COLUMBIA, SC – October 17, 2012 – Collins & Lacy, P.C. announces the election of Joel Collins as National Vice President of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Collins was elected by the general membership of ABOTA, which consists of over 6,800 members in 97 chapters throughout the nation. Collins will take the oath of office at the national board meeting in St. Petersburg, FL on January 25, 2013.
As Vice President of ABOTA, Collins begins his first of a four-year commitment. He will become President-Elect in 2014, and will assume the Presidency in 2015. He will remain on the National Executive Committee in the capacity of Past-President in 2016. Collins was the president of the Board of Trustees of the ABOTA Foundation in 2008. Collins will have the distinction of being only the second person to have served as both the President of the ABOTA Foundation Trustees and national president in the organization’s 54 year history. One of his goals as president is to lead a delegation of ABOTA members to Runnymede, England for the celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta on June 15, 2015.
ABOTA is a national association of experienced trial lawyers and judges dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which guarantees the right to jury trials. ABOTA’s primary goal is to educate the American public about the history and value of the right to trial by jury. ABOTA is dedicated to elevating the standards of integrity, honor and courtesy in the legal profession. It has programs which help younger attorneys achieve a higher level of trial advocacy skills. It also has program s to educate the public about the importance of the United States Constitution and the Seventh Amendment.
Robert N. Stone, 2012 National President of ABOTA commented, “Joel is not only a good listener, he is also an outstanding speaker. His knowledge about American history and our Constitution is remarkable. On the occasion of an ABOTA conference with Portuguese judges and lawyers in Lisbon, he discussed our legal system in a wonderful and most informative way. I could not have been more proud to have Joel as our spokesman. He will surely be a great leader of our organization.”
Joel Collins is the co-founder of Collins & Lacy, P.C. He received his undergraduate degree from Clemson University and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He was the 2002 recipient of the Jeter E. Rhodes, Jr., Trial Lawyer of the Year Award, presented by the South Carolina Chapter of ABOTA. He is an Adjunct Professor at the South Carolina Honors College, teaching a course on the United States Constitution. He is a member of the International Society of Barristers, the John Belton O’Neall Inn of Court, and the Rotary Club of Lake Murray-Irmo. In 2005, he received the University of South Carolina School of Law Compleat Lawyer Award. In 2009, Collins was the recipient of the ABOTA Foundation Masters in Trial Award.
When asked about his upcoming term as vice-president, Collins said, “Of all the national honorary legal organizations, ABOTA stands out. ABOTA’s educational programs for middle school students, high school students, journalists, teachers and members of the Bar place ABOTA at the epitome of public service and professionalism.” He added, “Leading this organization is the greatest honor I have ever received. I share this honor with my wife, Rhonda, my family, the members of my firm and my fellow members of the South Carolina Chapter of ABOTA. Without them, this would never have happened.”