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October 07, 2022 Appellate Judges Conference

Council of Appellate Lawyers Chair's Column

Looking Ahead Towards the AJEI Summit in November 2022

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

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 Hotel 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; Ret. Four Star Admiral Harry Harris (former US Ambassador to South Korea); Hon. Mary Murguia (Chief Judge, 9th Cir.); Former Arizona Chief Justice Scott Bales; and Hon. David Thomson, New Mexico Supreme Court.

I invite you to register today. Remember to use code "JDMember" at check out for an additional $25 off.

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, with: “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. Attendees participated in a broad-ranging discussion about Sixth Circuit litigation that benefits any attorney who litigates in that court. In addition to addressing general appellate topics, the panelists covered more specific issues such as motions practice and remaining issues and lessons learned from the Covid-19 era.

All sessions in the series are available on-demand, and this one will be as well.

We also hope to offer another Virtual Roundtable this fall. In June, we hosted a Virtual Roundtable called “Dealing with a Broken Record.” The program was well attended, and attendees enjoyed a chance to share their experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly) turning a terrible trial court record into a presentable record on appeal.

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

Finally, I must humbly acknowledge that this is my final column of my year 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 this year); 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.

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 can be found on the website, and new board members and officers will be installed at our annual meeting on November 12 at the AJEI Summit. 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

2021-2022 Chair, AJC Council of Appellate Lawyers

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