Judean People’s Front v. People’s Front of Judea Dept.

You remember last year, when the Association of Trial Lawyers of America tried to hide their identity and changed their name to the considerably less accurate American Association for Justice. (Aug. 2006; July 2006, etc.) Well, a new organization, led by J. Keith Givens, a former partner of the late Johnnie Cochran, has attempted to usurp the old acronym with an organization called The American Trial Lawyers Association, arguing that ATLA abandoned the name. “The name defines who we are and what we do,” which is very similar to the remark made by AAJ when they surrendered the Trial Lawyer title. Litigation, of course, ensued. (Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, “A Case of Trial Lawyers v. Trial Lawyers”, Washington Post, Nov. 30; commentary from Murnane, Lattman, Adler @ Volokh, Scheuerman). The Association of Trial Lawyers of America surrendered the American Trial Lawyers Association name decades ago when the American College of Trial Lawyers complained it was too similar, and the ACTL is also unhappy with the new ATLA’s use of the name. The fact that the previous sentence is so confusing suggests that the plaintiffs have a point.