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April 08, 2022 Appellate Judges Conference

Council of Appellate Lawyers Chair's Column

By Mr. Mark A. Kressel, Los Angeles, CA

Getting Involved

As we move into spring, there’s no better time for our members to volunteer for one of CAL’s many committees, which is the best way to start getting involved! With so many different types of activities and opportunities, there is something for everyone. 

To enroll, simply check off all the committees that interest you.

Full descriptions of our committees can be found on our website, but here are a few highlights:

Pro Bono Committee:
The Committee is focused on assisting in networking between and amongst national practitioners participating in pro bono appeals and administering pro bono appellate programs. In furtherance of this focus, the Committee plans to provide an update to its “Manual on Pro Bono Appeals Programs” this year. In addition, the Committee maintains and updates a national list of practitioners and resources to assist attorneys participating in pro bono appellate programs and provide guidance and best practices to practitioners, bar associations, and courts either currently running or interested in establishing pro bono appellate programs.

Programming Committee:
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.

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.

Project Appellate Crowd

The Council of Appellate Lawyers has launched an exciting new book project with the working title “Project Appellate Crowd.” This will be the ultimate guide to appellate practice, where readers can tap into the collective wisdom and advice of appellate judges, lawyers, staff attorneys, and clerk’s offices. You can be an author—or an editor!

CAL members have two ways to participate in Project Appellate Crowd. First, you (and your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances) can submit as many pieces of advice as you want on some aspect of the appellate universe. Just submit one tip per email, as that will help us organize the information. Send your tips to our dedicated email address: [email protected].

The topics you choose will help us shape the book. To prime the pump, think about what lessons learned you would offer on whether and how to appeal; docketing statements; dealing with clerk’s offices and staff attorneys; the record on appeal; motion practice; extraordinary writs; appellate mediation; writing for judges and law clerks; parts of briefs; choosing and ordering arguments; cross-appeals; appendixes; fonts, footnotes, and other formatting; citations and quotations; effective headings; bookmarking and hyperlinking; tables of contents and authorities; preparing for oral argument; delivering an effective argument; petitioning for rehearing and further review; supersedeas bonds; and recovering or opposing attorneys’ fees and costs.

Second, you can sign up for the Project Appellate Crowd editorial board. We will be curating and arranging the advice, reflecting areas of consensus and disagreement. As the tips roll in, you can help develop the form and substance of the book. For more information, contact Ben Cooper at [email protected].

Riding the Circuits

CAL is continuing its program series titled “Riding the Circuits.” Each program focuses on a different Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals and gathers a panel of judges and practitioners to discuss practice issues specific to that circuit. This year, we plan to cover the the Third Circuit and the Sixth Circuit by presenting a program in each. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements about when these programs will take place.

Other Committees and Publications

There are many other ways to get involved with CAL, and we hope you’ll consider joining us. Our other committees include: Communications; State Chairs; Appellate Rules; Government Lawyers; Membership; In-house Counsel; and Solo & Small Practice. We also continue to publish our periodical Appellate Issues and this newsletter. We are always on the lookout for new content contributors and new editors.

Mr. Mark A. Kressel

2021-2022 Chair, AJC Council of Appellate Lawyers

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