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Benefits of Membership

Belong to a 750 member statewide association of civil defense litigators who:

  1. Have access to an expert witness list serve for immediate responses to your questions.
  2. Join Law Section list serves to communicate quickly and directly with others who practice in your field. Law Section list serves include: Construction, Employment, Worker’s Compensation, Insurance and Product Liability.
  3. Get reduced rates at seminars on trial tactics, auto defense, insurance law, product liability, professionalism, medical orthopedics, employment law, construction law, ethics, commercial litigation and more…
  4. Participate in the legislative process to advance the rights of all people and organizations who are sued in court.

Resources for Members

Defense Academies
WDTL sponsors two Defense Academies each Spring to educate and mentor newer members of the Defense Bar. The first Academy is conducted for six consecutive Thursday evenings and focuses on basic trial skills. The second Academy is held later in the Spring and focuses on a higher level of practice and expertise. This session runs for four consecutive Thursday evenings. Both are held at a downtown Seattle location and limited on a first-come, first-serve, basis to 35 registrants. The Academy faculty are seasoned defense litigators and judges from the superior and federal courts.

Defense News
WDTL’s bimonthly newsletter provides information about Association activities and seminars, a Judicial Profile column, member news, job listings, expert witness and legal brief requests, reports on local bar rules and committee reports from WDTL.

Member Meetings
WDTL sponsors dinner meetings with speakers, nine one-hour (brown bag) CLE programs on current case law or developments and member luncheons.

Substantive Committees/Sections
If your defense practice has a focus like insurance, products liability, workers compensation, appellate work or professional malpractice, you can join one of WDTL’s fifteen committees/sections and network with the other top specialists in your field.

New Lawyers Committee
You’ve passed the bar, you’ve got a job, and you’ve joined some organizations. Now what? WDTL has a New Lawyers Committee for members who have practiced less than seven years to share common concerns and ideas for issues that are particular to their level of practice. This is a great way to meet other defense lawyers who are new bar members, and to tap into the knowledge of the more experienced defense lawyers who are WDTL members.

Amicus Program
WDTL’s Amicus Committee is regularly encouraged to file Amicus Briefs in both the Washington Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. As opposed to other groups, WDTL’s brief writers are working on a pro bono basis, seeking only the best legal position without influence or bias.

WDTL Website - Members-Only Content
The WDTL website can be viewed at If electronic communication is for you, consider sharing your expertise with members of the WDTL Technology Committee who oversee web page content. Gain access to a password secured members-only area of our website. You’ll find a complete Membership Directory, a list of all WDTL Amicus briefs, legislative updates, expert witness email list serv, Practice Development Committee and CLE information.

Annual Summer Convention
Each summer, members and their families meet for three days of fun and education at a resort location. Past conventions have been held at Semi-Ah-Moo, Whistler, Skamania, Lake Chelan and Coeur d’Alene.

Sunbreak Seminar
Since 1994, WDTL members have been escaping the March rain to attend CLE programs in the sun.

Legislative Support
WDTL provides testimony to the State Legislature on issues that impact the defense lawyer and the rights of all people and organizations who are sued in court. WDTL has a lobbyist to advance our positions on legal issues in the legislature.

Court Rules and Jury Instructions
WDTL members sit on the WSBA Court Rules Committee as well as the Supreme Court’s Jury Instruction Committee to represent the defense perspective.

Judicial Recognition
Each year WDTL hosts a Member Reception in Seattle to show our support for the judiciary. In 1996, WDTL formed a non-profit foundation to raise money for the court system.

Regional Meetings
Spokane members gather monthly for brown bag lunch programs or breakfasts with guest speakers and host an annual seminar. Yakima and Vancouver sponsor half-day seminars annually with Vancouver hosting a Judges reception each year. WDTL members in the South Sound area surrounding Tacoma hold monthly lunch meetings with speakers.

Pro Bono
WDTL’s Pro Bono Committee works with local agencies to provide defense of tort actions.