It's been a while, but I've taken the opportunity to write about the Washington State Association for Justice (“WSAJ”) a few times before. This past week I was reminded how fortunate we as personal injury attorneys in Washington are to have such an organization at the helm of the work we do for our personal injury clients. WSAJ was founded in 1986 and is the oldest and largest civil justice advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. Schauermann Thayer attorneys have been members since that time. WSAJ's Vision Statement is similar to the values and guiding principles that lead us here at Schauermann Thayer:
We envision a world where laws protect people from negligence and harm, people have full access to the justice system in order to right wrongs, and even powerful interests are held accountable when people are harmed.
Access: Every person has his or her day in court.
Advocacy: Real people have a voice in the courthouse and the statehouse.
Diversity: Washington's diversity is recognized on the bench and at the bar.
Rights: The right to trial by jury is protected and Constitutional rights are upheld and preserved.
Priorities: People are valued over profits.
Accountability: Those causing harm are held accountable for their actions.
Integrity: Truth guides the pursuit of justice.
Education: The public understands the role of the civil justice system in protecting the American way of life.
Members: Trial lawyers are respected for their effectiveness, professionalism, and compassion.
I have had the pleasure to serve on WSAJ's Board of Governors for the past five or six years. We hold regular meetings to navigate the issues and problems affecting our clients' rights and to ensure the Seventh Amendment's guaranteed right to trial by jury is preserved and maintained against government and corporate intrusion. I have worked alongside some of the most experienced and successful attorneys in Washington and not only learned from them but worked with them not only on WSAJ business but in furtherance of specific clients and their cases.
WSAJ has a listserve—a large group e-mail sent to most all of the members of WSAJ. On that listserv attorneys share their experiences and ask questions of other members. This past week I was reviewing the listserv and came across some comments about submissions to a mediator in anticipation of a mediation. The email was from an attorney I have learned to respect and admire—and to even someone I aspire to be like. It reminded me how truly special WSAJ is and how essential membership in the organization is to a successful personal injury practice in Washington State.
Not only does WSAJ membership help us and our clients individually, it helps our clients behind the scenes as well. WSAJ has multiple committees designed to help in all aspects of its mission. Some of these committees include the Legal Education Committee, the Court Rules Committee, the Diversity Committee, the Judicial Relations Committee, the Legislative Steering Committee, and the Public Affairs Committee. Schauermann Thayer attorneys have served at various times on these committees. I personally have served on many of them.
Many of our clients have expressed comfort in knowing that we “always have their backs” when it comes to the presentation of their cases and the negotiation of their claims. We can say the same thing with respect to WSAJ and the members who make it up—it's always comforting knowing someone has your back.
Other blog posts about WSAJ: