About ACTL

Mission Statement

The American College of Trial Lawyers is an invitation only fellowship of exceptional trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds from the United States and Canada.  The College thoroughly investigates each nominee for admission and selects only those who have demonstrated the very highest standards of trial advocacy, ethical conduct, integrity, professionalism and collegiality.  The College maintains and seeks to improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics, and the administration of justice through education and public statements on important legal issues relating to its mission.  The College strongly supports the independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, respect for the rule of law, access to justice, and fair and just representation of all parties to legal proceedings.

Emil Gumpert, Founder and Chancellor


Born and raised in Stockton, California, Emil Gumpert was admitted to the California bar in 1916 and served as a trial lawyer in Stockton for more than 30 years. He went on to serve as a judge in the Superior Court of California from 1956-1976, as well as serving as State Bar president and officer for numerous professional organizations.