Randall H. Scarlett of San Francisco to serve as ABPLA President  2018-2022


Message from the President:

As the newest President of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA), it is my honor and privilege to follow the extraordinary leadership of those before me, Richard B. Collins, William F. McMurry & William C. Callaham, and Tommy Malone. The dynamic energy, dedication, and guidance of these attorneys, not only expanded ABPLA’s Board Certified Specialists and influence, but also positioned the ABPLA to be one of the premier national lawyer organizations accredited by the American Bar Association. The ABPLA is now leading the movement to serve the public by certifying the competency, integrity, and ethics of those lawyers who represent clients in the highly complex cases of medical and legal malpractice law.

The ABPLA is an organization that embraces and promotes the highest standards in the legal profession. It was founded in 1973, in the wake of US Supreme Court Justice Warren E. Burger's observations that our country suffered from a "low state of American trial advocacy and a consequent diminution in the quality of our entire system of justice". Chief Justice Burger believed that the creation of a system to certify trial advocates in specialties was an "imperative long overdue step," that would ultimately determine "the quality of our justice." of trial advocates in specialties was "imperative and". The ABPLA met this challenge and continues to serve our justice system through its certification of legal specialties in two of the most complex areas of l the legal profession: medical and legal malpractice.

Since the ABPLA was first organized, professional negligence law has become increasingly complex, requiring lawyers to become specialists in the nuances of legal or medical negligence in order to serve their clients competently and effectively. In such an environment, the need is ever greater to provide consumers with an objective standard by which to assess professional negligence attorneys. Board certification provides such a benchmark.

It is the ABPLA's continuing mission to certify attorneys according to the highest standards of experience, ethics, education, examination and excellence. Through the rigorous certification process, the ABPLA offers the consumers of legal services a clear standard of excellence for selecting medical and legal malpractice attorneys in whom they can have confidence. It is our goal to identify and certify exceptional professional attorneys in every state, and to make available to prospective clients the names of those board-certified attorneys.

For attorneys specializing in professional negligence liability, the ABPLA serves as a unifying voice, to raise our visibility as leaders to our fellow attorneys, and prospective clients in need of assistance.  

As President, my continued goal will be to increase public awareness of the importance of selecting a board-certified attorney as well as to seek out the most experienced and competent attorneys to achieve board certification in professional and legal negligence matters.

I hope that each of you will join me in order to continue the strong heritage of our organization and its’ noble purpose. I look forward to serving you as president. If there is anything I can do to personally assist you, please let me know.

Yours very truly,


Randall H. Scarlett
Scarlett Law Group
536 Pacific Avenue
San Francisco, Ca.  94133
[email protected]


ABPLA Past Presidents:


Richard B. Collins
William C. Callham
William F. McMurry
Tommy Malone
Harvey F. Wachsman
J.B. Spence
Sam Shore
Michael Pope
Phillip Corboy
Lawrence Charfoos