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October 12, 2022 Council of Appellate Lawyers | Appellate Judges Conference

Chair's Column

By Mark A. Kressel, Los Angeles, CA

Looking Ahead Towards the AJEI Summit in November 2022

It’s not too late to register for CAL’s biggest event of the year, the AJEI Summit. This year’s Summit, to be held November 10–13 at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Paradise Valley in Scottsdale, Arizona, will be a fantastic opportunity to hear appellate-related CLE and network with appellate lawyers and judges from around the country.

Among the incredible speakers at the 2022 Summit will be Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, U.C. Berkeley, Chief Judge Mary Murguia, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Former Arizona Chief Justice Scott Bales, and Hon. David Thomson, New Mexico Supreme Court.

Please make sure to register.

The Summit will also offer several opportunities to network and socialize with CAL members. On Friday, there will be a CAL cocktail reception followed by CAL Dine-Arounds, which are a great chance to socialize with CAL members while sampling the local restaurant scene. On Saturday will be the CAL annual business meeting. The business meeting is open to all lawyers and I strongly encourage every lawyer who attends the Summit to come to the business meeting, if only to learn a little more about CAL and consider getting more involved.

Online Programming

On October 5, we hosted the next webinar in our “Riding the Circuits” series, “Riding the Circuits – Practice in the Sixth Circuit.” Chief Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch, Lauren S. Kuley, and moderator Stephen J. van Stempvoort discussed the unique features of the Sixth Circuit, as well as best practices for litigating in the Sixth Circuit. In addition to addressing general appellate topics, the panelists discussed more specific issues such as motions practice and remaining issues and lessons learned from the Covid-19 era.

We also hope to offer another Virtual Roundtable this fall.

Pro Bono Manual

CAL is nearing completion on updating its “Manual on Pro Bono Appeals Programs.”  We expect to debut the 2022 edition at this year’s Summit, as part of a panel titled “Pro Bono Appellate Programs: The Ethics of Doing Good and Doing Well for Clients, Counsel, and the Courts.”

Our hope is that the Pro Bono Manual can serve as a cookbook for state and federal appellate courts who are looking to create a pro bono program or to improve an existing program. In the words of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice.” - Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (November 2002).

Thank You, And Please Join Us Next Year

Lastly, I must confess that this is my final newsletter as CAL Chair. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to serve the group this year. I must thank all of the other CAL officers (past and present) as well as the entire CAL Board for their support, mentorship, and teamwork, including my predecessors Deena Schneider and Brian Miller (who have continued to provide tremendous guidance to me and to CAL), our Chair-Elect Kirsten Castaneda, our Secretary Jill Wheaton, and our CAL Summit Planning Lead, Gretchen Harris Sperry. Next year, Kirsten will become our Chair, and I know she will be a great leader who does wonderful things for CAL and its members. I also must thank our Communications Chair, Devin Dolive, for his efforts getting the word out about CAL activities in this newsletter and elsewhere.

In the meantime, if you are reading this, please consider nominating yourself for a CAL Board position, or at least joining a CAL committee, for the coming year. Information about nominations is included in this newsletter, and new board members and officers will be installed at our annual meeting on November 12. There will also be opportunities to sign up for committees at the annual meeting and online. CAL depends entirely on the enthusiasm, commitment, and creativity of its members, and we hope you will join us as we continue our work in the coming year!

Mr. Mark A. Kressel

Council of Appellate Lawyers Chair, 2021-2022

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