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October 06, 2023 Appellate Judges Conference

Council of Appellate Lawyers Chair's Column

By Ms. Kirsten Castañeda, Dallas, TX

Our Council of Appellate Lawyers committees have been busy since my last column! On October 5, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, our State Chairs Committee broadcasted the second webinar in our “Traps for Appellate Out-of-Towners” series. This 90-minute “Mountain” edition provided off-the-books tips and insider know-how from practitioners in Colorado, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming. In addition to the practical knowledge of the experienced panel, the discussion built on the results of the Committee’s comprehensive state-and-territories survey of local appellate practice. Many thanks to the TIPS Appellate Advocacy Committee for co-sponsoring this production, and to Judicial Division sponsor Thomson Reuters for their assistance. As usual, the webinar recording will be available to stream in just a few short days through a link on CAL’s website.

We also hope to see you at the Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit in Washington, D.C., November 2 to 5, 2023. Speakers include the Honorable Brett Kavanaugh (Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States), the Honorable Elizabeth Prelogar (Solicitor General of the United States), and Dean Erwin Chemerinsky (U.C. Berkeley School of Law). In addition, the panel presentations promise to provide information you can use in your everyday practice, insights about cutting-edge issues, and inspiration to remind you why you love being an appellate lawyer! The program topics are available online, and registration is open. CAL members receive the Judicial Division’s $25 discount, which can be redeemed during registration using the code JDMember. Varying numbers of registrations and event tickets also are included in the four sponsorship levels if you or your firm has interest in contributing as a sponsor.

In addition to these online and in-person programs, our Programming Committee is working on the next installment of our “Riding the Circuits” series, which focuses on practical, insider tips in the federal appellate realm. Past webinars in this series (available on demand through CAL’s website) include the Third, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits. Our Membership Committee has produced an informative brochure about CAL membership benefits, which we distributed with good feedback at this year’s ABA Annual Meeting. And our Communications Committee will have produced CAL’s latest newsletter by the time you’re reading this column.

If you would like to join a committee or learn more about what our committees do, feel free to contact me directly. Or you can direct your inquiry to Amy Dasgupta, our ABA staff liaison, to connect you with the best person to answer your questions.

As we approach the end of this CAL year in November (with our annual meeting to be held in conjunction with the AJEI Summit), we are continuing to develop synergy among our committees to provide valuable content and networking opportunities for our members. We also are working to build our community by encouraging new members to join CAL from a variety of practice areas and stages. My participation in various Judicial Division meetings at ABA Annual Meeting confirmed that CAL’s commitment to collegiality is shared by our division and our conference. I am so proud of the work that our CAL Committees and Committee Chairs are doing every day to honor that commitment. Their enthusiasm and service remind me daily that appellate law is not merely a job or simply a profession. It is a community. I’m so glad you’re a part of the community, and I look forward to seeing you at an online or in-person event soon!

Ms. Kirsten M. Castañeda

2022-2023 Chair, AJC Council of Appellate Lawyers

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