The History of MATA
After more than 60 years as a statewide association, we have much to be proud of while being ever mindful of the necessity of keeping a constant vigil on attempts to erode the rights of all Missourians. Historically, MATA has accomplished much, but not without courageous leaders who stood firm in insisting that wronged consumers deserved better rights.
MATA was founded in 1951 as the Missouri Association of Claimants Attorneys (MACA) by a small group of attorneys from across the state who recognized the value of banding together to gain more equitable rights for their clients, the individuals who had suffered because of negligent acts, often caused by corporate giants. Some of the injustices they sought to remedy — which they and their successors ultimately did — included a contributory negligence doctrine, responsibility for unsafe products, implementation of discovery, a decent wrongful death limit and the recognition of medical malpractice. Intelligible jury instructions were mandated. Incredibly, these achievements were not easily won.
In 1973, the association changed its name to the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and established MATA-PAC. CLE programs were offered to a growing membership. Attendance at MATA’s Annual Conventions has steadily increased.
The future of your association is bright. The torch has passed from a membership of three attorneys with a vision of what should be, to you, the hundreds of attorneys who are committed to not only protect what your predecessors gained, but to continue to be stalwart advocates of improved rights for individuals.