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Appellate Practice

About the Committee


The Appellate Practice Committee strives to demystify the appellate process and provide educational resources through its programs and the work of its subcommittees. Committee members monitor current developments in case law, proposed amendments to procedural rules, and proposals for legislation. Subcommittees also work on appellate institutes, the National Law Student Appellate Advocacy contest, program planning, and numerous special assignments of interest to appellate practitioners.

Message from the Chairs

Welcome to the Appellate Practice Committee for the 2023–2024 bar year. We had a productive and fun time last year, and we will be building on that momentum this year. Those of you who have been members of the committee for some time know that we are proud of the wide range of benefits provided to our members. The committee has a well-earned reputation for presenting a variety of dynamic and informative programs at the Section Annual Conference, the ABA Annual Meeting, and other important Section conferences, as well as CLE and informal programs throughout the year.

For instance, last year, we presented a webinar on the topic of the Major Question Doctrine, and discussed its potential impact on the future of the administrative state. If you missed it, you can still access it at: We are also known for our Roundtables, which are virtual educational programs that address an array of appellate topics. Our most recent Roundtable was “Tricks of the Trade: Do’s and Don’ts of Appellate Brief Writing” in April. And we are already hard at work on the next one, “Tricks of the Trade: Do’s and Don’ts of Oral Argument.” Check out the committee’s website, or your “Committee Update” emails, for details on how to register. Roundtables like these offer not only information, but opportunities for our committee members to create and present a program. If you have an idea, a connection with an interesting speaker, or are interested in helping put on a Roundtable, please let us know.

We also participated in last year’s Section Annual Conference in Atlanta in April. Along with the interesting and informative CLE programs (and the fun social events, meeting old and new colleagues), we held our committee dinner. A staple of our annual get-together, we had a great turnout—over 20 people showed up. The 2024 Section Annual Conference is in Washington D.C. from May 1–3, 2024. Be sure to mark your calendar now, so that you can meet us in the nation’s capital.

In addition to our programming and conference offerings, we continue to publish quarterly the Appellate Practice newsletter (or as some old-timers still refer to it, the Appellate Practice Journal). The newsletter contains short articles (750–2,500 words) on topics of interest to appellate practitioners, both substantive and procedural. Back issues are available on the committee’s website. We are proud to have won awards from the Section for our publication and, with our members’ help, hope to win more in the future. The newsletter provides dual benefits, keeping our members informed of developments in appellate practice and affording our members, especially young lawyers, an opportunity to publish articles. If you would like to see your name in print, please contact one of our editors, Shaunta Knibb or Susan Yorke.

Furthermore, the committee provides other benefits, from major books, such as A Practitioner’s Guide to Appellate Advocacy, to practice points and updates on interesting appellate cases, as well as our Sound Advice podcast, that appear on our website. As a review of our past achievements and future plans demonstrates, the committee is dedicated to providing the best quality resources to our members.

If you would like to become more involved in the committee, please feel free to reach out to us. The best way is to volunteer with one of our subcommittees. Last year, the committee focused on reorganizing our subcommittee structure and welcomed a number of new subcommittee co-chairs. The new leadership team has been great, and they are eager to work with you during this new bar year. Please let us know what areas interest you, and we will get you involved right away. From personal experience, we can assure you it will be worth your while.

Preparations for the Section Fall Leadership Meeting for the first week of October are well underway. This provides an opportunity for committee cochairs to get together in person with the subcommittee cochairs and other leaders of the Section to discuss some of our programming and membership goals for the 2023–2024 Bar Year. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing all of the benefits of the committee in the weeks to come.

Tom Donlon
Cheyenne N. Chambers

Cochairs, Appellate Practice Committee


Our active subcommittees include:

  • Appellate Rules and Statutes
  • Appellate Practice Journal Board of Editors
  • Website
  • "Sound Advice"
  • Membership/Diversity
  • Professional Opportunities and Pro Bono Appeals
  • Programming
  • Young Lawyers

Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs:

Committee Leadership

Cheyenne Chambers
Tom Donlon

Web Editor
James Azadian

Newsletter Editors
Shaunta Knibb
Susan Yorke