> President’s Message
GTLA Needed Now More Than Ever
By Lyle Griffin Warshauer
I am truly honored to serve as the 2020–2021 President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. When I became a lawyer almost 27 years ago, the first thing I did was join GTLA and the American Association for Justice. Since then, GTLA has been an essential part of my professional life, and the foundation for many life-long friendships as well. I have been privileged to serve on almost every committee within our organization, and I take great pride in the mission of our association and the amazing things we have accomplished for our members and the clients we represent. I have also seen the organization survive many challenging situations over the years; but I could never have imagined coming into this role at such a tumultuous time. Still, I am confident that the strength of our trial lawyer association can thrive even in the time of a world-wide pandemic. I believe that in this time of struggle, coming together to support each other and provide needed services to our citizens is more important than ever.
GTLA’s focus is three-fold: Education, Networking, and Political Outreach. We strive to provide exceptional educational opportunities for our members throughout the year, and particularly at our three main events – the Annual Convention, Auto Torts Seminar, and the Holiday Seminar. Rarely does a week go by without a social event sponsored by the New Lawyers Division, the Membership Committee, or the Women’s Trial Lawyer Caucus. Our listserves are consistently active, as our members freely share information and experiences to ensure the best possible success for all. And, as the only organization in Georgia dedicated to the preservation of the right to trial by jury for all, GTLA is actively involved in the legislative process. The level of commitment by our members to the Civil Justice PAC is among the highest of any trial lawyer organization nationally. Our success at the Capitol has been the result of efforts by countless people within our organization who have developed relationships with state legislators, participated in fundraising, and helped lead the effort to preserve the 7th Amendment.
I have two main priorities for my term. First, as your President, I pledge to focus on you, the members. I will work not only to increase our total membership numbers, but also to ensure that every member in every part of our state experiences the many benefits of the organization. To this end, I hope to travel the state to meet our members and encourage other plaintiff’s lawyers to join. Obviously, this will prove challenging during our time of social distancing, but eventually, this too must pass. I want to be accessible to all, and welcome calls, visits to my office, or a Zoom meeting while still appropriate.
Second, I hope to increase our community outreach. Our members do amazing things, and, we have the capacity to do so much more as an organization if we come together to share our skills and our dedication to help others. Let’s step up and show everyone the many ways that trial lawyers care.
Please know that we want you to be an active participant in our organization. If you want to join a committee, just ask. If you wish to speak at one of our many seminars, let us know and we will find you a spot. And we need you to be engaged in the politics of our organization and focused on the mission to preserve and protect the access to courts in Georgia.
This is a time full of unknowns. When will the courts reopen so that we can get back to doing what we do best? When will be able to get together again for CLEs, social events, and community service opportunities? I certainly don’t have the answers; but, I know that as trial lawyers, we will continue to support each other and take care of our clients. And GTLA is here to help everyone do just that. Stay involved, stay engaged, and keep the faith. ●
I believe that in this time of struggle, coming together to support each other and provide needed services to our citizens is more important than ever.