Riding Off into the Sunset
Time flies when you're having fun. It is hard for me to believe that in about two months’ time, my term as President of the College will be at an end. It has been a memorable year – one that I will forever cherish. While you will probably hear me say this several more times, I do want to thank all the Fellows who Carol and I had the pleasure of meeting over the past year. Your hospitality, dedication and collegiality made the year exceptional.
I hope we will see many of you in Vancouver, British Columbia for our Annual Meeting from September 26 to September 29. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in North America and the venue for our meeting is located in the heart of that beauty. President-Elect Doug Young has again put together an exceptional group of speakers for our General Sessions. Our staff has organized the social events to give you a sampling of the best that Vancouver has to offer. You will not be disappointed. Carol and I look forward to welcoming you to Canada and we know that our Canadian Fellows will likewise welcome you with characteristic Canadian warmth and enthusiasm, eh!
One of the things that is most gratifying as President is to get feedback from Fellows. In every place that we visited, the Fellows and their spouses and guests were “effusive” in thanking us for making the effort to visit their city and for taking the time to get to know some things about the local area. Meeting people and learning about our two great countries is perhaps the key benefit of being President. Going back to the October Leadership Workshop in Nashville, we have come to know so many new friends and colleagues. So, before I ride off into the sunset…
Courtesy of the North Dakota Fellows, harkening back to Nashville
I also received feedback on the various press releases that were circulated by the College dealing with issues of judicial independence, funding of pro bono clinics and most recently, the Bloomberg Law Insight article on “Defense Counsel's Role in Democracy – Representing those of Heinous Crimes.” I again want to thank Regent Larry Krantz for his considerable assistance in preparing this piece. But I also want to thank those Fellows who took the time to respond. These responses were most heartening. Some simply said “congratulations on an excellent job,” and “thank you, I could not agree more.” One Fellow expressed “the undying respect and appreciation of those performing the criminal defense function. Your efforts on our behalf make us very proud to be part of this august group.” Another Fellow said, “That is what the American College of Trial Lawyers is all about.” Other Fellows commented that “this is important now, more than ever. We need to keep upholding the rule of law everywhere and for every person charged with crimes. Thanks for doing your part and… for expressing the important rationale of why we do what we do.” Another Fellow wrote that “this is particularly important today when lawyers feel the strain, and perhaps even the fear, of representing those charged with national security cases in particular.” And finally, from a former public defender:
“In our criminal justice system, the duty to protect and advocate for victims, including victims who were too long ignored, is balanced by the right of ALL defendants to effective assistance of counsel and the moral, ethical and legal duty of lawyers to provide that assistance… [otherwise] our justice system is in real danger. It is a relatively short step from castigating lawyers who defend cases brought on behalf of the most 'deserving' victims to castigating, and punishing, those who stand up for defense against the politically powerful or the currently popular.”
Comments like these that reflect our Fellows’ commitment to our mission and in particular, to the rule of law, and should be a source of pride for us all.
I am pleased to report that our new General Committee on Judicial Independence is up and running. The committee held its first formal meeting and is moving forward to consider how best to implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Judicial Independence. The committee has also responded with assistance to a proposed statement by the Alaska Fellows of the College regarding the Governor’s veto of part of the budget the Alaska legislature had enacted to fund the Alaska Court System in retaliation for a Supreme Court opinion on abortion rights, with which he disagreed. This was the first “test” of the ability of the Committee to respond on a timely basis to proposed statements and represents an excellent example of how this Committee can be of invaluable assistance going forward. For more details on this statement by the Alaska Fellows, see below or click here.
I would be remiss if I did not pause to reflect on the passing of retired United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. His death came at a time when I had just started to read Justice Stevens' new book entitled The Making of a Justice: Reflections on My First 94 Years. I have been struck by the praise that Justice Stevens received from so many. His civility was remarkable. He was “civil, courteous and kind, to his colleagues, his law clerks and counsel who appeared before him.” The comments reflected his modesty, pragmatism, intellectual rigor and independence. The fact that he regarded his being at the 1932 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees, during which Babe Ruth “pointed his bat at the center-field scoreboard” and hit his famous called shot as “my most important claim to fame” speaks volumes.
Former U.S. President Gerald Ford wrote that “I am prepared to allow history’s judgment of my term in office to rest (if necessarily, exclusively) on my nomination 30 years ago of Justice John Paul Stevens to the U.S. Supreme Court.” His colleagues on the Court variously noted:
his “inimitable blend of kindness, humility, wisdom, and independence;”; his genuine gentleness and modesty; his being a “considerate, helpful, good-natured and insightful colleague” [with] “an adventurous side;”; his being “a warm, engaging and unfailingly cordial colleague… [who] brought a penetrating, pragmatic and distinctively singular intellect to bear on the most important legal issues of the time;” his being “an extraordinary mentor and role model”… [he was] “affable, humble and unfailingly kind;” his being “one of a kind—a brilliant lawyer with a passion for justice, a person of rare independence who modeled collegiality and valued institutions, a modest man who achieved greatness in both his majority and his dissenting opinions;” his “quiet dignity… he was the soul of principle and an irreplaceable friend.” [Law 360, "Kindness, Humility, Wisdom: Justices Remember Stevens" by Erin Coe, July 17, 2019]
The College remains humbled and honored to have had Justice Stevens as an Honorary Fellow. Americans and Canadians alike mourn his passing and celebrate his life and his contributions to America and its people.
And last, but not least, there are those hats. I need your help. As many of you know, my “shtick” of donning hats in celebration of my hosts at local and regional meetings turned into somewhat of an obsession. I now have well in excess of 100 hats. So, what am I to do? Carol has been clear about there being no room at home for my collection and my office is bursting at the seams with memorabilia. So, here is my plan. I intend to bring the hats to Vancouver. They will be displayed on a table near the registration desk. You can acquire one of these hats while at the same time supporting the College with a minimum donation of $25. Obviously, more will be appreciated. The proceeds will go to the Canadian Foundation of the College in support of the current fundraising effort in memory of beloved Past President David Scott. This will be your opportunity to acknowledge our very good friend David and at the same time, assist in bringing to fruition David’s dream of having the Canadian Foundation of the College in a position to make grants to worthwhile Canadian organizations and in that way, to further the mission of the College. Indeed, the idea of collecting hats came from David. However, I do not think he envisioned the depths of my compulsion. So please be generous. I will even throw in one of the U.S-Canada friendship pins, pictured above. And I look forward to seeing many of you on the streets of Vancouver wearing a Leon, very lightly used, “chapeau.”
Help Further the College's Mission in Canada
The Canadian Foundation is working to raise enough funds to soon fund worthy projects, such as the Sopinka Cup, that further the College’s mission in Canada. Fellows have donated to the Canadian Foundation in memory of Past President David Scott, the first Canadian President of the College and a principal founder of the Canadian Foundation. U.S. Fellows may also participate by donating online and selecting David Scott Memorial Fund. The U.S. Fellow will be eligible for the usual tax deduction, but the U.S. Foundation will present the money in the fund to the Canadian Foundation.
Update Your Address for the 2019 Roster
It’s time again to make sure that your College profile is up to date. The contact information in your profile is used in the College Roster and the directory on the website. Updates submitted by Sept. 1, 2019 will be included in the 2020 Roster. Profile information can be updated in one of two ways.
ONLINE – It’s fast, easy, and immediately shows in the online directory. Just log in at www.actl.com. Click on My Account, then select Fellow Profile. The edit button next to the section heading allows you to make changes in that section. Firm changes can be made only through the National Office.
ROSTER UPDATE FORM – Click here to obtain the Roster Update form. The completed form can be printed, mailed, emailed, or faxed to the National Office.
For assistance, please contact the National Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-752-1801.
Applications for 2020 Emil Gumpert Award
"Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens." - Plato
Know of a worthy organization whose work includes maintaining and improving the administration of justice? The American College of Trial Lawyers is accepting applications for the 2020 Emil Gumpert Award. The Emil Gumpert Award recognizes programs whose principal purpose is to maintain and improve the administration of justice. The $100,000 award is funded by Fellow contributions to the Foundation and is the highest honor bestowed by the College on any program.
More information on the award can be found on the website as well as the application form. Questions can be directed to email@example.com. Applications are due September 20.
Join the College in Tucson for the 2020 Spring Meeting
The 2020 Spring Meeting will be held March 5-8, 2020 at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona. The following are confirmed speakers: William G. Young, U.S. District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts; Alison Goldwater, Executive Director, Barry & Peggy Goldwater Foundation; Troy Eids, former U.S. Attorney, Chair of the Indian Law and Order Commission; Joellen Russell, Ph.D., Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona; Rachel C. St. John, Ph.D., Department of History, University of California, Davis; Joan McPhee, Ropes & Gray; Skip Horner, Adventure Guide Extraordinaire; Rachel Wilson, Director of Cybersecurity, Morgan Stanley; and CLE speaker Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento County District Attorney.
The Alaska Fellows issued a statement in response to the Governor's veto of the court system budget. Viewed as a threat to judicial independence, the Alaska Fellows objected to the veto of the budget the Alaska legislature had enacted to fund the Alaska Court System. Read the full statement.
On May 9, 2019 the Arizona Fellows held their annual Continuing Legal Education for members of the Arizona Bar at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. The program was called “Damages: It’s All About the Money – – How to Get it and How to Keep It.” Arizona Fellows presented the daylong conference which included topics such as: Proving and Defending Wrongful Death Damages, Developments of Punitive Damages Jurisprudence and Presenting and Defending Economic Damages in Complex Commercial Disputes. A Day in the Life video was shown which captured the audience’s attention. It was a teaching moment for attorneys who represent not only plaintiffs but also defendants. Additionally, a section was presented on the topic of Hedonic Damages. In order to fully explore the topic, Arizona State Committee Vice Chair Paul J. McGoldrick
invited his brother, Mark McGoldrick, who overcame a catastrophic injury and became a graduate of Harvard Law school and active trial attorney. Mark discussed how to present catastrophic injuries to a jury so that a juror understands how such an injury impacts a plaintiff from an emotional and personal standpoint.
District of Columbia
On Jun. 14, 2019, Fellows Thomas G. Connolly and former Federal Legislation Committee Vice Chair Mark D. Hopson organized a program on trial techniques, in which various D.C. Fellows participated in presentations on all aspects of a trial practice. Four Judges, two from the federal District Court – the Honorable Amit Mehta and the Honorable Richard A. Leon and two from the local Superior Court – the Honorable Gerald Fisher and the Honorable Robert Richter, also participated and provided their judicial insights into trial practice. The program was held at the D.C. Office of Sidley Austin and was very well attended and very well received.
The efforts of Fellow Mark S. Davis and former Hawaii State Committee Chair Michael K. Livingston to obtain funding for the new Advocacy and Trial Practice Building at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law have paid off. Davis, who chaired the fundraising efforts with the assistance of Livingston, have obtained enough donations to dedicate a Hawaii Chapter of the ACTL workspace at the new building. The building is almost completed with the hope to be open for use by the fall semester. The ACTL workspace will have a plaque that reads: “The American College of Trial Lawyers is a fellowship of exceptional trial lawyers from the United States and Canada who have demonstrated the highest standards of trial advocacy, ethical conduct and professionalism. This workspace is dedicated by its Hawai’i members as a venue for Richardson students to preserve the independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, access to justice and respect for the rule of law.”
“This classroom is endowed by The Hawaii Chapter of The American College of Trial Lawyers and its members listed below:”
Mark S. Davis
Michael K. Livingston
Hon. Mark J. Bennett
Howard K.K. Luke
William C. McCorriston
Paul F. Cronin
David L. Fairbanks
Wayne K. Kekina
Gerald Y. Sekiya
Hon. James E. Duffy, Jr.
Sidney K. Ayabe
Each ACTL member whose firm or who individually made a contribution to the building of at least $10,000 will be listed.
On Jul. 26, 2019, Kentucky Fellows will host “May It Please the Court: Effective Appellate Oral Advocacy” put on by the ACTL and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers jointly with the Kentucky Supreme Court. This training program for approximately 25 public interest lawyers will be held at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law. A four-hour CLE credit will be given to those in attendance. Justice Michelle Keller of the Kentucky Supreme Court, Judge Pamela Goodwine of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, and Judge Pierre Bergeron of the Ohio First District Court of Appeals will serve as the panel judges for the appellate oral arguments. They will also participate in the panel discussion that will follow, moderated by Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Chair Joseph C. Crawford of Philadelphia, PA. Past President Chilton Davis Varner of Atlanta, GA along with Kentucky Fellow John L. Tate, Sheryl Snyder (AAAL) and Virginia Snell (AAAL) will argue a constitutional issue. On Sept. 13-14, the Kentucky Fellows, along with the Kentucky Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission will put on a trial skills training program for public interest lawyers in Louisville. Friday afternoon, Sept. 13, will consist of lectures and demonstrations. Saturday will consist of six mock trials with Kentucky Fellows serving as mentors and judges. Law students from University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law will assist in serving as witnesses, parties, and bailiffs.
On Apr. 11, 2019, the South Carolina Fellows hosted a “Senior Fellows Reception” to honor all of the state’s retired Fellows and emeritus Fellows. The well-attended event was held at the elegant, The Palmetto Club, in Columbia. Among the senior Fellows who attended were former South Carolina State Committee Chair Robert W. Dibble, Jr.; Robert J. Thomas; Former Regent Edward J. Mullins, Jr.; Michael D. Glenn; Robert A. McKenzie; Robert B. Wallace; H. Simmons Tate, Jr.; and former National College of District Attorneys Committee Chair Mark W. Buyck, Jr. The fellowship opportunity with these senior members could not have been better. All seemed quite pleased.
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
2019 Annual Meeting
September 26-29, 2019
The Westin Bayshore
Vancouver, British Columbia
2020 Spring Meeting
March 5-8, 2020
Region 5 Regional Meeting
Keystone, North Dakota
September 12-14, 2019
Tri-State Regional Meeting
January 23-26, 2020
Alaska Fellows Dinner
August 2, 2019
Wyoming "Dinner with the Supreme Court"
August 8, 2019
Iowa Fellows Meeting
August 16-18, 2019
Georgia Fellows Dinner
August 22, 2019
Kansas Fellows Meeting
August 24, 2019
Montana Fellows Dinner
September 6, 2019
New Mexico Fellows Meeting
Albuquerque, New Mexico
September 6-7, 2019
Nebraska Fellows Dinner
September 7, 2019
Wisconsin Fellows Dinner
September 11, 2019
Michigan Fall Reception
Traverse City, Michigan
September 14, 2019
Vermont Fellows Dinner
September 16, 2019
Indiana Fellows Dinner
October 18, 2019
British Columbia Fellows Dinner
Vancouver, British Columbia
October 22, 2019
Washington Fellows Dinner
October 24, 2019
Tennessee Fellows Dinner
October 25, 2019
Eastern Pennsylvania Fellows Event
October 29, 2019
E. Leon Carter of Dallas, Texas was named 2019 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Dallas Bar Association.
Michael A. Cooper of New York, New York was recognized with the 2019 New York Law Journal Lifetime Achievement Award which recognizes those lawyers who made an impact on the legal community and the practice over an entire career. He will be honored Oct. 23 at the New York Legal Awards.
Mary Humphrey of Toronto, Ontario was honored with the 2019 Commitment to Justice Award by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Heads of Prosecutions Committee. The award recognizes professional excellence, distinguished service and outstanding achievements as a prosecutor. It is one of three National Prosecution Awards bestowed by the FPT Heads of Prosecutions Committee each year.
Edward Kole of Woodbridge, New Jersey was installed as President of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey at the 43rd Annual William J. Brennan Jr. Award Reception on June 12.
A.J. Kramer of Washington, D.C. was selected to receive the 2019 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the D.C. Circuit. Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit presented the award during the Judicial Conference of the D.C. Circuit on June 27 in Cambridge, Maryland.
Samuel S. Lionel of Las Vegas, Nevada was honored by the Howard D. McKibben Chapter of the American Inn of Court (Southern Nevada) for his service as a founding member of the Inn and his lifelong commitment to mentorship of younger attorneys. He recently celebrated his 100th birthday.
Joseph R. Nuss, Q.C., Ad.E. of Montreal, Quebec was appointed to the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honors, by the Governor General of Canada.
James A. O’Reilly, Ad.E. of Montreal, Quebec was recognized with the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honors, by the Governor General of Canada.
Lewis R. Sifford of Dallas, Texas was named the 2019 Baylor Lawyer of the Year by the Baylor Law School and the Baylor Law Alumni Association. The award was presented to Sifford at a luncheon in his honor at the Belo Mansion in Dallas on May 1.
James P. Ulwick of Baltimore, Maryland was presented with the John Adams Award on behalf of 84 members of the Criminal Justice Act Panel. The award is presented each year by the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland to an attorney or attorneys on the panel who best exemplify the qualities exhibited by former President John Adams in representing indigent clients. Ulwick was recognized with the award on behalf of all CJA panel members who were involved in defending the individuals indicted in the Eastern Correctional Institution prison case, the largest prison corruption case in Maryland history.
Western Regional Meeting, Lake Tahoe, California, May 31-June 2, 2019: President Jeff Leon and First Lady Carol Best joined approximately 50 Fellows and guests in Lake Tahoe, California for the Western Regional Meeting. At an altitude of 6,800 feet, Jeff decided to forego his usual morning runs, but walking and sightseeing kept them busy. Presentations at the meeting included a discussion of alcohol and drug related problems in the legal profession. Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento District Attorney, spoke on “investigative genetic genealogy and solving violent crimes.” Schubert was responsible for the apprehension of the East Area Rapist/The Golden State Killer. Will Durst, a political commentator and comedian, provided a humorous presentation about current politicians and political issues, and included several former U.S. Presidents and the current President as subjects of his satire.
6th Circuit Regional Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, June 7-9, 2019: Cleveland, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was the venue for the 6th Circuit Regional Meeting. President Leon noted the revival that Cleveland has undergone, and thoroughly enjoyed his visit. Unfortunately, Carol was unable to attend with him. Speakers at the program included Terry Stewart, former CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, who spoke about the rich history of the Hall of Fame. Dennis Lehman, Executive Vice President, Business, of the Cleveland Indians gave an interesting talk on baseball history from his time spent in Philadelphia and Cleveland. Tamika Nunley, assistant professor of History and Comparative American Studies at Oberlin College spoke about the role of women in slavery and stories of escapes and related issues. Her book, entitled The Threshold of Liberty is pending publication. Jeff closed the evening dinner with a well-researched talk about Cleveland’s history and many facts about rock and roll, the city and its well-known figures of the past. He also presented his Top 25 chart-topping songs which talk about lawyers. Who knew?
Kentucky Fellows Dinner, Louisville, June 12, 2019: President Leon was in the 6th Circuit again on June 12, this time in Louisville, Kentucky. Kentucky holds an annual dinner at the same time as f the Kentucky State Bar Convention. Jeff had an opportunity to attend a CLE session sponsored by and presented by Kentucky Fellows titled “Handling the Challenges of Pre-Trial and Trial Practice Ethically and Professionally.” The College’s YouTube videos were used as the fact situation for purposes of discussion. Dinner was held at the River Valley Club on the banks of the Ohio River. Approximately 20 Fellows and a similar number of guests attended. Jeff made a few comments about the Bluegrass State, noting that it is easy to appreciate a state that features horse racing and Bourbon. Regent John Day, who also chairs the Task Force on Mentoring, was in attendance. Pat Moloney (State Committee Chair) and Bob Connolly (State Committee Vice Chair) presented Jeff with a Louisville Slugger Bat engraved with his name. Jeff also took the opportunity to discuss the strong relationship between Canada and the United States as evidenced by the common and strong support (outside of northern California) for the Toronto Raptors—a common theme of Jeff’s travels.
Region 15 Regional Meeting, Ottawa, June 14-16, 2019: President Leon and First Lady Carol Best did not have to leave Canada in making the short trip from Toronto to Ottawa for the Region 15 Regional Meeting. Region 15 had not held a regional meeting since 2014 and had a good showing of Fellows and an engaging program. A reception was held in the lobby of the Supreme Court of Canada building. Among the 35 Fellows and 20 guests were 5 Supreme Court Judges and 7 additional judges, which speaks to the strong relationship between the College and the judiciary in Canada. Of course, the Toronto Raptors’ NBA Championship was noted and compared favorably to the election of Jeff Leon as president of the College. Both are considered Canadian highlights. The Saturday General Session was well attended and again had several judicial Fellows in attendance. A new initiative of the Canadian Foundation was announced. The Foundation intends to raise an additional $200,000 in memory of David Scott, the first Canadian President of the College. His vision was that Canadian Fellows would be able to support Canadian programs in advocacy training, access to justice and improving the administration of justice. This will be a fitting tribute in David’s honor. Several informative presentations were a part of the session. Attendees heard a panel presentation on courageous advocacy by Maria Mitousis and Rob Talach, thoughts from Judicial Fellow Justice Ben Zarnett of the Court of Appeal of Ontario titled “What Trial Lawyers can learn from Appeal Lawyers,” and, finally, an interview with Alexandra Suda, director of the National Gallery of Canada by Journal Editor Stephen Grant.
Connecticut Fellows Dinner, New Haven, June 18, 2019: Approximately 20 Fellows attended the Connecticut Fellows Dinner in New Haven. President Leon was plagued by bad weather and travel plans were severely disrupted. Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson had completed his remarks by the time Jeff arrived at the dinner. President Jeff spoke of the many strengths of Connecticut, including its Maritime Industry, highest per capita income in the land, strong business base in the financial services industry, and also the University of Connecticut men’s and women’s basketball teams which both held the National Title in 2004 and 2014.
10th Circuit Regional Meeting, Tulsa, Oklahoma June 20-23, 2019: A very hot and humid Oklahoma welcomed President Leon and First Lady Carol Best to Tulsa on June 20 for the 10th Circuit Regional Meeting. The venue was the Mayo Hotel, a historic property in downtown Tulsa. The cocktail reception was well attended with 45 Fellows and 35 guests, representing Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Utah. This was Jeff and Carol’s first trip to Oklahoma, and there was ample time for sightseeing and visiting. The Friday and Saturday morning programs were filled with informative and entertaining speakers. Former 10th Circuit Judge Robert Henry spoke of the career of Moman Pruiett, an Oklahoma criminal lawyer who is credited with having a scorecard of 343 trials, with 303 acquittals. He was described as colorful, profane and ideally suited to the rough and tumble frontier of the 10th Circuit. Retired Federal District Judge Ralph Thompson discussed the Machine Gun Kelly Trial. Judge Thompson found old film related to the kidnapping and trial in a hidden file cabinet in his office. He had the film restored and it made an entertaining and interesting presentation. Past President Andy Coats spoke about his time as Oklahoma County District Attorney and the investigation and prosecution of one of the most notorious mass murder trials in state history, known as the Steakhouse Murders. Coats described how the investigators pursued leads which ultimately broke the case and allowed charges to be brought against Roger Dale Stafford, who received the death penalty for his crimes. Danny Boy O’Connor, a hip-hop artist/rapper also spoke to the meeting on Friday. O’Connor saw and became interested in the movie The Outsiders as a teenager. On a visit to Tulsa with his band, he learned that the house that figured prominently in the movie was still in existence, although in a state of disrepair. He spearheaded a project to restore the house and it is currently serving as a museum and has had a tremendous impact on the surrounding community. Saturday’s lineup of speakers began with Fellow Jim Connor who introduced his brother, Dr. Pat Connor. Dr. Connor serves as the team physician for the Carolina Panthers and his presentation was “A Tour through the NFL—An Insider’s Perspective.” He discussed pre-draft physical examinations, post-draft physical examinations, the role of the physician in practices, and on game days. Included was a discussion of the concussion protocol. Scott Barker talked about his recent book, Impeachment—A Political Sword: How the Johnson, Nixon and Clinton Impeachments Reshaped Presidential Politics. His discussion included the concept of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and comments on the implications of the Mueller report. Professor Arch Getty of UCLA, who has an interest in Russia, gave a presentation titled “Who is Putin: A Different View”. This included a history of the KGB and Putin’s rise to power. He also discussed at length his views on the Russian interference in the 2016 election. The final speaker was Brian Brurud, the most decorated Navy pilot in the modern era. He became a fighter pilot about the time of the release of the movie Top Gun.
Manitoba Fellows Meeting, Winnipeg, June 26, 2019: Regent Kathleen Flynn Peterson attended the Manitoba Fellows meeting with President Leon. Almost every active Manitoba Fellow was in attendance. The dinner meeting gave Jeff an opportunity to talk about the impact of the groundbreaking work of Past President David Scott to weave Canada into the fabric of the College. There was a question-and-answer period following the President’s remarks. One of the principal questions, as is often the case, was about the College’s standards for admission in light of the declining opportunities for trial experience. It was emphasized that an approach now followed allows for consideration of the nominee’s trial and other experiences. A re-emphasis on the need to identify diverse and younger fellows and the important work being done by the Mentoring Task Force were also highlighted.
Minnesota Fellows Meeting, Minneapolis, June 27, 2019: Following the Manitoba Fellows Meeting, Regent Peterson returned home to Minneapolis and President Leon traveled with her in anticipation of the Minnesota Fellows meeting. The venue was the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis. Cocktails and hor d’oeuvres were served to a good turnout of Fellows. Also, and significantly, six pending inductees joined the group and all were very excited about the prospect of induction into the College. Minnesota State Committee Chair, Chuck Webber, called the gathering to order and Jeff presented remarks on the state of the College. In addition, as is his custom, he provided many historical facts about Minnesota and listed more than 50 famous people who claim Minnesota as home. Special mention was made by both Jeff and Regent Peterson of Former Regent Brian O’Neill, who is clearly still loved by all. Jeff then discussed the issues facing the College, such as diversity, mentoring, judicial independence, and the various initiatives the College is using to address these concerns. And finally, as has been his habit, Jeff used his platform to honor and praise his beloved Raptors for their NBA Championship.
North Dakota Fellows Dinner, Fargo, July 9-10, 2019: Regent Kathleen Flynn Peterson again joined President Leon for a trip to Fargo for the North Dakota Fellows dinner. Before dinner they had enough time to visit the Bear Creek Winery and the Drekker Brewing Company, a craft beer brewery, for tastings. Unfortunately, lack of time resulted in forgoing the opportunity to visit the Fargo “wood chipper”. Guests at the dinner included the Dean of the University of North Dakota Law School, Mike McGinniss, the new U.S. District Court Judge for the District of North Dakota, Hon. Peter Welte and the Chief Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court, Hon. Gerald VandeWalle. This was the first visit by a College president in many years and the reception was quite warm. During his remarks, President Leon thanked North Dakota State Committee Chair Ron McLean, and Regent Peterson for their service. Both have reached the ends of their terms. Jeff reminded them that the College is like the Hotel California, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Jeff and Kathleen attended a breakfast meeting of the Fellows on the following morning. The North Dakota Fellows are actively seeking opportunities to give back to the College and the bar.
Colorado Fellows Dinner, Cherry Hills Village, July 13, 2019: First Lady Carol Best joined President Leon on the trip to Denver for the Colorado Fellows Dinner at the Cherry Hills Country Club. Secretary Mike O’Donnell hosted the Leons and provided a tour on the way to the club.The dinner was held on a patio overlooking the scenic 18th hole, famous for the Arnold Palmer U.S. Open win in 1960. Approximately 18 Fellows attended along with their guests. Jeff’s remarks included comments about Colorado’s famous citizens, its famous and numerous craft breweries, and its early decriminalization of marijuana. Jeff also discussed the College initiatives on diversity, mentoring and judicial independence.
The following Fellows have been elevated to the bench in their respective jurisdictions.
Patricia L. Dodge
U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
June 3, 2019
William E. Glover
15th Judicial Circuit of Virginia
July 12, 2019
Raul M. Arias Marxuach
San Juan, Puerto Rico
U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
May 3, 2019
James A. Willett
Prince William Circuit Court
May 4, 2018
The College extends congratulations to these Judicial Fellows.
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.
Alexander Armstrong Alston, Jr., ’82, Fellow Emeritus, Jackson, Mississippi, June 1, 2019
John Joseph Aponick, Jr., ’81, Scranton, Pennsylvania, January 3, 2019
Hon. Roberto Lope Cordova Arone, ’89, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, June 2019
James Orin Bass, Sr., ’64, Fellow Emeritus, Nashville, Tennessee, May 22, 2019
John Albert Beck, ’68, Fellow Emeritus, Washington, District of Columbia, December 27, 2018
Wayne Lee Bickes, ’81, Decatur, Illinois, July 2, 2019
Robert James Clune, ’81, Ithaca, New York, March 23, 2019
Hon. Thomas Patrick Curran, ’82, Shaker Heights, Ohio, May 1, 2019
John Martin Curphey, ’73 Fellow Emeritus, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, July 3, 2019
Richard Lee Cys, ’04, Chevy Chase, Maryland, November 1, 2017
H. Talbot (Sandy) D’Alemberte, ’80, Fellow Emeritus, Tallahassee, Florida, May 20, 2019
Samuel Phillips Daniel, Jr., ’81, Tulsa, Oklahoma, July 14, 2019
Richard Waters Davis, ’93, Fellow Emeritus, Radford, Virginia, June 2, 2019
Thomas McLean Faw, ’83, Fellow Emeritus, Mount Airy, North Carolina, March 24, 2018
Anthony Michael Fitzgerald, ’86, New Haven, Connecticut, June 4, 2019
David Prince Freitas, ’86, Fellow Emeritus, San Rafael, California, October 25, 2017
Henry Newton Herndon, Jr.,’92, Fellow Emeritus, Johnson City, Tennessee, April 5, 2017
Hon. Herbert Horn, ’59, Fellow Emeritus, West Palm Beach, Florida, July 7, 2015
Eric Daniel Lanphere, ’84, Fellow Emeritus, Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 9, 2018
Robert Jeffrey Lewis, ’04, Des Moines, Iowa, July 22, 2019
Weyman Ivan Lundquist, ’86, San Francisco, California, May 19, 2019
Thomas E. Masterson, ’96, Saint Petersburg, Florida, July 14, 2018
Thomas Crawford Palmer, Jr.,’84, Fairfax, Virginia, January 5, 2019
Rudolph Gottlieb Schade, Jr., ’96, Chicago, Illinois, March 20, 2019
Robert G. Stachler, ’73, Fellow Emeritus, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 11, 2019
Hon. John Paul Stevens, ’80, Honorary Fellow, Washington, District of Columbia, July 16, 2019
Walter Scott Welch, III, ’94, Fellow Emeritus, Ridgeland, Mississippi, June 14, 2019
James Lee Wernstrom, ’04, Grand Rapids, Michigan, May 19, 2019