The new decade brings us to a year in which the College will celebrate its 70th Anniversary.
The upcoming Spring Meeting, to be held March 5-8 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson, Arizona, will be part of the celebratory year and promises a welcome respite from winter weather throughout Canada and the United States. President-Elect Rodney Acker has planned an outstanding program on wide-ranging topics, including a cutting-edge CLE program (previewed to rave reviews at a recent State Meeting that I personally attended) on “Investigative Genetic Genealogy As Applied to Solving Violent Crime” and featuring Anne Marie Schubert, District Attorney of Sacramento County, California and Marguerite Rizzo, Deputy-In-Charge of the Forensic Section at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and Forensic Science Liaison. The National Office staff has also planned an exciting variety of social and educational programs. Experience teaches that the Spring Meetings are often over-subscribed, and this meeting is already filling quickly, so take the opportunity to sign up. Meeting details follow this report, and a link to registration materials can be found here.
The year also offers continuing opportunities to fulfill the College’s many initiatives in support of both its overall mission (“to improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics, and the administration of justice through education and public statements on important legal issues relating to its mission”) and in support of “the independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, respect for the rule of law, access to justice, and fair and just representation of all parties to legal proceedings.” Some of these initiatives are ongoing, and some are new. They include continuing our efforts to increase the diversity of our Fellows (among other things, I am holding several conference calls with the Diversity Liaisons for the State and Province Committees to obtain reports on progress and challenges and to review the checklist of resources to be considered as State and Province committees seek to identify qualified diverse candidates for Fellowship); expanding our efforts to mentor younger lawyers and provide genuine advocacy opportunities for them in our courts, including through our excellent and very popular “boot camp” training programs, the “Civility Initiatives” instituted in Philadelphia, Toronto, and Denver, and the two “hands-on” trial training programs designed for young and diverse attorneys (including in-house counsel) scheduled to be held in Chicago later this Spring. The new Judicial Independence Committee has also been active, inspired in part by Chief Justice Roberts’ 2019 Year-End Report on the State of the Judiciary. Among other efforts, the committee has been working with the National Association of Women Judges in developing ways by which the public can be educated about the roles of the courts in our judicial systems, devising means by which unfair or misleading attacks on judges can be identified and (where appropriate) exposed, and (as of this writing) working with a major law school to sponsor a symposium on “judicial independence”. (More on the symposium in the future, as it evolves.)
Terry and I have enjoyed our trips throughout the continent. (We are also mindful of the stresses imposed upon the Fellows in Puerto Rico, and their families, as they deal with the damage and disruption caused by earthquakes there. In keeping with our traditions, we – and the National Office staff – stand ready to offer whatever assistance we can.) It is gratifying to be enthusiastically welcomed on each visit; and it is inspiring to meet so many great advocates and jurists (in addition to their incredibly interesting spouses, life-partners, and friends, all of whom add to our Fellowship in immeasurable ways). I hope we will see you in Tucson (and, of course, in Washington, D.C. in the fall).
Join the College in Tucson for the 2020 Spring Meeting
Hurry, last chance to join Fellows and: appreciate 11 celebrated speakers, each renowned in their filed; encounter a Taste of the Ol' Pueblo; enjoy morning guided hikes in the local mountain park; sip tequila at the nightly tequila toast on the terrace; experience a traditional Dia de los Muertes event and fireworks display; and of course welcome the first 2020 class of new Fellows. Register now.
On Nov. 9, 2019 the 49th Annual Jenckes Competition was held at the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University. With the assistance of many Arizona Fellows, the Competition is staged each November between trial advocacy students from Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. For the first time, both teams were entirely comprised of women advocates, each of whom did a tremendous job presenting closing arguments in a criminal case which had been tried by Fellow Michael Piccarreta of Tucson. The team from ASU won. The event chairman was Fellow Mike O’Connor of Phoenix. Thereafter a cocktail reception was well attended by Fellows, participants, and their cheering sections.
The committee is in the process of creating a Power Point presentation on various privilege issues frequently encountered by clients and their lawyers. The target audience for this presentation will be in-house corporate counsel, although it is anticipated the presentation will be of value to private and public interest attorneys as well. The committee expects to have the presentation in final form later this year.
Boot Camp Trial Training Programs
The prior Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training Programs has been converted to a permanent committee. The upcoming schedule includes the following: 3/20/2020 – Atlanta; 5/1/2020 – Cincinnati; 5/6/2020 – Washington, D.C. The programs, co-sponsored by the College and the ABA Litigation Section, present a full-day of lectures, demonstrations, and panel discussions on the art of trial advocacy. Each program features a case for the day, including a special case designed for legal services lawyers. If you would like to present a program in your jurisdiction or join the faculty of one of the programs, reach out to Chair Paul Mark Sandler, email@example.com, (410) 385-4272.
The College will celebrate its 70th Anniversary at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., Sept. 24 - 27. The Executive Committee has asked the Heritage Committee to look back on the history of the College and present an experience for Fellows at the Annual Meeting. We believe this feature consisting of presentations to the College, video footage and photographs of historical value, will be a worthwhile experience for Fellows, spouses and guests attending the Annual Meeting. The Heritage Committee asks that any Fellow who has significant memories or items of historical value, pass those on to the Heritage Committee. Please do so by contacting the Chair or Vice Chair:
Fellows Head To Saipan For Pacific Judicial Council Trial Practice Training
A 9-person ACTL team who presented at the jointly sponsored Pacific Judicial Council/ACTL Trial Practice Training arrived on Saipan, the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands, at various times and on various days the week of Jan. 27, 2020. Whether arrival was at a reasonable hour in the morning, i.e., 7:00 a.m. or after, or at the extremely unreasonable hours of 2:00 or 4:00 a.m. there were judges, court personnel and CNMI (Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands) Marshals at the airport to pick up team members and take them to their hotel.The hospitality shown to the team was constant and unending from the moment of pick-up. Judges and court personnel went out of their way to make team members comfortable and welcome. Presentations by the team members ranged from preparation of complex civil and criminal trials to specific pre-trial issues such as search-and-seizure to civility to Supreme Court Review. Brian O’Neill, Former Regent and former Chair of the International Committee, the primary Fellow behind these conferences that originated in Palau in 2015 (with a second one in Guam two and a half years later) and now in Saipan spoke eloquently about the rule of law and the importance of the College continuing this type of outreach. Attendees told team members how appreciative and amazed they were that professionally recognized lawyers were willing to travel and present at their conference on their own dime. Attendees further said that this conference, like prior conferences, helped address the issue of isolation from the U.S. mainland that attorneys and judges in Micronesia sometimes feel. Each night of the conference ended with a dinner sponsored by the CNMI bar, the CNMI judiciary, and the Pacific Judicial Council, respectively. The first night dinner ended with team members presenting special ACTL paperweights to Guam Chief Justice Carbullido, Saipan Justice Manglona, and court administrator June Carino for their efforts in organizing the conference and coordinating their efforts with the team. Justice Carbullido, a host of this conference and the prior one in Guam, and head of the Pacific Judicial Council’s Education Committee, commented that these conferences need to continue. It was apparent from discussions held throughout the week that the Justice’s comment was strongly believed and supported by both ACTL team members and conference attendees.
The College recognizes extraordinary individuals and their important contributions to the law through four awards described below. A nominator need only submit a letter of support, and the award committee will complete an investigation before deciding whether to recommend the person to the Board of Regents
. Please consider nominating a worthy recipient. You may send your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
or directly to the committee chair indicated below.
Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Award
The Award, named for The Honourable Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, is to be awarded to a judge or a member of the bar in the United States or Canada, whether or not a Fellow of the College, who has played an exceptional role in creating and promoting access to justice. The Award will recognize innovative measures or extraordinary personal commitment and professional dedication which have enhanced access to justice in the United States or Canada.
Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy
Chair: Guy J. Pratte, email@example.com
To receive and investigate recommendations and information relative to outstanding courage demonstrated by trial lawyers in unpopular or difficult causes, and where appropriate to recommend an award.
Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award
To honor a lawyer or judge, whether or not a Fellow of the College, who has made a significant, exceptional and lasting contribution to the improvement of the litigation process.
Sandra Day O'Connor Jurist Award
The Award is to be given from time to time to a judge in the United States or Canada, whether or not a Fellow of the College, who has demonstrated exemplary judicial independence in the performance of his or her duties, sometimes in especially difficult or even dangerous circumstances. A nomination form can be found here
2020 Spring Meeting
March 5-8, 2020
JW Marriott Star Pass Resort
2020 Annual Meeting
September 27-29, 2020
Washington, District of Columbia
3rd Circuit Regional Meeting
Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
April 24-25, 2020
Region 6 Regional Meeting
(Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi)
May 8-10, 2020
NE Regional Meeting (Atlantic Provinces, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhodes Island)
May 29-21, 2020
Northwest Regional Meeting
(Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)
July 9-12, 2020
The Hotel Alyeska
February 6-10, 2020
South Carolina Fellows Meeting
Bluffton, South Carolina
February 7, 2020
Northern California Fellows Dinner
San Francisco, California
February 8, 2020
Utah Fellows Dinner
Salt Lake City, Utah
March 26-29, 2020
North Carolina Fellows Meeting
Charleston, South Carolina
April 28, 2020
Downstate New York Fellows Dinner
New York, New York
May 1, 2020
Southern California Fellows Dinner
Los Angeles, California
May 6, 2020
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
May 8-10, 2020
Missouri Fellows Annual Retreat
May 18, 2020
New Brunswick Fellows Dinner
May 19, 2020
Nova Scotia Fellows Dinner
May 20, 2020
Newfoundland and Labrador Fellows Dinner
May 21, 2020
Quebec Fellows Dinner
May 22, 2020
LAW SCHOOL COMPETITIONS
Upstate New York Fellows Dinner
Syracuse, New York
February 10-13, 2020
National Moot Court Competition Final Rounds
New York, New York
February 14-15, 2020
March 13-14, 2020
April 2-5, 2020
National Trial Competition
Fort Worth, Texas
Richard C. Busse of Portland, Oregon was presented the Don H. Marmaduke Pro Bono Service Award for his lifetime achievements in the area of access to justice.
Nanci L. Clarence of San Francisco, California received the Pursuit of Justice Award from the American Jewish Committee at its annual Learned Hand Award dinner. The award recognized her successful representation, over 30-plus years of dogged litigation, of a prisoner on California’s death row culminating in his release from prison and return to his family in 2019.
Robert B. Harwood of Tuscaloosa, Alabama has been selected to receive the 2020 Sam W. Pipes Distinguished Alumni Award from The Law School Foundation of the University of Alabama. The award recognizes an outstanding alumnus who has distinguished himself or herself through service to the bar. He will receive the award at an event scheduled on Feb. 21, 2020.
Oregon Fellows Dinner, Portland, December 4, 2019:
President Young began a series of pre-holiday visits with a visit to Oregon. He attended both a State Committee meeting and the annual Fellows dinner at the Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland. Attending the dinner were Oregon Chief Justice Martha Walters, a Judicial Fellow, Past President Tom Tongue, Regent Mona Duckett, and State Committee Chair Renee Rothauge. Some 60 Fellows and guests were in attendance. After a briefing by President Young on College goings-on, Fellow Rich Busse was presented the Don H. Marmaduke award, recognizing Busse’s notable lifetime achievements in the area of access to justice.
Arkansas Fellows Dinner, Little Rock, December 5, 2019: The second leg of President Young’s early December trip was in Little Rock for the Fellows dinner on Dec. 5. Following an early morning flight from Portland, Oregon, President Young had time to visit the Clinton Presidential Library. The dinner that evening was at the Capital Hotel. There were around 50 Fellows and guests in attendance, including Arkansas State Committee Chair Ken Cook. The highlight of the evening was a presentation by President Young of the current events and priorities of the College.
Nevada Fellows Meeting, Las Vegas, December 6, 2019:
Not even the President of the College can be in two places at the same time, so Secretary Susan Harriman represented the leadership at the Nevada Fellows Meeting in Las Vegas on Dec. 6. A small but lively group converged at La Strega Restaurant. In attendance were Nevada State Committee Chair Tammy Beatty Peterson, her husband Chris, and former Nevada State Committee Chair Bruce Alverson (one of the famous high school baseball duo of Alverson and Reid – Harry Reid, U.S. Senate Majority Leader, a few years back).
Mississippi Fellows Dinner, Jackson, December 6, 2019: President Young’s third city in three days was Jackson, Mississippi, where he attended the Mississippi Fellows Dinner at the Capital City Club. This trip was by automobile with Regent Lyn Pruitt and her husband, Chris, at the wheel. After the rolling tour to Jackson, First Lady Terry Young joined her husband, flying in from California, at the event. About 60 sixty Fellows and guests were in attendance, including Former Regent Christy Jones, current Mississippi State Committee Chair Cal Mayo, and Mississippi State Committee Vice-Chair Phil Abernathy. President Young’s remarks focused upon the College goals of diversity, access to justice, and ongoing advocacy education.
Louisiana Fellows Dinner, New Orleans, December 7, 2019: Continuing this rolling tour of the South with Regent Pruitt and husband, Chip, President Young and Terry visited New Orleans. After touring the city in the afternoon, some 70 Fellows and guests attended the annual dinner at Restaurant August. Guests included Former Regent Tom Hayes, Emil Gumpert Award Committee Chair Mark Surprenant, Louisiana State Committee and Legal Ethics and Professionalism Committee Chair Don McKinney, and Immediate Past Chair of the Louisiana State Committee Adrianne Baumgartner. In addition to brief remarks by President Young, there was a moving and informative presentation by Ms. Jee Park, Executive Director of the Innocence Project in Louisiana.
Western Pennsylvania Fellows Event, Pittsburgh, Dec. 12, 2019: President Young’s last trip before the New Year was to Pittsburgh for the Western Pennsylvania Fellows Event. The 50y-plus attendees included Judicial Fellows Judge Nora Fischer of the U.S. District Court, Western District of PA and Justice Christine Donohue of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Regent Bob Welsh, and Pennsylvania State Committee Chair Katie Recker. The host was Pennsylvania State Committee Vice-Chair John Conti. There was a lively program, and President Young spoke briefly abut College issues, including the College’s strong support of judicial independence.
The following Fellows have been elevated to the bench in their respective jurisdictions.
David M. Porter
Ontario Court of Justice
December 17, 2019
Michael J. McAuliffe
Montgomery County Circuit Court
December 27, 2019
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 city 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.
John W. McDonald, ’91, Tucson, December 14, 2019
Tilden Perkins (Chip) Wright III, ’93, Fayetteville, February 27, 2016
John “Dugan” Barr, ’89, Redding, November 29, 2019
Nelson Clyde Barry, ’78, Emeryville, June 2, 2018
George Goldhammer Walker, ’85, San Francisco, February 15, 2019
Norman Blanchard Richards, ’73, Sausalito, February 1, 2015
Nancy J. Sheehan, ’11, Sacramento, November 23, 2019
Peter Allen Hofstrom, ’95, Boulder, January 19, 2018
Michael Peter Koskoff, ’87, Bridgeport, April 24, 2019
Whitney North Seymour, Jr., ’72, Torrington, June 29, 2019
Philip J. Rogers, ’87, St. Petersburg, June 26, 2019
Sidney F. Wheelers, ’79, Fernandina Beach, January 21, 2020
G. Conley Ingram, ’86, Marietta, November 11, 2019
Hugh Stockdell Meredith, ’71, Savannah, June 30, 2019
Silas Williams, Jr., ’89, Lookout Mountain, December 10, 2011
T. Donald Henson, ’85, Peru, December 31, 2019
Martin H. Katz, ’90, Moline, November 4, 2016
Ray Scott Plain, ’80, Owensboro, November 3, 2019
Henry Bernis Alsobrook, Jr., ’76, New Orleans, Friday, November 13, 2015
Richard L. Pemberton, ’81, Fergus Falls, December 1, 2019
Matt J. Whitworth, ’07, Judicial Fellow, Jefferson City, October 8, 2019
John J. Dee, ’77, East Syracuse, July 20, 2018
Leonard Joseph, ’75, Oyster Bay, March 6, 2019
Daniel A. Pollack, ’85, New York, October 25, 2019
Jay Henry Topkis, ’65, New York, September 1, 2018
Richard T. Cunningham, ’84, Akron, August 14, 2019
Kenneth E. Howie, ’85, Mississauga, December 19, 2019
Theodore H. Rachlin, Q.C., ’88, Toronto, December 2, 2019
William Beryl Crow, ’84, West Linn, November 10, 2019
Lawrence T. Hoyle, ’97, Philadelphia, November 30, 2019
John David Rhodes, ’82, Pittsburg, September 24, 2016
Walter J. Blenko, Jr., ’78, Allison Park, August 11, 2019
Frank O. Meade, ’76, Charleston, December 28, 2019
Douglas Murray Fisher, ’79, Franklin, April 7, 2019
Stephen T. Greer, ’96, Dunlap, August 6, 2019
William F. (Pete) Baker, ’85, Lubbock, December 20, 2017
Nicholas H. Patton, ’80, Texarkana, November 2, 2019
Robert Wagner Mann, ’86, Martinsville, April 27, 2019
J. David Andrews, ’79, Seattle, October 25, 2019
William J. Rush, ’77, Gig Harbor, October 8, 2019
Richard Lyman Cates, ’73, Madison, August 3, 2011
Henry Augustus Field, ’76, Madison, November 5, 2018
James Ric Gass, ’90, Milwaukee, October 13, 2019
Carl Lathrop, ’80, Cheyenne, December 24, 2019