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Mission Statement

Taking cognizance of the changing law and the new techniques necessary for the defense of products liability litigation, a group of highly experienced trial attorneys recognized the need for a professional organization which would maintain, enhance and promote the knowledge and skills of its members in this area of the law. As a result, the Trial Attorneys of America was founded in 1969.

Membership is limited to 200 trial attorneys who devote a substantial portion of their practice to the defense of product liability litigation and to corporate counsel who work primarily in that area.

Membership is by invitation only upon the recommendation of a member.

If you are primarily engaged in the defense of product liability litigation and would like to be considered for membership, contact our Executive Secretary who will refer your inquiry to a member in your area to discuss membership with you.

Annual Meeting

52nd Annual Meeting will be June 7-9, 2023 at the Thompson Hotel in Chicago.

Membership Services

  • Through the TAA directory member attorneys have a ready reference to counsel throughout the continental United States, Alaska and Puerto Rico who can undertake or assist in the defense of product liability lawsuits.
  • Membership distinguishes an attorney as one who is recognized by his peers as a trial lawyer or corporate counsel who is knowledgeable and skilled in the defense of product liability litigation.
  • The TAA "loose-leaf service" provides members with bulletins on recent decisions and other items of interest to defense counsel. As product liability legislation is adopted, our members are kept apprised of these new laws.
  • TAA operates as a clearing house for information on expert witnesses - both those used by the defense and those frequently called by plaintiffs.

Cabbages & Kings

"The time has come the Walrus said to speak of many things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings".

Beginning with the Annual Meeting in 1995, each year one of the members receives the prestigious Workers Achievement Award (TAA WAA) in recognition of his or her contribution to the work of TAA. The past recipients of the award are:

1995 - Tom Lynch (New York, NY)
1996 - Kevin Condron (Chicago, IL)
1997 - Fred Aebi (Portland, OR)
1998 - Frank Daily (Milwaukee, WI)
1999 - * Terry Crebs (St. Louis, MO)
2000 - Joe Pomeroy (Fon du Lac, WI)
2001 - Kemp Morton (Huntington, W.VA.)
2002 - Ellen Cohen (Boston, MA)
2003 - Craig Nelson (New Orleans, LA)
2004 - David Canter (Los Angeles, CA)
2005 - * Joe Daly (Philadelphia, PA)
2006 - Frankie Colon-Pagan (San Juan, P.R.)
2007 - Richard Leslie (Miami, FL)
2008 - * Paul Leitner (Chattanooga, TN)
2009 - John Wagener (Chicago, IL)
2010 - Joseph P. H. Babington (Mobile, AL)
2010 - Louis A. Lehr, Jr. (Chicago, IL), TaaWaa Superstar Award
2011 - Carrie L. Palmer (Oklahoma City, OK)
2012 - Anita Modak-Truran (Ridgeland, MS)
2013 - R. Todd Gaffney (Des Moines, IA)
2014 - Joel M. Funtowitz (Lisle, IL)
2015 - Craig Lowther (Springfield, MO)
2016 - Richard T. Coyne (Cleveland, OH)
2017 - Paul A. Dominick (Charleston, SC)
2018 - Melissa Dorman Matthews (Dallas, TX)
2019 - Les Katona, Jr (San Antonio, TX)
2022 - Stephen G.A. Myers (New Orleans, LA)

* Deceased

At the 2016 Board meeting Frank Daily of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was awarded a plaque honoring him as a Director Emeritus for his many years of service as a member and director of TAA.

At the 2016 Annual meeting Francisco J. Col??n-Pag??n, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, a previous TAA WAA recipient, was awarded a bronze oak leaf cluster for his TAA WAA in recognition of his outstanding performance in the 2016 membership program. Frankie sponsored 11 new members.

George E. Bushnell, Jr. 1971-1989
Louis A. Lehr, Jr. 1990-2008
Craig Robert Nelson 2009-2011
Thomas P. Lynch 2011-2013
R. Todd Gaffney 2013-2015
John T. Wagener 2015-2017
Joseph Babington 2017-2019
Carrie L. Palmer 2019-2022
Paul A. Dominick 2021-2022


Anita Modak-Truran - President
Melissa Dorman Matthews - Vice President
Stephen G.A. Myers - Secretary
Les Katona, Jr. - Treasurer


David H. Canter
Francisco J. Colon-Pagan
Richard T. Coyne
Craig F. Lowther
Donald R. Parshall, Jr.
Jennifer L. Steinmetz
Michael C. Zogby


Joseph Babington
Kevin E. Condron
Frank J. Daily
David F. Grimaldi
R. Kemp Morton
Ronald L. Reid
Harry A. Short, Jr.
R. Todd Gaffney


Louis A. Lehr, Jr. Executive Director Emeritus
John T. Wagener Executive Director
Kathleen A. Hanus Executive Secretary
Susan Cirignani Executive Secretary Emeritus

Event Photos


"Lessons Learned in Three Decades as National Coordinating Counsel"
By: Scott Dickens

"Defending Class Actions Of Indirect Purchaser"
By: Melissa Dorman Matthews

"A Disruptive Technology: How Will 3D Printing Alter the Products-Liability Landscape?"
By: Stephen G.A. Myers, Judd S. Day and Richard J. Underwood

"The Impact of Plaintiffs' Lawyer Advertising on Mass Tort Litigation"
By: Stephen G.A. Myers and Rustin Silverstein

"Who Resolves Class Arbitrability?"
By: David A. Reif

By: Brian N. Johnson, Amanda M. Cialkowski & Benjamin C. Johnson.

By: David H. Canter, Kevin P. McNamara, Michael E. Jenkins & Julia Gower
Executive Assistant: Vanessa Flores

By: Charles E. McNeil
Executive Assistant: Vanessa Flores

By: Franciso J. Col?3n-Pag??n, assisted by Francisco E. Col?3n- Ram?-rez, and Roc?-o Ramos-Santiago

Contact Information


Executive Secretary, Kathleen A. Hanus or product information for assistance:


Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm (CST)

Snail Mail:

Trial Attorneys of America
205 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 810
Chicago, IL 60601