLA has become perhaps somewhat politicized and polarizing over the years, on the other hand, it has certainly been associated with prominent, successful, and influential lawyers. Therefore, when attorney J. Keith Givens started up his own ATLA, the American Trial Lawyers Association, he provoked the ire of the AAJ.
U.S. District Court Judge Joan Ericksen granted the AAJ’s motion for partial summary judgment on “the new ATLA’s” affirmative defenses, and tossed out the “new ATLA’s” own motions for summary judgment. Minnesota Litigator attended argument on the motions. The argument of Chris Larus of RKMC for AAJ was persuasive.