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American Association for Justice Announces Waters, Kraus & Paul Partner as President-Elect

Gary M. Paul, a longtime champion of victims’ rights and a partner with one of the nation’s most prolific plaintiff’s firms, has risen through the ranks of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) to be named president-elect of the organization. Mr. Paul will take office as AAJ president in July 2011.

Mr. Paul is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Waters, Kraus & Paul—the West Coast practice of Waters & Kraus. Nationwide, Waters & Kraus has taken more asbestos-related trials to verdict than any other plaintiff’s firm. In addition, Mr. Paul has more than three decades of experience in complex civil cases ranging from product liability to medical malpractice. His extensive background in plaintiffs’ rights, combined with his dedication to AAJ’s mission to obtain justice for victims of misconduct or negligence, give Mr. Paul a broad frame of reference for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“There have been many changes within our ranks, and I am sure next year will be no different,” Mr. Paul said. “Change is difficult. But, as the American abolitionist and statesman Frederick Douglass once said, ‘If there is no struggle, there is no progress.’ I am absolutely confident that AAJ will emerge more powerful, more united, and with more members.”

Mr. Paul has been a member of AAJ since 1981 and has served in progressively significant executive roles since 2006, when he was elected parliamentarian. In addition to his leadership with AAJ, he is a past president of both the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) and Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA). He has also been twice named as CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year, and has appeared on the Thomson Reuters Southern California Super Lawyers® list six times, from 2005 to 2010.

With more than 100 jury trials to his credit, Mr. Paul currently focuses on mesothelioma asbestos cases — two of which were named by The Recorder (published by ALM) on its Top California Verdicts of 2009 list. Together with the nationwide Waters & Kraus team, several asbestos cases have resulted in high-profile plaintiffs’ verdicts in the last five years — along with a number of qui tam/whistleblower settlements.

Mr. Paul was among several AAJ officers announced in July during the group’s annual convention in Vancouver. Other officers include President C. Gibson Vance of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., in Montgomery, Ala.; Vice-President Mary Alice McLarty of The McLarty Firm, P.C., Dallas, Texas; Secretary J. Burton LeBlanc of Baron and Budd, P.C., in Baton Rouge, La.; Treasurer Rhonda Hill Wilson of the Law Offices of Rhonda Hill Wilson, P.C., in Philadelphia, Pa.; and, Parliamentarian Larry A. Tawwater of the Tawwater Law Firm, P.L.L.C., in Oklahoma City, Okla.

About Gary M. Paul
Gary Paul is a partner in the firm’s West Coast practice — Waters, Kraus & Paul. With more than three decades of experience in complex civil matters ranging from consumer and medical product liability to commercial and insurance litigation, Mr. Paul is both a respected author and popular speaker in the field. He is a member of the State Bar of California, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), and Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC). Mr. Paul is also a former president of the Pound Civil Justice Institute, a think tank of accomplished trial attorneys working to strengthen the practice of trial law through educational programs, publications, and research grants.

Before graduating from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 1974, Mr. Paul worked as a missile and space engineer for a decade, and was involved in the design of spacecraft that orbited and landed on Mars. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a master’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Mr. Paul is a native of Springfield, Ohio.

About Waters, Kraus & Paul
Waters, Kraus & Paul is the West Coast practice of Waters & Kraus, LLP — a nationally recognized plaintiffs’ firm concentrating on complex product liability and personal injury/wrongful death cases. The firm's diverse practice includes toxic tort litigation (mesothelioma-asbestos), qui tam (whistleblower) cases, pharmaceutical and medical product liability litigation, and elder financial abuse cases, among others. With offices in California, Texas, and Maryland, Waters & Kraus, LLP, has litigated cases in jurisdictions across the United States on behalf of individuals from all 50 states, as well as foreign governments.

About the American Association for Justice
The American Association for Justice (AAJ) promotes a fair and effective justice system and supports the work of attorneys to ensure that any person who is injured by the misconduct or negligence of others can obtain justice in America’s courtrooms, even when taking on the most powerful interests. Formerly known as the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA), AAJ was founded in 1946, and today represents the world’s largest trial bar as a broad-based, international coalition of attorneys, law professors, paralegals, and law students.

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