The objectives of this Association shall be to uphold and defend the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions, to uphold and improve the adversary system; to uphold trial by jury; to promote prompt and efficient administration of justice; to protect and enhance the rights of consumers, workers, family members, the accused, and other individuals; to improve the competency of the trial bar; to protect and promote the independence of the bench and bar; to foster public awareness and understanding of the role of the trial lawyer in the administration of justice; and to provide resources, services, and group benefits for members.
Over Forty Years of Commitment. In 1968, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (then called the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association) was created to uphold and defend the Pennsylvania legal system, including trial by jury. The Association assists trial attorneys throughout the state by:
- Providing online and offline platforms where members can share information on legal and practice developments;
- Organizing online and live Continuing Legal Educational seminars on all aspects of trial practice;
- Publishing legal manuals and texts on critical areas of law of interest to PAJ Members, and
- Advocating for the integrity of a robust civil justice system in our state.
The aim of these activities is to help trial attorneys better represent their wronged clients. The Association has resisted measures that, in other states, have closed courthouse doors to those who rely on courtrooms as the last resort to obtain justice. The Association also fosters public awareness of the role of the trial attorney in the administration of justice and to protect every citizen’s Constitutional rights to trial by jury.
Below are some of the ways PAJ promotes justice and serves its Members:
- Campaigning for Justice in Harrisburg: PAJ’s Harrisburg office fights to ensure the interests of Pennsylvania’s injured patients and wronged consumers are preserved. Through the #1 law-rated political action committee in Pennsylvania, LAWPAC, PAJ supports individuals who understand the important role civil justice plays in upholding the rights of Pennsylvania’s citizens. PAJ also educates the legislature and the public about issues that affect them and mobilizes support for laws that uphold their access to the courts through a Legislative Advocacy Program.
- Continuing Legal Education Seminars (CLEs): PAJ has one of the nation’s finest legal curricula for attorneys seeking to gain knowledge in their field and gain credits needed to maintain their practice. By providing the state’s attorneys with up-to-date knowledge given by practice leaders, PAJ enables the plaintiff's bar in its effort to obtain justice for clients. PAJ presents several CLE courses every year, live and online.
- Legal Publications: PAJ is among the select trial lawyer associations in the country that publishes a suite of legal texts on which members and nonmembers rely for the most current and useful legal analyses and sample forms. Topics of these texts range from automobile law to workers’ compensation to medical malpractice, and all are written by Pennsylvania's foremost plaintiff attorneys.
- Justice Communications Campaign: PAJ has worked to develop an open dialogue with the public and press about the importance of civil justice. Through op-eds, letters-to-the-editor, press releases and blogs, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice argues on the behalf of justice and the consumer to ensure every wronged citizen’s right to a fair trial remains paramount. The Association also prepares fact papers and other materials for members who wish to communicate with the public and news media about civil justice in Pennsylvania.
- List Servers: A list server is a group message board where PAJ members can instantly exchange messages via email with other members across the state on all issues pertaining to their practice and the law. Five primary list servers are available to members: Automobile Law, Koken, Medical Malpractice, Insurance Bad Faith, and Workers’ Compensation. Attorneys who exchange information with each other are better equipped to stay up-to-date on legal developments and better able to serve their clients in the pursuit of civil justice. In speaking about using PAJ's list servers, one attorney said: “I've saved countless hours of research, avoided mistakes, and most importantly obtained great case results for my wronged clients.”
- Member Services: While the list servers are among PAJ's most popular member benefits, PAJ is committed to providing tools to help trial attorneys in their practices as well as their associates. They include: TrialSmith’s deposition bank; a weekly News Brief that highlights current events and cases of interest; a directory of "Justice Business Partners" who offer essential services and products to plaintiff attorneys; and the PAJustice News, a six times a year printed newspaper, which contains in-depth articles and casenotes.
- Amicus Curiae Committee: Amicus Curiae literally means “friend of the court.” In countless cases, this very active PAJ committee writes “friends of the court” briefs supporting the rights of citizens and consumers. It is one of the most important contributions of the Association.
While only attorneys and their paralegals are eligible for membership in PAJ, the benefits of their membership contribute to the betterment of patients and consumers throughout the state. Attorneys interested in joining PAJ can click here for more details, including levels and rates of membership. Much of this website is open to nonmembers and visitors, so please feel free to explore.