“Trial by jury is part of the bright constellation which leads to peace, liberty and safety.” Thomas Jefferson, (1801)
August 27, 1965: A group of attorneys joined together to organize the Utah Trial Lawyers Association (UTLA) as a result of widespread interest from members of the Utah State Bar who recognized a need for a speacialized organization for plaintiff attorneys.
The organizing committee consisted of: C. Richard Henriksen, Sr., President; David Kunz, Vice President; Clayton D. Fairbourn, Secretary; and Don E. Hammill, Treasurer.
In the late 1970's: Gordon Roberts organized an Ad Hoc committee of plaintiff attorneys (not members of UTLA) to fight tort reform that later joined forces with UTLA.
The first-part time executive director: Robert H. Wilde (law student and later trial lawyer)
The first part-time outside executive director and lobbyist: Ronald Morgan
1988: Lillian Garrett hired to organize a citizen's lobby group. Their success with the F.A.I.R. (Fairness and Accountability in Insurance Reform)
1990: Lillian Garrett hired as the first full-time executive director and an office was set uo in the Law and Justice Center in Salt Lake City
1994: Pauline Fontaine hired as a full-time assistant to Lillian Garrett and assisted with UTLA's Lobbying efforts
1997: Pauline Fontaine hired as executive director and the organization grew to 400 members
2004: Amanda Jesperson hired as executive director
September 14, 2007: The membership voted that the organization's name be changed to the Utah Association for Justice, follwing the name change of ATLA to the American Association for Justice (AAJ).
2009: Megan Corrent hired as executive director
2012: Jennifer Dailey hired as executive director
April-August 2012: Jada Lindblom interim executive director
September 2013: Eric A. Mann hired as executive director
Today, the UAJ is the largest trial bar association in the State of Utah. Together with the AAJ, the world’s largest trial bar association, they stand as a highly effective group of dedicated attorneys who work to promote justice and fairness for injured persons, to safeguards victims' rights, and to strengthen the civil justice system through education and through disclosure of information critical to public health and safety. The UAJ provides lawyers with the information and professional assistance needed to serve clients successfully and protect the democratic values inherent in the civil justice system. As proud defenders of the 7th Amendment to the United States Constitution, UAJ members are truly champions of justice and accountability.