The holidays are fast-approaching, as is the College’s 70th anniversary, which we will celebrate at the Annual Meeting in September 2020. The pace of this anniversary year has been exhilarating already: I have had the privilege of attending 5 State/Province meetings so far, with another 5 on the schedule before the end of the year; organizing and presiding over a successful 2-day Leadership Workshop in Squaw Valley, California; and enjoying a daylong meeting with the National Office staff in Orange County, California. Terry has joined me on the trips where spouses have been included. Each of these opportunities has reinforced the truth that the strength of the College lies in its membership.
“Membership” was among the topics of our Leadership Workshop, as the College continues to ask its Province and State Committees to focus on identifying diverse attorneys (including young attorneys who meet the membership criteria) and to find ways to encourage new inductees to play active roles in the College. The Workshop also focused on “Mentoring” and “Civility,” issues identified by Jeff Leon during his year as President. In a separate notice last month, I highlighted the outstanding White Paper titled “Mentoring the Next Generation of Trial Lawyers — Developing Excellent Trial Lawyers in an Era of Diminishing Trials,” prepared by the Task Force on Mentoring co-chaired by Regent John Day of Tennessee and Former Regent Kathleen Flynn Peterson of Minnesota. The White Paper contains recommendations for law firms, judges, corporate counsel, and others and specific initiatives for the College to consider.
The Leadership Workshop also built upon the work of the Legal Ethics and Professionalism and Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Committees, chaired by Fellows Don McKinney and Joe Crawford respectively. Videos about civility were shot in Vancouver, all offering significant “learning opportunities” based upon Fellows’ personal experiences, often bravely recounted. The video is posted on the YouTube section of the College website and will be made available to State and Province Committees, law firms, trial judges, and other organizations for CLE and other teaching purposes.
The Workshop also featured a special presentation by Judge Jeremy Fogel, formerly a state court judge, a federal district court judge, head of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C., and now the first Executive Director of the Judicial Institute at the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Judge Fogel focused on three primary “pillars of judging:” accountability, resilience, and decisional independence. He also participated in a breakout group, joined by Judicial Fellows Howard Matz of Los Angeles and Karen Townsend of Missoula, that was facilitated by Fellow John (“Buddy”) Wester of North Carolina who, along with Fellow Kent Thomson of Toronto, are Chair and Vice Chair of the College’s new Judicial Independence Committee. (The new committee was preceded by the Task Force on Judicial Independence chaired by Former Regent Kathleen Trafford of Ohio). The Judicial Independence Committee will take advantage of the recently published White Paper titled “The Need to Promote and Defend Fair and Independent Courts,” which is a sequel to a White Paper on Judicial Independence published in 2006. Among other things, the committee will help the College’s State/Province Committees navigate responses to unfair attacks on judges and will work with the National Association of Women Judges on educational outreach about the role of an independent judiciary in maintaining the rule of law.
A great many other issues are front-and-center as we begin the New Year. Among them are the work of our Access to Justice and Legal Services Committee and the work of our Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows Program, which, under the leadership of Mark Surprenant of New Orleans, pairs senior Fellows with significant pro bono programs. The Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Award (this year awarded to Jonathan Lippman, retired Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals) and the Emil Gumpert Award also continue to be important acknowledgements and the committees responsible for those awards welcome suggestions regarding worthy recipients.
As always, the end of the year offers an opportunity to consider donations to the U.S. or Canadian Foundations. Great and necessary work can be accomplished through these Foundations, as this link demonstrates; and the Canadian Foundation is very close to having a sufficient corpus to allow it to make its first monetary disbursements. It would be significant if, in this anniversary year, this milestone could be achieved.
Terry and I wish you and your families and colleagues the very best for the holidays. May the New Year bring as many of us as possible together in fellowship and permit us all to recognize opportunities to serve others and promote the rule of law in meaningful ways.
Speaker Videos, Photos Available from Annual Meeting in Vancouver
Four speaker videos from the 2019 Annual Meeting in Vancouver are available on the College YouTube page. Photos from the Vancouver meeting are also available through Shutterfly. You may view the photos without an account. However, to download or order photos you must log in to Shutterfly or create an account.
Join the College in Tucson for the 2020 Spring Meeting
Registration for the 2020 Spring Meeting is now open. Register online
through the ACTL site. Printed materials will be arriving in your mailbox soon. The following are confirmed speakers: Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California; Troy A. Eid, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig; Alison Goldwater Ross, Executive Director, Barry & Peggy Goldwater Foundation; Skip Horner, Wilderness Guide, Photographer, Lecturer; Joan McPhee, Partner, Ropes & Gray; Joellen Russell, Ph.D., Professor, University of Arizona; Rachel St. John, Ph.D., Professor, University of California, Davis; Rachel I. Wilson, Professor, Harvard University; William G. Young, Judge, District of Massachusetts; and M. David Lepofsky, Author and Adjunct Professor, Recipient of the Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award. CLE speakers include Marguerite Rizzo, Deputy-In-Charge, Forensic Science, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento County District Attorney.
The U.S. Foundation has been active this year in funding organizations and projects that support human rights
, veterans, children
, and local Fellow-led activities. The Trustees
consider grant applications on a rolling basis, and an application form may be found here
. Would you consider supporting the Foundation and these worthy projects? You can donate today online at actl.com/donate
If you are 70½ or older, you can make a contribution to the Foundation of the American College of Trial Lawyers directly from your IRA simply by instructing the plan administrator to make the transfer to the Foundation as a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). You are allowed to transfer up to $100,000 a year to the charities of your choice.
Your gift will be transferred directly to the Foundation, will not be reported as taxable income, and will count toward your minimal distribution requirements for 2019. If you have questions about this, please contact U.S. Foundation President Chuck Dick, at 619-847-9098 or email@example.com
Colorado Fellows and the Colorado Bar Association co-sponsored Winning at Trial: 2019 Trade Secrets of Top Trial Lawyers on Nov. 22. Kenzo Kawanabe, Maureen Witt, Colorado State Committee Chair Michael McCarthy, and Eric Olson participated in the training.
The College will celebrate its 70th Anniversary at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., September 24 - 27. The Executive Committee has asked the Heritage Committee to look back on the history of the College and present an experience for Fellows at the Annual Meeting. We believe this feature consisting of presentations to the College, video footage and photographs of historical value, will be a worthwhile experience for Fellows, spouses and guests attending the Annual Meeting. The Heritage Committee asks that any Fellow who has significant memories or items of historical value, pass those on to the Heritage Committee. Please do so by contacting the Chair or Vice Chair:
Cincinnati Fellows presented a 3-hour CLE program on Nov. 8, titled “Polish Your Ethics-Legal Sand Traps Trial Lawyers Should Avoid.” Fellows Kathleen Brinkman, Jim Burke, and Immediate Past Chair of the National Trial Competition Committee Gary Winters served as panelists along with U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett and Magistrate Karen Litkovitz. Tom Eagen served as the moderator. The program used material from the CLE presented during the 2018 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. All proceeds from the CLE went to the University of Cincinnati College of Law Trial Team. Cincinnati Fellows will present 3 CLEs (October 23, December 18 & 19) using the ACTL Ethics Vignettes. Fellows Lou Gilligan, John Smith and Eigen will be presenting the 1-hour CLEs.
For the third year in a row, the Mississippi Judicial College invited the Mississippi Fellows to lead the ethics session at the Mississippi Trial and Appellate Judges Conference. On Oct. 25, 2019, Fellows John Banahan, Trey Byars, Mississippi State Committee Chair Cal Mayo, and Ed Taylor presented “Social Media Dangers & Personal Relationship Recusals: An Overview of Recent Developments” to more than 150 county, circuit, chancery, appellate, and supreme court judges and justices.
On Nov. 19, 2019, North Carolina Fellows provided trial skills training to legal services attorneys from across the state at the Legal Services Task Force Trainings sponsored by Legal Aid of North Carolina. Each of the courses taught by NC ACTL Fellows was attended by over 100 legal services attorneys. The courses taught and ACTL Fellows who participated included: Storytelling Strategies in Developing and Presenting Your Case - Don Beskind; Pre-Litigation Investigation, Discovery and Preserving Exhibits - Sara Lincoln, Claire Rauscher; Preserving Issues and Preparing Your Case for Appeal - Allison Mullins, Wade Byrd; Ethics and Professionalism – Pretrial and Trial - John Wester, Mark Holt. Celia Pistolis, Litigation Director for Legal Aid of North Carolina, commented, “[w]e continue to appreciate and be pleased to partner with ACTL and its Fellows to provide high quality training to legal services attorneys across North Carolina.” Maureen Murray, North Carolina State Committee, said, “[w]e value our relationship with Legal Aid and the legal services community. It is an honor for our ACTL Fellows to present to and interact with these dedicated professionals who serve the civil legal needs of low-income people across our state.”
On Nov. 1, 2019, Judge C. Darnell Jones II of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and four ACTL Fellows – Linda Dale Hoffa, Michael Turner, John McShea and Joe Crawford – presented a 1-hour CLE seminar on civility to approximately 150 lawyers at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This program was the first public use of the Civility Videos that were filmed during the Annual Meeting in Vancouver. The civility seminar was part of a 4-hour CLE program that Pennsylvania Fellows have presented in conjunction with the Temple Law faculty for the past four years. The format used for the civility presentation was a panel discussion among Judge Jones, Hoffa, Turner and McShea. Crawford served as the moderator asking questions of both the panel members and the audience to keep the discussion lively and interesting for the entire hour.
The College recognizes extraordinary individuals and their important contributions to the law through four awards described below. A nominator need only submit a letter of support, and the award committee will complete an investigation before deciding whether to recommend the person to the Board of Regents
. Please consider nominating a worthy recipient. You may send your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
or directly to the committee chair indicated below.
Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Award
The Award, named for The Honourable Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, is to be awarded to a judge or a member of the bar in the United States or Canada, whether or not a Fellow of the College, who has played an exceptional role in creating and promoting access to justice. The Award will recognize innovative measures or extraordinary personal commitment and professional dedication which have enhanced access to justice in the United States or Canada.
Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy
Chair: Guy J. Pratte, email@example.com
To receive and investigate recommendations and information relative to outstanding courage demonstrated by trial lawyers in unpopular or difficult causes, and where appropriate to recommend an award.
Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award
To honor a lawyer or judge, whether or not a Fellow of the College, who has made a significant, exceptional and lasting contribution to the improvement of the litigation process.
Sandra Day O'Connor Jurist Award
The Award is to be given from time to time to a judge in the United States or Canada, whether or not a Fellow of the College, who has demonstrated exemplary judicial independence in the performance of his or her duties, sometimes in especially difficult or even dangerous circumstances. A nomination form can be found here
2020 Spring Meeting
March 5-8, 2020
JW Marriott Star Pass Resort
2020 Annual Meeting
September 27-29, 2020
Washington, District of Columbia
Tri-State Regional Meeting
Alabama, Florida, Georgia
January 23-26, 2020
Art Ovation Hotel
Region 6 Regional Meeting
Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi
May 8-10, 2020
Northwest Regional Meeting
Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington
July 9-12, 2020
The Hotel Alyeska
Oregon Fellows Dinner
December 4, 2019
Arkansas Fellows Dinner
Little Rock, Arkansas
December 5, 2019
Nevada Fellows Meeting
Las Vegas, Nevada
December 6, 2019
Mississippi Fellows Dinner
December 6, 2019
Texas Fellows Winter Luncheon
December 6, 2019
Louisiana Fellows Dinner
New Orleans, Louisiana
December 7, 2019
Western Pennsylvania Fellows Event
December 12, 2019
NE Fellows Black Tie Dinner
January 24, 2020
South Carolina Fellows Meeting
Bluffton, South Carolina
February 6-10, 2020
Northern California Fellows Dinner
San Francisco, California
February 7, 2020
Utah Fellows Dinner
Salt Lake City, Utah
February 8, 2020
LAW SCHOOL COMPETITIONS
National Moot Court Final Rounds
New York, New York
February 10-13, 2020
National Trial Competition
Fort Worth, Texas
April 2-5, 2020
J. Eugene Balloun of Kansas City, Missouri was honored with an ICON Award by the Missouri Lawyers Media for 2019. He was also selected by Voice for Adoption, a national adoption advocacy nonprofit group, for its 2019 Breaking Barriers Adoption Award.
A. Clifford Edwards of Billings, Montana was installed as President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers in London, England.
Stephen E. Raynes of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was recognized by American Association for Justice’s Pro Bono Award during their 2019 Annual Convention.
Saul B. Simmonds, Q.C. of Winnipeg, Manitoba received the 2019 Richard J. Scott Award from the Law Society of Manitoba.
H. Louis Sirkin of Cincinnati, Ohio received the John L. Muething Lifetime Achievement in Law Award for 2019 from the Cincinnati Bar Association.
John R. Wester of Charlotte, North Carolina received the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award, the only honor given by the North Carolina State Bar.
James W. Quinn of New York, New York recently released Don’t Be Afraid to Win: How Free Agency Changed the Business of Pro Sports.
Rick A. Unklesbay of Tucson, Arizona has written Arbitrary Death, where all proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Homicide Survivors, an organization that assists families of murder victims.
Indiana Fellows Dinner, Indianapolis, October 18, 2019:
President Young visited Indianapolis and the Indiana Fellows on Oct. 18, 2019. He attested that Indiana’s motto, “a State that Works” certainly fits. His visit began with a trip to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and he was moved by the native American Indian art focusing on the American Indian family. President Young then headed to the Woodstock Club, where he found the Indiana Fellows to be a warm and inviting group. Approximately 60-70 Fellows and guests filled the room. State Committee Chair Debra Miller introduced the guest of honor, Hon. Heather Welch, Chief Judge of the Indiana Commercial Court, and President Young gave preliminary remarks. He concentrated on the things the College is doing and its emphasis on diversity and mentoring, as well as judicial independence and the new committee focusing on this issue. Judge Welch spoke about her career and the work of the commercial courts in Indiana. Having served 19 years on the bench, she is credited with being one of the architects of the Commercial Courts which were established to be a better, more expeditious docket for complex commercial litigation.
Washington Fellows Dinner, Seattle, October 24, 2019:
FareStart at Pacific Tower, the venue for the Washington Fellows dinner, offers opportunities for people in need to obtain training that will enable them to find gainful employment, and the program excels in culinary arts. The Washington Fellows are extremely welcoming and had 90-100 Fellows and guests in attendance, including Regent Mona Duckett and State Committee Chair Steve Fogg. Two inductees, Malaika Eaton and Jeffrey Beaver, scheduled for induction in Tucson, attended and were prime examples of the future of the College. President Young spoke to the group about the College diversity initiative and its success. He also discussed the new Judicial Independence Committee
, focusing on one of the pillars of judicial independence, resilience. Several speakers eulogized Fellows who had died in the past year and the tributes were very moving.
Tennessee Fellows Dinner, Memphis, October 25, 2019:
Cold and damp weather met President Young in Memphis. He was greeted by Regent John Day and the State Committee Chairs from Arkansas (Ken Cook) and Mississippi (Cal Mayo). Dinner was held at Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar and it was encouraging to see a diverse group of about 60 Fellows and guests. The Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi State Committees are jointly planning a CLE event to be held April 24, 2020 at the University of Memphis Law School. President Young spoke on the recurring themes of diversity, Mentoring Task Force
, boot camp training programs, and judicial independence.
Eastern Pennsylvania Fellows Event, Philadelphia, October 29, 2019:
The visit to Philadelphia was quick but productive. State Committee Chair Katie Recker and President Young were joined by Past President Bart Dalton, Regent Bob Welsh, and approximately 50 other Fellows at this Fellows-only event at Estia Restaurant. There was ample time for drinks, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and conversation as the group was able to mix and mingle. After State Committee Chair Recker and Regent Welsh each offered a few remarks, President Young was introduced and spoke about the focus of the College in the areas of diversity, mentoring, civility, and judicial independence. The Pennsylvania State Committee continues to work with the Administrative Office of the Courts providing Continuing Judicial Education and collaborates with Temple University Beasley School of Law to present a “Masters of Litigation” trial skills CLE program, most recently held on November 1, 2019.
Upstate Illinois Fellows Dinner, Chicago, November 6, 2019:
Treasurer Mike O’Donnell represented the College at the Upstate Illinois Fellows dinner in Chicago. Over 50 Fellows attended the event at Mastro’s Steakhouse. Dignitaries included Past President Bob Byman, Regent Dan Reidy, State Committee Chair Terri Mascherin, and State Committee Vice Chair Shawn Kasserman. Perhaps most importantly, former State Committee Chair Dan Boho provided his expertise in fine wines to highlight the lengthy cocktail hour. After sharing regrets and regards from President Young, Treasurer O’Donnell thanked the group for the warm welcome on the cold evening. Mike summarized the College’s work on judicial independence, diversity, mentoring, and the Access to Justice Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows Program. Special thanks were given to Past President Byman for his service and his willingness to remain actively involved with the College as Editor of the Journal
and as a Trustee of the Foundation
. The 2021 Annual Meeting will be in Chicago and the Fellows were encouraged to recommend speakers and events for the meeting.
Alabama Fellows Dinner, Birmingham, November 8, 2019:
President Young was accompanied by his wife, Terry, on his trip to Birmingham for the Alabama Fellows dinner. Past President Sam Franklin and his wife, Betty, were gracious hosts. Despite the rainy weather, they were able to visit many sites of the city, including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Many historical places can be seen in the downtown Birmingham area which serve as reminders of notable events during the Civil Rights Movement. The Country Club of Birmingham served as the venue for the dinner of the Alabama Fellows. A full house of 40 Fellows, plus spouses and guests, included Past President Warren Lightfoot. Of note, the Alabama Fellows have presented 2 separate ethics presentations to new admittees to the Alabama Bar, and they have met with judges on behalf of the Alabama Judges Association in working to schedule a program for the summer of 2020. President Young spoke to the group and noted that Veterans Day was approaching and remembered and honored those who had served. Additional remarks followed the familiar themes of the College’s diversity efforts, Access to Justice
program, civility, and judicial independence.
The following Fellow has been elevated to the bench in his respective jurisdiction.
Collins J. Seitz, Jr.
Delaware Supreme Court
November 7, 2019
The College extends congratulations to this Judicial Fellow.
The College has been notified of the passing of the Fellows listed below. The date after each name notes the year of induction into the College, and the date following the state or province is the date of his or her passing. A tribute to each will appear in the In Memoriam section of a subsequent issue of the Journal.
Michael Francis Armstrong, ’79, Fellow Emeritus, New York, New York, October 21, 2019
Plato Cacheris, ’76, Washington, District of Columbia, September 26, 2019
J. Patrick Cremin, ’02, Tulsa, Oklahoma, February 6, 2019
Donald Robert Dunner, ’95, Washington, District of Columbia, October 16, 2019
Thomas G. Heintzman, O.C., Q.C., FCIArb, ’91, Fellow Emeritus, Toronto, Ontario, October 24, 2019
Thomas Edgar Holliday, ’93, Los Angeles, California, August 22, 2019
Lawrence S. Huffman, ’91, Fellow Emeritus, Lima, Ohio, August 6, 2019
Ernest B. Lageson, ’84, Fellow Emeritus, Kensington, California, October 25, 2019
Francis Scott McDaniel, ’70, Oakwood, Ohio, March 25, 2012
Michael E. McNichols, ’84, Fellow Emeritus, Lewiston, Idaho, September 26, 2019
Thomas J. O’Reilly, Q.C., ’92, St. John’s, Newfoundland, October 24, 2019
Robert L. Pottroff, ’06, Manhattan, Kansas, October 26, 2019
Jesse F. Ruiz, ’01, San Jose, California, October 17, 2019
Charles Eugene Sharp, Sr., ’80, Vestavia, Alabama, October 11, 2019