“California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day” has become a reality and we were indeed “safe and warm” in La Quinta with our 2019 Spring Meeting in the books as a tremendous success. Perhaps it was the almost perfect desert weather but there was no doubt that the Fellows and their guests appreciated the speakers, the activities, and the abundant collegiality throughout.
Following a Monday Executive Committee Meeting, the Board of Regents and Past Presidents met on Tuesday and Wednesday to deal with a full agenda. Of the 99 candidates considered for fellowship, 81 were approved, 15 declined, and 3 continued to the next meeting. Of those who were approved, just under one-third were women, 8 were from the public service and 8 were trial lawyers of color. The average age was 57 years, with the highest age being 73 years and the lowest 44 years. While we are making good progress towards diversifying the College, we need to remain vigilant in trying to identify diverse candidates for fellowship and making those who are accepted for fellowship feel welcome in the College.
Among the issues dealt with by the Board, two working papers (“Improving Jury Deliberations through Jury Instructions Based on Cognitive Science” and “An Update to the Need to Promote and Defend Fair and Impartial Courts”) were approved and another on “Criminal Justice Reform” was tabled. Also approved were Revised Canadian Codes of Trial and Pre-Trial Conduct, a revised Statement on Advertising and a new College brochure. The proposed creation of a new General Committee on Judicial Independence was also announced. We had updates from each Regent on his/her State and Province Committees and General Committees, as well as specific updates from the Diversity Working Group (a subgroup of the Admission to Fellowship Committee), the Task Force on Mentoring, those involved in the Civility initiative, and those involved in the Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training.
President-Elect Doug Young did a wonderful job in putting together a most informative and entertaining Speakers Program at the Friday and Saturday General Sessions. The speakers included: City of La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans; the Honorable Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California, in a fireside chat with Justice Jon Streeter on current issues facing the courts in California; Professor James Anaya on Indigenous peoples; Chuck Rosenberg, former Administrator of the DEA, in a fireside chat on his experiences, with U.S. Foundation Trustee David Hensler; Professor Shon Hopwood on criminal justice reform; the Honorable Madam Justice Rosalie Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada, on the importance of a strong rule of justice in our democratic societies; Stephen Bright, recipient of the Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy; the Honorable Neil Gorsuch of the U.S. Supreme Court, who received Honorary Fellowship, in a fireside chat with Past President Greg Joseph; Dr. Charles Marmar, on post-traumatic stress disease; Amy Trask on her experiences as former CEO of the Oakland Raiders; and journalist and lawyer Jeff Greenfield on defending the indefensible. I encourage you to view the presentations when they will be placed on the College YouTube page or read about them in the next issue of the Journal.
The social events, including our ACTL Goes Country at the same location where the Coachella music festival takes place, were a lot of fun and the Spring Banquet and Induction Ceremony saw 73 Fellows inducted into the College by Past President Fran Wikstrom, with an inspirational response on behalf of new inductees delivered by Carolyn Fairless of the Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP firm in Denver, Colorado.
The trademark collegiality of the College was in full form. Carol and I were able to catch up with so many old friends and the new friends we have made on our travels. And meeting new inductees and witnessing their appreciation and enthusiasm was also gratifying.
If you were at the Spring Meeting, you heard about the plans for our 2019 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia in September at the Westin Bayshore, a hotel situated right on the waterfront and a stone’s throw from Vancouver’s incredible Stanley Park.
I personally left La Quinta impressed, not only with the work being accomplished by the College through its State and Province Committees, its General Committees and its Task Forces and Working Groups, but also energized by the contribution and collegiality of our Fellowship. In the words of Emil Gumpert, “Long and happy be our lives together.”
2019 Spring Polling Reminder
The spring polls will be opening next week. Be sure to take this opportunity and tell us what you know about the candidates in your jurisdiction that are being considered for Fellowship. Your input is critical to this process. When the polls open, you will receive an email with instructions to complete the poll online. Please be sure we have a current email address for you.
Boot Camp Task Force Partners with ABA Litigation Section
The Boot Camp for Trial Training Programs will present a one-day trial program in partnership with the ABA Section of Litigation. Based on the real trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, this training will cover topics including opening statements, direct examination, cross-examination, closing arguments, and a discussion with federal judges on what they want from a trial lawyer.
Jury Committee Publishes New Paper
The committee has released a new paper titled, "Improving Jury Deliberations Through Jury Instructions Based on Cognitive Science."
Future Advocates Shine in Law School Competitions
National Moot Court Competition
The Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law at the University of Alabama won the final round of the 69th Annual National Moot Court Competition held Jan. 31 at the New York City Bar Association. The winning team was comprised of Lindsey Barber, Cory Church, and Anne Miles Golson. The Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law was the runner-up, with a team comprised of Linda Qiu, Clayton Faits, and Lois Ahn. Best Oralist in the Final Round was Anne Miles Golson. Runner-Up Best Oralist in the Final Round was Clayton Faits. Thanks to all Fellows who volunteered at the regional rounds and final rounds.
The team of Nathan Wells and Olivia Whynot from the University of British Columbia won the 21st annual Sopinka Cup competition. Best Oral Advocate was Nathan Wells.
The winner of the 46th Gale Cup was the team of Leigh Acheson, Dylan Hanwell, Leah Strand, Nate Gartke and coaches Peter Sankoff and Mandy MacLeod from the University of Alberta Faculty of Law. Placing second was the team from the Université du Québec à Montréal. The Dickson Medal for Exceptional Oralist Performance went to Leah Strand. The competition was held at Osgoode Hall School of Law at York University on Feb. 15-16, 2019.
Updates on General Committees
Access to Justice and Legal Services: The committee’s major work in recent times has focused on implementing the Pro Bono Fellows Pilot Program which now has around 9 Fellows as members. The committee continues to coordinate with other pro bono organizations in the United States and Canada and continues to work on numerous topics, including funding for immigrant access to justice initiatives.
Admission to Fellowship: For the past few months the Advertising Subcommittee, a subcommittee of Admission to Fellowship, has been in the process of revising the Statement on Advertising and Advertising Best Practices.
Alternative Dispute Resolution: The committee is continuing to discuss ways in which the last report, Best Practices Regarding Evidence in Arbitrations, can be expanded to make it more useful to Fellows and the profession.
Attorney-Client Relationships: The current topic being examined by the committee is litigation funding. Last summer, the committee posted a practice alert on its web page highlighting recent developments in the this area, including the debate over the discoverability of litigation funding agreements. The alert has been updated and provides links to recent legislation, reports, court rulings, and a perspective from a funding organization. With the addition of several Canadian Fellows to the committee, the committee hopes future publications in the areas of the attorney-client privilege and litigation funding to reflect both the U.S. and Canadian perspectives.
Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Award: The committee has received many applications for this new award created to honor the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and after evaluation, plans to present the first award at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. The committee plans to call for nomination for the 2020 award in the fall of 2019.
Communications: The committee’s focus continues to be editing and publishing the eBulletin and on editing recent reports and White Papers. The eBulletin continues to be well-received by the Fellows with good readership numbers. The committee welcomes input from Fellows on content and strives to provide news and events of interest to Fellows in a format that facilitates efficient online review. The committee edited the report of the Task Force on Judicial Independence and the White Paper submitted by the Jury Committed titled “Improving Jury Deliberation Through Jury Instructions Based on Cognitive Science.”
Complex Litigation: The committee recently published through Bloomberg BNA “Demonstrative Aids at Trial” which has been distributed to all federal trial judges. The committee also continues to examine other publications on evidentiary issues with the use of electronic information and data at trial, proposed changes to the MDL rules and procedures, and are planning a new edition of “Anatomy of a Patent Case.”
Federal Civil Procedure: The committee prepared and submitted comment to the Administration Office of the U.S. Courts Advisory Committee on Civil Rules regarding a proposed amendment to FRCP 30(b)(6). The proposed amendment sets up a meet and confer process regarding the matters as to which each designated person will testify and their identity. The committee voiced its opposition to the proposed amendment, setting out the view that current practice did not present difficulties in resolving such issues informally, and that the amendment proposed a meet and confer requirement that would likely create more disagreements over the selection of witnesses, or topics for examination. The costs, delays, and absence of proven need all weighed against the amendment. The committee also continues to monitor a rule relating to MDL changes.
Federal Criminal Procedure: The committee continues its work in preparing a White Paper on Criminal Justice Reform. In light of the recent passage of the First Step Act, it is updating the paper and plans to present its draft to the Board of Regents. The committee also is working to update the Internal Investigation White Paper drafted and distributed in 2008. It expects to complete that work to enable circulation of the revised paper for review in Fall, 2019. The committee has been approached and is considering a proposal to provide input to a Task Force examining federal insider-trading law.
Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy: The committee continues to work at identifying qualified individuals who may be appropriate for review and investigation. Internally, discussions have taken place to identify potential recipients from Canada. The committee continues to discuss better and more comprehensive ways to promote identification of qualified individuals, in both the U.S. and Canada, who may warrant consideration by the committee.
Honorary Fellowship: The Honourable Madame Justice Rosalie Abella of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Honourable Madame Justice Mary Arden of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, have accepted the invitation to join the committee. Both bring a multitude of wisdom and experience which will serve the committee well.
International: The committee, together with the BVI Bar Association and the BVI General Legal Council, presented a seminar titled “Being a More Effective Advocate: In and Out of Court” in early Nov. 2018 in Tortola. This was attended by nearly 100 judges, magistrates and lawyers and was well received. It is hoped that a similar seminar can be presented in the Pacific Islands, following in the steps of the ones held in Palau in 2015, and in Guam in 2018, and talks are being held at present to hold a similar one on Bhutan, which, if you did not know, holds the title for being “the happiest people on earth,” or so they say.
Journal Editorial Board: The Journal has been in good shape with outgoing editor Stephen Grant about to hand over the reins to Past President Bob Byman after the 2019 Fall Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Judiciary: Chair Mark Anderson conducted an initial planning conference with IAALS Executive Director, Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis, to discuss continued cooperation as well as further initiatives. Immediate Past Chair Dick Holmes traveled to Austin to work with the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee. The committee will continue working with the Supreme Court and other judicial committees who are tasked with considering revisions to the rules of civil procedure in efforts generally designed to allow trial courts to increase the access to the judicial system by assisting in the process of making cases less expensive and more prompt in reaching resolution.
Jury: The committee has finalized and published a paper titled “Improving Jury Deliberations Through Jury Instructions Based on Cognitive Science.” The committee has noted the absence of any “network” to connect various state jury instruction committees so that these groups can keep abreast of the latest developments in the law and will investigate the possibility of forming such a network.
Legal Ethics and Professionalism: The committee is working closely with the Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Committee to prepare written and video materials and CLE programs on civility. The goal is to create programs that can be “plugged in and played” by Fellows and others, and to create materials that can be easily used in stand-alone programs. Several members of the committee (Edith Matthai, Martha Van Oot, and Barbara Binis) are contributing to this project. Joe O’Connor and Paul Taylor are reviewing the College’s Code of Pretrial and Trial Conduct to identify parts that might need to be updated or improved.
Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Lectures: The committee is working on getting Chief Justice Roberts of the United States Supreme Court to give a Powell lecture at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
National Moot Court Competition: The regional rounds of the 69th annual NMCC were completed in Nov. 2018 with 30 teams qualifying to go to NYC for the finals which were conducted between Jan.29-31, 2019. The competition was won by the University of Alabama School of Law. The committee is now working on a proposal with the National Trial Competition Committee to encourage law schools to participate in the competitions sponsored by the College.
National Trial Competition: The NTC Finals were held in San Antonio, Texas between Mar. 27-30, 2019.
Online Advisory: Several times during the past few months the committee has been polled with regards to various questions that National Office had concerning the website design and function. The committee has been very active in responding to these requests. The most recent request involved the appropriate name for the different community rooms that the State and Province Chairs and other committees will have on the new web site. There was a consensus that “My ACTL” was the best moniker for that area. Once the new web site is up and running, the committee hopes to engage in an educational effort to inform all the General, State, and Province committees regarding the benefits and opportunities offered with the new web site design.
Outreach: The committee has been active in working to re-create/reformat the College brochure. The plan is to design the brochure in a new format, enhanced by photos of the College in action and new text highlighting College priorities and initiatives. An exemplar of the new brochure is currently being reviewed by members of the Communications Committee. The committee continues to consider the best vehicles to advance and promote the good name of the College. Focus is on CLE-based programming featuring Fellows, bench-bar activities, and tasteful public advertisements, such as tombstone listings regarding Fellows in state bar association publications. The committee seeks to work closely with State and Province Committee Chairs to coordinate these programs. The committee has added user-friendly (one-click) access to CLE programs and to facilitate circulating CLE programs with reproducible materials (film clips, teaching materials) to Fellows by easy one-click access.
Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award: The committee continues to receive and vet nominations for this award.
Sandra Day O’Connor Jurist Award Committee: The committee’s primary focus is to seek out suitable nominees and encourage Fellows to pass on nominations to the committee.
Sopinka Cup: This year’s Sopinka Cup Moot Competition took place in Ottawa, Canada on Mar. 15-16. The participants were hosted by the Honourable Madame Justice Suzanne Cote of the Supreme Court of Canada, for a cocktail party at the Supreme Court building on the Friday evening, and a reception dinner at the Westin Hotel on Mar. 16. Many of the assessors who participate in judging the participants are Fellows from Ontario and Quebec.
Special Problems in the Administration of Justice (U.S): Recall that at the committee’s urging, the Federal Circuit adopted the D.C. Circuit’s TRAC mandamus standard for evaluating agency delay in adjudicating veterans benefits disability appeals (a 6 factor test that allows the court to consider the veteran’s interests and the nature of the delay, among other things). Their clients and others now will have their claims decided by the Veteran’s Court under a proper legal standard. As previously reported, another possible outcome is that the VA will moot their claims by agreeing to pay benefits, which they have done in the past. Indeed, the VA now has acted favorably on claims on remand; unresolved claims for 4 clients remain that the committee continues to pursue in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. One of their clients recently wrote that “Words cannot begin to describe my gratitude I have for each of you (as legal counsel)….I believe this would not have been possible without your compassion and dedication…to helping me and other veterans like me find resolution to cases that are long overdue.” Future veteran claimants also should benefit from this change in the law. The committee will continue work on these VA delay issues, including representation of our clients on remand with the application of the TRAC mandamus standard, and advocacy before Congressional veteran affairs committees.
Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training Programs: On May 1, 2019, the committee will be presenting the Boot Camp Trial Training program in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The program will be based on the Rosenburg Spy case. A similar program is being planned for Toronto, Ontario, which will pit Fellows from the U. S. against Fellows from Canada in a contest for a verdict or judgment from the audience. Similar programs are being planned for ten other cities in the U.S.
Task Force on Mentoring: President Leon recently established this new task force to address the College’s concerns over the “vanishing trial” and the mission of the College to ensure that the trial continues to be the preferred means of resolving disputes. In keeping with this mission, the task force will be preparing a white paper on best practices in the effective mentoring of trial lawyers and is now reviewing literature regarding mentoring strategies from around the country.
Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy: The committee is working in conjunction with the Legal Ethics and Professionalism Committee on shooting video vignettes contrasting civility versus lack of civility. In addition, this committee kept busy developing and presenting an Appellate Advocacy Training Program for Sept. 2018 in Orlando, along with other upcoming projects involving law school outreach efforts and seminars on learning from failures and coping with stress, as well as a mock trial and a focus group involving mock juries.
Updates from State & Province Committees
Alabama: Alabama Fellows co‐hosted with the Jones School of Law at Faulkner University, the National Moot Court Competition on Nov. 2-3, 2018 in Montgomery. The Alabama Fellows hosted the Jere F. White, Jr. Trial Advocacy Institute on Nov. 9, 2018 in Birmingham. Over 275 attorneys participated in the all‐day seminar. The Alabama Fellows presented a 1 ½ hour ethics presentation to the new admittees of the Alabama State Bar on Jan. 25, 2019. Three additional ethics programs are scheduled for 2019. These are co‐sponsored with the Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, and the Alabama State Bar. The Alabama Fellows co‐hosted with the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the ACTL/TYLA National Trial Competition Regional on Feb. 7‐9, 2019 in Montgomery. In addition to the project and outreach efforts, the Alabama Fellows will host three regional luncheons in the Spring 2019. Currently, a luncheon is scheduled for Birmingham on Apr. 25 and in Montgomery on May 16. A third luncheon will be held in Mobile. The date is to be set.
Alberta: Alberta Fellows have been very active in participating in panels and confirm that gives visibility to the College. This includes participating in a presentation on ethical issues at a conference of the Crown Prosecution Service. Several Fellows have presented at law school presentations introducing the College, and in moot court competitions.
Arizona: Arizona Fellows participated in the ACTL Western Regional Mock Trial Competition as judges, and the Nov. 2018 Jenckes Competition featuring closing arguments. Fellows also will be presenting a day-long CLE event on damages in May 2019.
Arkansas: Currently under discussion is a joint effort by Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee to sponsor a full-day seminar in Memphis. Discussions among the respective state chairs are in the early stage, with the goal to sponsor this seminar in 2019, if possible.
Atlantic Provinces: The Atlantic Provinces Fellows dinners with President Leon took place in New Brunswick on Mar. 11, in Nova Scotia on Mar. 12, and in Newfoundland on Mar. 13, 2019.
British Columbia: The committee is working to try to rejuvenate its efforts and is considering a joint meeting with the Washington State Committee.
California-Northern: The committee conducted its annual dinner in February 2019 with 87 Fellows and guests attending.
California-Southern: Committee members served as judges on the National Moot Court Competition in Nov. 2018 and will be participating in other moot court programs in 2019.
Colorado: The committee has planned several dinner events for Colorado Fellows during 2019.
Connecticut: State Committee Chair Mike Walsh and an attorney from his office participated as judges in the ACTL trial competition this past February.
Delaware: The Delaware Fellows continue to explore the presentation of a clinical program in connection with ACTL’s continuing legal education committee, similar to the one presented by the Pennsylvania State Committee recently in Philadelphia. The next meeting of the chapter will be held in the fall of 2019.
District of Columbia: In Feb. 2019 the committee sponsored a panel discussion and reception in conjunction with the Georgetown University Law Centre Criminal Practice Institute on the “Life and Trials of Edward Bennett Williams” who is considered to have been one of the finest trial attorneys in the country. The committee also co-sponsored and supported the National Trial Court Competition for law students, which is held each year in Texas. Many Fellows participated in serving as judges and jurors for this competition held in February at the American University Law School in Washington. In June, the committee will again sponsor its annual Trial Advocacy Program, a program which has achieved great success and is well received.
Florida: In association with the American College of Appellate Attorneys, Florida Fellows headed by Tampa Fellow Sylvia Walbolt presented the video program “May It Please The Court” to public interest lawyers from around the state on Sept. 16, 2018 at the Barry University College of Law in Orlando. The presentation was followed by a question-and-answer session and was attended by approximately 30 lawyers. CLE credit was provided as well. In conjunction with Florida Legal Services, Inc., Florida Fellows have participated in six training sessions for legal services and legal aid/public interest lawyers in Florida over the past several years, and currently have another program scheduled for the University of Miami School of Law on Mar. 12, 2019, to be headed by Miami Fellow Celeste Higgins. She led a team of Fellows that included Jane Moscowitz, Peter Prieto, Tony Upshaw, Curt Miner, Bob Josefberg, and Rick Dunn. This is the 8th such seminar Florida Fellows have put on over the last decade. Since Sept. 4, 2014, Florida Fellows have organized and held programs in Tallahassee, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Pensacola, St. Petersburg, and Gainesville. Florida Fellows have also been working with State Committees from other states to help them initiate their own programs in their jurisdictions. A subcommittee of the State Committee, headed by Sarasota Fellows Ted Eastmoore and Bill Partridge, are in the throes of planning the 2020 meeting of the Tri-State area of Florida, Georgia and Alabama. This Tri-State conference will be held on Jan. 23-26, 2020 at the Art Deco Hotel in downtown Sarasota. U.S. District Judge (and Florida Fellow) Greg Presnell of Orlando has agreed to serve as the Honorary Chair for the event. Having successfully completed the publication of the first volume of The Sages in Florida, the committee continues to identify the Fellows who will be profiled in the second volume of the book. The committee also publishes a Florida newsletter twice a year to all Florida Fellows advising them of the on-goings in the College, new Fellows and the many accomplishments of Fellows.
Hawaii: The committee is planning a CLE program in coordination with the state bar association young lawyers division and a state court judge.
Idaho: The committee is coordinating with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes on the Fort Hall Reservation to provide help in training tribal judges to write better decisions. They hope to offer the initial training seminar this year.
Indiana: Indiana’s Outreach Liaison John Kautzman has identified 12 counties that would provide significant geographic saturation throughout the state. He intends to reach out to the presiding judges in those counties to arrange for an ACTL presentation at one of their periodic county judicial meetings, or at least to provide packets of materials to the presiding judge for distribution. He has a similar plan with respect to the Federal Court system. Two other members of the state committee have agreed to join him in this effort. The long-term goal is to get the judges talking about the strength of the College and to develop a feeder network for suggestions for future Fellows. John also intends to encourage Indiana Fellows to participate in the pro bono program in the Federal Courts. This is a way for the College to give back and to raise the profile of the College among the federal judges.
Illinois-Upstate: Fellows attended Past President Bob Byman’s class at Notre Dame Law School in the fall and did mock opening statements for them.
Kansas: Kansas Fellows are actively supporting the trial competition in Texas.
Kentucky: Kentucky’s Outreach Committee met with Dean Michael Whiteman of Northern Kentucky University Chase Law School on Jan. 23, 2019, to explore what training programs or presentations can be conducted for the law students of that college of law. Plans are being explored for several of the Fellows to make a presentation to the law student body at Northern Kentucky University in late spring. Contact has already been made with the University of Kentucky College of Law and the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. The Outreach Committee has received approval for a one-hour ethics CLE titled “Handling the Challenges of Pre-Trial and Trial Practice Ethically and Professionally,” to be presented at the Kentucky Bar Association Annual Convention on Jun. 13, 2019 in Louisville. The program will include three Kentucky Fellows - Richard Hay, John Phillips and Guthrie True, along with Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Lisabeth T. Hughes and University of Louisville Brandies School of Law Professor Grace M. Giesel. Given the success of the Trial Skills Training Program held in conjunction with the Kentucky Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission in Sept. 2018 in Lexington, plans are being made to conduct another similar Trial Skills Training Program this fall in Louisville. The goal is to expand the number of trainees from 16 to at least 20. Plans are also being made to put on an appellate advocacy program in June or July 2019. This will also be in conjunction with the Kentucky Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission. Discussions took place with Dean Michael Whiteman of Northern Kentucky University Chase Law School about having a trial skills training program at the University in conjunction with the Kentucky Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission. This program will take place in the fall of 2020. Kentucky Fellows will be part of the presentation of this program. Plans are being made to put on a presentation for the minority student organizations of the University of Kentucky Law School, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and Northern Kentucky University Chase Law School to acquaint those students with the College. Contact with these law schools is being made to discuss a program on how to improve diversity in the legal community.
Maine: The committee has been very busy supporting and planning the National Trial Competition which will be held in the spring at Maine Law, and has recruited Fellows to act as judges/evaluators along with the Maine judiciary.
Manitoba: Manitoba Fellows met in October with the Chief Judge of Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench and discussed issues of creating advocacy training programs for young attorneys.
Maryland: Maryland Fellows continue to sponsor a trial course offered by the University of Maryland Law School and the University of Baltimore Law School and are actively involved with the National Regional Law School Trial Competitions at the American University. In addition, the Maryland Fellows have planned its annual Spring Dinner for May 11, 2019 at which event, United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is scheduled to speak.
Massachusetts: This will be the fourth year that the Massachusetts Fellows will host the Skills Seminar focusing on cross examination. Last fall the Maine Fellows helped to organize and sponsor the New England Moot Court Law School Competition at the Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island.
Michigan: At the recent “Fellows-Only Business Meeting” receptions, it was learned that a number of the Fellows are, contemporaneously, affiliated with the executive committee of ABOTA for the State of Michigan. An exploratory committee has been identified to consider the potential that Michigan Fellows will be asked or invited to participate in continuing education programs sponsored by ABOTA, under circumstances where ACTL would receive favorable publicity and meaningful positions as lecturers, advocacy trainers, and the like.
Minnesota: The committee is working to develop a CLE program to be presented by Minnesota Fellows.
Mississippi: On Nov. 30, 2018, the Mississippi Fellows hosted a CLE program, “Presenting and Challenging Medical Experts: A Seminar on Discovery and Trial Skills.” The seminar, held at the Westin in Jackson, Mississippi, began with presentations by Fellows Mildred Morris and John Banahan on identifying, preparing, qualifying, cross-examining, and disqualifying experts. Former Regent Christy Jones moderated a panel discussion, “Issues in Presentation of Experts: A View from the Bench,” with U. S. District Judge Carlton Reeves from the Southern District of Mississippi and U. S. District Judge and Fellow Brian Jackson from the Middle District of Louisiana. The program concluded with Fellows Bubba Morrison and John Wheeler conducting a direct and cross-examination of Dr. Michael Stodard, an emergency room physician, based on the facts of a case they tried in 2008. The 60 attendees included Dean Pat Bennett from the Mississippi College School of Law and a group of law students from Mississippi College and the University of Mississippi School of Law. Following the CLE, the Mississippi Fellows enjoyed their Annual Dinner at the Mississippi Museum of Art.
Missouri: Missouri Fellows are active in presenting a training program for young lawyers to train those attorneys to support and assist understaffed public defenders. These programs are ongoing in St. Louis and Kansas City. The committee also participates in and supports the National Trial Competition. The committee is organizing a statewide meeting in April, expecting 5 Missouri Supreme Court judges in attendance and on a panel.
Nebraska: Nebraska Fellows participated as judges in the 2019 Regional Trial Competition which took place in Lincoln, Nebraska, the weekend of Feb.15-Feb. 17. This summer, it is anticipated that several Nebraska Fellows will be participating in the Dan Jewell Trial Institute, which will be held at the University of Nebraska Law School.
Nevada: The committee is trying to organize a statewide meeting for 2019.
New Hampshire: The NH-ACTL Annual Winter dinner was held in Boston in January 2019. In Feb. 2019, the New Hampshire Fellows supported and participated in the National Trial Competition in Portland, ME.
New Jersey: Fellows held a 2-day Trial Advocacy Program this past summer which was well received and held its holiday gathering in February of this year.
New York-Downstate: The committee and Fellows will be participating in the May 1, 2019 CLE Young Lawyers Trial Skills Program, which is co-sponsored by the American Bar Association, entitled “The Rosenberg Spy Case.” The next annual gathering will be held on Apr. 8, 2019, at which time the Fellows will present the Leon Silverman service award to Fellow Audrey Strauss.
New York-Upstate: The committee has two CLE projects under way, one with the Federal Bar Association for the Northern District of New York and one with the Erie County Bar Association. These seminars will cover a judicial roundtable on trial issues, and the other will discuss ethics-oriented topics which will include a diversity credit. The committee is also working with the Ontario and Quebec Province Committees in organizing a Regional Meeting which is to take place in Ottawa, Ontario, Jun. 14-15, 2019.
North Carolina: Fellows met March 21-24, 2019. The meeting featured two morning sessions of CLE and reports from State Bar Officers and ACTL representatives. CLE programs include an annual update of appellate decisions affecting trial practice, voice as an instrument of persuasion for trial lawyers, and origins of professionalism. In addition, two North Carolina Superior Court Judges will lead a panel discussion on management of complex litigation and other topics from their perspectives from the bench. Two North Carolina Fellows provided an update on pending lawsuits arising from politics and government in NC. An important diversity panel, including State Committee Vice Chair, Maureen Murray, and Regent Susan Brewer gave a presentation.
North Dakota: North Dakota Fellows are very active in supporting the National Trial Competition regional event in Fargo.
Ohio: From August – November 2018 15 Ohio Fellows assisted the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) in its inaugural Ohio Practice Skills Institute: Trial Advocacy program. It was designed to be completed online to provide hands-on educational opportunities to attorneys who struggle to attend in-person programs due to time or distance. Over three months the majority of the participants completed 3-4 assignments which were 10-minute videos of the participant practicing a trial advocacy skill. Using a fictitious product liability wrongful death case, the participants had the opportunity to practice direct and cross examination, opening statements and closing arguments. 13 Fellows were matched with one or two participants. Each Fellow reviewed his participant’s video submissions and provided detailed feedback – both positive and constructive – to help improve the participant’s trial advocacy skills. Several of the Fellows’ final assignment reviews reference the growth and abilities they saw in their participants throughout the course of the program. On Sept. 6, 2018 Ohio Fellows in conjunction with the American Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association Access to Justice Committee provided a one-day trial skills training boot camp at The Joseph P. Kinneary U.S. Courthouse in Columbus, Ohio. There were over 100 lawyers in attendance 41 of whom were legal aid or public interest lawyers who attended without tuition. The faculty consisted of Ohio Fellows John Barron, Jim Brazeau, Jim Curphey, Michael Eagen, Tom Green, Kim Herlihy, John Holschuh, Jeff Hutson, Rob Kincaid, Bill Kloss, Paul Sandler, Craig Woods and John Gilliland. The event was hosted by Chief Judge Edmund Sargus who also participated in a judicial panel with his wife, retired Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Sargus, and Common Pleas Judge David Branstool and Municipal Court Judge Andrea Peeples. Also in attendance was Gene Vance, Chair of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association. The program consisted of a series of lectures, demonstrations of trial skills from opening statement to direct and cross examination and closing argument. In addition, a panel of commentators provided instruction on what was effective and what was not in the demonstration and why. The judges participated on a panel to advise trial lawyers about what is effective and what is not and to answer the questions. The program was well received. The Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Committee and the Ohio State Bar Association are interested in taking the boot camp to other locations in Ohio, probably Cleveland or Cincinnati in the fall. The College has appointed a Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training to take the boot camp training throughout the country. John Gilligan serves on the Task Force. On Oct. 26, 2018, the Cincinnati Fellows presented a 3-hour CLE in Cincinnati entitled, “Using Social Media to Search Jurors Before, During and After Trial.” Instead of having a mock hearing on a motion in front of Judge Barrett (as was done in Phoenix) they did a mock pre-trial conference which the panelists argued their respective positions. Fellows Dan Buckley, Carolyn (Candi) Taggart, John Holschuh and Doreen Canton served as the four lawyer panelists. Tom Eagen served as the moderator. They concluded the CLE with an hour-long question-and-answer section which was lively and entertaining. The Cincinnati Bar Association and the University of Cincinnati College of Law were co-sponsors of the CLE. On Nov. 15, 2018 13 Ohio Fellows in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo presented an all-day seminar on trial practice sponsored jointly by the Ohio State Bar Association and the College. The seminar includes seven segments on trial practice and 2-hours on ethics and professionalism using the College’s ethics vignettes and a presentation by Former Regent Kathleen Trafford on judicial independence based on the work of the Task Force that is updating the College’s white paper on that subject. Fellows participating included John Barron, Kim Herlihy, John Gilligan, Tom Green, John Smith, Dave Greer, Gerry Kowalski, Dennis Lansdowne, John McCaffrey, Bill Porter, Jim Arnold, Kathleen Trafford, and Buzz Trafford. On Nov. 30, 2018 Ohio Fellows William Porter, John Gilligan, and Tom Green presented a 4-hour program on ethics and professionalism hosted by the Ohio State Bar Association in Columbus. The program was attended live and remotely via video conference. They played a series of vignettes depicting ethically or professionally challenging attorney/client, attorney-to-attorney and attorney/judicial fact patterns. The panel then discussed for each dilemma posed by the video the better and best responses from the ethical practitioner’s standpoint. Audience interaction was encouraged and was extensive. At the close of the presentation Tom Green spoke for 10 minutes about judicial independence, a presentation that was put together by Former Regent Trafford. On Feb. 8-10,2019 the annual National Trial Competition (NTC), co-sponsored by the ACTL, was hosted by The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. Approximately 15-30 Fellows will participate as judges.
Ontario: The Fellows dinner will take place in Toronto, on Apr. 23, 2019. In addition, the committee is busy planning the Regional Meeting of Ontario, Quebec and Upstate New York, to be held in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, Jun. 14-15, 2019.
Oregon: The committee is starting a “meet and greet” program for new Oregon state and federal judges.
Pennsylvania: Fellows have been invited by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to develop and present a 4-hour program as part of the required 12 hours of CLE that all state judges are required to complete annually. The topic will be “professional liability” and it is being planned for late 2019 or early 2020. In addition, 31 of Pennsylvania’s Fellows have agreed to judge the semi-final rounds of the Regional Trial Team Competition. The committee also continues to collaborate with Temple University Beasley School of Law in presenting a trial skills CLE training program. The last such program was held in Nov. 2018. The committee is planning a summer luncheon event in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for this spring or early summer.
Puerto Rico: President Jeff Leon and his wife Carol Best will attend a Fellows dinner in May 2019, along with Regent Marty Murphy. A protocolary visit to our U.S. District Judges is planned. The Fellows lunch was held in November at the newly renovated Serafina Hotel. A pro bono training for attorneys in the Puerto Rico Legal Service Society is being set up. These are attorneys servicing pro-bono clients. The Society has no funds to provide continuing legal education to its attorneys. The goal is to feel that gap.
Québec: The committee has been busy with several CLE programs. It organized a panel on court etiquette, held in Sept. 2018 at the Universite de Montreal Faculty of Law, as well as a panel on ethics and professionalism, held in Mar. 2019 at the McGill University, and one on etiquette and civility held at the University de Laval Faculty of Law. The committee has also been asked by the Quebec Bar School administrators to create new video tutorials on various topics. The next provincial meeting is scheduled for late March, and the committee is also involved in organizing the Regional Meeting to be held in Ottawa, Ontario, on Jun. 14-15, 2019.
South Carolina: South Carolina Fellows participated as judges or graders in the National Trial Competition, held on Feb. 1-3, 2019. South Carolina Fellows are hoping to endow a classroom space at the USC Law School’s new campus. They have already paid $40,000 toward this $100,000 naming opportunity, for the South Carolina Fellows of the College. Fellows plan to sponsor a free CLE on professionalism and civility this year, similar to what was presented two years ago. The intention is to use state and federal judges and Fellows as presenters. Virtually all active Fellows participate in the S.C. Access to Justice Program, which mentors young litigators and is headed up by Fellow Terry Richardson. South Carolina Fellows intend to honor Retired and Emeritus Fellows in April 2019, at a reception in Columbia, SC.
Tennessee: Planning is underway for a CLE event to be held in conjunction with Arkansas and Mississippi. The event will be centrally located in Memphis, Tennessee. State Committee Chair Darrell Townsend is working with Memphis Fellow David Wade, Arkansas State Committee Chair Ken Cook, and Mississippi State Committee Chair Cal Mayo.
Texas: Texas Fellows participated in a 6-hour CLE in Dallas, “Jury Trials: First Steps – Over Dire and Opening.” The CLE had both demonstrations and panel discussions. The “jury” consisted of over 30 University of North Texas law students. Attendees at the CLE were Fellows and non-Fellows from their firms.
Utah: Utah Fellows are co-sponsoring a half-day symposium on Governmental Investigations.
Virginia: Virginia Fellows participated in judging the final rounds of the Regional Moot Court Tournament in November. Virginia Fellows participated in judging of the National Trial Competition in Washington, DC the weekend of Feb. 8-10, 2019. The committee is planning to hold a public interest lawyers seminar in Sept. 2019. The committee has planned and delivered this seminar several times in the past in conjunction with the Virginia State Bar for legal aid lawyers, public defenders, and prosecutors. The program and lunch are offered to the attendees without cost to them and focuses on trial skills.
West Virginia: David Romano, Outreach Liaison renewed his commitment, and continues to pursue opportunities for outreach contributions and exposure. David updated the committee at the most recent meeting on Jan. 24, and the group discussed potential new target audiences and events for some “profile raising” initiatives to target for 2019. In addition, the importance of “internal outreach” to invigorate participation and enthusiasm among West Virginia Fellows was discussed.
Wyoming: Wyoming Fellows are active in the University of Wyoming College of Law Summer Trial School.
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.
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, 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
2019 Annual Meeting
September 26-29, 2019
The Westin Bayshore
Vancouver, British Columbia
Western Regional Meeting
Lake Tahoe, California
May 31- June 2, 2019
Region 15 Regional Meeting
June 14-16, 2019
10th Circuit Regional Meeting
June 20-23, 2019
Virginia Fellows Meeting
April 5-7, 2019
Downstate New York Fellows Dinner
New York, New York
April 8, 2019
Kentucky Social Event
April 12, 2019
Missouri Fellows Meeting
April 12-14, 2019
Ontario Fellows Dinner
April 23, 2019
New Hampshire Fellows Dinner
Manchester, New Hampshire
April 29, 2019
Southern California Fellows Dinner
Los Angeles, California
May 3, 2019
Hawaii Fellows Dinner
May 4, 2019
Puerto Rico Fellows Dinner
May 10, 2019
May 10-11, 2019
Maryland Fellows Dinner
May 11, 2019
Florida Fellows Dinner
May 11, 2019
Upstate New York Fellows Dinner
Syracuse, New York
May 16, 2019
Washington D.C. Fellows Dinner
May 17, 2019
West Virginia Fellows Meeting
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
May 17-18, 2019
Michigan Spring Black Tie
Grand Rapids, Michigan
May 18, 2019
Alberta Fellows Dinner
May 23, 2019
Kentucky Fellows Dinner
June 12, 2019
Texas Fellows Summer Luncheon
June 14, 2019
Manitoba Fellows Meeting
June 26, 2019
Minnesota Fellows Meeting
June 27, 2019
T. Maxfield Bahner of Chattanooga, Tennessee was honored by the American Inns of Court at the Celebration of Excellence on Oct. 20, 2018. He received the 2018 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Sixth Circuit.
Past President David J. Beck of Houston, Texas received the 2019 Outstanding Law Review Article Award from the Texas Bar Foundation for their article entitled “Legal Malpractice in Texas” published in the Baylor Law Review. The Outstanding Law Review Article Award honors a law review published by one of the Texas law schools. It is presented to a law review in Texas for the outstanding article, including symposia articles, dueling articles, comment, or other writings in law reviews published in Texas during the year preceding the award, relating to the legal profession, the practice of law, or substantive law as applied to the practice of law; its regulation, discipline, availability; its improvement or advancement; its future or past. Beck will also be presented the Center for American and International Law Award for Achievement in the Pursuit of Justice for All on Apr. 17, 2019, in Houston.
Judicial Fellow the Hon. Roy B. Dalton, Jr. of Orlando, Florida a judge in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida in Orlando, is the 2019 recipient of the Chief Justice’s Distinguished Federal Judicial Service Award. The award, which recognizes an active or retired federal judge for outstanding and sustained service to the public, especially as it relates to the support of pro bono legal services, was presented by Chief Justice Charles T. Canady in a Feb. 7 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida.
Regent Paul J. Hickey of Cheyenne, Wyoming has been selected as a 2019 Distinguished Alumni of the University of Wyoming College of Law. The award is the highest honor bestowed upon graduates who distinguished themselves in their legal career and have earned immense respect in the legal community.
Gerard T. Noce of Saint Louis, Missouri is the 2019 recipient of the St. Louis Lawyers’ Association Award of Honor. The award is given annually by the association to an outstanding trial attorney selected from a small group of attorneys who have been nominated by peers in recognition of honorable service to the legal profession and community.
Paul H. Titus of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will receive the 2019 Judge Justin Johnson Award from Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (PMC) at the Spring Into Action Benefit on, Apr. 17, 2019 in Pittsburgh. He is being recognized for his steadfast commitment to PMC’s mission and his leadership in access to justice initiatives in Pittsburgh and across the state.
Blair Yorke-Slader, Q.C. of Calgary, Alberta received the 2019 Benchmark Litigation Award for Canadian Litigator of the Year, presented at a dinner on Mar. 7 2019 in Toronto.
Past Presidents Griffin B. Bell
(1985-1986) and Frank C. Jones
(1993-1994) received the honor of having a courtroom named in their honor at Mercer University School of Law. Both were alumni of the law school. Read More
Northeast Fellows Black Tie Dinner, Boston, January 25, 2019: On Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 President Leon travelled to Boston for an annual back-to-back appearance at the Northeast Fellows dinner. Jeff enjoyed chatting with many old friends and some new acquaintances at the cocktail hour. Among those present were Past Presidents Mike Mone and Joan Lukey, Regent Marty Murphy, Former Regents Liz Mulvey and Trudie Hamilton, Massachusetts State Committee Chair Lew Eisenberg, Maine State Committee Chair Mark Lavoie, New Hampshire State Committee Chair Arnie Rosenblatt and Immediate Past Chairs Charlie Bauer and Karen Wolf. There were approximately 90 Fellows registered with the vast majority from Massachusetts and the others from Maine, Nova Scotia, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. State Committee Chair Eisenberg called the dinner to order. President Leon paid tribute to Past President Ralph Lancaster, including quoting from his self-authored obituary, and made several remarks about the Boston area and its sports teams. In his substantive remarks Jeff commented on the ongoing need to promote diversity; the need to identify and mentor younger trial lawyers; the College’s current focus on judicial independence, advertising, access to justice and civility; and the importance of donating to the American College of Trial Lawyers Foundation. Maine State Committee Chair Lavoie then introduced Danielle M. Conway, Dean and Professor of the University of Maine Law School, who was honored by the New England Fellows. She spoke about the importance of serving the public interest, the fact that human interaction creates ties that bind us together, the rule of law, and contributions to the university by Maine Fellows including trial training and access to justice. Fellow Jonathan Albano then introduced the guest speaker, Shirley Leung, Editor of the Boston Globe. She spoke about challenges that have faced her as an Asian woman, her career in journalism, the difficulties of being a newspaper columnist, and the vital role of the media in a democratic society.
National Moot Court Competition, New York, January 29-31, 2019: President Leon next traveled to New York City to attend the National Moot Court Competition. The event commenced with a cocktail reception and dinner. Immediate Past Chair of the National Moot Court Competition Committee David and Candy Weinstein, Regent Larry Krantz, and others attended. City Bar President Roger Maldonado said a few words about the competition and the Bar’s partnership with the College and then introduced Jeff. Jeff made remarks on the College, including that this competition is a signature program of the College that is central to its mission. Jeff also noted that he would be presenting the John W. Davis Award, among other awards, to participants and spoke about Davis and his career. Jeff also spoke about the Fulton Haight Award for Best Oral Advocate, noting that Haight is a Past President of the College and had a distinguished legal career. Jeff commented on the College’s Task Force on Mentoring and the Boot Camp Trial Training Programs, along with the sponsorship of the Moot Court Competition, as demonstrating the College's commitment to training young advocates. President Leon participated as a judge in the final round of the competition and was particularly impressed by the quality of advocacy from both teams. The ultimate winner was the University of Alabama.
Northern California Fellows Dinner, San Francisco, February 1, 2019: President Leon and First Lady Carol Best were joined by President-Elect Doug and Terry Young for the Northern California Fellows dinner at The City Club. The dinner was well attended, including State Committee Chair Otis McGee Jr., Former Regents Susan Harriman and Robert Gooden, and 2015 Spring Meeting Inductee Responder
Doris Cheng. Regent Mike Shepard gave Jeff a generous and amusing introduction. In his remarks, President Leon paid tribute to Past President Ralph Lancaster, and then discussed his vision for the College, including the ongoing need to promote diversity, the need to identify younger trial lawyers, and the various task forces, including the work of the Task Force on Mentoring. Following Jeff’s remarks Regent Shepard presented Jeff with a San Jose Sharks jersey. The guest speaker was newly elected Congressman Josh Harder, who was introduced by State Committee Vice Chair Richard Schoenberger. Congressman Harder gave a lively presentation on some of the challenges of being a newly elected member of Congress as well as the challenges of serving in government now.
Utah Fellows Dinner, Salt Lake City, February 2, 2019: The Leon/Best party left early on Saturday, Feb. 2 to attend the Utah Fellows Dinner that night. Jeff and Carol had never been to Salt Lake City and were impressed by the beautiful views of the mountains and the general vibe of the city. The Fellows dinner was held at the Salt Lake Country Club. State Committee Chair Bryon Benevento began the formal part of the evening and there was a presentation on the importance of participating as judges in the trial competition. Regent Paul Hickey introduced Jeff and Carol. In his remarks Jeff commented on the wonderful friendships that he and Carol had developed within the College as good reason in itself to have become involved in the College, including especially his friendships with Past President Fran Wikstrom and Judge Linda Jones, as well as Regent Hickey and his wife Jeannie. The evening was set up as a tribute to recently deceased Fellow Gordon Campbell and Jeff was able to make his own comments about what a privilege it was to have met Gordon. Jeff again paid tribute to Past President Ralph Lancaster and talked about the current agenda of the College and the importance of donating to the American College of Trial Lawyers Foundation. Following Jeff’s remarks, Fellow Stu Walz introduced Gordon Campbell’s daughter Mary, who spoke about her father. Following Mary’s presentation, Stu gave his own fulsome and warm tribute to his good friend Gordon.
South Carolina Fellows Meeting, Bluffton, February 7-10, 2019: President Leon and First Lady Carol Best enjoyed exiting the inclement weather of Toronto to head for the Palmetto Bluff Resort to attend the South Carolina Fellows Meeting. The weekend was very well attended with approximately 35 Fellows and their guests attending some or all the events. Regent Susan Brewer also was in attendance. The kick-off was a dinner at the Octagon Porch. Jeff noted that the South Carolina Fellows lived up to their reputation as a fun and "rowdy" group, and that State Committee Chair Mark "Moose" Phillips and his wife Karen were the ultimate hosts. The following day, President Leon attended the meeting of the State Committee and was pleased to see their activity to promote diversity, identify younger candidates for fellowship, hold events, engage in outreach through CLE and other events, and promote the College. Jeff made a few remarks primarily dealing with diversity and the need to identify younger trial lawyers as candidates for fellowship. Friday evening’s dinner was a "low country boil." Jeff enjoyed visiting with the group, and particularly seeing Former Regent Frankie and Beverly Marion, and former State Committee Chair Tom Pope. On Saturday morning the Fellows gathered for a well-attended business meeting where the South Carolina Fellows discussed diversity, participation in the National Trial Competition, the annual donation by the Fellows to University of South Carolina Law School to fund a Trial Advocacy Chair and, in particular an admirable proposal to endow a classroom at the Law School to be named for the South Carolina Fellows of the College. Jeff spoke about the importance of getting involved in the College and the importance of making contributions to the ACTL Foundation. The business meeting was followed by a presentation by Paul Taylor, Senior Fellow, Pew Research Institute and author of "The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown. The weekend was capped with a black-tie cocktail reception and dinner. Wonderful tributes were made to recently deceased Fellows. Jeff spoke for a third time and noted his new-found belief that he was born to be a Southern man. Jeff talked about his own involvement in the College and encouraged others to get involved.
New Jersey Fellows Dinner, Hamilton Township, February 9, 2019: While President Leon was in South Carolina, Immediate Past President Sam Franklin covered this event. Among those in attendance were Regent Bob Welsh, State Committee Vice Chair Henry Klingeman, and former Adjunct Fellowship Committee Chair David Kott. Before dinner, State Committee Chair Scott Parson provided brief remarks on the recent events in New Jersey, the importance of diversity in their candidate search, and then introduced the recent inductees from the Phoenix and New Orleans meetings. The highlight of this dinner was the presentation of an award named in honor of former Regent Frank Dee, and this was the second presentation of that award. The recipient was Fellow Tom Campion of the Drinker Biddle firm. Tom offered remarks about how honored he was, and then described three New Jersey trial lawyers who he most admired during this career. Sam followed, with remarks that touched on thanking State Committee Chair Parsons for his service and efforts in organizing the event; welcoming the new inductees; describing the importance of diversity and inclusion in finding new Fellows for fellowship; and sharing the work of two ongoing task forces, the Task Force on Judicial Independence and the Task Force on Mentoring.
Gale Cup, Toronto, February 15-16, 2019: On Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 President Leon visited Osgoode Hall for the Gale Cup Moot Court Competition, and reported that the College’s prominence as a sponsor had improved significantly over the prior year. Jeff was also pleased to see Judicial Fellow Mr. Justice Allan Hilton who is very active in the Competition, and former Judicial Fellow, now Fellow Joe Nuss, both of Montréal, as well as Honorary Fellow Justice Sheilah L. Martin, who served as a judge in the final round and the guest speaker at the banquet. Jeff and Carol attended the Saturday evening reception and dinner at Osgoode Hall and met up with Fellow Tom Curry and his wife Lori Monteith. The Gale Cup Moot Committee Chair, Fellow Martin Sheehan from Montréal, was also present. There was a full house at the dinner. Following dinner, Justice Martin delivered a wonderful address on advocacy, collegiality, and the importance of courageous advocacy. Mr. Justice Hilton introduced Jeff, who talked about the College, its mission, its Honorary Fellows, the importance of the Gale Cup Moot Competition as a part of its mission, and how the College recognizes the importance of ensuring that law students and young lawyers learn advocacy and trial skills. Jeff also gave detailed remarks about the Honourable Chief Justice Brian Dickson, after whom the Best Oralist Awards are named. The ultimate winner of the Gale Cup was again the University of Alberta Law School, the first back-to-back championship in several decades. Jeff noted that the Gale Cup is an important event for the College in Canada, and that the College should continue to maintain its support and ensure its ongoing vitality.
New Brunswick Fellows Dinner, Saint John, March 11, 2019: President Leon arrived in Saint John on Monday, Mar. 11, for the first leg of three Maritime dinners. Joining the first dinner were Judicial Fellow Justice Charles LeBlond (former Vice Chair of the Atlantic Provinces Committee), Fellow Phil Eddie, Atlantic Provinces Committee Chair Michelle Awad, and Regent Marty Murphy. All told, there were eight Fellows and one spouse in attendance. Justice LeBlond introduced Jeff, who made remarks about the status of Canadian Fellows and how they have been firmly woven into the fabric of the College. Jeff also congratulated Charles on his elevation to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal. Jeff again paid tribute to Ralph Lancaster who was well remembered by the Fellows in attendance, many of whom regarded him as an "honorary Canadian," and then reviewed the top issues on the College agenda. Jeff made his usual comments on the relationship between Canada and the United States and referred to the remarks given by Honorary Fellow Justice Rosalie Abella in La Quinta concerning the rule of justice and the Canadian approach to achieving justice.
Nova Scotia Fellows Dinner, Halifax, March 12, 2019: After cancellation of their air travel plans, President Leon, Province Committee Chair Awad, and Regent Murphy took a 3 ½-hour road trip from Saint John to Halifax for the second portion of their Maritime trip. The setting for the dinner, which Province Committee Chair Awad, organized, was the Cut Restaurant. About 10 Fellows and several spouses attended. The Fellows were very pleased to have a College dinner in their city. Jeff made remarks including how there is now a Canadian aspect to almost everything the College undertakes. Jeff again paid tribute to Past President Ralph Lancaster, who had a summer home in Nova Scotia. Jeff reviewed the current College agenda and the importance of contributing to the Canadian Foundation of the College so that it can begin making its own grants. Jeff encouraged the Fellows and their spouses to come to the Annual Meeting in Vancouver so that there would be a large contingent of Canadians to welcome the U.S. Fellows and guests.
Newfoundland and Labrador Fellows Dinner, St. John's, March 13, 2019: President Leon connected with Fellows at The Fish Exchange Restaurant for the cocktail hour and dinner. The attendance by Newfoundland Fellows was excellent and among the Fellows in attendance were Former Atlantic Provinces Committee Chair, now Mr. Justice Dan Boone and Canadian Foundation Trustee and former Access to Justice & Legal Services Committee Chair, Ian Kelly. Fellow Peter Browne organized the dinner and the festivities that followed. Province Committee Chair Awad introduced Kelly, who made some remarks on the College and, in particular, made a pitch for contributions to the Canadian Foundation. President Leon commented on the status of Canadians as an integral part of the College. Jeff also spoke again about the issues on the current College agenda, as well as the importance of contributing to the Canadian Foundation of the College. After dinner, Jeff participated in a traditional Newfoundland "Screeching In" ceremony, including entertainment by a local "Newfie," the "kissing of the cod" ceremony plus a drink of a Newfoundland rum-based moonshine called Screech.
Sopinka Cup, Ottawa, March 15-16, 2019: President Leon and First Lady Carol Best arrived in Ottawa around 10:00 am on Friday, March 15 after leaving St. John's and switching planes in Toronto. Jeff attended the 6 p.m. reception at the Supreme Court of Canada, an event sponsored by the Court and attended by all competitors, coaches, and competition assessors. Justices and Honorary Fellows Michael Moldaver, Suzanne Cote, and Malcolm Rowe were also in attendance. Among the Fellows in attendance were Regent Sandy Forbes, Sopinka Committee Chair Justice Peter Doody, former Canadian Competitions Committee Chair Greg Richards, former Manitoba/Saskatchewan Province Committee Chair Christine Glazer, Fellows Brian Gover (and his daughter, a law student), Giuseppe Battista, and Don Bayne, as well as Judicial Fellow Heather Williams. Justice Doody called the proceedings to order and Justice Cote gave welcoming remarks, highlighting in part the role of the College in the Sopinka Cup. Justice Cote gave a tour of the Court for those who had not seen the inner workings. Following the tour, dinner was held at the Rideau Club. The Saturday evening closing cocktail and reception was held at the Westin Hotel. Jeff, Justice Doody, and Justice Allison Wheeler presented the awards. The winning team was from the University of British Columbia, and the best oralist was Nathan Wells, also from the University of British Columbia. After dinner, Jeff offered remarks on his involvement with the competition through the Advocates Society, the College’s commitment to the Sopinka Cup and Gale Cup Competition as being central to the mission; the inductions of Justice Sheilah Martin and Justice Gorsuch as Honorary Fellows, and the impact Justice Rosalie Abella had at the recent Spring Meeting in La Quinta speaking on the rule of justice and the Canadian approach to securing justice. He also shared that the College recognized the importance of ensuring that law students and young lawyers learn advocacy and trial skills; he referenced the Task Force on Mentoring and the Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training Programs He also noted that he had the distinction of being co-counsel on cases with both Justice Sopinka and his daughter, Justice Melanie Sopinka, as well as the impact that John Sopinka had on him as a young lawyer. Jeff remarks were followed by Fellow Don Bayne who gave a very interesting presentation on the importance of the "facts" at trial. He did so by speaking of a case that he and Justice Doody had in the late 1980s representing a Canadian that had been charged with war crimes. Overall, Jeff was pleased to see that Sopinka Cup Competition is thriving through the partnership with The Advocates’ Society.
Induction Ceremony for Maria Davila, Tucson, March 19, 2019: On Sunday, Mar. 18, President Leon and Carol flew from Ottawa through Toronto to Phoenix. They arrived in Tucson, by car, the following day. After meeting Regent Kathleen Flynn Peterson, they drove to Tucson to the law offices of Laura “Lolly” Udall, who was hosting the ceremony. Around 15 Tucson Fellows were in attendance, including Regent Bob Warford. Before giving the induction charge, Jeff talked about the College, its mission, Honorary Fellows, and the overall committee structure. He also mentioned the Task Force on Mentoring, the Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training Programs, the Civility initiative, and the College’s participation in the rule-making processes of the Federal Courts as well sponsorship of national trial and moot court competitions. He further discussed pro bono efforts and the Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows Pilot Program, as well as the College awards (Beverley McLachlin, Emil Gumpert, Griffin Bell, Samuel Gates, and Sandra Day O'Connor). He also read a letter from Arizona State Committee Chair Georgia Stanton, who was unable to attend. New Fellow Davila was truly touched by the ceremony and her induction into the College. It was a special experience for Jeff to have the privilege of delivering the charge.
National Moot Court Competition Award Presentation, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, March 20, 2019: The Leon/Best party arrived in Birmingham on the evening of Mar. 19. Jeff and Immediate Past President Sam Franklin went to the Moot Court Room at the Law School where things had been set up for the award presentation. The proceedings commenced with Dean Mark Brandon at the Law School making opening remarks and then introducing Jeff. Jeff began his remarks by introducing Immediate Past President Franklin, who is a graduate of the Law School. Jeff then spoke about the College and its mission. He noted how the National Moot Court Competition was a signature program of the College and that he had participated as a judge in the final round earlier in the year in New York City where he had already presented the John W. Davis Award to the best oralist. Jeff spoke about Fulton "Bill" Haight, after whom the Fulton Haight Awards are named, noting his distinguished legal career, his service in Ethiopia as an advisor in reforming Ethiopia's judicial system, and his strong belief that lawyers have a duty to the profession and society. Haightserved not only as President of the College, but was actively involved in the California State Bar, the Los Angeles Bar and chaired a California Legislative Task Force on Trial Skills. Jeff then introduced the winning team, Anne Miles Golson, the best oral advocate, Lindsey Barber, and Corey Church. Jeff noted that participants in the competition represent future members of the trial bar and also possibly future Fellows of the College, with past participants including Past President Joan Lukey, Former Regent Ritchie Berger, and Immediate Past Chair of the National Moot Court Competition Committee David Weinstein (who won the award as Best Oral Advocate in 1980). He also mentioned the College's Task Force on Mentoring and the Boot Camp Trial Training Program. Jeff called up the winning team members to present the Fulton Haight Award Certificate to Golson and plaques to all three members of the University of Alabama team. He also presented a check for $2,500 to Dean Brandon.
The following Fellows have been elevated to the bench in their respective jurisdictions.
Frederickton, New Brunswick
Effective March 8, 2019
Court of Appeal of New Brunswick
Thomas L. Parker
Effective February 2, 2018
U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
Martin F. Sheehan
Effective March 8, 2019
Superior Court of Quebec
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.
Thomas William Christian, ’85, Birmingham, Alabama, February 25, 2019
David Stewart Cupps, ’84, Columbus, Ohio, February 28, 2019
John R. DiCaro, ’86, Fellow Emeritus, Vista, California, March 16, 2019
George Morton Dickerson, ’81, Fellow Emeritus, Las Vegas, Nevada, February 15, 2019
Geoffrey L. Gifford, ‘93, Chicago, Illinois, February 9, 2019
Joseph C. Jaudon, Jr., ’81, Fellow Emeritus, Denver, Colorado, February 12, 2019
Hon. Garr M. King, ’84, Judicial Fellow, Portland, Oregon, February 5, 2019
Richard Garrett Langdon, ’85, Fellow Emeritus, Des Moines, Iowa, March 25, 2019
Past President David William Scott, ’84, O.C., Q.C., Fellow Emeritus, March 21, 2019
Arthur Gloster Seymour, Jr., ’92, Knoxville, Tennessee, March 11, 2019
Hon. Roger Warren Titus, ’86, Judicial Fellow, Greenbelt, Maryland, March 3, 2019
Rafael R. Vizcarrando, ’86, Fellow Emeritus, San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 12, 2019