As my year as President is rapidly drawing to a close, it is great to see that both our countries and the College are beginning to reopen and return to normal. Since mid-May, I have had the opportunity to attend in-person receptions and dinners in Kentucky, Arizona, Connecticut, Texas, Alaska, and Pennsylvania. In August, in-person meetings are scheduled for South Carolina, Georgia, Massachusetts, and the 10th Circuit Regional Meeting in Colorado. The Marshall Scholars Forum will be held in Washington D.C. in September, the week prior to the Board of Regents meeting and Annual Meeting in Chicago. The Marshall Scholars Forum, similar to the U.S./U.K. Legal Exchange, will be attended not only by U.S. Fellows and Judicial Fellows, and by a number of Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, but also by justices, judges, and barristers from the U.K. The Marshall Scholars Forum will be the first in-person College function in 18 months with participants from outside the United States. One thing is clear from each of the in-person events: Zoom is a poor substitute for in-person contact, and the Fellows are happy to once again meet in person. Whether it is a function like the Texas Fellows lunch where I knew everyone, or other functions where I knew some Fellows and had the opportunity to meet others, I couldn’t help but notice how happy the Fellows were to be back together in person.
For those states and provinces that have not had the opportunity to meet in person, your opportunity is coming. By the time this eBulletin is published, you will have received the email to register for the Annual Meeting in Chicago. I hope that you have already registered. Executive Director Dennis Maggi and Senior Meetings and Conference Manager Suzanne Alsnauer have already made trips to Chicago to confirm that the city is fully open and all safety precautions are in place. You can read about these precautions in the registration material and in upcoming releases from the national office. Attending the Annual Meeting will be worth your while. President-Elect Mike O’Donnell has arranged for interesting speakers, and the National Office staff have organized some terrific social events that you won’t want to miss.
As the world opens up, so do the opportunities for Fellows to participate in furthering the College’s mission. One aspect of our mission is to improve the standards of trial practice and professionalism. We can do this through mentoring, and we now have opportunities to mentor young lawyers through the newly created Mentoring Committee. Jim Coleman, one of the deans of the Texas Fellows, addressed this issue before he passed away in February 2020. I am proud that Jim seconded my nomination for the College 25 years ago. When the College presented Jim with the Samuel L. Gates Award in 2002, Jim made these comments about the deterioration of professionalism and civility, and the obligation to mentor young lawyers on those qualities:
I believe the root cause is the disappearance of idealism in the profession.... The more I’ve thought about it, the more convinced I’ve become – you cannot have a true profession without idealism. Like you can’t have a real marriage without love – you can’t have a partnership without trust – you can’t have a faith without belief – and you can’t have a profession without idealism. You cannot have a true profession if the members do not believe they are engaged in a high calling. They must believe the purpose of the profession rises above money, fame, or self-aggrandizement. To be a profession, the members must respect others who are also serving the high calling of the profession. To be a profession, the members must feel they are privileged to represent the profession and to be associated with other people who are of like mind and purpose. A true profession has no junkyard dogs, no obstructionists, no mercenaries, no gotchas, no intimidators, no rude bullies, because there is no idealism associated with any of those characteristics.
The serpent in our paradise is our indolence in perpetuating and passing from one generation of lawyers to the next the idealism of the profession. We can change this! We are the priests of the profession. If not us – who? And remember, as you help young lawyers grow, as you work for ethics, civility, and honor, your influence will merge with the good influences of lawyers of past generations, into the eternal stream of a true profession – ripe with idealism. What marble is to sculpture, idealism is to the legal profession.
As John Siffert, Chair of the new Mentoring Committee, rolls out the multi-faceted program that involves judges, corporate counsel, law schools and most importantly, Fellows, I hope that you will accept Jim’s challenge to become a “priest of the profession” and help mentor a young lawyer, regardless of whether she or he is in your firm. Our profession needs that. Some state and province chairs have already undertaken that effort and appointed Mentoring Liaisons. Others have gone even further. The Pittsburgh Fellows, under the leadership of State Chair John Conti, spent most of their recent social gathering discussing the need for and ways to implement mentoring of young lawyers. Encouraged by several Judicial Fellows at their meeting, the Pittsburgh Fellows have already volunteered to conduct a Boot Camp, and begun reaching out to law firms, law schools and the judiciary to set up localized mentoring programs. I hope that many of you will also participate in a local mentoring program.
I hope to see you in Chicago.
Registration is now open
The College is excited to be in Chicago for the Annual Meeting next month. Best of all, you can choose your own experience: whether you are ready to return to in-person meetings or prefer to experience the meeting virtually, the choice is yours!
CHICAGO SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT
Caitlin Long is Founder & CEO of Avanti Bank & Trust, one of the first cryptocurrency chartered banks in the country. Ms. Long is a Bitcoin expert who previously spent 22 years in senior roles at Wall Street firms and will be presenting "Bitcoin and Blockchain: A Primer for Lawyers."
She is a graduate of Harvard Law School (JD, 1994), the Kennedy School of Government (MPP, 1994) and the University of Wyoming (BA, 1990).
David Gregory has spent the last three decades in journalism. He is now a political analyst on CNN and a visiting professor at Georgetown University, frequently speaking on topics such as politics, leadership and the media.
Best known for his nearly twenty years at NBC News, David served for six years as the moderator of Meet the Press and Chief White House Correspondent during the entire Presidency of George W. Bush.
Travel Tip: 99%* of current registered Chicago attendees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
For more information on ACTL's Safety Guidelines, click here.
*as of July 30, 2021
Canadian Fellows Travel Information
The College understands the need for additional travel information for our Canadian Fellows travelling into the United States for the Annual Meeting. For the latest details regarding travel restrictions, testing requirements or other COVID-19 related updates, please visit ACTL.com.
Update Your Fellow Profile & Address for the 2022 Roster
If you haven't already, please make sure your College profile and contact information is up to date. The contact information in your profile is used in the College Roster and the directory on the website. Updates submitted by Sept. 1, 2021 will be included in the 2022 Roster. This year we are also asking that you consider adding your home address, personal email and mobile phone, so we may stay in contact if offices close down again in the future. Personal information is not displayed in the directory, unless directed by you. And while you are in your Fellow Profile, please take a moment to complete any missing information such as practice areas, law school attended, etc. Address and Profile updates can be accomplished in one of two ways.
ONLINE: It’s fast, easy and immediately shows in the online directory. Just log in at www.actl.com
. Click on My Account, then select Fellow Profile. The edit button next to the section heading allows you to make changes in that section. Firm address changes can only be made by sending the new information to National Office.
ROSTER UPDATE FORM: Click here
to obtain the Roster Update form. The completed form can be printed, mailed, emailed, or faxed to the National Office.
Proposal Reminder for 2021 Fall Poll
For all State and Province Committees that poll candidates during the Fall cycle, the deadline to submit proposals is September 15. Fellows can send proposals for fellowship to the National Office anytime and we will forward to the State or Province Committee for their work prior to polling. Committees can submit candidate proposals for polling outside of their scheduled cycle with their Regent’s consent.
The state and province committees that are scheduled to poll candidates in the Fall poll are: Alabama, Alaska, Alberta, Arizona, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois (Downstate), Illinois (Upstate), Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Manitoba, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York (Downstate), New York (Upstate), North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Saskatchewan, South Carolina, South Dakota.
Regents Nominating Committee Update
In accordance with Article 5, Section 5.4(b) of the Bylaws of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the 2021 Regents Nominating Committee has submitted a written report in which it nominates Fellows for election to the Board of Regents for four-year terms. This notice to Fellows was mailed in July to their preferred address. The nominations are:
Carey E. Matovich (Billings, Montana)
Region 3: Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington
Robert P. MacKenzie III (Birmingham, Alabama)
Region 7: Alabama, Florida, Georgia
Cheryl A. Bush (Troy, Michigan)
Region 9: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee
G. Mark Phillips (Charleston, South Carolina)
Region 10: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
Karen Frink Wolf (Portland, Maine)
Region 12: Atlantic Provinces, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island
The members of the 2021 Regents Nominating Committee who submitted this report are:
Sandra A. Forbes, Chair
Pleasant S. Brodnax III
Andrew M. Coats
Bartholomew J. Dalton
Carolyn J. Fairless
Lyn P. Pruitt
Jeffrey E. Stone
Emil Gumpert Award: Applications Now Open
Every year, the Emil Gumpert Award is given to a worthy program or organization committed to maintaining and improving the administration of Justice. The $100,000 award is funded by Fellow contributions to the Foundation and is the highest honor bestowed by the College on any program.
Fellows of the College are our best source of applications for this prestigious award, and many past winners were nominated by a Fellow. Applications are now open and due September 30. Please help us expand our impact by sharing this information with your contacts at worthy organizations.
The Emil Gumpert Award is an initiative that provides the College and our Foundation an opportunity to truly make a difference. Please help us continue the success of the program and refer a worthy organization. For more information or to download the application, visit www.actl.com/gumpertaward
College Hires Meetings Project Coordinator
Kim Klingaman was born and raised in Southern California and comes to the College with more than ten years of experience in event planning and creative services, most recently for the Walt Disney Company. She has coordinated a wide variety of projects, from marketing and collateral campaigns for Disney attractions such as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, to community movie nights, to overseeing a resort-wide content creation calendar. Pre-COVID, Kim was an avid concert goer. She has a strong love for music and is fascinated with the study of genealogy.
The Gift of New Beginnings
New Year’s Day is a celebratory occasion for most of us because it represents a new beginning. Yes, it’s an arbitrary date on the calendar; but, nonetheless, much of the world joins together in a global rolling wave of countdowns from the end of one year to the beginning of another.
For the ACTL Foundation, New Year’s Day is July 1, the beginning of our fiscal year. This year, in anticipation of that imminent and auspicious date, the Foundation Trustees made a very special first grant for fiscal year 2022. While we are proud of all of our grantees, this one is particularly special because its design and objectives meld so perfectly with the missions of the Foundation and the goals of the ACTL.
“Just the Beginning – A Pipeline Organization” (“JTB”) checks so many boxes for the Foundation, whose missions sync with those of the ACTL, that the application seemed almost too good to be true. But everything was precisely as it seemed. So, special thanks to former College Regent and former Foundation Trustee John Siffert of New York for bringing JTB to our attention, assisting the organization with the application process, and gently nudging us to act expeditiously so that JTB could plan for its own 2022.
JTB joined forces with the Judicial Resources Committee of the United States Judicial Conference in 2010 to establish the Summer Judicial Internship Diversity (SJID) Project, which is the program for which the grant was sought. SJID is a paid summer judicial internship program specifically targeted at first and second year law students from traditionally underrepresented categories – often minority groups – who generally lack the personal financial resources to pay for the travel, accommodations and related costs associated with working for a judge in another locale with whom they are matched. While the stipend is restricted to the federal minimum wage level to allow the program to provide this opportunity to as many students as feasible – 112 students in 2021 – it is sufficient to make the internship a viable option for students who are rarely presented with such an opportunity.
From all appearances, SJID is a win-win-win program: More than a hundred federal and state judges nationwide receive the assistance of an enthusiastic law student; underserved law students receive the benefit of judicial mentoring and exposure to lawyers in action in the courtroom; and the ACTL, through the Foundation, helps to encourage the development of a diverse trial bar more appropriately representative of the communities that we serve.
What more could we ask? Thank you to all of you who contribute to so many worthy grant applicants through the Foundation. And please, don’t forget to keep an eye out for projects in your own venue deserving of the Foundation’s assistance.
Because justice can’t wait...
Joan A. Lukey
ACTL Foundation President
Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice
The Committee has spent the last several months working to identify a candidate for the second Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Award. The Committee was delighted to receive a number of nominations from Fellows, and investigated nine candidates. Following those investigations, the Committee met to deliberate regarding the nominees and expects to submit a candidate for consideration.
The Sopinka Cup
The Sopinka Cup Trial Advocacy Competition was held virtually on March 19 and 20, 2021, featuring a criminal trial with litigation teams from law schools across Canada. The competition showcased outstanding advocacy and proceeded without any issues. This year’s winning team members, Jade Barrière and Ingrid Mavoli, are from the Université d'Ottawa. Ingrid Mavoli was also recognized as Best Overall Advocate. Congratulations are also extended to the second-place team, Bonita Arbeau and Lauren Chomyn, from the University of Alberta and the third place team, Amber Harms and Kyla Kavanagh, from the University of Manitoba.
Thurgood Marshall Equality and Justice Award
The American College of Trial Lawyer’s Thurgood Marshall Equality and Justice Committee will present its inaugural award during the College’s 2021 Fall Meeting in Chicago, posthumously to the late Honorable John Lewis. The Award will be accepted in person by John-Miles Lewis, son of the great Honorable John Lewis.
The annual Jenckes Competition between law school advocacy teams from Arizona State University and the University of Arizona is scheduled for November 12, 2021. The rotating competition will be held in Tucson with plans for an in-person competition followed by a cocktail party in honor of the participants. Teams will present on an actual case before a jury of Fellows who then vote on the winning team. Each participating team member receives a stipend for their efforts.
On November 12, 2021, Arizona will also hold its semi-annual meeting of Fellows.
On May 13, 2021, a reception was held recognizing the Arizona Justice Project as the recipient of the 2021 Emil Gumpert Award. The reception was well attended. Several Arizona Fellows work closely with this organization: Regent Peter Akmajian, Howard Cabot, Jordan Green, Randy Papetti, Mike Piccaretta, Jon Sands and Jeff Willis. This project was founded by the late Fellow Larry Hammond, whose family members attended the reception.
The State Chapter submitted two letters to the Arizona Supreme Court strongly opposing proposed rule changes eliminating the right to a peremptory change of judge and peremptory challenges of prospective jurors.
Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming
Region IV is holding the 10th Circuit Regional Meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Avon, Colorado, August 26th through 29th, 2021. Notable invitees include Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica Marquez, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, the Hon. Timothy M. Tymkovich, Chief Judge of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Hon. Neil M. Gorsuch, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Central Florida local Fellows have planned a luncheon on August 3, 2021, at the University Club of Orlando. The luncheons traditionally are held quarterly and promote camaraderie, as well as provide an opportunity to discuss potential new Fellow candidates.
Under the leadership of Fellow Bob Hanley
, the Maryland Fellows supported the Master Class in Trial Advocacy, a program jointly administered by the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Each spring approximately ten to twelve students from each school are selected to participate in the course. Eight classes per semester feature up to sixteen Fellows who present on the topics of jury selection, discovery, questioning techniques, expert witnesses, technology in the courtroom, ADR and closing arguments. COVID had a significant impact on the class this year, with all of the presentations conducted via Zoom. Despite the challenges, the Fellows and the students adapted and the student evaluations were again glowing in their assessments of the Fellows’ presentations. Many of the students stated that it was their first experience learning about the real life practice of law. One member of the 2021 Class remarked, “After only eight sessions I learned more about being a successful trial attorney than the past three years in law school.” What a wonderful testament to the talent and dedication of Bob and the other Fellows who gave their time and talent to teach the next generation of trial lawyers.
In an effort to assist the trial courts of Massachusetts, and in conjunction with the Essex County Bar Association, the Massachusetts Fellows established a voluntary conciliation program. Over 35 Fellows volunteered to conciliate. The program has been very successful, resulting in 21 conciliations in the first 6 months, an average of about 3.5 per month. The Fellows received excellent feedback from the participants, as well as the gratitude of the Chief Justice of the Trial Courts.
In August the Fellows will hold their first in-person social event in over a year. More than 40 Fellows plan to attend a baseball game during the inaugural season of the Triple A team of the Boston Red Sox, The WooSox, in Worcester at the brand new Polar Park. President Rodney Acker and his wife Judy plan to fly in from Dallas to join the event.
Upstate New York
On May 11, Upstate New York Fellow Jim Gleason presented a program entitled Fighting for Fair and Impartial Courts with Hon. Molly Reynolds Fitzgerald, Justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department. The program, sponsored by the Binghamton Rotary Club and held virtually, was part of an ongoing civic education project spearheaded by the College’s Judicial Independence Committee in collaboration with the National Association of Women Judges. The presentation was well received and was followed by a robust question and answer period. Mr. Gleason and Justice Fitzgerald are scheduled to present a longer version in September as part of Binghamton University’s Lyceum Program, a Lifelong-Learning Institute for intellectually curious adult learners over 50 years of age.
The College recognizes extraordinary individuals and their important contributions to the law through the 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. To view the previous recipient and submit a proposal for the Committee to consider click here
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. To view previous recipients and submit a proposal for the Committee to consider click here
Thurgood Marshall Equality and Justice Award
The Thurgood Marshall Equality and Justice Award, named for the revered lawyer, civil rights advocate and first Black Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, is to be given from time to time to an individual who has been a champion of justice and equality in all forms, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation or other form. The candidate must possess vision, courage, and fortitude, and must have stood steadfast in the passionate and effective pursuit of equal justice under the law. The inaugural award will be presented to the late Rep. John Lewis at the College’s 2021 Annual Meeting in Chicago. To submit a proposal for the Committee to consider click here
David J. Beck
, FACTL, has been named the 2021 recipient of the Justice Eugene A. Cook Professionalism Award from the Houston Bar Association. This award is presented to a lawyer or judge who exemplifies the highest level of professionalism and legal ethics and celebrates a lifetime of outstanding service and contributions to our Bar and the legal community. In addition, The Alumni Association of the University of Texas School of Law is honoring David in September with the Lifetime Achievement Award. (Read More)
Massachusetts State Committee Vice-Chair Ellen Epstein Cohen was named "Defense Lawyer of the Year" by the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association.
On October 14, 2020, Massachusetts Fellow Chris S. Dodig received the 2020 Massachusetts Bar Association Community Service Award. The award recognizes an attorney who has performed outstanding public service within his or her community. Since his arrival in Berkshire County in 1990, Dodig has been an active member of the Berkshire community. He is an example of how an attorney can serve the community. His work makes a difference in our area and is an example to newer attorneys. In his capacity as a partner at Donovan O'Connor & Dodig, LLP, Dodig strongly encourages members of the firm to be engaged in the larger Berkshire community, especially the county's various non-profit groups. In no small part due to his leadership, the firm consistently provides fundraising support to various non-profits throughout Berkshire County.
The Alabama State Bar on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, presented FACTL Fred David Gray with an official resolution honoring his life, legacy and legal career, adopted by the Alabama State Board of Bar Commissioners. At the press conference, Bar President Bob Methvin also announced plans to break ground on the Fred David Gray Courtyard adjacent to the Alabama State Bar building on Dexter Avenue in downtown Montgomery.
Natalie McSherry, FACTL, a partner with Kramon & Graham in Baltimore, was installed as the new President of the Maryland State Bar Association at the recent annual meeting of the bar, conducted virtually.
Superior Court of Quebec Palais de Justice
U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas
Michael J. Gustafson
New Haven, CT
Connecticut Superior Court
Court of Appeal of Quebec
April 27, 2021
James F. Martemucci
Maine District Court
Regina M. Rodriguez
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
The College extends congratulations to these Judicial Fellows.
2022 Spring Meeting
February 24 - 27, 2022
Hotel Del Coronado
2022 Annual Meeting
September 15 - 18, 2022
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Tenth Circuit Regional Meeting
(Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming)
August 26-29, 2021
Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
August 3, 2021
Florida Fellows Luncheon
August 5, 2021
South Carolina Fellows Dinner and CLE
August 14, 2021
Iowa Fellows Meeting
August 17, 2021
Massachusetts Fellows Summer Event
August 19, 2021
Georgia Fellows Meeting
Please click here
for a listing of all upcoming events.
Connecticut Fellows Cocktail Reception and Dinner, New Haven: On June 22nd, 2021, President Acker traveled to Connecticut for one of the first few in-person gatherings of Fellows since the Spring 2020 Meeting in Tucson.
After a tour of the Yale campus with State Chair Jim Glasser, Rodney joined the Fellows cocktail reception at Mory’s, a famous club on the Yale campus, and was delighted to see that approximately 35 Fellows had turned out for the event. President Acker enjoyed getting to meet and talk with many of the Fellows, including former Regent Trudy Hamilton and current Regent Larry Krantz. Rodney also had the opportunity to speak with the two invited guests USDJ Stefan Underhill and Acting USA Len Boyle, FACTL.
President Acker spoke to the group about identifying new candidates for the College, the Public Education Project being conducted through the Judicial Independence Committee and the College’s Mentoring Initiative. Rodney also encouraged the Fellows to attend the Annual Meeting, and congratulated them on being among the first chapters to hold an in-person meeting.
President Acker was happy to see that the Connecticut Chapter is doing well, and that as expected, Chair Glasser and Regent Krantz are providing excellent leadership.
Texas Fellows Luncheon, Dallas: On Friday, July 2, 2021, President Acker attended the Texas Fellows Lunch at the Dallas Country Club. Approximately 60 Fellows attended the lunch, an excellent turnout considering the lingering concerns about travel during the pandemic.
State Chair Lamont Jefferson and Vice Chair Robby Alden greeted the Fellows as they arrived for an open bar reception. The Fellows were excited to see each other, and enjoyed having an opportunity to talk before being seated for lunch. President Acker was particularly delighted given that he knows so many Fellows in his home state.
After Fellows were seated, Chair Jefferson began the meeting by giving an update on the state of the College in Texas. Lamont then introduced President Acker who spoke about the number of College meetings scheduled this summer, the Fellow Engagement Project, the opportunity for Fellows to present on the Judicial Independence Education Program, and the new Mentoring Program.
Regent Lyn Pruitt then spoke about how delighted she was to be there for her first in person visit with the Texas Fellows since becoming Regent. Lamont presented Lyn with a sculpture of a hand with a writing quill, sculpted by Fellow Don Davis, as a token of appreciation for her work as Regent.
Next on the program, Fellow George Chapman from Dallas presented the Atticus Finch closing argument from To Kill a Mockingbird, which was quite entertaining. Then, in a continuing tradition, the Fellows paid tribute to each of the Texas Fellows who had passed in the preceding year. Lamont began this portion by reciting a poem, Robert Frost’s The Road Less Traveled. It was beautifully done and an appropriate introduction for former State Chair Tom Cunningham’s remarks. Tom spoke at length about each deceased Fellow, giving their biography, interesting vignettes and quoting what other Texas Fellows had said about them on their passing.
The meeting was clearly enjoyed by all, and President Acker was pleased to report that State Chair Lamont Jefferson and Vice Chair Robby Alden are both doing an excellent job.
Alaska Fellows Dinner, Anchorage: President Acker and his wife Judy attended the Alaska Fellows dinner, in person, on July 9, 2021. Rodney and Judy had never spent significant time in Anchorage, so in their down time they toured downtown and the adjoining neighborhoods including Earthquake Park, site of the 1964 9.2 Earthquake, the largest in North America. President Acker continues to be impressed by the size of Alaska, especially compared to his home state of Texas, as well as the fact that one third of the population resides in Anchorage.
The Fellows dinner was held at the Crow’s Nest restaurant in the Captain Cook
hotel. This was Judy’s first official function as First Lady and she was excited to attend. Four Alaska Fellows, all from Anchorage, and their spouses and guests attended the dinner which made for an intimate gathering and a good chance for Rodney to talk with everyone. Among the guests was the Honorable Deborah Smith, USMJ, who is also president of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association.
President Acker reported that although Alaska has a small chapter it is quite a good group, and that State Chair Neil O’Donnell
is doing a good job. Rodney and Judy both enjoyed immensely visiting with the group.
Pennsylvania Fellows Cocktail Reception, Pittsburgh: President Acker made his first trip ever to Pittsburgh for a meeting of the Pennsylvania Fellows on July 15, 2021. Upon entering the room, Rodney was delighted to find a group of approximately 20 Fellows fully engaged in a lively conversation about the need to mentor young lawyers. Led by State Chair John Conti, the group was enthusiastic and committed to the mentoring initiative. Fellow John Gismondi of Pittsburgh, appointed by Conti as the mentoring liaison, was eager and energized about the role. Very vocal in the conversation were two judicial Fellows, Christine Donohue, Associate Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and Nora Fischer, USDJ WDPA, as well as Vic Walczak of the ACLU. Much of the conversation focused on the need for mentoring and training young public defenders, especially in the more rural areas.
While mentoring became the primary focus of conversation, President Acker also discussed with the group the need to identify great trial lawyers for nomination to the College, Fellow Engagement, and the Judicial Independence Education project. He also encouraged everyone to attend the Annual Meeting in Chicago. Regent Katie Recker then updated everyone on the state of the College in Pennsylvania, and congratulated John on a successful meeting. As the meeting closed down, Rodney was happy to speak with several Fellows, including Justice Donohue and Bill Pietragallo.
President Acker enjoyed attending the meeting in person and was happy to see the overwhelming enthusiasm for the mentoring program. Rodney was also happy to have the opportunity to visit with Regent Recker and Chair Conti, who are both doing a great job.
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.
Robert B. Steinberg, ’81, Los Angeles, April 12, 2021
Hubert J. Santos, ’86, Hartford, June 21, 2021
Leon H. Handley, ’70, Orlando, June 9, 2021
Roger A. Vaughan, Jr., ’89, Tampa, July 3, 2019
Hugh B. McNatt, ’96, Vidalia, June 1, 2021
Philip R. Taylor, ’96, Saint Simons Island, August 16, 2020
John D. Proffitt, ’86, Carmel, June 30, 2021
John B. Scofield, ’91, Lake Charles, September 29, 2020
Robert V. Mulkern, ’78, Worcester, January 31, 2021
Greer E. Lockhart, ’75, Minneapolis, January 29, 2021
Lee Davis Thames, ’84, Vicksburg, June 29, 2021
Kenneth G. Andres, ’11, Haddonfield, June 24, 2021
Alan J. Goldberg, ’83, Syracuse, June 24, 2021
L. James Gordon, ’79, Newark, June 17, 2021
Richard E. Guster, ’78, Akron, December 4, 2020
Earl D. Mills, ’77, Yukon, October 16, 2020
John G. Harkins, Jr., ’76, Devon, March 12, 2021
James J. Restivo, Jr., ’97, Pittsburgh, December 28, 2019
James L. Branton, ’82, San Antonio, July 19, 2021