January 08, 2021 Appellate Judges Conference

AJC Chair's Column

By Hon. Steven David, Indianapolis, IN

What song would you use to define 2020? Perhaps I could offer some suggestions. Here’s one:  

“God is great, beer is good… and people are crazy.”

I bet we have each chosen one anthem to get us through this past year. The constant barrage of politics, COVID-19, and negative news were enough to exhaust the best of us. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for a fresh start in 2021. Before we look ahead, I would like to share a few more songs that perhaps defined our 2020.

First, I learned that "We Are Family." Many of us have watched loved ones suffer this past year. Too many of us have lost family members and friends. Time is precious. Make sure your people know they are loved. If you want to read a true story about one Green Beret’s realization of how precious life is and how we should express our appreciation to those who make life easier, I suggest you read “Conquer Anything: A Green Beret’s Guide to Building your A-Team” by SFC (RET) Greg Stube. Greg is a friend of mine who lives in Indiana. He is an author who had his own television show and does leadership training. He spoke to Indiana’s Judiciary a few years ago and was amazing.

Second, we learned to "Think" and have more "Respect" for each other. In my last column, I wrote about my own efforts to understand new perspectives. I hope many of you had the opportunity to join me in the ABA’s 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge. I learned many things about myself and my own bias. I pledge to carry these lessons forward. I want my grandchildren to grow up and to live in a better world.

Finally, “life goes on.” Despite the ebbs and flows of life, time inevitably keeps marching. Whether we are lawyers or judicial officers, litigants count on us to get it right no matter what. I take each day as a fresh start and a renewed opportunity to do good. I hope you experienced more victories than defeats this past year and remained engaged in the important work you do every day. I must admit that I have had to redefine what victory and defeat mean to me. It is the things we take for granted that are what victories are all about:  Faith, family, experiences and relationships.

I hope you will join me as we look forward to a new year and a clean slate. The ABA, AJC, AJEI and the NJC have several excellent programs on tap for 2021.I would like to highlight a few.

  • Mark your calendars now for the 2021 Appellate Judges Education Institute (AJEI) Summit in Austin, Texas! It will take place November 11-14 and promises to be better than ever. The National Judicial College (NJC) is our new partner. They have been extraordinary to work with.
  • Your participation is encouraged to help make the 2021 Judicial Clerkship Program a success. The program will be held virtually during the ABA Midyear Meeting from February 17-21, which you are invited to attend! Learn more about the Virtual Judicial Clerkship Program.
  • Check our AJC website at ambar.org/jdajc and email communications for more opportunities each month.

Thank you to all members that joined a committee or stepped up to lead this year. "Don't Stop Believin'" in a better 2021. We are working "9 to 5" to provide you with resources so you can succeed. “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” CLE credits through ABA programming. And stay "Six Feet Apart."

Get ready for 2021—the year of recovery and rejoicing! Let us know how we can serve you.

    Hon. Steven David, Indiana Supreme Court

    Hon. Steven David, Indiana Supreme Court

    2020-2021 AJC Chair