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CAL Committees

Enroll in a Council of Appellate Lawyers Committee

Communications Committee: Devin Dolive, Chair

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee: Lucy Inman, Chair

Education/AJEI Summit: Jonathan Potter, Chair

Government Lawyers: Brian Keller, Chair

In-House Counsel Committee: TBA

Long Range Planning*: Kirsten Castañeda, Chair

Membership Committee: Matthew Friedlander, Chair

Nominating Committee*: Kirsten Castañeda, Chair

Pro Bono Committee: Arleigh Helfer & David Timchak, Co-Chairs

Programming Committee: Scott Dixler, Chair


  • Appellate Issues: Nancy M. Olson, Editor
  • Appellate Practice Compendium: Deena Schneider Editor
  • JD Record*: Brian Miller, Editor
  • New Books*: Ben Cooper, Chair

Rules Committee: Kip Nelson, Chair

Senior Lawyers: Savannah Potter-Miller, Chair

Solo and Small Practice Lawyers Committee: TBA

State Chairs Committee: Cynthia Timms, Chair

*Appointed Committees

Committee Descriptions

Communications Committee
The Communications Committee oversees the Council’s communications with its members, including through its newsletter, communities application, and social media presence.  Members of this committee will assist with drafting and editing the Council’s newsletter and other communications, as well as develop the strategy to synchronize messaging across platforms and optimize its impact. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee works to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the appellate bar and, importantly, the appellate bench.  The committee strives to advance the careers of diverse lawyers and appellate judges by providing leadership and educational opportunities, promoting policies and programs that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion, and enhancing opportunities for lawyers and law students in the diversity pipeline.

In-House Counsel Committee
The In-House Counsel Committee seeks to enhance the diversity of the Council’s membership by recruiting in-house lawyers, specifically those whose work involves litigation and appeals, with the intent of providing a corporate perspective to the Council and its programming initiatives.  

Long Range Planning
The Committee will assess the needs of our membership, determine goals for the Council, and plan ways to meet those goals.

The focus of the Membership Committee is to implement plans and ideas to increase the Council's membership. In its efforts to increase membership, the Membership Committee should make every effort to develop a diverse membership base composed of lawyers of different races, sexes and ethnic backgrounds, and in addition, lawyers who practice in different geographic areas and in both private and public practice. The Committee, with the assistance of the Publications Committee, will create and maintain a member directory. The committee will also strive to ensure that the Council members receive every benefit to which they are entitled. Similarly, the committee will attempt to monitor whether the Council is delivering the services its members desire. The committee will encourage members to become involved with committee work so that they derive the special benefits that come with active participation in the Council.

Pro Bono
The Committee will do a national survey to find successful appellate pro bono programs to design a pro bono appellate best practices template and model for implementation and for guidance to states and local bar associations who are interested in establishing a pro bono appellate program.

The Committee organizes meetings and educational programs for the Council. Currently those include the annual educational programming at the Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit (planned and held in conjunction with the ABA Appellate Judges Conference and the Appellate Judges Education Institute), in-person programs at the ABA Midyear and Annual Meetings, and webinars. Members of the committee identify and arrange for speakers, panels, and presentations, with an emphasis on diversity, and events that permit appellate attorneys to interact directly with the judges who participate in the Conference and the Institute.

The Committee will oversee publication of the Council’s newsletter, Appellate Issues,  CAL contributions to the JD Record, and other publications.

The Rules Committee works toward continued improvements in appellate practices by improving the rules that govern them. The committee regularly monitors, studies, and reports on amendments and proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States. It occasionally reports on noteworthy amendments or proposed amendments to other appellate rules that are of widespread interest. The Committee also undertakes its own initiatives to propose new rules to improve the administration of justice in appellate courts.

Solo and Small Practice Lawyers Committee
The CAL Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee is a new committee that aims to become a national network of solo and small firm appellate lawyers who can support each other, share ideas about appellate practice, and act as referral sources.

State Chairs 
The State Chairs Committee was established to help carry out the Council’s goals of promoting excellence in appellate practice and building a stronger appellate bar to benefit courts, lawyers, clients, and the public.  The Committee includes experienced appellate attorneys selected to serve as State Chairs in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  The State Chairs work to enhance awareness of the Council and collaborate with state, local, and federal appellate practitioners, bar groups, and courts to develop educational programs and other resources as well as networking opportunities for appellate lawyers nationwide.

Committee Enrollment

The Council encourages its members to become involved and bring to the attention of these Committees their ideas and concerns, so that the objectives and interests of all members can be heard, understood and incorporated into the Council's proposals, projects and initiatives.

Committee work provides the opportunity for Council members to participate on a lively and open forum for analysis, debate and education. Committees also allow you to discuss common and diverse interests and goals and to network with appellate attorneys from around the nation.