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July 14, 2023 Appellate Judges Conference

Council of Appellate Lawyers Chair's Column

By Ms. Kirsten Castañeda, Dallas, TX

If you’re not already tuned in to the activities of CAL, now is the time to check us out! Information about upcoming programming, ongoing connection opportunities, and past programs available on demand is easily accessed on our website.

Our AJEI Planning Committee has been working with other Appellate Judges Conference jurists and staff attorneys on the AJEI Education Committee to plan an outstanding program for the 2023 Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit. The program features top-notch speakers, topics designed to enrich your everyday practice and remind you why you love the law, excursions featuring Washington, D.C., must-sees, and a fun and entertaining Saturday night celebration. CAL’s annual meeting occurs during the AJEI, and we’d love to see you there! 

Registration is now open. CAL members receive the Judicial Division’s $25 discount, which can be redeemed during registration using the code JDMember. CAL members in need of financial assistance to attend the AJEI may apply for a scholarship online. The application deadline is August 13, 2023.

We also encourage CAL members to support the AJEI through the sponsorship opportunities available to promote lawyers and firms’ appellate work. The four sponsorship levels provide varying numbers of AJEI registrations and event tickets.

CAL also is excited about the upcoming in-person connection opportunities at the 2023 ABA Annual Meeting in Denver. If you’re planning to attend and would like the opportunity to informally gather with other CAL members there, please drop me a note. And if you’re based in the Denver area, please stay tuned for information about this gathering as well. The opportunity to meet other CAL members in person, even for a short visit, is too good to let pass!

In addition to these in-person connection opportunities, our State Chairs Committee and Programming Committee are hard at work on useful online programming for CAL members. In March, the State Chairs Committee produced the first webinar utilizing the practical tips and traps compiled in its nationwide state-and-territories survey of appellate practice. The “West Coast Edition” of our series highlighting Traps for Appellate Out-of-Towners: Differences Among Neighboring State Appellate Practices featured insider information for practitioners who find themselves in the appellate courts of California, Arizona and Nevada. If you missed it, please check it out on demand. And keep an eye out for the next edition, coming soon to your laptop, tablet, or phone.

Similarly, the Programming Committee is pulling together the next installment of our Riding the Circuits Series, which also focuses on practical, insider tips but in the federal appellate realm. Our next installment later this year will feature judges and practitioners in the Fifth Circuit. Past webinars in this series include the Third, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits.

Although we strive to provide webinar content at the lowest possible price, the registration costs reflect not only the production cost, but also the anticipated audience participation. The more participants who register for our webinars, the stronger we can advocate to lower the cost of subsequent webinars based on proven participation. We are always open to input and ideas from our members on webinar topics and content that you need and would find worth the price of admission. Please reach out anytime to share your thoughts.

In addition to webinars, CAL is in the process of producing some online roundtables and other opportunities for our members to connect and interact free of charge. Our Membership and Communications Committee are working together with various other CAL committees to build an efficient framework to make sure our members and potential new members are informed about these online connection opportunities, as well as our webinars and other programs. This is a great time to join a CAL committee and be part of a vibrant and meaningful project to grow CAL members’ networks with other practitioners and bring new members to CAL!

If you would like to join a committee or learn more about what our committees do, feel free to contact me directly or direct your inquiry to Amy Dasgupta, our ABA staff liaison, to connect you with the best person to answer your questions. In the meantime, we hope to see you soon online or in person at Annual Meeting and AJEI!

Ms. Kirsten M. Castañeda

2022-2023 Chair, AJC Council of Appellate Lawyers

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