Gary M. Paul to Lead American Association for Justice in Its 65th Year
LOS ANGELES — July 13, 2011 — For 65 years, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) has been fighting to protect the public’s Seventh Amendment right to a trial by jury — and now, a member whose involvement in the organization spans 30 years will lead the charge as AAJ president.
Gary M. Paul, a partner with the law firm of Waters Kraus & Paul, was sworn in as president on Tuesday, July 12, in New York City at the organization’s annual convention.
“This is the organization’s 65th anniversary, so building on the vast experience of the presidents who have gone before me is somewhat daunting — but it’s something I’m very much looking forward to,” said Mr. Paul.
Mr. Paul became involved in AAJ early in his career after realizing that the issues affecting plaintiffs’ rights extended far beyond local or state boundaries.
“Being involved in local and state organizations has always been important to me. But I soon learned that our battles aren’t just on the local level, or the state level for that matter — they’re also national. We have to fight every day in congress to maintain everyone’s right to a jury trial,” Mr. Paul explained. “That’s why it’s important to be a member of AAJ. Our strength enhances our ability to protect our clients and keep the courtroom doors open.”
To that end, Mr. Paul aims to continue building momentum not only recruiting new AAJ members, but also by encouraging greater involvement among existing members.
“We have gone through a period of many changes in recent years, and things have certainly improved both financially and from a membership standpoint,” Mr. Paul said. “It’s tremendously rewarding to see that, with hard work and effort, we can overcome challenges and begin to move forward with a renewed spirit in the organization.”
Mr. Paul has been an AAJ member since 1981 and has served as an officer since 2006. In Keeping with AAJ protocol, Mr. Paul was initially elected as parliamentarian and subsequently served in progressively significant roles before becoming president. The newly installed President-Elect is Mary Alice McLarty of the McLarty Pope Firm, L.L.P. in Dallas, Texas.
About Gary M. Paul
Gary Paul is a partner at the plaintiffs’ firm of Waters Kraus & Paul in Los Angeles, Calif. With more than three decades of experience in complex civil matters ranging from consumer and medical product liability to commercial and insurance litigation, Mr. Paul is both a respected author and popular speaker in the field. He is a member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Lawyer of the Year. He is a member and past president of both the CAALA and the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC). In June 2010, The Recorder (published by ALM) included two of Mr. Paul’s multimillion-dollar mesothelioma verdicts on its list of Top California Verdicts of 2009.
Before graduating from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 1974, Mr. Paul worked as a missile and space engineer for a decade. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Mr. Paul is a native of Springfield, Ohio.
About Waters Kraus & Paul
Waters Kraus & Paul is the West coast practice of Waters & Kraus, LLP — a nationally recognized plaintiffs’ firm concentrating on complex product liability and personal injury/wrongful death cases. The firm’s diverse practice includes toxic tort litigation (mesothelioma-asbestos), qui tam (whistleblower) cases, and pharmaceutical and medical product liability litigation, among others. With offices in California, Texas, and Maryland, Waters & Kraus, LLP has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the United States on behalf of individuals from all 50 states, as well as foreign governments.
About the American Association for Justice
The American Association for Justice (AAJ) promotes a fair and effective justice system and supports the work of attorneys to ensure that any person who is injured by the misconduct or negligence of others can obtain justice in America’s courtrooms, even when taking on the most powerful interests. Formerly known as the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA), AAJ was founded in 1946, and today represents the world’s largest trial bar as a broad-based, international coalition of attorneys, law professors, paralegals, and law students.