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New leadership at trial lawyers

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The Los Angeles trial lawyer who raised the issue of declining membership when campaigning for vice president of the American Association of Justice lost the race to a well-known Dallas attorney.

Simona Farrise was defeated by Lisa Baron Blue according to a note on the AAJ website.

As we reported in this PoL post, Farrise's statement of candidacy stated: "[Instead] of increasing our numbers, AAJ continues to shed members at an alarming rate." An AAJ spokesman later disputed the claim as misleading. (PoL)

Baron Blue campaigned on her AAJ activities and fundraising prowess on behalf of Democratic candidates. She is founder of the Baron and Blue firm in Dallas, which specializes in asbestos lawsuits. Her husband was the late Fred Baron, a prominent plaintiffs' attorney and Democratic contributor.

We have no particular insight about the vote other than to note that Texas is usually well-represented at AAJ conventions and Baron Blue is highly regarded as a successful trial lawyer.

AAJ also announced new officers in a news release. President for 2012-13 is Dallas personal injury attorney Mary Alice McLarty, co-founder of McLarty and Pope.

"My goal is to get new and existing members excited about what this organization stands for--fighting to keep the court house doors open," she said. "We need to work together and face down the enemies of justice."

Enemies of justice? Apparently people of good will cannot disagree on civil justice reform.

McLarty was serving as president-elect of the organization; AAJ presidents normally rise through the ranks of officers without contest. McLarty, however, won a contested race for vice president in 2010 after protesting the AAJ's declining membership.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.