About Us

Who We Are

Founded in 2000, the Council of Appellate Lawyer's (CAL) mission is to foster a dialogue among federal and state appellate lawyers and judges that will improve appellate advocacy and strengthen ties among the numerous federal, state, and local appellate bar associations.  Often working with the Appellate Judge’s Education Institute (AJEI), CAL sponsors and develops continuing legal education programs taught by the country’s most celebrated appellate judges and practitioners.

Our Mission

The Council of Appellate Lawyers is devoted to the professional development of lawyers who practice appellate law and the fostering of creative dialogue between those lawyers and appellate judges, both federal and state, with the purpose of improving appellate practice.  The Council sponsors and develops continuing legal education programs and publications designed for the needs of appellate lawyers, promotes recognition of the practice of appellate law as a specialty, and examines and fosters discussions and proposals for the improvement of the appellate courts.

The Council is committed to insuring the highest quality possible in all sponsored programs and publications, to extending services and opportunities for involvement to appellate lawyers throughout the country, and to enhancing the quality and integrity of the appellate process.


CAL Bylaws

CAL is governed by its Bylaws, last amended in November 2011 and adheres to the governance of the ABA, Judicial Division and Appellate Judges Conference.  CAL Bylaws include the role of the executive board, committees, elections and much more.

CAL Executive Board

The Council of Appellate Lawyers Executive Board consist of the officers of the Council, the immediate past Chair of the Council and up to fifteen (15) members-at-large.

2019-2020 Executive Board

Deena Jo Schneider, 2019-2020, Chair, Philadelphia, PA

Mark Kressel, 2019-2020 Chair-Elect, Encino, CA

Brian Miller, 2019-2020 Secretary, Corpus Christi, TX

David Tennant, 2019-2020 Immediate Past Chair, Rochester, NY

John Baker, 2021 Member-at-Large, Minneapolis, MN

Katherine Barrett Wiik, 2021 Member-at-Large, Minneapolis, MN

Matt Friedlander, 2021 Member-at-Large, Atlanta, GA

Kirsten Castaneda, 2020 Member-at-Large, Dallas, TX

Steven Emmert, 2020 Member-at-Large, Washington, DC

Richard Kraus, 2021 Member-at-Large, Lansing, MI

Anna Manasco, 2020 Member-at-Large, Birmingham, MI

Nancy Olson, 2020 Member-at-Large, Las Vegas, NV

David Timchak, 2021 Member-at-Large, Phoenix, AZ

Cynthia Timms, 2021 Member-at-Large, Dallas, TX

Sarah O’Rourke Schrup, 2020 Member-at-Large, Chicago, IL

Gretchen Harris Sperry, 2021 Member-at-Large, Chicago, IL

Staff Contact

Amanda Banninga
Conference Manager
321 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654