About the William J. Rea American Inn of Court

The William J. Rea Inn of Court, formerly the ABOTA American Inn of Court in Los Angeles was originally founded in 1987. It is one of the oldest and finest Inns in the nation. Its namesake, The Honorable William J. Rea, US District Judge (1920 - 2005), a native of Los Angeles, attended U.C.L.A. and Loyola University. He was a well-respected trial lawyer from 1949 to 1968, who also served as a Lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy during World War II, before being appointed to the Superior Court by Governor, Ronald Reagan. In 1978, he became Justice Pro-Tem to the California State Court of Appeals, Second District and in 1984, President Ronald Reagan nominated him for an appointment to the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Senate confirmed him.

Judge Rea was an active member of the National and Los Angeles Chapter of The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) whose members are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The William J. Rea Inn of Court was founded on the same principle. ABOTA continues to support and contribute to this inn.

The purpose of this inn is to enhance the member's skills as a trial attorney, with emphasis on developing trial techniques rather than knowledge of substantive law. The subject matter covered during the year will include courtroom etiquette, voir dire, opening statements, examination of witnesses and closing statements. Members will learn under the guidance of experienced trial lawyers and judges in an actual courtroom.

These programs involve a team teaching method with teams made up of Masters, Barristers and Associates. The members deal with hypothetical problems in trial technique under the supervision and critique of all members. Each member is expected to contribute to the team teaching by participating in critiquing performances by other members of the program. This gives the members the opportunity to see various styles and to develop their own techniques that fit his or her personality and talents.