Sean C. Domnick Candidate for Parliamentarian American Association for Justice DENVER JULY 2018

Thank you for taking the time to visit this page and learn more about my values and experience, and why I am running for Parliamentarian of AAJ.

 

One of the greatest honors of my professional life has been service to the American Association for Justice (AAJ) and it would be a privilege to continue fighting injustice as AAJ Parliamentarian.

Over the past twenty years, I have marveled at what this small yet powerful group has achieved in a political climate determined to make us fail. We are outnumbered, but we are never outworked and we have successfully combated a tsunami of tort reform thanks to our staff, members, leaders, and our exceptional CEO, Linda Lipsen. While we are always outspent by our opponents, our heart, sense of right and wrong, and work ethic have always prevailed.

That is why, whenever AAJ has called its members to action, I have taken deep pride and never wavered in answering. I know that despite the odds against us, when we unite, our voices are deafening against those who seek to silence our clients. I have joined arms with so many of you at phonebanks, fundraisers, and lobby days, and together we made incredible strides for our clients and our members. As Budget Chair, I inherited a deficit and turned it into the largest budget surplus that our organization has had in over a decade. Our financial outlook is strong. By working tirelessly to build our base, membership continues to rise, and the future is promising.

My AAJ commitment has been rooted in service and action, driven by my duty to my clients, my passion for the law, and my pursuit for a safer, equitable, and more inclusive society. My AAJ experience will bring perspective that ensures we keep moving forward with new ideas and do not waste time rebranding failed ideas. I will increase and diversify our membership, invest in the next generation of trial lawyers, and ensure we do so without being outmaneuvered in the political chess game that always angles to silence our clients and close our practices.

The 2016 election was a wake-up call for the nation that we cannot take anything for granted politically. We are still standing because we had the wisdom to invest in a bipartisan approach and elect legislators on both sides of the aisle who recognize the value of the Seventh Amendment. We must continue to foster this strategy nationally, and export our bipartisan model to states which face similar challenges in their local legislatures. By doing so, and continuing to coordinate fundraising and member contributions, we can harness more political power on a state and national level.

Our future also hinges on our ability to inspire and invest in our membership.  Across the country, only a handful of State Trial Lawyer Associations (TLAs) can claim to have 50% of their members involved in AAJ.  Our challenge is to connect to the other 50% of TLA members who have yet to join our ranks as well as trial lawyers who are not members of AAJ or their TLA.  The key to growth is empowering and investing in our regional field staff who have been instrumental in coordinating with our states and engaging on a micro level to understand the individual needs of our members.

Through our educational programs, we expanded outside of our conventions and have seen great success in our trial colleges, deposition colleges, and a myriad of other CLE programs. We must build on this model, and connect deeper into the local communities, diversifying the affordability and accessibility of our educational programs through technology and coordination with TLAs. We also need to deliver politically on things such as lien resolution and we must help lawyers learn how to successfully manage their businesses. Understanding the business of law is critical to a thriving law practice and teaching applicable skills adds significant benefit to membership.

We are also entrusted with paving the way for the next generation of trial lawyers who inherit this role as guardians of our civil justice system. We need to develop new paradigms so young lawyers can succeed. We can begin by addressing work/life balance, implicit bias in juries, and the lack the trial experience available to younger attorneys. Technology is changing our practices and driverless cars are a prime example of the need to adapt. AAJ is at the forefront of these changes which brings an immeasurable value to our members. We need to continue to legislate and innovate to ensure that the practice of law evolves with the shifting litigation landscape.

Finally, we are in the middle of a social revolution and AAJ, as a champion for civil rights, must continue to be at the helm of demanding inclusivity and equality for ourselves and our members. AAJ is an exemplary organization that has a record of meaningful recognition and opportunity for women, minorities, LGBTQ, and young lawyers. However, while we have come a long way, AAJ must be reflective of our diverse society and broaden our opportunities for leadership based on merit and character no matter race, gender, ethnicity, or any other immutable characteristic. This must resonate not just in our association but in our firms, and we must actively engage our members to diversify their hiring and leadership practices.

I am proud of the work this organization has achieved and am honored to announce my candidacy for Parliamentarian. If elected, I pledge to deliver innovative solutions that guide AAJ toward a sustainable future.

AAJ Record

  • Executive Committee (2016-2018)
  • Chair, Budget Committee (2016-2018)
  • Board of Governors (2007-2019)
  • National Finance Council (2007-2018)
  • AAJ PAC Board of Trustees (2014-2020)
  • Membership Oversight Committee (2012-2018)
  • Chair, Leaders Forum Advisory Board (2016-2017)
  • Leaders Forum Advisory Board (2017-2018)
  • AAJ PAC Task Force (2015-2018)
  • Budget Committee (2015-2019)
  • Audit Committee (2016-2018)
  • Evergreen Advisory Board (2016-2018)
  • Organization Review Committee (2016-2018)
  • Public Affairs Committee (2009-2018)
  • Retirement Plans Oversight Committee (2016-2018)
  • Trial Lawyers Care (2015-2018)
  • Voter Protection Committee (2014-2018)
  • Chair, Best Ideas
  • Civil Justice Foundation Officers & Board of Trustees (2009-2015)
  • Compliance Committee (2010-2014)
  • Justice List Committee (2009-2012)
  • Co-chair, Key Person Committee (2011-2013)
  • Distinguished Service Award (2012, 2014, 2016)
  • Above and Beyond Award (2017)
  • AAJ Certificate of Recognition (2018)

Professional Associations & Leadership

  • Florida Justice Association Board Member (1996 – present)
  • Florida Justice Association Executive Committee (2003 – 2005)
  • Florida Justice Association Fellow of the Academy
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Miami Dade Justice Association President (1999)
  • Florida Bar Association Code & Rules of Evidence Committee (2008-2011, 2017-2020)
  • Florida Bar Association YLD Board of Governors (1999)
  • Palm Beach County Justice Association President (2018)
  • Palm Beach County Bar Association Member
  • American Bar Association Member

Awards & Honors

  • Daily Business Review, Verdicts Hall of Fame Award Winner (2015)
  • FJA BJ Masterson Award for Professionalism (2015)
  • FJA Legislative Leadership “Shoe Leather Award” (2001, 2003, 2004)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2005-2018)
  • Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury – Plaintiffs
  • Best Lawyers in South Florida (2016)
  • Florida Super Lawyers (2007-2017)
  • Florida Super Lawyers Top 100 (2016-2017)
  • Miami Super Lawyers Top 100 (2016-2017)
  • AV Rated – Martindale-Hubbell
  • The National Trial Lawyers – Top 100
  • AVVO “Superb Rated Attorney”
  • South Florida’s Top Lawyers, The Miami Herald (2010)
  • Florida Monthly – Florida’s Top Lawyers as Chosen by Their Peers (2004)
  • Florida Trend Legal Elite (2004-2017)
  • Florida Trend Magazine – The State’s Legal Leaders (2004)
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Domnick Cunningham & Whalen

Domnick Cunningham & Whalen

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