The Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association (WPTLA) was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on June 19, 1992; however the organization has a long and proud history. WPTLA has had a continuing presence in Western Pennsylvania since the mid 1960's and is in fact the parent of the statewide trial lawyers' organization, Pennsylvania Association for Justice (PAJ).
It was first named the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and was the brain child of trial luminaries, Murray S. Love and Milt Rosenberg. The University of Pittsburgh Murray S. Love Moot Court Competition and Award is named in Love's honor. The Milton D. Rosenberg award by the PAJ for Justice is given to a trial lawyer whose devotion to injured victims, qualities of leadership and service to PAJ best represent the life of the late Milton D. Rosenberg. Trial lawyers Love and Rosenberg met with Philadelphia litigation stalwarts, including Jim Beasley, and out of that meeting, a statewide trial lawyers' organization, PaTLA (now PAJ), was created, with Milt Rosenberg as its first president.
After the formation of PaTLA, the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers' Association then became a branch of PaTLA, known as Western PaTLA which existed until 1992, when the current organization, WPTLA, was formed as a separate entity. Although WPTLA is once again independent from the statewide organization, WPTLA maintains close ties to PAJ, with several presidents of WPTLA ultimately becoming presidents of PAJ.
The purpose for which the WPTLA and its western Pennsylvania predecessors were organized was to promote, improve and advance the common interest of all members in the causes of trial advocacy, trial by jury and in encouraging fellowship and understanding between the members of the bar and the members of the judiciary. WPTLA strives to be a voice for injured victims and to uphold and defend their rights under the American legal system, including trial by jury.
The objective of the association is to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to advance the cause of trial advocacy through education, training, and publications, to uphold the dignity of the profession of the law, to encourage fellowship and understanding between the members of the bar and the members of the judiciary, and to improve the adversary system while advancing the cause of trial by jury and the rights of our clients.
WPTLA does not operate for pecuniary gain or profit incidental or otherwise. WPTLA is organized upon a nonstock basis, and may engage in legislative activity germane to the common business interests of its members.