The Litigation Counsel of America is an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society established to reflect the new face of the American bar. Membership is limited to 3,500 Fellows, representing less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. The composition of the LCA is aggressively diverse, with recognition of excellence among American litigation and trial counsel across all segments of the bar. The purpose of the LCA is to recognize deserving, experienced, and highly qualified lawyers, to provide an outlet for scholarly authorship of legal articles on trial and litigation practice, to provide additional sources for professional development, to promote superior advocacy and ethical standards in the practice of law, to assist in community involvement by its membership, and to advance a superior judiciary, by taking relevant positions on issues or legislation affecting judicial compensation and/or benefits, as well as those affecting the American litigation processes.
Fellows are selected and invited into Fellowship after being evaluated for effectiveness and accomplishment in litigation and trial work, along with ethical reputation. The number of full Fellowships has been kept at an exclusive limit by design, allowing qualifications, diversity and inclusion to align effectively. Fellows are generally at the partner or shareholder level or are independent practitioners with twelve or more years experience. The LCA Fellowship also includes Judicial Fellows, Academic Fellows (law professors/legal scholars), Legislative Fellows and In-House Counsel Fellows. Unless their practice changes from litigation or trial work or their general ethical reputation has been diminished, Fellows may hold their status as long as they desire to be affiliated with the LCA. Fellows who hold such status for seven consecutive years may be designated Senior Fellows. Upon high recommendation by a Fellow, a limited number of Associate Fellows are selected, generally pending qualification for Fellowship. Associate Fellows may include partners or associates from the same firm in which nominating Fellows practice or with any other ethically reputable firm, governmental division or company.
The LCA also recognizes a limited number of accomplished lawyers for inclusion as Honorary Fellows. Practicing, retired or deceased lawyers, judges, elected officials and other distinguished jurists may be nominated by LCA Fellows for such recognition. Honorary Fellows are recognized for career achievements, furthering professionalism and/or diversity in the practice of law, noted trial results, being an influence of regional or national significance in the area of litigation or trial work or any other body of work deemed worthy of high recognition.
With ever-diminishing percentages of cases actually reaching trial, American litigation practice has been redefined. Too often truly effective counsel are overlooked for acknowledgement of expertise and superiority because courtroom experience is now at a premium. While trial experience is an important factor in LCA selection, it is also a fact that great litigators sometimes win before trial.
The LCA publishes the periodic online legal journal Litigation Commentary & Review as an outlet for scholarly legal articles, essays, comments and case notes, as well as LCA Fellow news and events. The subject matter of a Commentary submission may be any legal issue, past or present, providing it is not defamatory or inflammatory toward an individual or group, or is inconsistent or incompatible with the LCA’s diversity policy. Publication of an article may be included in the biographies of members. To increase firm value, the LCA acknowledges publication of articles and assists in news releases regarding same and responds to media inquiries.
The LCA also cooperates with other trial, litigation and educational organizations in arranging meetings and study groups for Fellows in furtherance of the art of advocacy and the litigation process. Its membership and the authors of articles published in the Litigation Commentary & Review represent widely divergent opinions and viewpoints, which the LCA encourages for the purpose of expanding perspectives in all aspects of the litigation process, both within the honorary society and beyond.
The LCA’s Advisory Board is composed of its membership President, the President Elect, the Executive Director and General Counsel, and selected LCA Fellows. An executive staff covers all needs of the membership, development, the Litigation Commentary & Review, the LCA Referral Network/CounselShare™, meetings and conferences, and all other operating and general administration services. The LCA also serves as a funding source and provides management and executive support for the Diversity Law Institute (DLI) and the Trial Law Institute (TLI). The DLI has succeeded the LCA’s original foundation concept as its primary vehicle for humanitarian and charitable legal projects. Since the LCA has and will take meaningful positions and conduct lobbying activities with respect to legislation such as that affecting judicial compensation and benefits, judicial campaign financing and/or other legislation important to the American litigation processes, IRC Reg. Sec. 501(c)(3)-1(c)(3)(ii) precludes entitlement to tax-exempt status. Available funds are used to support the DLI and TLI after taking into consideration all taxes, projected future capital and operating expenditures, and reasonable reserves to ensure the continued successful operation of the LCA. LCA Fellows automatically become members of both the DLI and TLI upon acceptance of their LCA invitation.
The society utilizes a variety of resources for purposes of establishing itself as the most diverse honorary professional society in American law. In this regard, the LCA promotes its membership as a forum where American litigation and advocacy are at the cutting edge of law and judicial understanding.
The LCA’s selection process is a combination of Fellow input, internal research, nominations by Fellows, attorney opinions, evaluation of client selection of counsel, limited input from active and retired judges, and reviews of acknowledgement and recognition by other peer reviewing sources and associations. The diversity sought by the LCA relates to all demographics within law, including race, sex, age and national origin, which it believes will enrich the profession, as well as the scholarly exchange of ideas among its membership. The criteria used for selection is not based purely on the number of cases tried, or the notoriety usually associated with frequent court appearances, but also effectiveness in the area of a particular lawyer’s expertise. In using this approach, the LCA has developed its membership with a breadth of experience in litigation that makes its Fellows one of the most well rounded practice groups among any legal professional society and provides recognition and opportunities to those deserving the designation “Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America.”
Through the Diversity Law Institute, the LCA lends support to worthy causes and charities in furthering its mission. But the LCA’s role in the community will not be a singular self-involvement. The LCA will actively work with its membership in promoting the law and society from many different approaches, sources and organizations. To help Fellows achieve personal goals in their charitable endeavors, the LCA recognizes in the Commentary those members whose contributions to society, culture and the profession warrant grateful acknowledgement. This is also the basis and purpose for the Peter Perlman Service Awards. No worthy cause is too small for recognition of a job well done. The LCA provides information to media outlets for recognition. Such recognition of members’ accomplishments is deemed by the LCA to be mutually beneficial. Accomplishments of our Fellows are accomplishments of our own.
The Litigation Counsel of America recognizes and publishes all submitted charitable, community and professional organizations in which its Fellows are affiliated, and where leadership positions are held. The LCA is proud of the achievements of its membership and looks forward to providing acknowledgement of such admirable and deserving efforts.
The LCA encourages and assists in recognition and publicity of Fellows selected for membership, as well as for publication authorships, positions held, and for accomplishments both in law and society as a whole. Press release formats and assistance are available to Fellows online and through the LCA staff. Firm value is derived from Fellow recognition in the Litigation Counsel of America.