More than eight months have now passed since my term as your President commenced in Montreal, and it continues to be a truly great experience for Betty and me. Time has passed so quickly, and already plans for the 2018 Annual Meeting in New Orleans are nearing completion. During our travels, I have detected a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm for our visit to New Orleans and I urge you to respond promptly when registration opens, as space will be somewhat limited for that meeting.
There are certain events which occur each year, and we are entering one of the ones most important to the long-term, well-being of the College. Shortly, President-Elect Jeff Leon, working with Committee chairs, will make appointments to all our General Committees
for next year, and Treasurer Doug Young will work with the Regents to make appointments to all our State
Committees. Often in this appointment process, the appointing officer is not aware of all those Fellows who are not currently serving, but do wish to become active at some committee level. Working on our committees is an excellent way in which to enhance your experience as a Fellow. Therefore, I urge each of you to notify either your Regent or Amy Mrugalski in our National Office (firstname.lastname@example.org
) to express your interest, and the committee on which you would like to serve. Jeff and Doug will do their best to accommodate your requests.
The Executive Committee believes it will be extremely helpful in the search for new, qualified candidates if we are able to add younger, recently inducted Fellows to our State and Province Committees. Thus, even if you are a Fellow recently inducted, do not hesitate to let us know of your interest in serving.
Let me share with you briefly a recent, rewarding experience I had as your President. On May 9, I attended the reception at the Fordham Law School in New York City, when the 2018 Emil Gumpert Award recipient was recognized
and we delivered a check from our Foundation in the amount of $100,000. These funds will be used to support and expand a pro bono project at the Dilley, Texas Detention Center where women with young children are housed while they await the effort to seek asylum in the United States. The description by the lawyers involved in this work at Dilley of the pressing need for legal assistance and the educational opportunity which has now been experienced by almost sixty law students from Fordham who have traveled to Dilley was a powerful message. All of the representatives from the Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham who participated in the reception highlighted the College and our Foundation, and expressed their deep gratitude. If you have not done so recently, please consider making a contribution to our Foundation
in order that we can continue to make important grants which support our mission.
Betty and I will continue to be busy with our travels through August, and we look forward to visiting with many of you at upcoming regional or local gatherings.
College Heads to New Orleans for 2018 Annual Meeting
The 68th Annual Meeting of the College will be in "The Big Easy." The last time a national meeting was held in "N'awlins" was in 1989. Registration is expected to open by the end of June. The list of invited speakers includes the following: Dora Galacatos, Emil Gumpert Award Recipient, Executive Director, Fordham Law School Feerick Center for Social Justice; Fred D. Gray, FACTL, Civil Rights Activist; C.C. Lockwood, Photographer; The Honourable Madam Justice Sheilah Martin, Supreme Court of Canada, presented with Honorary Fellowship; The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Supreme Court of Canada, (ret.); Andrew J. Savage, III, FACTL, Recipient of the Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy; Brad Snyder, Author and Professor, Georgetown University Law Center; David O. Stewart, Author; Dr. Michael White, Clarinetist, Composer and Educator; Jason Rogers Williams, FACTL, President, New Orleans City Council; and Dr. Joseph Crespino, Professor of American History, Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Author.
The College is honored to have many acclaimed authors joining us, and in the meeting brochure, the speakers’ biographies include many of their book titles. We hope you will take time to read some of the various titles mentioned. After the General Sessions, several authors will be available to sign their books, and some will have copies for sale. Please see actl.com as we update book titles that may be available for purchase during the signing.
Tips on Using Find a Fellow
This short video
offers pointers on searching for a Fellow on the College website through the Find a Fellow button. Watch the video
Arizona Fellows Present Program on Social Media, Digital Evidence
On May 4, 2018, the Arizona Fellows put on a day-long seminar addressing evidentiary issues that many trial lawyers face, but are often unequipped to handle. The program was entitled “It’s All About the Evidence.” The presenters were Fellows of the ACTL and judges from both the federal and state courts. Attendees watched as attorneys offered, and judges “ruled” on the admissibility of, social media and digital evidence. Attendees also saw a fascinating presentation entitled “Computer Graphic Evidence—when to use it and how to get it in front of the jury.” In this section, the attendees viewed graphic simulations and animations that were prepared for an actual wrongful death case. The program also addressed ethical pitfalls during jury selection and during trial. There were also presentations on a host of other evidentiary issues commonly faced by trial attorneys including the admissibility of expert testimony. The program was well-attended and received high marks. The focus now turns to preparing for the Jenckes Competition—a closing argument competition that pits law students from Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. Winning this competition is a coveted prize for law students at both universities. The competition will take place in November in Tucson, Arizona, and is one of the premier events sponsored by the Arizona Fellows.
Expanding and Enhancing Remote Access to Counsel for Detained Asylum-Seekers with Children Project Named 2018 Emil Gumpert Award Recipient
The Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham Law School was selected as the 2018 Emil Gumpert Award recipient. The Feerick Center is being recognized for providing pro bono legal counsel to asylum-seeking women with children in Dilley, Texas, along with its partner, the Dilley Pro Bono Project (DPBP). Read more
Ontario Fellows Hold Spring Symposium
Ontario Fellows, in partnership with The Advocates' Society, presented The Advocate Matters: Spring Symposium 2018 on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. The practical program, a continuing professional development and networking event for civil litigators, included presentations on the following topics: Year in Review: Key Developments; Fireside Chat with The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Former Chief Justice of Canada; Written Advocacy vs. Oral Advocacy; View from the Bench and Beyond; Demonstration & Discussion: Carter v. Canada Opening Submissions; Challenging Evidentiary Issues: What Every Advocate Needs to Know; and Thorny Ethical Issues. The following Fellows participated in the program: Sheila R. Block, LSM; Past President Robert L. Byman; J. Thomas Curry; Judicial Fellow The Honourable Justice Michal Fairburn; Canadian Foundation Director Sandra A. Forbes; Judicial Fellow The Honourable Michelle K. Fuerst, Regional Senior Judge; Scott C. Hutchison; Jessica A. Kimmel; President-Elect Jeffrey S. Leon, LSM; Jonathan C. Lisus; Beverly McLachlin Access To Justice Award Committee Chair Guy J. Pratte; Linda R. Rothstein; Honorary Fellow The Honourable Marshall E. Rothstein, C.C., Q.C.; and Benjamin Zarnett.
Pennsylvania Fellows Hold Reception at Newly Transformed Trial Advocacy Center
On May 1, 2018, Eastern Pennsylvania Fellows held a reception at the Thomas R. Kline Institute for Trial Advocacy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fellow Tom Kline spoke about the transformation of the former Beneficial Savings Bank building and its new use as a trial advocacy center for the Drexel University Kline School of Law. Tom Kline purchased the 24,000-square-foot building in late 2012 and donated it to Drexel University in 2014. The building was designed by Horace Trumbauer and constructed in 1916 for Beneficial Bank. Trumbauer, a Philadelphia architect, designed, among other works, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the main library of Harvard University. The building has ornate high ceilings and other fine detailing, including the original board room of the bank. At the reception, Tom discussed his vision for use of the building and the work undertaken to restore the building into a trial advocacy training center for law students. He then took Fellows on a tour of the ceremonial courtroom, trial practice rooms and other parts of the Institute. The Pennsylvania Fellows enjoyed the event and appreciated Tom’s insights and generosity. Fellows hope to find other opportunities to schedule College events at the Kline Institute.
Tennessee Fellows Partner with Nashville Bar Association to Present CLE
On April 12, 2018 Tennessee Fellows presented a continuing legal education program, Trial Practice Skills –Techniques and Insights from Experienced Practitioners in Nashville, Tennessee. The program was presented through the Nashville Bar Association. The program was presented by Tennessee Outreach Liaison William B. Jakes III who acted as moderator with three Fellows, Judicial Fellow James G. Martin III, and Nashville Fellows John P. Branham and Gayle Malone, Jr. The program primarily involved discussing ethical standards and issues related to pretrial and trial conduct. Various ethical situations and dilemmas frequently faced by litigators were presented by video vignettes and materials prepared by the College and were discussed with the panel and presenters.
West Virginia Fellows Take Part in Law School Competitions
West Virginia Fellows continue their active support for advocacy training at the state’s only law school, the WVU College of Law in Morgantown. Fellow and Outreach Liaison David Romano recently served as a judge in the 8th Annual National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition hosted by WVU, with numerous law schools from around the country participating by invitation. West Virginia State Committee Chair Bill Galeota served as a judge in the annual Lugar Cup Trial Competition, which has been extended to include a competition bracket for first year law students.
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 email@example.com
or directly to the committee chair indicated below.
Beverly 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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
2018 Annual Meeting
September 27-30, 2018
The Roosevelt, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana
2019 Spring Meeting
February 28 - March 3, 2019
La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
La Quinta, California
Northeast Regional Meeting
June 22-24, 2018
Northwest Regional Meeting
August 23-26, 2018
Maryland and Washington D.C. Dinner
June 9, 2018
Kentucky Fellows Dinner
June 13, 2018
Idaho Fellows Dinner
June 16, 2018
Connecticut Fellows Dinner
New Haven, Connecticut
June 20, 2018
Texas Fellows Summer Luncheon
June 22, 2018
Manitoba Fellows Meeting
June 28, 2018
Colorado and Wyoming Fellows Dinner
July 21, 2018
Minnesota Fellows Meeting
July 26, 2018
Kansas Fellows Meeting
August 18-19, 2018
Georgia Fellows Dinner
August 23, 2018
Iowa Fellows Meeting
Iowa City, Iowa
August 24-26, 2018
Alaska Fellows Meeting
August 27, 2018
John W. Adler
of Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Aviation Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.
L. James Gordon
of Granville, Ohio, was honored by the Ohio State Bar Association
for his sixty-five years in practice and for his service to the legal profession on March 27, 2018 at the OSBA District 9 Annual Meeting.
Stuart D. Shanor of Roswell, New Mexico, was honored on April 26 at the annual Law Day Dinner sponsored by the Chaves County Bar Association. The mayor of Roswell also made a proclamation of appreciation to Shanor for his service to the city and to the legal community in the city and throughout the state.
Texas, National Trial Competition, April 4-8:
Sam and Betty Franklin made their first trip ever to Austin, Texas, for the National Trial Competition. An opening reception was held at the Hilton Hotel followed by a lively dinner at the Roaring Fork restaurant, all attended by Fellows, including most of the members of the National Trial Competition Committee (NTCC). The weekend was filled with Fellows judging the competition in hearing rooms at the Texas State House. Friday night featured a reception at the Headliner’s Club atop one of Austin’s skyscrapers. Fellow Kay Deming of Georgia acted as host for the evening. Post-dinner entertainment included Fellow Richard Zielinski of Boston performing an “Ode to Sam” based on source information much in question, at least in Sam’s mind (and there’s a video out there). It was back to business Saturday judging the semi-finals and finals at the Austin federal courthouse, and Sam got to wear a robe and act as presiding judge for the final rounds. It turned out two teams from Wake Forest were in the finals, so guess what, Wake Forest won! The festivities ended with the awards dinner Saturday night back at the Hilton attended by the competing teams, coaches and almost all of the participating Fellows and spouses. Sam gave brief remarks regarding the history of the competition and of Lewis Powell.
New York, April 10: It was the culture shock of Texas to New York for Sam just two days later for a Fellows only event at the Century Association, an old New York club (think “Trading Places” only in New York, not Philly). In attendance were Past Presidents Bob Fiske, Mike Cooper and Greg Joseph, two Former Regents, Henry Miller and John Siffert as well as Regent Ritchie Berger, State Chair Bruce Maffeo and Judicial Fellow Barbara Jones (ret.). Sam gave an inspiring speech about the important efforts of the College to improve diversity, and Judge Jones gave a talk that was also very well-received about the history of women in the College and in which she encouraged Fellows to help mentor young women trial lawyers.
Virginia, April 13-14: After New York, Sam and Betty arrived in Charlottesville for the Virginia Fellows Meeting at the Boar’s Head Inn. State Chair Craig Merritt and Vice Chair Bill Glover welcomed the Franklins and attending Fellows for an enjoyable Friday night reception. Regent Susan Brewer drove over from Morgantown, West Virginia and, as it happened, Past President Mike Smith was in the neighborhood after a court appearance and he and Ellen Bain came as well. The Franklins could not stay the entire weekend, but Susan reported that the rest of the weekend included an excellent program on “Ethics and Practice of Lawyer Wellness” focused on wellness as related to professional responsibility, heart health, diet and mindfulness.
Michigan, April 14: Sam and Betty left Charlottesville early Saturday and headed to the chilly north for the Michigan Fellows Black Tie Dinner at the historic Detroit Athletic Club hosted by State Chair Tom McCarthy. Both Tom and Sam gave remarks, and Sam emphasized the importance of identifying younger candidates as well as the College’s efforts towards diversity and inclusion. Sam took particular note of the bottle of Southern Comfort at the bar, which made him feel warmly welcomed in Motor City.
Region 6 Meeting, Oxford, April 20-22: It was back south for Sam and Betty for the Region 6 Meeting in Oxford at the Graduate Hotel. The meeting kicked off with a cocktail reception also attended by the Mayor of Oxford, Robyn Tannehill and her husband Rhea. Sam also had the pleasure of meeting Fellow Bill Threadgill from Columbus, Mississippi. Bill was inducted in 1967 and is 95 years old. Highlights of the weekend included a local sports writer who talked about prominent NFL players from the area, including Jerry Rice and Walter Payton; a presentation by journalist Elise Jordan; and a presentation by John T. Edge, who has written on Southern food and culture.
Illinois, National Moot Court Competition Award Presentation, May 2: Sam next traveled to “my kind of town”, or is it “the city by the lake” aka “the windy city”. Let’s just call it Chi-town. Sam was there to attend the awards luncheon for the winning team of the National Moot Court Competition held at the Woman’s Athletic Club. Sam met the members of the winning Northwestern team, as well as the coach and her staff, and the dean of Northwestern Law. The luncheon included lively discussions and a toast to the three students who had worked so hard -- an excellent opportunity to inform the legal academy about the work of the College.
California, May 4: Sam flew directly from Chicago to Orange County on May 3 to visit the National Office and attend the Southern California Fellows Black Tie Dinner on May 4, held at the California Club. Former Regent Paul Meyer and his wife, Michele, hosted Sam at their home on Balboa Island, and “Captain Paul” gave the group a boat ride on the high seas nearby (OK, it was on the protected waters of Newport Bay). Sam had an extended visit to the National Office the morning of May 4. Sam was then able to check off one of his priority bucket list items, L.A. freeways on a Friday afternoon, as he ventured to downtown Los Angeles for the Black Tie dinner. State Chair Kevin Brogan hosted, Regent Bob Warford gave brief remarks and Sam followed with timely remarks that included the College’s public position on contested judicial races in San Francisco.
Missouri, May 4-6: Claiming an inability to be in two places at once (Sir, we expected more), Sam asked President-Elect Jeff Leon and his wife Carol Best to attend the Missouri Annual Fellows Retreat held at the Big Cedar Lodge. As this venue is located in the Ozarks surrounded by lakes, green forests, breathtaking views and wildlife, it is not quite as pleasant as the L.A. freeways on a Friday afternoon, but it is nevertheless billed as “America’s premier wilderness resort.” Jeff and Carol were joined by Regent Kathleen Flynn Peterson, her husband Steve, and State Chair and Vice Chair Brent Baldwin and Monte Clithero for what was a most collegial and satisfying meeting. Five of the seven justices of the Missouri Supreme Court attended, and this was an excellent opportunity to educate the judiciary about the College. (The two dissenting judges missed out.) The Saturday workshop included an excellent presentation by the Missouri Justices on appellate advocacy as well as a musical ethics presentation called “Can Legal Ethics be Music to Your Ears?”. Jeff also gave remarks about the College that both educated the judges and inspired the Fellows. The weekend was rounded out with a wonderful dinner at the Top of the Rock restaurant, including bagpipe entertainment (you had to be there), a canon firing off and of course a dramatic sunset. (Sam was still sitting on the freeway.)
New York, Emil Gumpert Award Check Presentation, May 9:
Sam was back in the Big Apple to attend a reception at Fordham Law School to present the $100,000 check to the 2018 Emil Gumpert Award winner, Fordham’s Feerick Center for Social Justice and its work with the Dilley Pro Bono Project (DPBP). The reception had an attendance of mostly Fordham law students who had worked at DPBP in Texas. Also present were Past President Greg Joseph and Emil Gumpert Award Committee Chair Judy Wahrenberger and her husband, Fellow Lou Ruprecht. The presentation started with remarks from Matthew Diller, Dean of the Law School, followed by remarks from Wahrenberger then President Franklin, who spoke on the prestige of the Award and how proud the College is of the work being done by the program.
Upstate New York, May 10:
The next day Sam headed to Skaneateles, New York, for the Upstate New York Spring Fellows Dinner at Sherwood Inn. A short cocktail hour proceeded the dinner, where about seventeen Fellows attended. State Committee Chair Mike Roach opened the evening expressing thanks to Regent Steve Schwarz, who is nearing the end of his term as Regent, and encouraging Fellows to donate to the Foundation. President Franklin echoed Roach’s gratitude to Schwarz, and also spoke on the importance of youth, diversity and inclusion in the search for candidates.
Alberta, May 10:
While Sam was enjoying the shore of the Finger Lakes in Skaneateles, President Elect Jeff Leon headed to Edmonton, his hometown, for the Alberta Annual Fellows Dinner at the Royal Mayfair Golf and Country Club. Fellows from Calgary braved the 3 hour drive to Alberta in a hired motor coach, and included among them were two newly inducted Fellows. Province Committee Chair Dave Wachowich opened the affair, with Regent Mona Duckett following with her remarks. The special guest for the evening was Professor Peter Sankoff, who coached the 2018 Gale Cup winning team from the University of Alberta. He described the event as “best experience of his professional career” a good reminder of the importance of these competitions. Jeff then provided remarks, reflecting on his Alberta roots and sharing stories from his youth, including his job working at the menswear store managed by his father. He encouraged contributions to the Canadian Foundation as well as the efforts being made to include Canadian Fellow as members of every General Committee where appropriate. He also touched on the need to find more and better ways to create opportunities to have younger lawyers get meaningful trial experience so they at least have the opportunity to become Fellows. He reminded Fellows of the work the College is doing in Canada, including sponsoring the Sopinka Cup, establishing the new Beverly McLachlin Access to Justice Award, releasing the Working Smarter Not Harder in Canada report, and speaking three times publicly in support of the independence of the judiciary. In addition, a group has been formed to look at whether the College should make a statement regarding the manner in which allegations of sexual misconduct are handled at Canadian universities, following the work done in the United States. The “Edmonton feeling” continued for Jeff, as Fellow Ed Molstad, a former star of the Canadian Football League Edmonton Eskimos, agreed to sign a T-shirt for Jeff as well as get the entire Edmonton Eskimos team to sign it once training camp opens in a few weeks.
Third Circuit Regional Meeting, Delaware, May 18-20:
After a two and half-hour delay, Sam arrived at the DuPoint Hotel in Wilmington for the Third Circuit Regional Meeting. Thankfully, he didn’t have far to go for the Friday night reception at the Wilmington Club, located just across the street from the DuPoint. Thirty-three Fellows and three newly inducted Fellows were registered for the meeting, as well as an equal number of spouses or guests. State Chair Don Wolfe offered opening remarks and then introduced the Governor of Delaware, John C. Carney, who welcomed attendees. Governor Carney reminded those in attendance of the pride the entire state takes in avoiding partisan politics in the judicial appointment process. The packed Saturday morning schedule started with Judicial Fellow Andre Bouchard, Chancellor of the Court of Chancery, who spoke about the differences between trials in Chancery and other courts. Sam kept his remarks short, speaking on the importance of the College’s efforts to identify candidates, emphasizing the need to be more diverse and inclusive. He also recognized the results Pennsylvania produced, thanking Regent Bob Welsh, State Chair Nancy Gellman and State Vice Cahir Katie Recker for their work. Next up was Senator Chris Coons, one of Delaware’s Senators for eight years, who described his experience thus far as well as the state of current partisan politics in the Senate. He also took questions on the topics of Robert Mueller to immigration to the upcoming negotiations in North Korea. The next presentation was from Leo Strine, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware, who was interviewed by Fellows Bill Lafferty and Kathy Jennings. Closing out the morning was a panel presentation of State v. Thomas Capano
, a criminal prosecution in 1998 of a prominent and politically powerful Delaware attorney that resulted in his conviction for murder of the Delaware governor’s scheduling secretary. Saturday night’s ending event at the Brandywine River Museum of Art included a presentation from Ashby Pate.
Michael J. Farrell of Huntington, West Virginia, was elected Chairman of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
William J. Powell of Martinsburg, West Virginia, has been sworn in and begun his service as United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia.
Patrick W. Mizell of Houston, Texas, has been appointed to the Texas Ethics Commission and will serve on the Commission for a term lasting though Nov. 19, 2021.
The following Fellow has been elevated to the bench in her respective jurisdiction.
Claire G. Cardwell
Effective July 1, 2017
Richmond General District Court
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.
Murray Edward Abowitz, ’87, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, May 10, 2018
Robert Morris Clay, ’89, Fellow Emeritus, Raleigh, North Carolina, February 3, 2018
Thomas Williams Davenport, Jr., ’94, Fellow Emeritus, Haughton, Louisiana, April 27, 2018
Jack Michael Giles, Q.C., ’82, Fellow Emeritus, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, March 27, 2018
Robert W. Kettering, Jr., ’10, Fellow Emeritus, Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 22, 2018
Wendell Graham Large, ’03, Portland, Maine, April 7, 2018
Henry Dave Menghini, ’84, Fellow Emeritus, Fenton, Missouri, March 20 2018
John Darby O’Brien, ’91, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 30, 2018
Alvin M. Owsley, ’81, Fellow Emeritus, Houston, Texas, February 4, 2018
Philip A. Robbins, ’80, Phoenix, Arizona, March 20, 2018
Frank Joseph Vecella, ’89, Fellow Emeritus, Baltimore, Maryland, February 31, 2018
Lonnie Boyd Williams, Sr., ’76, Fellow Emeritus, Wilmington, North Carolina, April 11, 2018