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.

2020-2021 Executive Board

Brian Miller, 2020-2021 Chair, Corpus Christi, TX

Mark Kressel, 2020-2021 Chair-Elect, Encino, CA

Kirsten Castaneda, 2020-2021 Secretary, Dallas, TX

Deena Jo Schneider, 2020-2021 Immediate Past Chair, Philadelphia, PA

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

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

Jennifer Dixon, 2022 Member-at-Large, Orlando, FL

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

Steven Emmert, 2022 Member-at-Large, Virginia Beach, VA

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

Virginia McMichael, 2022 Member-at-Large, Radnor, PA

Linda Morkan, 2022 Member-at-Large, Hartford, CT

Karen Precella, 2022 Member-at Large, Fort Worth, TX

Gretchen Harris Sperry, 2022 Member-at-Large, Chicago, IL

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

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

Jill Wheaton, 2022 Member-at-Large, Ann Arbor, MI

Staff Contact

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