San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association

The San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (SFTLA) promotes civil justice through education and trial advocacy throughout Northern California. The organization has more than 860 members including plaintiffs attorneys, defense attorneys, law students, and law office support staff.

For the past sixty years, SFTLA has served the plaintiff's bar through quality CLE seminars and networking opportunities. The SFTLA is committed to preserving access within the civil justice system for everyone. It brings attorneys together with members of the Bench and local legislators.

In addition to serving civil trial and personal injury attorneys in San Francisco, California, the SFTLA also provides opportunities to law student through internships, fellowships, and cooperation with law student chapters.


Contact Information

San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (SFTLA)
311 California Street, Suite 620
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: (415) 956-6401
FAX: (415) 956-6680



Benefits of Membership in SFTLA


The benefits of membership in the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association include:

  • Access to the Listserve where members and browse, search archives, and post messages;
  • A isting on the public membership directory;
  • A subscription to The Trial Lawyer, SFTLA's magazine for attorneys, judges and others in the legal profession;
  • Discounts on group health plan;
  • Invitations to networking and social events; and
  • Discounted rates on SFTLA MCLE seminars.

Committees of SFTLA


Members are encourages to take on leadership roles within the organization through the various committees of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (SFTLA). The various committees include:

  • Women's Caucus - highlight issues impacting female trial attorneys;
  • Community Involvement Committee - sponsors five to six community projects in the San Francisco area annually;
  • Carlene Caldwell Scholarship Committee - hosts an annual Mock Trial competition between four San Francisco Law Schools;
  • Diversity Committee - promote diversity within the organization and helps law students in their pursuit of justice through the Trial Advocacy Fellowship;
  • ADR Oversight Committee - monitors the providers of alternative dispute resolution and mandatory arbitration to ensure they are complying with applicable law and best practices;
  • Education Committee - develops and produces continuing legal education programs;
  • Experts Committee - develops programs and materials related to expert witness for the benefit of the membership of SFTLA;
  • Finance Committee - assists the Treasurer of the SFTLA and makes recommendations to the Board;
  • Magazine Committee - develops and produces the membership publication The Trial Lawyer;
  • Membership Committee - helps maintain and grow the SFTLA membership;
  • New Lawyers Division - creates programs and events for new lawyers; and
  • Trial Court Oversight Committee - provides trial court oversight by monitoring the operation of the area courts.

History of the SFTLA


From its beginnings in 1950 with informal meetings to its incorporation in May 3, 1983 the association has continued to grow larger. Before its incorporation, the association was a chapter of the California Trial Lawyers Association. Its offices moved in 1983 from Market Street to the Standard Oil Building.

Over the years, the SFTLA has gained a reputation as the largest and most respected organization of civil justice lawyers in the San Francisco Bay area.


Past Presidents of SFTLA

  • 2017 Anthony Label (President-Elect)
  • 2016 Chris Dolan (President)
  • 2015 Doris Cheng (Immediate Past President)
  • 2014 Terrence Coleman
  • 2013 Todd Schneider
  • 2012 Kathryn Stebner
  • 2011 Jonathan Gertler
  • 2010 Linda Scaparotti
  • 2009 Stephen M. Murphy
  • 2008 Linda Ross
  • 2007 John Feder
  • 2006 James Butler
  • 2005 Eric Abramson
  • 2004 Therese M. Lawless
  • 2003 Scott Kalkin
  • 2002 Donald J. Sullivan
  • 2001 Martin Blake
  • 2000 John D. Winer
  • 1999 Timothy Tietjen
  • 1998 Thomas J. Brandi
  • 1997 Mary E. Wiss
  • 1996 Michael A. Kelly
  • 1995 Arnold R. Levinson
  • 1994 William L. Veen
  • 1993 William B. Smith
  • 1992 Barbara A. Lawless
  • 1991 E. Gerard Mannion
  • 1990 John McGuinn
  • 1989 Constatin V. Roboostoff
  • 1988 Maja Hanks (Ramsey)
  • 1987 Michael B. Moore
  • 1986 Albert R. Abramson
  • 1985 Norman Sauer
  • 1984 Kenneth W. Rosenthal
  • 1983 Edward J. Nevin
  • 1982 Daniel J. Kelly
  • 1981 Dennis B. Conklin
  • 1980 Edwin T. Caldwell
  • 1979 Nancy Hersh
  • 1978 Neal R. Winchell
  • 1977 George J. Shelby
  • 1976 Merril E. Steinberg
  • 1975 Michael Lewton
  • 1974 H. Greig Fowler
  • 1973 John Gardenal
  • 1972 James C. Downing
  • 1971 Paul A. Eisler
  • 1970 Philip E. Brown
  • 1969 Leroy W. Rice
  • 1968 Leroy Hersh
  • 1967 Vernon W. Humber
  • 1966 Nathan Cohn
  • 1965 Bergen Van Brunt
  • 1964 Robert E. Cartwright
  • 1963 Jack H. Werchick
  • 1962 Arthur C. Zeif
  • 1961 Leslie C. Gillen
  • 1960 Irving C. Sugarman
  • 1959 Robert D. Barbagelata
  • 1958 Victor E. Cappa
  • 1956 – 1957 James F. Boccardo
  • 1955 Lou Ashe
  • 1954 Leland Lazarus
  • 1953 Newell J. Hooey
  • 1952 Thomas C. Ryan
  • 1951 J. Francis Shirley
  • 1950 Melvin M. Belli

Personal Injury Attorneys in San Francisco, CA

Many of the top personal injury in San Francisco, CA, belong to the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. The organization provides discounted rates on many of the best continuing legal education (MCLE) offered to civil trial attorneys each year. Members enjoy a free subscription to SFTLA's quarterly newsletter, The Trial Lawyer, and access to SFTLA's MCLE video library. Perhaps most importantly, members enjoy networking opportunities with other attorneys in the San Francisco, CA, fighting similar battles in the courtroom.

This article was last updated on Monday, February 29, 2016.