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April 03, 2020 Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys

CASA Chair's Column

By Elizabeth T. Ryan, Nashville, TN

In November 2019, the Council of Appellate State Attorneys (CASA) gathered for the Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI) in Washington, D.C.  As in past years, CASA members proposed programs for the Summit at the AJEI and helped to develop the programs that were selected, including topics on pretrial release, issues involving LGBTQ and transgender rights, the use of staff attorneys and law clerks in appellate courts, and qualified immunity. We also held our annual meeting, at which we elected our new slate of officers for this year. CASA board members include staff attorneys in federal and state courts across the country.  I am grateful for the broad practice experience and for what the CASA board members, and CASA members in general, bring to the table. 

Our next AJEI Summit will be held in Austin, Texas from November 12-15, 2020.  Members of the CASA Education Committee are once again involved in the planning and development of the programming for the Summit.  Programs in the works include the always popular Supreme Court review by Dean Erwin Chemerinksy, legal ethics and technology, mindfulness for both judges and lawyers, effective appellate writing and oral argument, and much more.  Stay tuned for more updates as programing is confirmed.

An ad hoc committee of CASA members is reviewing the CASA bylaws, which have not been updated in ten years, to ensure we are operating in accordance with those rules and regulations and to ensure they accurately reflect and support our operation and management.

For those staff attorneys and law clerks interested in connecting with their fellow colleagues or becoming more involved in the work of the ABA through CASA, I encourage you to reach out to me.  We are always seeking new members and new voices. The next ABA event of this year will be the Annual Meeting in Chicago in August.  I look forward to seeing many of my fellow staff attorneys and the appellate judges I have come to know through the AJEI there.