I am pleased to be able to say that, in large part due to the tireless and effective work by the National Office staff, the Annual Meeting in Vancouver was very successful notwithstanding the impacts stemming from the unforeseen labor disturbance at the Westin Bayshore Hotel.
Despite the labor disruption, attendance was strong and those who attended enjoyed the true Fellowship and collegiality that only an Annual Meeting can provide.
A total of 69 Fellows were inducted. The meeting included, as well, the 5th Women Fellows Luncheon and the 5th Judicial Fellows Luncheon, each of which was a success in every way. The upcoming issue of the Journal
will feature the entire meeting, including the remarks by each of the speakers, and hopefully will lead you to calendar the 2020 Spring Meeting in Tucson, Arizona – March 5-8, 2020.
Among the highlights of the meeting were two awards. One was the Inaugural Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Award
, named after the distinguished former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. The award went to the Honorable Jonathan Lippman, former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, who championed equal access to justice in New York and throughout the U.S., and took a leadership role in identifying permanent funding streams for civil legal services. The other was the 2019 Emil Gumpert Award
, which included a $100,000 check to Pro Bono Students Canada’s Indigenous Human Rights Project to enable creation of clinics in Ontario designed to connect Indigenous peoples who have experienced discrimination to lawyers and law students who can deliver culturally appropriate human rights assistance.
In addition, the Board of Regents
was pleased to designate the Access to Justice Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows Program and the Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training Programs
as ongoing College endeavors. The Access to Justice and Legal Services Committee
program has just completed a very successful one-year pilot phase under the direction of Fellow Mark Surprenant of New Orleans, Louisiana. Most recently the Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training Programs completed an intensive session in Toronto, Ontario entitled “Trial Advocacy in Action: The Rosenberg Spy Case,” co-sponsored by the College and The Advocates’ Society.
The Annual Meeting also provided opportunities to thank some of those who have contributed in special ways to the success of the College. First and foremost, of course, was Jeff Leon in recognition of his tireless and very effective year as President. Jeff and Carol Best received special tributes for being such outstanding “ambassadors” for the College and all that it stands for during their travels throughout both of our countries. It will be a challenge and a deep honor to walk in their footsteps in the coming months. We also had the opportunity to thank our outgoing Regents Kathleen Flynn Peterson of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tom Hayes of Monroe, Louisiana, and Bob Warford of Riverside, California and to welcome our new Regents Peter Akmajian of Tucson, Arizona; Greg Lederer of Des Moines, Iowa; and Lyn Pruitt of Little Rock, Arkansas. The Board of Regents also presented a plaque to Fellow Stephen M. Grant of Toronto, Ontario, who has served with distinction as editor of The Journal
(formerly known as The Bulletin
) for seven years.
In anticipation of the opportunities and challenges the coming year may present, I have the following requests of each of you: First, please keep an eye out for candidates for review and induction as Fellows, keeping in mind that our trial courts are full of talented and increasingly young and diverse lawyers who may either be ready for consideration as Fellows now or should be placed on “watch lists” for future consideration. Second, when it arrives in your in-boxes please respond to the online confidential poll of the candidates who will be considered for induction at the Board of Regents meeting in Tucson. Third, if your Regent asks you for help on an issue or a project, please do what you can to respond positively. And if you see a committee or a project that interests you, please let the National Office know and we will get you involved. And, finally, please remember that in our discourses and relationships collegiality and civility are hallmarks of what we do – in court, and out.
I look forward to Terry and I making trips to various parts of the continent as we begin our journey as representing the College. It is already evident that throughout our two countries, the mission of the College is vibrant and in good hands. It is also evident that each of us owes a debt of gratitude to the outstanding and dedicated National Office staff for the work it does daily to ensure that the work of the College is carried out in the best ways possible. Terry and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the months to come.
Deadline Extended for Emil Gumpert Award Applications
The deadline for applications for the 2020 Emil Gumpert Award has been extended to October 31, 2019. This award of $100,000, made in honor of the late Honorable Emil Gumpert, Chancellor-Founder of the American College of Trial Lawyers, recognizes programs, public or private, whose principal purpose is to maintain and improve the administration of justice. The programs considered may be associated with courts, law schools, bar associations or any other organization that provides such a program. For more information, click here.
Join the College in Tucson for the 2020 Spring Meeting
The 2020 Spring Meeting will be held March 5-8, 2020 at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona. The following are confirmed speakers: William G. Young, U.S. District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts; Alison Goldwater, Executive Director, Barry & Peggy Goldwater Foundation; Troy Eids, former U.S. Attorney, Chair of the Indian Law and Order Commission; Joellen Russell, Ph.D., Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona; Rachel C. St. John, Ph.D., Department of History, University of California, Davis; Joan McPhee, Ropes & Gray; Skip Horner, Adventure Guide Extraordinaire; Rachel Wilson, Director of Cybersecurity, Morgan Stanley; and CLE speaker Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento County District Attorney.
2019 Annual Report Now Available
The 2019 Annual Report is now viewable. Click here to view the report. Fellows are encouraged to consider naming the Foundation of the American College of Trial Lawyers as a beneficiary of their estates. If you have already named the Foundation as a beneficiary, would you please let us know? We would like to recognize you in next year's Annual Report. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sept. 13, 2019, Kentucky Fellows gathered in Louisville for a cocktail reception to honor the late John “Jack” Ballantine, who passed away on Apr. 9, 2019. Jack’s son Doug Ballantine, the immediate Past President of the Kentucky Bar Association, and his wife attended this reception.
On Jul. 12 -13, 2019, a number of Fellows participated in the 4th Annual Dan Jewell Trial Institute at the University of Nebraska College of Law in Lincoln. Participants included Nebraska State Committee Vice Chair Susan Sapp and mentors Robert D. Mullin, Jr., Stephen S. Gealy, Thomas M. Locher, former Nebraska State Committee Chair Kile W. Johnson, and William M. Lamson, Jr.
Updates on General Committees
Access to Justice and Legal Services: The Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows Pilot Project has been the committee’s most significant project, with the goal to continue and expand the program. The committee continues to advocate for access to justice issues, including adequate funding for Legal Services Corporation. In addition, Fellows across the country are engaged in various pro bono projects and educational programs for public interest lawyers.
Alternative Dispute Resolution: The committee is working on a proposed mediation or settlement privilege project.
Attorney-Client Relationships: The committee is studying litigation funding, including the debate over its discoverability. Information on this topic is available on the ACTL website. The committee is also preparing a CLE module targeting in-house counsel.
Complex Litigation: The committee is finalizing its 4th edition of The Anatomy of a Patent Case. The committee is also preparing a booklet on the use of electronic evidence at trial and continues to monitor the Federal Advisory’s MDL subcommittee.
Emil Gumpert Award: Applications for the Emil Gumpert Award have been extended to Oct. 31, 2019. Under the leadership of Mark Surprenant as Chair and Nancy Sheehan as Vice Chair the committee will begin the process of reviewing applications, selecting finalists, doing site visits, and making a recommendation to the Board of Regents/U.S. Foundation by early February 2020.
Federal Civil Procedure: Recent and ongoing projects include public comments on a proposed amendment to FRCP 30(b)(6), coordination with the Complex Litigation Committee to monitor proposed changes to MDL procedures and monitor the practical problems, if any, as the result of the Supreme Court’s holding in Hall v. Hall, 138 S.Ct. 1118 (2018). The committee is also monitoring proposed amendments to the disclosure requirement of FRCP 7.1, and evaluating and commenting on diversity of citizenship requirements for limited liability companies.
Federal Criminal Procedure: This past spring, the College approved the publication of the FCPC’s White Paper on Criminal Justice Reform. The current efforts of the committee are focused on revisions to and updating of the FCPC’s 2008 White Paper on Corporate Internal Investigations. An 8-person subcommittee is working on the project. The current plan is to have a final draft submitted to the College for approval in advance of the 2020 Spring Meeting in Tucson.
Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy: The committee has started an investigation into a potential nominee, and is also working on an article for The Journal on the history of the award and a profile of past winners.
Heritage: The committee continues to secure videotaped, oral histories of various senior fellows in the United States and Canada. The primary area of effort has been the central United States and the Prairie Provinces of Canada. The committee plans on putting together a presentation of various archival materials for the 50-year meeting in Washington, D.C. in 2020. The committee also anticipates meeting with National Office staff regarding posting archival items on the Internet. The committee is consider presentations on the first Canadian Fellow and the first female Fellow. The committee will also secure a video tape interview of Mike Cody of Memphis, a longtime Fellow who was Martin Luther King’s lawyer on the day of his assassination.
International: Led by Former Regent and former committee chair Brian O’Neill, the committee is planning another legal training seminar in the Pacific Islands, following successful seminars conducted in Palau (2015) and Guam (2018). Co-sponsored with the Pacific Judicial Council, this 3-day training seminar will be conducted in Saipan on January 27-29, 2020. Training is planned for both judges and lawyers and participants are anticipated to come from throughout the Pacific Islands. Topics to be addressed include: Writing Judicial Opinions; Best Practices for Pro Se Litigants; Human Trafficking; International Criminal Law; a Supreme Court Review; Mediation Ethics; Search and Seizure Law and Practice; Scientific Evidence; Encouraging Civility in the Practice of Law; How to Try a Complicated Civil Case; How to Try a Civil Tort Case; How to Write an Appellate Brief; Presentation of Expert Testimony; Prosecution and Defense of Public Figures; and Handling Domestic Violence Cases. The following Fellows plan to present: Cathy Fleming, Corrie Yackulic, Michael Schwartz, Doug Kelley, Bruce Maloy, Charles Gibbons, Keith Strong, Karen Townsend, Harold McElhinny, Richard Glaser, Julie Vacura, and O’Neill. These Fellows will make this difficult and costly travel at their own expense.
Judiciary: The committee continues to work with Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), National Center for State Courts (NCSC), and others on rule changes to promote conditions conducive to more jury trials occurring.
Judicial Independence: In collaboration with the National Association of Women Judges (“NAWJ”) and its Informed Voters, Fair Judges Project (“IVP”), the committee plans to direct a proactive educational outreach to the public over the next two years to support promoting fair and impartial courts over the next two years. Broadly, the goal is to conduct public education presentations each year in 15 different states on Law Day, Constitution Day, and at juror assembly orientation meetings. With the assistance of NAWJ/IVP, the committee will identify the first five states to launch the program, likely on Law Day 2020, and select Project Leaders in these states. The five Project Leaders for the states will identify Fellows to be the educators. NAWJ will create Powerpoint presentations and webinars to train Fellows with the committee's support. In addition the committee, Project Leaders, and the National Office will coordinate to ensure program publication, obtain materials from IVP, and solicit program attendance. All information about the various programs will be provided to ACTL Leadership and NAWJ/IVP. The committee is also exploring different avenues to encourage and support expanded engagement by judges in response to attacks on the judiciary, Recommendation No. 3 from the 2018 White Paper The Need To Promote And Defend Fair and Impartial Courts. The committee is moving forward with the development of a “Bench Brief” to encourage judges to speak out on the role of the judiciary and the integral nature of judicial independence. As the public statement this summer by Alaska Fellows demonstrated, most responses to attacks on judicial independence will be orchestrated and made by Fellows in particular states, after the Executive Committee approves the proposed responses. The committee plans to encourage all State and Province Chairs (and Regents) to timely forwarding reports of any attack on the judiciary to the committee. The committee also plans to encourage Fellows to include safeguarding judicial independence as a topic in any professional programs they present.
Jury: The committee published the white paper Improving Jury Deliberations Through Jury Instructions Based on Cognitive Science in March 2019. The committee is discussing ways to make lawyers and judges aware of the paper, including organizations such as: the National Center for State Courts, Association of Chief Justices, federal court judiciary, and various state jury instruction committees. Three additional projects are also up for discussion: publishing a white paper addressing the effectiveness of the jury trial verses arbitration; creating a website on jury service to provide jurors information about what to expect, which could be referenced on materials sent to prospective jurors such as “[f]or more information about Jury Service see https://www.actl.com/whattoexpectfromjuryservice;” and drafting a compendium of the jury selection process for each state.
Legal Ethics and Professionalism: The committee is working on civility pilot programs in Toronto and Philadelphia. While still in the planning stages, one thought is to have Fellows share and record personal experiences, whether positive or negative, of civility and professionalism that occurred in their practice which could be made available for CLE programs or other settings.
National Moot Court Competition: The Annual National Moot Court Competition, co-sponsored with the New York City Bar Association, celebrates its upcoming 70th competition. The committee has worked with the City Bar to designate Fellows to take stewardship of the Regional Competitions, slated for mid-November 2019. The host law schools in 4 of the 15 regions is awaiting designation. The national regionals will be held at the New York City Bar from Feb. 10-13, 2020. The National Moot Court Competition faces more competition than ever—from regional events, specialized events, and non-traditional competitions. The committee is considering ways to mobilize Fellows to encourage their law schools to participate in the Nationals and to shoulder greater responsibility for hosting the competition.
National Trial Competition: The 2019 competition was held in San Antonio with The Catholic University Columbus School of Law winning the championship. In August, Committee Chair Gary Winters attended the National Coaches Clinic to participate in a clinic with team coaches. Planning is underway for the 2020 competition, and recruiting will begin for Fellows to serve as judges in the regionals.
Online Advisory: The committee hopes to play an important and helpful role in the educational effort to inform and educate all the General Committees and State and Province committees regarding the benefits and opportunities offered through ACTL Connected.
Outreach: The committee’s goal last year and this year is to have Fellows present a minimum of 50 Outreach programs or activities and at least 1 presentation or activity in each state and province. The committee will work closely with the State Chairs and the State Outreach Liaisons to drive and coordinate these presentations and activities. Each member of the Outreach Committee will be assigned several states and/or provinces and will be responsible for encouraging and providing support to those states and provinces as they organize their respective outreach activities for the year. Another goal is to inform Fellows of the new College brochure that was printed this past Spring and to make it available for appropriate distribution. The committee continues to work with National Office to add user-friendly access to CLE programming materials directly on the Outreach Committee page and to encourage and teach Fellows to use the materials. The committee has also made it a priority to use ACTL Connected to facilitate the exchange of information among Fellows on the committee and Fellows at large. The committee is also working with Fellows who have presented excellent CLE programs for which there are reproducible materials (film clips, scripts, hypotheticals, teaching materials, etc.) to package and make available to all Fellows through the Outreach Library.
Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award: The committee has submitted an outstanding candidate for consideration.
Sandra Day O’Connor Jurist Award Committee: The committee is reviewing 4 nominations for the award.
Special Problems in the Administration of Justice (U.S.): The committee continues to work on VA delay litigation. Williams & Connolly LLP is heading up the appeals to the federal Circuit Court hoping to overturn the decision of the Court of Appeals for Veteran Claims finding no violation of statutory and due process rights for lengthy delays adjudicating benefits.
Special Problems in the Administration of Justice (Canada): The committee continues its work updating the Canadian Codes of Pretrial and Trial Conduct. Incoming Committee Chair David Porter has mapped out an ambitious program, the goal of which is to arrive at and make concrete recommendations for necessary reforms to the criminal justice system in Canada, with a view to improving its fairness and efficiency.
Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy: Committee members and other Fellows conducted a forum at University of Kentucky School of Law. In May 2020 Teaching Committee member Tom Heiden and 5 other Fellows will conduct two intensive trial advocacy programs—the first for a group of diverse lawyers and the second for a group of in-house corporate counsel. Former Ontario Province Committee Chair Peter Griffin is creating a Working Group to promote civility, and the committee is working in coordination with the Legal Ethics and Professionalism Committee for Fellows to create short videos promoting civility and dealing with incivility, sexism, racism and other demeaning conduct.
Updates from State & Province Committees
Alabama: The Alabama Fellows have presented ethics CLE to new admittees of the State Bar and will continue to do so in the fall. They are also in discussions with the Alabama Judges Association regarding a CLE program. Past President Warren Lightfoot and former Alabama State Committee Chair Charlie Stakely are working on a “History Project” regarding Alabama Fellows.
Alaska: The committee wrote a press release opposing action by Alaska’s Governor to punish the judiciary with budget vetoes for a decision issued by Alaska’s Supreme Court. Planning for a Regional Meeting in July 2020 is underway.
Alberta: Alberta Fellows plan to approach the new Chief Justice and Associate Chief Justice of Alberta to introduce them to ATCL and enlist their support in diversity efforts, as well as to identify members of the Bench who may qualify for ACTL awards.
Arkansas: The Committee State Chairs for Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee are actively planning a one-day ACTL sponsored CLE in Memphis, TN for April 2020. Presenters will include Fellows from the three states.
California-Southern: Fellows have been actively involved in judging moot courts, and, after conducting the trials, several of the teams have been asked to assist in moot court preparations for the next round.
Colorado: The Colorado Fellows are in discussions with the Colorado state courts to have Fellows volunteer to mediate cases to help alleviate the existing overwhelming case load. The next State Chapter dinner is tentatively set for February 2020.
Connecticut: The State Committee offered to assist Connecticut Legal Services with its in-house training session for legal assistant attorneys. Five Fellows participated in the program. In response to a request by Tom Hoopes of the Massachusetts State Committee, the Connecticut State Committee mobilized members to send junior attorneys to participate in the third annual Region 12 Trial Skills Seminar at Suffolk Law School, and to assist with coaching and teaching.
District of Columbia: On Feb. 20, 2020, the D.C. State Committee will sponsor a panel discussion and reception in conjunction with the Georgetown University School of Law Criminal Practice Institute on the “Life and Trials of Edward Bennett Williams.” The panel is comprised Brendan V. Sullivan, Jr., former Federal Legislation Committee Chair John J. Buckley, Jr., David E. Kendall, and K. Chris Todd. The event is expected to be well-attended by College Fellows, their colleagues and Georgetown University Law School faculty and student body.
Florida: A committee is actively planning the 2020 Regional Tri-State Meeting for Alabama, Florida and Georgia to be held in Sarasota, Florida in January. The State Committee published in The Florida Bar News a tombstone announcement congratulating recent inductees Roberta Stanley of Ft. Lauderdale, Michael Haggard of Coral Gables, Richard Schwamm of Orlando, and Dennis Waggoner from Tampa.
Fellow David Louie
and Immediate Past Chair Lisa Munger
along with Hawaii State Committee Chair Thomas Cook
have been working on a Civil Justice Improvement task force established by the Hawaii Supreme Court. Of particular concern to the task force is the “vanishing jury trial.” The Hawaii Fellows have organized fundraising efforts supporting a new Advocacy and Trial Practice building at the University of Hawaii School of Law, which will bear a plaque noting that the ACTL “is a fellowship of exceptional trial lawyers from the United States and Canada who have demonstrated the highest standards of trial advocacy, ethical conduct and professionalism.…This work space is dedicated by its Hawai’i members to preserve the independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, access to justice and respect for the rule of law.”
Idaho: The State Committee is exploring an outreach program to assist tribal judges in their training. Idaho held its annual dinner in July, with President Leon and Regent Mona Duckett attending.
Illinois-Upstate: Fellows continue their ongoing outreach to the bench and bar.
Iowa: Fellows are looking into a program to assist Legal Aid with training. Iowa Supreme Court Justice Tom Waterman, a Judicial Fellow, attended the state meeting in August and gave an update on the judiciary and welcomed comments from Fellows.
Kansas: Fellows are looking into speaking to the trial advocacy groups at the two Kansas law schools.
Kentucky: Plans are being made to put on a trial skills training program in conjunction with the Kentucky Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission for the Spring of 2020 in Louisville. It is expected that the number of trainees will be approximately 20 public interest lawyers. Plans are also in the works 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 ACTL. Contact with these law schools will be made to discuss a program on how to improve diversity in the legal community.
Manitoba: Manitoba Fellows are considering developing an advocacy project in partnership with the Manitoba Law School and the Manitoba Law Society. This program is still at the investigation stage.
Maryland: Maryland Fellows continue to present and sponsor a trial course offered by the University of Maryland School of Law and the University of Baltimore School of Law. Two or three Fellows appear at each class during the course of the semester to address and present on each stage of a litigation matter involving a medical malpractice claim. Fellow Bob Hanley of Towson serves as the ACTL moderator for this very successful program. The Maryland Fellows have been presenting and sponsoring this course for more than a decade. State Committee Chair Richard C. Burch is also investigating possibilities/feasibility for a similar course involving a criminal matter for the case study. The hope is to engage Maryland Fellows (prosecutors and criminal defense Bar members) in a "real life" program whereby they can share their talents with students who may have an interest in criminal law and litigation. Maryland Fellows are also actively involved with the National Regional Law School Trial Competitions, which are held annually at American University.
Massachusetts: The Fellows are planning the 5th Trial Skills Training program for 2020. Massachusetts Fellows also have been actively assisting in the Moot Court competition and the National Trial Competition.
Michigan: The Michigan Fellows have participated in multiple moot court competitions over the past year and will continue to do so in the coming year.
Mississippi: On Nov. 30, 2019, Fellows will offer a CLE titled “Presenting and Challenging Medical Experts.” On Oct. 25, 2019, Fellows will participate in the Mississippi Trial and Appellate Judges Conference and present a talk on judicial demeanor.
Missouri: Fellows conducted two mock trial seminars in June of 2019 entitled “Trial of a Catastrophic Personal Injury Case by the Masters.” The Kansas City seminar had over 70 attendees and the St. Louis seminar had over 90 attendees. Each seminar involved more than 10 different Missouri Fellows. Judicial Fellow United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri Judge Willie Epps participated as the Judge in Kansas City. Fellow Kevin O’Malley, former Ambassador to Ireland, participated as the Judge in St. Louis. These events were widely promoted and well received. Missouri State Committee Vice Chair Monte Clithero participated as a judge. The Missouri State Committee has discussed conducting a Missouri ACTL Seminar in 2020 directed towards a female audience by Fellows in Kansas City (Dawn Parsons and BK Christopher) and St. Louis (Mary Sedey and Amy Gunn). The committee has also discussed conducting a seminar in 2020 directed towards public defenders similar to a seminar done by the Missouri State Committee in 2017.
Montana: On Sept. 6 Montana held its first dinner meeting in many years. There were approximately 50 Fellows and their guests in attendance, along with President Leon and retiring Judge and Judicial Fellow Karen Townsend. Montana State Committee Chair Mike Lamb and Fellow Matt Hayhurst judged oral argument competition at the University of Montana law school.
New Jersey: The New Jersey Fellows are planning an Advocacy Trial Demonstration for July 2020.
New York-Upstate: The annual dinner is being set for May 2020.
North Carolina: Fellows have been approached by Legal Aid of North Carolina to request participation in leading a trial practice CLE at a statewide conference for legal service attorneys in November 2019. The relationship between Fellows and Legal Aid is extremely valued and Fellows want to continue to support them with this type of training if possible. On May 22, 2019, Justice Funds were dedicated at the North Carolina Bar Center, home of the North Carolina Bar Association, in memory of Former Regent Don Cowan and in honor of Fellow, L.P. “Tony” Hornthal. These Justice Funds serve worthy causes related to the legal system and the public who are served through the Endowment of the North Carolina Bar Foundation.
North Dakota: The State Committee remains very active in the National Trial Competition. Fellows serve as coaches and practice judges as the University of North Dakota Law School prepares for the competition. In 2019, the University of North Dakota Trial Team with the help of the College, advanced all the way to the finals in San Antonio, Texas where they had various advancements. Fellows will be working to assist the Trial Advisor Professor and new dean to make ACTL resources available to the law school. Fellows are also contemplating putting on a half day trial seminar at the law school.
Ohio: On Aug. 5-10, 2019 several Fellows spoke at a 6-day Trial Advocacy Skills Training Seminar in Dublin, Ohio sponsored by the Ohio State Legal Services Association (OSLSA). Former Access to Justice and Legal Services Committee Chair John Gilligan was actively involved in recruitment of Fellows to speak at the seminar. Trial topics on which Fellows spoke included direct examination (former Ohio State Committee Chair Gerald Kowalski), witness preparation (former National Moot Court Competition Chair Tom Hill), closing argument (former chair of the Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy and Special Problems in the Administration of Justice (U.S.) Committee Dan Buckley) and damages (Immediate Past Chair of the Ohio State Committee John Alton). The seminar was an opportunity for Fellows to assist in the training of nearly 40 legal aid lawyers from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and West Virginia. Those legal aid lawyers who attended the trial advocacy skills training were appreciative of the Fellow’s involvement. Former Regent Kathleen Trafford (Columbus) gave her judicial independence speech to the Columbus Law Library Association earlier this summer and will give it again on November 20, 2019 at the “Winning at Trial” seminar sponsored by the ACTL and the Ohio State Bar Association. On Nov. 20, 2019, 18 Fellows will be presenting the “Winning at Trial” Seminar at the Ohio State Bar Association in Columbus. The seminar will also be simulcast at various locations in Ohio and will feature presentations given by Fellows on the best practices for each stage of a jury trial. Participating Fellows include: Judicial Fellow and former Judiciary Committee Chair The Honorable Jack Zouhary (Toledo); Judicial Fellow The Honorable Richard A. Frye (Columbus); Judicial Fellow The Honorable Michael W. Krumholtz (Dayton); John C. Barron (Toledo); Kathleen M. Brinkman (Cincinnati); former Ohio State and former Legal Ethics and Professionalism Committee Chair Harry D. Cornett (Cleveland); John P. Gilligan (Columbus); Federal Civil Procedure Committee Chair Thomas M. Green (Dayton); former Ohio State Committee Chair David C. Greer (Dayton); Kimberly Weber Herlihy (Columbus); Thomas W. Hill (Columbus); former Ohio State Committee Chair John D. Holschuh, Jr. (Cincinnati); Gerry R. Kowalski (Toledo); Douglas W. Rennie (Cincinnati); John D. Smith (Springboro); Robert W. (Buzz) Trafford (Columbus); Kathleen M. Trafford (Columbus); and National Trial Competition Committee Chair R. Gary Winters (Cincinnati).
Oklahoma: Fellows are tentatively set to have the next state meeting in Mexico in early 2020.
Ontario: A subcommittee has been formed to work on an award to honor Past President David Scott.
Oregon: The State Committee began a judicial outreach program in 2019 for judges new to the bench. There is a holiday dinner set for December 4, 2019 in Portland.
Pennsylvania: The State Committee continues to work with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) to provide content and faculty for Continuing Judicial Education. Fellows help develop and present, under the aegis of the College, a 4-hour program as part of the required 12 hours of CLE that all state court judges are required to complete annually. The first such CLE program is scheduled to take place on Oct. 24, 2019 at University of Pittsburgh, School of Law School. Fellows John P. Gismondi, Pennsylvania State Committee Vice Chair John C. Conti, Heather Hansen, and Thomas R. Kline will present on issues arising from the use of electronic health records. The AOPC anticipates collaborating with the College on at least six such programs for 2020. The State Committee continues to collaborate with Temple University Beasley School of Law presenting the “Masters of Litigation Program,” a trial skills CLE training program. The next program will be presented on Nov. 1, 2019. Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Committee Chair Joseph C. Crawford, Thomas J. Duffy, John P. McShea III, William Ricci, Linda Dale Hoffa, and Catherine Henry are course planners and will present. The program will include an ethics hour on civility initiated by Committee Chair Crawford, aimed at changing racist, sexist and other intentionally demeaning conduct. This will be the PA Fellows’ third annual collaboration with Temple’s law school. Organized by Crawford, Fellows continue robust participation in the annual Trial Team Competition as judges of the regional competition.
Puerto Rico: Outreach efforts include an initiative with the U.S. District Chief Judge to promote referrals to U.S. Magistrate Judges. The Federal Court is clogged with criminal cases. Thus, referral of civil cases to U.S. Magistrate Judges is quite beneficial for the promotion of access to justice in Puerto Rico.
Québec: Chair of the Province Committee Suzanne Pringle, co-presided the 12th edition of the Young Bar of Montreal’s Oratory Competition, held at the Court of Appeal of Quebec on Jun.12, 2019. The Provincial Committee also contributed by paying for the official plaque. A panel on legal ethics and professionalism was held on Mar. 14, 2019 at McGill University. Canadian Foundation Director and Access to Justice and Legal Services Committee Vice Chair Doug Mitchell, Judicial Fellow Peter Kalichman and Province Chair Pringle were in charge of the presentation. It was a great opportunity to exchange with law students on the importance of ethics and professionalism. Province Chair Pringle was part of the Faculty at the Trial Advocacy in Action program taking place in Toronto on Sept. 10, 2019, presented in collaboration with the Advocate’s Society. Pringle presented the panel on closing arguments. Following the success of the panel held at Université de Montréal in 2018, Quebec Fellows were invited to present another panel in Sept. 2019. A panel on court etiquette and civility will be held at Université Laval Faculty of Law on Oct. 10, 2019. Fellows Elisabeth Pinard and Claudia P. Prémont will present this panel. Communication has started with Université Sherbrooke, where Fellows hope to present a similar panel on court etiquette and civility. Fellows Mathieu Piché-Messier and Patrick Ouellet are organizing this presentation.
Saskatchewan: Fellows continue to be heavily involved in provincial and national CLE programs.
South Carolina: Former Regent Frankie Marion has agreed to assist in coordinating the 2020 regional trial competition. Immediate Past Chair Mark Phillips has been tasked with coordinating a “tombstone” for the S.C. Fellows in 2020, to be run in The South Carolina Lawyer monthly magazine. This full-page ad will celebrate the seminar classroom that is being endowed by the S.C. Fellows, for the new USC School of Law Building. New State Committee Chair Wallace Lightsey is planning a S.C. Fellows-sponsored Ethics & Civility CLE for the Young Lawyers Division of The S.C. Bar, likely in April 2020. This seminar will be free to participants. Fellows make an annual $5,000 donation to the University of South Carolina School of Law, to fund a Trial Advocacy Chair. Each year, Fellows also award $1,000 apiece to the trial competition winners at the Charleston School of Law and USC Law. Fellows are now endowing a classroom space at the USC Law School’s new campus and have already paid $54,000 toward this $100,000 naming opportunity for the South Carolina Fellows.
Tennessee: Planning is underway for a CLE event to be held in conjunction with Arkansas and Mississippi. A one-day seminar with presentations by Fellows from the three states is scheduled at the University of Memphis Law School on April 24, 2020. 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. Fellow Les Jones serves on the Tennessee Supreme Court Advisory Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure for Tennessee. Regent John Day serves on the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions (Civil) of the Tennessee Judicial Conference. Former Tennessee State Committee Chair Jimmie C. Miller serves on the Board of Professional Responsibility for the State of Tennessee. Fellow Jeffrey Ward serves as Chair of the Board of Law Examiners for the State of Tennessee. Fellow Leslie Gattas serves on the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. Fellow Rosemarie Hill serves on the Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments. Numerous Fellows have instructed on a variety of CLE programs over the past year.
Texas: An announcement was placed in the Texas State Bar Journal in honor of the new Fellows from Texas.
Utah: The committee is planning a Restorative Justice Symposium featuring Georgetown Law Professor Shon Hopwood, who spoke at the ACTL 2019 Spring Meeting in La Quinta, California. The symposium will be held at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law in mid-May 2020. It will focus on the First Step Act of 2018 that provides a path towards reduced sentences for certain drug offenses, and a better reentry system for recently released prisoners. Keeping with tradition, the Utah Chapter intends to donate the majority of the registration fee to “And Justice for All” which provides legal services to individuals and families struggling with abuse, disability and discrimination.
Vermont:Several Fellows of the Vermont chapter participated this summer in the Vermont Trial Academy, a joint endeavor of, among others, the VBA, the judiciary, and the chapter. Fellows also served as judges in the National Trial Competition in Portland, Maine. And several joined colleagues in Boston for their annual black-tie affair.
Washington: Fellows continue their program of conducting lunch meetings with pairs of Superior Court judges. This past year, meetings have been held with judges from King, Pierce, and Spokane counties.
West Virginia: Outreach and CLE includes involvement in trial advocacy training and competition at the WVU College of Law and planning a “Peoples Law School” joint consumer interest project with West Virginia University and Marshall University.
Wisconsin: The state dinner was held on Sept. 11 with President Leon and Regent Dan Reidy attending.
Wyoming: Fellows continued to participate in the University of Wyoming College of Law summer trial practice course, a multi-week intensive course in trial practice actively supported by ACTL. The Wyoming Fellows also held a “Dinner with the Wyoming Supreme Court” on August 8, 2019. All members of the Wyoming Supreme Court attended.
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
2020 Spring Meeting
March 5-8, 2020
JW Marriott Star Pass Resort
2020 Annual Meeting
September 27-29, 2020
Washington, District of Columbia
Tri-State Regional Meeting
January 23-26, 2020
Art Ovation Hotel
Northwest Regional Meeting
July 9-12, 2020
The Hotel Alyeska
Indiana Fellows Dinner
October 18, 2019
Maine Fellows Dinner
October 20, 2019
British Columbia Fellows Dinner
Vancouver, British Columbia
October 22, 2019
Washington Fellows Dinner
October 24, 2019
Tennessee Fellows Dinner
October 25, 2019
Eastern Pennsylvania Fellows Event
October 29, 2019
Alabama Fellows Dinner
November 8, 2019
Arizona Fellows Meeting
November 8-9, 2019
December 4, 2019
Arkansas Fellows Dinner
December 5, 2019
Nevada Fellows Meeting
December 6, 2019
Mississippi Fellows Dinner
December 6, 2019
Louisiana Fellows Dinner
New Orleans, Louisiana
December 7, 2019
Western Pennsylvania Fellows Event
December 12, 2019
South Carolina Fellows Meeting
Bluffton, South Carolina
February 6-10, 2020
Northern California Fellows Dinner
San Francisco, California
February 2, 2020
LAW SCHOOL COMPETITIONS
November 8-9, 2019
National Moot Court Final Rounds
New York, New York
February 10-13, 2020
Past President David W. Scott, O.C., Q.C. (deceased) will be honored with a reception on Nov. 1, 2019 to celebrate his impact on access to justice in Ontario. During the reception, Ottawa Law Help centre will be renamed in Scott’s memory.
Reid L. Phillips of Greensboro, North Carolina was awarded the Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake, Jr. Public Service Award during the North Carolina Bar Association Annual Meeting. The Lake Service Award recognizes an outstanding lawyer who performed exemplary public service in his or her community and made significant contributions to the legal profession, legal education or other legal institution.
Harry L. Shorstein of Jacksonville, Florida was honored with a portrait unveiling ceremony at the Duval County Courthouse in Jacksonville. The ceremony was in honor of his serving five terms as Fourth Circuit State Attorney.
Regent John A. Day of Brentwood, Tennessee recently released the second edition of Tennessee Law of Civil Trial. The book addresses the law of civil trial in Tennessee, from jury selection through motions for new trial and includes a bonus chapter of 75 tips on trial preparation.
James A. Jennings of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma recently released Mirador.
Idaho Fellows Meeting, Boise, July 27, 2019: President Jeff Leon and First Lady Carol Best enjoyed a scenic trip to Boise, Idaho to attend the Idaho Fellows Meeting. They had time to be introduced to the downtown Boise area, enjoying a Basque Festival that was taking place a block away. Boise has a very large Basque community. The Fellows dinner was held at the Crane Creek Country Club, hosted by State Committee Chair Gary Cooper. The event was very well-attended, with over 20 Fellows and almost as many spouses and guests. Among those present were Regent Mona Duckett, State Committee Vice Chair Wendy Olson, Journal Editorial Board Member Walt Sinclair and his wife Kristin and Fellow Pat Olsson, who had served with Jeff on the Canada-U.S. Committee when Jeff served as chair. It was a lively and engaging group, and Jeff and Carol had an opportunity to visit with almost all the folks present before dinner. State Committee Chair Cooper introduced Jeff, Carol, and Regent Duckett, and provided each of them with gifts that were made by members of the Shoshone Tribe. Cooper serves as a Tribal Judge for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Court and is licensed in the Tribal Courts for two different tribes. After a buffet dinner complete with Idaho potatoes, Jeff made remarks focusing on his prior visit to Idaho, the great natural beauty of the state, and proving that he had learned how to pronounce Boise, i.e., “Boy-see”, as opposed to “Boy-zee”. The name of Idaho comes from the Shoshone Indian work that means “Behold! The sun coming down the mountain.” Jeff reviewed the College agenda on diversity, identifying and engaging younger trial lawyers, the Task Force on Mentoring, the Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training Programs, and the new Judicial Independence Committee.
Alaska Fellows Dinner, Anchorage, August 2, 2019: The Leon/Best duo made the long trip from Toronto to Anchorage on Aug. 1, 2019. They were awakened early the next morning and picked up from the hotel by Alaska Inductee Michael Schneider. Mike is a float plane pilot and took Carol and Jeff for an incredible 2-hour sightseeing tour of the surrounding area. They soared over mountains, glaciers, marshlands, rivers, and had a breathtaking introduction to Alaskan wilderness surrounding Anchorage. The Fellows dinner began at 6:30 pm at the Captain Cook Hotel. State Committee Chair Laura Farley and former State Committee Chair Ray Brown and his wife Dyanne welcomed Jeff and Carol. Because it was a relatively small group, they were able to meet in a private dining room. In attendance were Regent Mona Duckett, new Inductees Mike Schneider and Kevin Fitzgerald, as well as several other Alaskan Fellows with their spouses. Jeff noted to the group that this was their first time in Alaska, and that he had studied up on all things Alaska and educated the group that Alaska has the fifth largest number of millionaires per capita of any state. Anchorage is also unique in being equal distance from New York City, Frankfurt, and Tokyo, which means 9 ½ hours by air to 90% of the industrial world. He thanked Mike Schneider for the amazing flight adventure they had experienced that morning. Jeff’s comments to the group on the College agenda included the topics of diversity and mentoring, the need to obtain younger trial lawyers as candidates, and especially judicial independence. As a consequence to recent actions of Alaska’s governor, the Alaska Fellows had issued a press release and the Fellows were uniquely informed as to the importance of the Judicial Independence Committee. Jeff also noted for the group many of Alaska’s notable personalities, focusing of course on those that also had Canadian connections.
Wyoming "Dinner with Supreme Court," Cheyenne, August 8, 2019: President Leon and First Lady Best traveled to Cheyenne, Wyoming for the Wyoming Fellows Dinner with the Wyoming Supreme Court. On their arrival, they had the opportunity to tour the F.E. Warren Air Force Base, which has a nuclear missile launch system. Jeff had the opportunity to meet the JAG officers on base and visit the courtroom that is serving the base. They heard presentations from several members of the staff about the military justice system and the work of the lawyers at that facility. Jeff also had the opportunity to go to the simulator room, which is used to demonstrate and train how orders come to fire a missile. He had the opportunity to sit at the simulator when the order was received but was unable to actually launch a missile. [You can’t make this stuff up!] The dinner was held at the Cheyenne Country Club with approximately 10 Wyoming Fellows and their spouses in attendance. State Committee Vice Chair Scott Ortiz, former State Committee Chair Corey Rutledge, new Inductee Kim Cannon, and other Fellows were in attendance. Also attending was Colorado State Committee Chair Mike McCarthy. The dinner was planned to provide an opportunity for the members of the Wyoming Supreme Court as well as Federal Court Judge Alan Johnson to attend. Regent Paul Hickey introduced the speakers for the evening and made welcoming remarks to the judges in attendance as well as JAG officers from the base who assisted on the tour, and Dean Klint Alexander and Professor Stephen Easton from the University of Wyoming School of Law. In speaking, Jeff thanked State Committee Vice Chair Ortiz for his work in organizing the State Committee, and for the excellent job that Hickey has done as Regent. For the benefit of the judges in attendance, Jeff outlined the mission of the College, the vetting process that is followed in considering trial lawyers for Fellowship, and noted that the College was the only organization in which all justices of the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada are honorary members. He commented on the importance of judges bringing to the attention of the College the names of trial lawyers they think may be worthy of Fellowship and assured them of the confidentiality of that process. He spoke again at this opportunity on the focus of the College of diversity and younger lawyers, as well as judicial independence. After identifying a large group of Wyoming distinguished historic citizens, many with connections to Canada, Jeff donned the hat of the University of Wyoming Cowboys (and Cowgirls), assuring all those in attendance that “my heroes have always been cowboys.” Because it had been leaked that Jeff would be having his birthday within the next week, he was presented with dessert, complete with a candle and a chorus of “Happy Birthday.” Following the birthday party, Regent Hickey introduced Professor Easton, who spoke in detail about the Wyoming College of Law Summer Trial Institute and thanked the Fellows for their support of that program.
Iowa Fellows Meeting, Waterloo, August 16-18, 2019: President Leon traveled to Waterloo, Iowa for the Iowa Fellows Meeting, his third visit on behalf of the College to Iowa, characterizing his remark that “it’s a three-peat!” The dinner was extremely well-attended by Iowa Fellows. Present at the reception, were Regent Kathleen Flynn Peterson, State Committee Chair Martha Shaff, Immediate Past Chair Nan Horvat, State Committee Vice Chair John Gray, incoming Regent Greg Lederer, and a number of recent Inductees and Iowa Fellows. Also present was Judicial Fellow Honorable Tom Waterman, Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, whom Jeff had come to know at previous meetings. A highlight of the evening was a tour of the Grout/Veteran’s Museum, which pays special tribute to those veterans from Iowa who fought in various wars. The meeting recommenced on Saturday, chaired by Shaff, and Jeff provided his remarks, noting interesting facts on the State of Iowa. He especially noted the upcoming 30th anniversary of the movie, “Field of Dreams”, and the plan to hold a major league baseball game between the Yankees and the White Sox at the location in August 2020. He also provided his review of the College agenda and of various Iowa personalities of note, including Johnny Carson, Cloris Leachman, Marion Mitchell Morrison (aka John Wayne), the 5 Sullivan Brothers, and of course, Nick Nurse – coach of the Toronto Raptors, who was born on a farm just outside Churdan, Iowa. After Jeff’s remarks, Justice Waterman gave a presentation of recent decisions of the Iowa Court and the inner workings of the Court. The closing dinner for the meeting was at the Sunnyside Country Club. After enjoying a diverse and engaging meeting in Iowa, Jeff endured the challenges and perils of cross-country travel. Because of various weather delays, his original flights were cancelled, and he ultimately managed to get back to Toronto on stand-by status. On the way home in his car service, stopped at a red light, they were rear-ended by another vehicle. Thankfully, the only damage was to the vehicle, and nobody was hurt. It was a long day of travel.
Georgia Fellows Dinner, Atlanta, August 22, 2019: President Leon next headed to the Georgia Fellows Dinner in Atlanta. He was fortunate to be able to enjoy lunch with Past Presidents Jack Dalton and Chilton Davis Varner. The dinner was at the Piedmont Driving Club, a classic Southern club, which has nothing to do with driving golf balls, but finds its name coming from the fact that people used to drive there. Over 60 Fellows and guests registered for the meeting and among those present were State Committee Chair Sally Yates, State Committee Vice Chair Ben Brewton, Ex-Officio of the Special Problems in the Administration of Justice Committee (U.S.) John Chandler, Past Presidents Dalton and Varner (with Marcy and Morgan, respectively), as well as Immediate Past President Franklin, Regent Rick Deane, three pending Inductees, Doc Schneider and a host of others. State Committee Chair Yates introduced Jeff and in his remarks Jeff focused on the honor of having dinner with three Past Presidents of the College, and offered a host of interesting facts about Georgia, including movies that had been filmed there, and many of the nation’s leading personalities who had roots or contact with Georgia. Included in that array were President Jimmy and First Lady Rosalynn Carter, President Woodrow Wilson, Martin Luther King, Jr., ACTL President Judge Griffin Bell, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (who is buried in Georgia), Andrew Young, Ray Charles, Jackie Robinson, Elton John, Julia Roberts, Jane Fonda, and scores of others, ending with Pretty Boy Floyd. Jeff updated the group on the mission and activities of the College and recognized the good work being done by Yates, Brewton, Chandler, and Beth Tanis.
Kansas Fellows Meeting, Lawrence, August 24, 2019: First Lady Carol Best and President Leon flew to Kansas City for a extended weekend at the Kansas Fellow Meeting. They were greeted by Regent Paul Hickey and his wife Jeanne. The opening evening events were at the Kansas University Alumni Center. The event was well attended with about 20 Fellows and almost as many spouses. Among those greeted during the cocktail hour: Past President Mike Stout, State Committee Chair Craig West, Past State Committee Chair Steven Day, Ex-Officio of the Kansas State Committee Amy Sue Lemley, Foundation Secretary Jim Eisenbrandt, State Committee Vice Chair Robin Fowler, and others. State Committee Chair West gave preliminary remarks, especially acknowledging Past President Stout and the new Inductees present. Regent Hickey then made comments about the good work being done in Kansas and introduced Jeff. Jeff regaled the group on all things Kansas, including the Tall Grass Prairie Nature Preserve, Kansas being the first state to institute workers’ compensation and one of the first states to recognize women’s suffrage, the National Historic Site in honor of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, its musical heritage -- “how could you not like a state whose anthem is ‘Home on the Range’”? and the first night game in professional baseball being played in Independence, Kansas in 1930. He also commented on the mission of the College and the actions that have been taken in connection to diversity and judicial independence. He congratulated State Committee Chair West for the work being done in Kansas and paid special tribute to Past President Stout “as one of [his] College heroes.” At the meeting the next day at the Oread Hotel, West spoke about the financial position of the College in Kansas and the efforts that Kansas Fellows are making to obtain recommendations for trial lawyers who might be suitable for the College. A wide-ranging discussion between those in attendance followed about activities of the College, the importance of local events hosted by the College at the state and regional level, and the steps the College has taken at a time of the “vanishing trial.”
Montana Fellows Meeting, Missoula, September 6, 2019: President Leon travelled to Missoula, Montana to attend the Montana Fellows Dinner. This was the first dinner that had been held by College Fellows in Montana for a long time (estimates ranged from 10 to 15 years), and the Fellows were clearly engaged and happy to be together for this evening. State Committee Chair Mike Lamb and his wife Cheryl greeted Jeff, and Lamb did an excellent job of chairing and hosting the meeting. It was held at the Keep Restaurant, which is located on a golf course with a view of Missoula in the background. There were about 20 Fellows and an equal number of guests in attendance. Jeff was able to greet many of the Fellows and recent Inductees at the cocktail party and stressed to the group that this is an event that uniquely offers the opportunity to meet face to face with their Fellows on College issues. Lamb introduced Judicial Fellow Honorable Karen Townsend, retired judge of the 4th District of Montana and she was called upon to speak. She related some of her early experiences with the College, as well as the importance of being involved in the activities of the College. She is going to be the Vice Chair of the National Trial Competition Committee. Jeff related his observations on Big Sky Country, apologizing for the fact that Montanans blame Canada for the cold contiguous air that blows south into their state. He profiled Montana culture with all the movies that have been filmed all or in part in Montana, as well as all the songs that have been sung by a variety of artists about the beauties of the state. Jeff outlined the many relationships between Canada and Montana, including the many personalities who had connections to both Canada and Montana.
New Mexico Fellows Meeting, Albuquerque, September 6-7, 2019: With Jeff and Carol heading to the Montana Fellows Dinner, Treasurer Rodney Acker and his wife Judy attended the New Mexico Fellows Meeting in Albuquerque. The meeting was held at the Los Poblanos Inn and Organic Farm, which is a converted working ranch and farm. There were nine New Mexico Fellows, and a number of spouses in attendance, together with Regent Paul Hickey and Jeanne. New Mexico has approximately 45 Fellows among its 5,000 lawyers. The meeting was hosted by State Committee Chair Wally Melendres and a dinner with Rodney and Judy was held Friday evening, Sept. 6. On Saturday morning, Sept.7, State Committee Chair Melendres introduced Regent Hickey and then Rodney spoke on the recent success of the College in diversity issues and the importance of teaching trial skills, particularly through the Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training Program. There was also discussion about the new Judicial Independence Committee, and Rodney stressed the importance on the College’s role in encouraging civility, having Fellows make financial contributions to the Foundation, and encouraging attendance at the Annual Meeting. There was discussion regarding the importance of identifying candidates, particularly young and diverse candidates, and how State Committees can obtain information for a case list, as well as other possible projects for the State Committee. William Slease, the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the New Mexico Supreme Court, presented to the group on several ethical topics, including social media and advertising. In addition, Mark Jarmie presented to the group regarding the case of White v. Pauly, a U.S. Supreme Court case involving a New Mexico police shooting. The meeting ended with a dinner at the Seasons Restaurant and Andrew Connors, the director of the Albuquerque Museum of Art, was the speaker. Connors spoke of hidden treasures of the Albuquerque museums.
Nebraska Fellows Dinner, Omaha, September 7, 2019: Jeff headed to the Happy Hollow Country Club for the cocktail reception and dinner with Former Regent Mike Kinney and his wife, Rondi and Regent Kathleen Flynn Peterson. Other attendees included Nebraska State Committee Chair Dave Ernest and his wife, Michele, Nebraska State Committee Vice Chair Susan Sapp, former Nebraska State Committee Chair Charlie Gotch, and Judicial Fellow the Honorable Bob Rossiter, U.S. District Court Judge of the District of Nebraska. State Committee Chair Ernst opened with remarks about the College and an introduction of the judges present and a remembrance for a recently deceased Fellow. Next Regent Peterson provided remarks as her time as Regent was coming to an end. Jeff followed her remarks noting Nebraska’s motto “Equality before the law” and the state’s prominence in business, music, entertainment, and notable personalities. He reminded the group of the College’s agenda, which included: diversity; the Task Force on Mentoring, mentioning Regent Peterson’s role and the importance the Report of the Task Force will play in the years to come; the Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training Programs; Judicial Independence; the Access to Justice Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows Program; Civility; and the Foundation.
Boot Camp Trial Training Program, Toronto, Ontario, September 10, 2019: On Sept.9 Jeff attended on behalf of the College the swearing-in of the new Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Ontario, the Honourable Mr. Justice Geoffrey Morawetz. Following that event, Jeff went to a dinner for the participants in the Boot Camp Trial Training Program, which was being held in Toronto. This is the first time that the College has held a trial training program in Canada. It was a successful event, co-sponsored with The Advocates’ Society, and the program was entitled “Trial Advocacy in Action: The Rosenberg Spy Case.” There were over 120 trial lawyers participating, equally distributed among senior, mid-level, and junior counsel. Co-Char of the Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training Programs Paul Mark Sandler attended the program along with Gale Cup Committee Vice Chair Tom Curry, who spearheaded the organization of this program in Toronto. Other Fellows who came to Toronto for the event were Barry Coburn and Quebec Province Committee Chair Suzanne Pringle who travelled from Montreal to Toronto so she could participate in the event. On the day of the Boot Camp Program, Jeff presented a welcome on behalf of the College, giving the participants and attendees a short statement of the mission and activities of the College. The Boot Camp Program was extremely well-received, with the hope that this can become an annual event for the College in Toronto and to perhaps to expand to other cities across Canada. The day ended for Jeff by going back to the Courthouse for “Opening of the Courts,” a traditional ceremony that marks the beginning of the fall term, at which all the Chief Justices, among others, make remarks about their Courts.
Wisconsin Fellows Dinner, Milwaukee, September 11, 2019: Jeff traveled on 9/11 from Toronto to Milwaukee via Chicago for the Wisconsin Fellows Dinner. The dinner was held on the top floor of the Journeyman Hotel. Several Fellows were in attendance including Former Regent Jim Murray and Mary Fran, Wisconsin State Committee Chair Peter Hickey, State Committee Vice Chair Ralph Weber, Regent Dan Reidy and Liz, and other Fellows. Wisconsin Fellows had not held an event since November 2014 when Fran Wikstrom was President. Many commented it had been too long and were happy to have a reason to gather. State Committee Chair Hickey made opening remarks, asked for a moment of silence to remember the victims of 9/11, and called on Regent Reidy to introduce Jeff. Jeff noted the major companies, well known sites, shows and cultural points of interest that are part of the state famous for its cheese and cheese heads. He outlined the many relationships between Canada and Wisconsin, including the many personalities who had connections to both Canada and Wisconsin. Jeff updated the group on the College agenda which included the topics of diversity and mentoring, the Boot Camp Trial Training Program; judicial independence, access to justice, civility, and the Foundation. After dinner, the group heard a presentation on Abraham Lincoln as a trial lawyer. To end the evening, State Committee Vice Chair Weber encouraged attendees to take a copy of Bryan Stevenson’s book, Just Mercy, as they left. Stevenson is a recipient of the Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy and spoke to the College at the 2017 Spring Meeting in Boca Raton, Florida. Weber noted that lynchings were not exclusive to the South as there had been a lynching in Milwaukee one block from the hotel’s location.
Region 5 Regional Meeting, Keystone, South Dakota, September 12-14, 2019: Jeff flew out of Milwaukee and Carol flew out of Toronto where they met in Chicago and flew to Rapid City, South Dakota for their last leg of the 2018-2019 President'sTour to attend the Region 5 Meeting in Keystone. The meeting began with an opening reception and dinner in glamping experience style (glamourous camping). About 20 Fellows and 15 guests, including South Dakota State Committee Chair Mark Haigh and his wife Patty; former South Dakota State Committee Chair Tom Fritz and his wife Pam; Regent Kathleen Flynn Peterson and her husband, Steve; incoming Regent Greg Lederer; North Dakota State Committee and Heritage Committee Chair Ron McLean; Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award Committee Chair Bob Riter; and Past President Bob Byman. Friday’s program began with State Committee Chair Haigh calling the meeting to order and Jeff providing remarks titled “Reflections on the College from a Soon-to-be-Past President.” It was Jeff’s first time in South Dakota and the Black Hills, and his remarks paid homage to the Mount Rushmore State. Jeff spoke on the College agenda on diversity; the Task Force on Mentoring; the Task Force for Boot Camp Trial Training; the Judicial Independence Committee; the Access to Justice Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows Program; Civility; and the Foundation. Showing Jeff’s great love for music, he reprised his presentation from the 6th Circuit Regional Meeting, held at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. These remarks looked at what the Hall of Fame and College had in common (“The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame accepts only the best. The College accepts only the best”) as well as Jeff’s Top 25 songs that talk about lawyers. Following Jeff was Hilarie Bass, the Founder and President of the Bass Institute for Diversity and Inclusion and Immediate Past President of the American Bar Association. Her topic was “Rule of Law Initiatives in a Populist World: Can American Lawyers Make a Different?” The next speaker was The Honorable Lawrence Piersol, Senior U.S. District Judge for the District of South Dakota who spoke on “What is Happening to the Rule of Law?” The final speaker was Past President Byman, whose remarks were titled “A Fifth Head for Mt. Rushmore,” with comments focused on the importance of truth and the responsibility of Fellows to promote truth in the justice system and society. He finished his presentation with a slide offering his recommendation for the fifth head on Mt. Rushmore – Jeff’s. The Friday evening event was held at the Kleemann House, which included entertainment in line with the location, music from renown country violinist Kenny Putnam. The Saturday program was held at the Crazy Horse Memorial and started with William Neukom, a former President of the American Bar Association, and Founder and CEO of the World Justice Foundation. His topic was “The Rule of Law: What Is It and Why Does it Matter.” Neukom spoke about the rule of law and a study that the Foundation had conducted comparing adherence to the rule of law, as measured by several variables, in most of the countries around the world. The second presentation was from local history buff Wayne Gilbert, who spoke about an old case, Ex Parte Dog Crow 109 U.S. 556 (1883). The final presentation was from Fred Tulley, who spoke about Korczak Ziolkowski and the origins of the idea for the Crazy Horse Memorial.
Vermont Fellows Dinner, Shelburne, September 16, 2019: President-Elect Doug Young represented the College at the Vermont Fellows Dinner. After paying a visit to State Committee Vice Chair Karen McAndrew’s office and Former Regent Ritchie Berger’s office, he and Committee Vice Chair McAndrew drove to Shelburne Farms, the site of the dinner, located on the shores of Lake Champlain. Approximately 20 Fellows attended the dinner, including two Judicial Fellows: Honorable David Fenster of the Vermont Superior Court and Honorable Peter Hall of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Past State Committee Chair David Cleary, Regent Larry Krantz, and Mary Kay Lanthier, inductee responder from the 2018 Spring Meeting in Phoenix, also attended. This informal gathering of Fellows, where speeches were discouraged, allowed for Young to speak briefly on diversity, mentorship, and judicial independence, which led to wide-ranging discussion about judicial independence.
The following Fellow has been elevated to the bench in their respective jurisdiction.
Maria S. Davila
Effective April 1, 2019
U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
The College extends congratulations to this Judicial Fellow.
The College has been notified of the passing of the Fellows listed below. The date after each name notes the year of induction into the College, and the date following the state or province is the date of his or her passing. A tribute to each will appear in the In Memoriam section of a subsequent issue of the Journal.
Salvador Antonetti-Zequeira, ’95, San Juan Puerto Rico, September, 2019
Guy Robins Ayres, III, ’09, Ocean City, Maryland, August 21, 2019
Steven Frederick Fitzer, ’04, Tacoma, Washington, August 28, 2019
Stephen Thomas Greer, ’96, Dunlap, Tennessee, August 6, 2019
Alan Charles Kohn, ’92, Saint Louis, Missouri, September 7, 2019
Lane J. Liroff, ’06, Laguna Beach, California, June, 2019
Jerry A. McDowell, ’87, Fellow Emeritus, Mobile, Alabama, August 7, 2019
Roy James Moceri, ’82, Fellow Emeritus, Kirkland, Washington, August 15, 2019
Michael J. Mooney, ’93, Fellow Emeritus, Omaha, Nebraska, May 10, 2019
John Yeardley Pearson, Jr., ’92, Fellow Emeritus, Norfolk, Virginia, September 12, 2019
Hon. James Robertson, ’84, Washington, District of Columbia, September 7, 2019
Harry Gustavus Shaffer, Jr., ’68, Fellow Emeritus, Madison, West Virginia, March 9, 2019
Matias Abelino Zamora, ’77, Fellow Emeritus, Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 1, 2019