** We are re-sending the eBulletin with Mr. Floyd’s name correctly spelled. The original misspelling was entirely my responsibility as we tried to acknowledge at the last minute some of the events of recent days. My sincere apologies for the mistake. **
June brings the promise of Summer, always eagerly anticipated, but this year tinged with a significant overlay of anxiety. Terry and I hope that all of you and yours are safe, but we recognize the odds that some among our fellowship are or will be touched by the pandemic in some fashion. We also recognize, -- and deeply mourn -- George Floyd’s unnecessary and tragic death in Minneapolis a few days ago (and just as this was going to be sent). Equal protection under the law is a core tenet that we seek to protect. We will be mindful of this fundamental value in the challenging days ahead.
Watching the unflinching work of our Fellows during this time of uncertainty has been humbling and inspiring. Fellows have pivoted to new ways of attending to the needs of clients, personal and family concerns, and the core principles that unite us -- including protection of the rule of law and access to justice for all. Many have played important public roles as well. Among the Fellows I have been honored to meet, for example, is Jenny Durkan, formerly the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington and currently the Mayor of Seattle, where her efforts to deal with the pandemic have been acknowledged nationally. (She and I are pictured above at the meeting of the Seattle Fellows, which was held in October.)
On the other coast, Fellow Clyde Bergstresser
of Boston, Massachusetts, has created a non-profit called “Lawyers Honoring COVID Caregivers"
designed to raise money for front-line care givers, including Boston EMS and the Boston Medical Center (a safety-net hospital that serves the poor). These are but two examples, among many; and as reflected later in this issue of the eBulletin U.S. Foundation President
(and College Past-President) Joan Lukey is interested in learning about other outreach and support efforts with which Fellows are associated across our two countries.
2020 Annual Meeting
In the April issue of the eBulletin I noted our hope that we will be able to mark the College’s 70th Anniversary in Washington D.C. at the Annual Meeting scheduled for late-September. News about the pandemic evolves daily, but we do not have definitive information about either the advisability of holding large in-person meetings or what health and safety requirements will be in place when such meetings do occur. The leadership of the College continues to follow developments, including governmental guidelines and health advisories. A determination as to whether it is appropriate to move forward with the meeting as scheduled (and if not, what alternatives are being considered) will be announced soon.
Task Force on Advocacy in the 21st Century
Two earlier special communications generated from the National Office (one on April 10, 2020 and one on May 11, 2020) noted that the pandemic has caused judges and lawyers in the United States and Canada to adapt quickly in order to keep courtrooms functioning for all persons and causes. Advocates and jurists have had to evaluate such issues as whether and how courtroom facilities might be modified or redeployed and whether and how technology might contribute to the operation of our court systems. Recognizing the significance and likely long-term effects these considerations portend, the Board of Regents approved in March the creation of a Task Force (“ACTL Task Force on Advocacy in the 21st Century”) whose mission includes a review of the efforts being made in both countries and the development of “Interim Guidelines” and eventually even “Best Practices” related to advocacy in this new and quickly evolving era. One critical goal for the Task Force is to ensure that jury trials are not imperiled if efficiency threatens to overtake efficacy. The Task Force’s “Statement of Purpose,” can be found on the College website and is linked here. Public information about the work of the Task Force can be found by clicking here.
The Task Force is led by Regent John Day of Tennessee and represents a broad spectrum of practice areas and experience in our two countries: federal court/state-province court; big firm/small firm; current and former prosecutors; criminal defense lawyers; trial and appellate practice educators; and judges from the United States and Canada. The Task Force has been working with unparalleled speed and has already issued five “Interim Guidelines” (akin to statements by a General Committee) on specific topics designed to help the judiciary and lawyers navigate some of the issues that arise from the use of remote video in depositions, hearings, non-jury trials, and appellate arguments. These have been posted on the College website, distributed to federal and state/province courts, and are linked here. (There is more to come in the next few weeks, as the Interim Guidelines currently address primarily issues arising in the context of civil proceedings. Issues pertaining to criminal proceedings are still being identified and evaluated.) This important work has enabled the College Task Force to weigh in with authority so that access to justice is not jeopardized. We believe in the importance of trials and appeals, including trial by jury, and in the need to promote and protect the Rule of Law. If ever there was a time when the College should be proactive in response to evolving realities, this is it.
Fellow Engagement Survey
Even before the pandemic erupted, the Executive Committee and the Board of Regents, with the considerable assistance of the National Office staff, had begun a focused evaluation of how the College could enhance the experiences Fellows and their spouses and friends enjoy. We employed a professional research firm to evaluate what is working and what can be improved. The plan includes a research effort using a survey and focus groups, in order to determine how Fellows interact with the College, what activities associated with the College are the most meaningful, and what activities might make the College experience even better. We had a robust response to the survey, which was sent to a diverse cross-section of Fellows, and also received valuable feedback in the focus groups we held at the Spring Meeting in Tucson.
We have received preliminary results and analysis from our research partner. Among the things we learned from Fellows’ responses is that Fellows want to be involved, but they may not know how to do so. Fellows want a clearer understanding of what it means to volunteer with the College, including what is expected of them and how much time it will take. In addition, we heard involvement at the local level is important, and we must continue our efforts of increasing diversity across the College.
In the coming months as we delve further into this comprehensive source of information, we will think broadly and deeply about how we can make changes that better support our Fellow volunteers. We will continue to report on the findings and how they may be used to shape the future of the College.
Committee Appointments and Regents Nominating Committee
Committee service is one of the most significant ways Fellows volunteer with the College. I anticipate that the information we glean from our survey research (see above) will inform and help us make valuable improvements to your volunteer experience in the coming year. Even as we are considering those improvements, right now we are beginning the process of making appointments to committees for the 2020-2021 term. Our practice has been that the President-Elect makes appointments to the General Committees and the Treasurer makes appointments to State and Province Committees. President-Elect Rodney Acker and Treasurer Mike O’Donnell are in the process of reviewing the composition of our Committees and will make appointment recommendations by mid-July. If you are interested in serving on a College Committee, please contact the National Office. You can find a list of College Committees and their mandates here. Terms begin and end in conjunction with our Annual Meeting
The Regents Nominating Committee, chaired by Regent Susan Brewer of West Virginia, recently completed its work. Later this month Fellows will be receiving a report from the Secretary as to the Committee’s nominations. At the Annual Meeting of the College, Fellows will officially elect our new Regents whose terms will begin at the completion of the Annual Meeting.
The College recently lost two great leaders: Past President Michael Mone of Massachusetts and Former Regent Brian O’Neill of Minnesota. Past President Mone was a towering example of the best the trial bar has to offer and was a warm and embracing College leader. More will be said about Mike in the Journal; but for now, it is important to acknowledge his leadership and example, especially at a time in our history when I know his wisdom and guidance would be most appreciated. Brian chaired several committees including the Minnesota State Committee, the Adjunct State Committee, and the International Committee. He also served as a Regent from 2003-2007 and was personally committed to the International Committee’s programs in places such as Palau and Guam. At the 2019 Spring Meeting in Tucson, the Board of Regents passed a special Resolution honoring Brian’s prodigious and unselfish efforts, a copy of which is linked here.
This year’s promise of Summer is not what we expected a year ago, but when history measures how we dealt with the challenges we currently face, I believe it will declare that we were creative, steadfast, and courageous. That belief is enhanced every time I see College Fellows bringing their life experiences to address the daunting-and-unexpected issues of this day. You are “culture-keepers” and protectors of human values. Thank you for your unstinting example at every level as we do what we can to ensure that justice is never left behind.
Please share any efforts you or other Fellows have taken to address the challenges posed by COVID-19 by sending examples to Communications Committee Chair Pat Lowry, email@example.com, and Communications Manager Eliza Gano, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaker Videos, Photos Available from Tucson Spring Meeting
Five speaker videos from the 2020 Spring Meeting in Tucson are available on the College YouTube page, which include Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award recipient M. David Lepofsky; infectious disease expert Dr. Pia MacDonald; professor and oceanographer Joellen Russell; cybersecurity expert Rachel Wilson; and Ropes & Gray partner Joan McPhee, who took part in the U.S. Olympic Committee independent investigation of Larry Nassar. Photos from the Tucson meeting are also available through Shutterfly. You may view the photos without an account. However, to download or order photos you must log in to Shutterfly or create an account.
Trustees Seek To Distribute Funds By June 30
The ACTL U.S. Foundation has a meaningful, but not large, amount of distributable funds to be expended by June 30, the end of our fiscal year. As a charitable foundation in these times of crisis, the Trustees believe that such funds should be expended expeditiously if we can identify a worthy entity or group as recipient(s). As we move into the next fiscal year, you will likely hear more from the Trustees about the COVID-19 impact on a larger scale.
For now, we ask that you consider whether there is a charity or non-profit undertaking in your state or province that is addressing the pandemic’s impact on Fellows or other members of the Bar, on Bar efforts to assist those most impacted, on the administration of justice, or in other related ways. If you have someone in mind, please send an email to U.S. Foundation President Joan Lukey at email@example.com nominating the cause that you have identified, including the name and contact information for the entity or group, the nature of the entity or group’s work or pandemic-related problem, and how that work or problem relates to the Fellows, the Bar, the administration of justice, disadvantaged communities, or related impacted constituencies.
Ontario Fellows, in partnership with the Advocates’ Society, presented The Advocate Matters: Spring Symposium 2020 on April 29, May 5, and May 7, 2020. Each micro-symposium covered a different topic and was shown via webcast. Module 1: The Civil Advocate looked at civility and professionalism as essential parts of the legal practice as an advocate - not only in the day-to-day practice and interactions with other counsel, but in the way arguments are framed and how it assists the Court during hearings. Participants heard new perspectives on the principles of civility and professionalism in litigation and learned how to effectively respond to questions from the bench on appeal. Module 2: The Skilled Advocate focused on the essential ingredients to being a skilled advocate - knowledge of the law, mastery of court procedure, and proficiency in different types of advocacy. Module 2 dove into the varied perspectives from bench, the public sector, and the private bar on public law issues as well as using demonstrative evidence effectively in court. Module 3: The Well-Informed Advocate discussed developments in case law from the past year with a lightning round on recent Supreme Court and appellate court jurisprudence; how to adapt to a physical distancing environment and effectively argue cases remotely; and how to stay resilient in the face of the pressures of legal practice. The following Fellows participated in the program: Former Ontario Province Committee Vice Chair Sheila R. Block LSM, ASM; Honorary Fellow The Honourable Eleanore A. Cronk; Former Gale Cup Committee Vice Chair J. Thomas Curry; Former Regent Kathleen Flynn Peterson; Regent Sandra A. Forbes; Former Ontario Province Committee Chair Peter Griffin; The Honourable Justice John B. Laskin; Brian J. Gover; and Beverly McLachlin Access to Justice Award Committee Chair Guy J. Pratte.
The Wyoming State Committee issued a comment in mid-May on the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure for the Court of Chancery. The Committee believes that certain aspects of the currently proposed chancery Court rules are of potential concern. Read the Full Text
The College recognizes extraordinary individuals and their important contributions to the law through the two 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.
Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy
Awarded only when appropriate to honor outstanding courage demonstrated by trial lawyers in unpopular or difficult causes
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.
2020 Annual Meeting
September 23-24, 2020
2021 Spring Meeting
March 4-7, 2021
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa
Region 6 Regional Meeting
(Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas)
April 16-18, 2021
Windsor Court Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana
NE Regional Meeting
(Atlantic Provinces, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island)
June 5-7, 2021
Northwest Regional Meeting
(Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)
July 8-11, 2021
The Hotel Alyeska
July 16, 2020
New Jersey Fellows Dinner
July 17, 2020
Wyoming Fellows Dinner
July 18, 2020
Colorado Fellows Dinner
Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
August 7-9, 2020
Iowa Fellows Meeting
August 27, 2020
Georgia Fellows Dinner
August 29, 2020
Kansas Fellows Dinner
Deceased Fellow Broox G. Garrett of Brewton, Alabama, has been posthumously named to the Alabama Lawyers Hall of Fame. Read More
Mark D. Hinderks of Kansas City, Missouri, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Kansas School of Law for his dedication and service to legal justice and the legal profession.
William C. Hubbard of Charleston, South Carolina, received a significant recognition by the American Bar Foundation (ABF) establishing the William C. Hubbard Law & Education Conference Endowment. The Hubbard Conference will bring together prominent scholars and practitioners to facilitate the dissemination of research and to stimulate new lines of inquiry.
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 J. Lile, ’83, Little Rock, March 30, 2020
Edward P. George, ’88, Los Angeles, February 27, 2014
Harold J. Hunter, Jr., ’85, Pasadena, April 24, 2020
William J. Doyle, ’78, Branford, April 18, 2020
District of Columbia
Jeremiah C. Collins, ’77, Washington, April 21, 2020
Steve Robison, ’02, Wichita, April 13, 2020
E. William Olson, Q.C., ’88, Winnipeg, April 7, 2020
Kenneth N. Hart, ’89, Potomac, December 24, 2014
Brian B. O’Neill, ’94, Minnetonka, May 6, 2020
Martin J. McGreevy, ’99, Neptune City, December 28, 2019
Thomas D. Beatty, ’93, Las Vegas, April 29, 2020
Henry G. Miller, ’75, White Plains, April 16, 2020
E. Richard Bodyfelt, ’87, Tigard, May 11, 2020
Don H. Marmaduke, ’88, Wilsonville, October 17, 2019
Joseph W. Fullem, Jr., ’92, Devon, April 10, 2020
Harold F. Reed, Jr., ’73, Beaver, May 23, 2020
Joseph A. Kelly, ’76, Warwick, May 15, 2020
QuebecJohn J. Pepper, Q.C., ’75, Montreal, May 15, 2020
Charles F. Tucker, ’83, Norfolk, April 30, 2020