Dec 2020 eBulletin Issue 28


December 2020

Dear Friends

As our countries experience another surge in corona virus cases and we approach winter and the flu season, I hope you and your families are safe and healthy.  We all continue to learn to adjust our lives and our practices to the new virtual reality in a pandemic.  The College is in the forefront of that change with its new Advocacy in the 21st Century Committee.  Led by Regent John Day along with Fellows and Judicial Fellows from the U.S. and Canada, the Committee has posted guidelines for practicing and is now updating those guidelines after nine months of experience during the pandemic.

Looking back at the initial eBulletin messages of past presidents, most described 10-15 trips to attend local College events between the Annual Meeting and year-end.  Those were the good old days. All that changed with the pandemic. The Executive Committee has now recommended that Fellows not meet in person until it is safe to do so under local guidelines.  Although fellowship remains the most important aspect of the College, we are encouraging only virtual meetings until we can all gather safely again. The National Office is now experienced in organizing virtual meetings, having conducted a virtual Board of Regents’ Meeting, the virtual Annual Meeting, and a virtual Leadership Workshop.  Dennis Maggi and the National office staff will be happy to share their experience and assist you in setting up virtual meetings.

Speaking of virtual meetings, the Annual Meeting and the Leadership Workshop were both more successful than we could have hoped.  More Fellows registered for the virtual Annual Meeting than any meeting in history.  One advantage of our virtual meeting is that it was recorded, and you can still register and view all of the presentations.  The speakers were terrific and addressed a wide range of topics.  I highly encourage you to register and watch the program if you have not done so.

This year’s Leadership Workshop—at least the first half—was also virtual.  We hope to convene in late May or early June in person to continue the work we began in October.  The initial Workshop began with a virtual mocktail party, providing a social function as well as the opportunity to see old friends.  The Workshop itself focused on topics to update and educate Committee chairs and vice-chairs and discuss how to better carry out our mission and work during the pandemic.  Past President Doug Young led a panel discussion of what has become the very active Judicial Independence Committee.  Particularly interesting was the educational component of the Committee’s work, the joint effort with the National Association of Women Judges and League of Women Voters to educate non-lawyers on the history and importance of judicial independence.  Treasurer Susan Harriman and Task Force Chair Cal Mayo (MS) discussed ideas for encouraging new Fellows to integrate themselves and contribute to the College, and for Fellows to mentor lawyers who may have the potential to become future fellows.  Past Presidents David Beck and Sam Franklin presented on the need for nominations to keep the College vital and permit us to better pursue our mission, followed by a breakout session on how to simplify, standardize and improve our nomination and investigation process.  The Workshop also presented the opportunity for McKinley Advisors to introduce the leadership to the new Fellow Engagement Project, and to gather ideas on how to engage more Fellows in the College’s work

We had hoped that our September Annual Meeting would be our last and only virtual national meeting, and that we would gather in person in Maui next March.  Unfortunately, the latest surge in the pandemic and the continuing governmental restrictions on the size of gatherings puts an in-person meeting in serious doubt.  The Executive Committee and the National Office staff have begun planning an alternative virtual meeting on the assumption that travel to Maui for a large in-person meeting will not be possible.  More details will be forthcoming as we try to work through organizing the meeting.  In the meantime, as more states and provinces begin to gather virtually, I look forward to seeing you online.

Finally, as we approach year-end and you consider your charitable giving for the year, I hope you will keep in mind the American and Canadian Foundations.  Our Foundations fund many good projects and need your support.

Rodney Acker
ACTL President

2021 Spring Meeting

Spring Meeting Icon SmallPresident-Elect Michael L. O'Donnell is finalizing the program for the 2021 Spring meeting.  He has confirmed speakers that are educational, entertaining and informative.   

More information will be available soon and will include a list of speakers and how to register for the meeting. 


Because Justice Can't Wait . . .

Perhaps the most important function of the Trustees of the  ACTL Foundation is that of choosing the right grantees for your charitable dollars. Each year, you hear about the Emil Gumpert Award recipient, in every instance an organization that has risen to the top in a group of extraordinarily worthy applicants. But there are many other grantees that also touch our hearts and raise our spirits. I’d like to highlight two of those grantees now.

We have singled out The Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (“CFSY”) before; but they are worthy of another shout-out. CFSY is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the hard won protections enunciated by SCOTUS in Miller v. Alabama and Montgomery v. Louisiana for children convicted and sentenced in adult courts, often for life. At this point, CFSY has facilitated the release of more than seven hundred individuals who fit those criteria.
I choose to highlight the organization again now because of its recent decision to elevate Xavier McElrath-Bay to the position of Co-Director. Xavier is one of those individuals convicted and incarcerated as a child. A product of an extremely broken home on the south side of Chicago, he was tried and convicted at the age of thirteen for his involvement in the death of another child, for which he has paid with thirteen years of his life and the “eternal apology” that consumes him. He brings even greater passion to an organization that was never lacking in that regard.  If you go to the website and watch the video regarding his promotion, I promise that you will be moved.

The second grantee is the Public Justice Center (“PJC”), an existing grantee whose new grant application the Trustees approved just a few weeks ago. The grant is earmarked tor PJC’s nationwide project, the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel (“NCCRC”). In particular, the funds are to be used for the continuing expansion of the NCCRC’s Eviction Right to Counsel Initiative, which was also the focus of an earlier Foundation grant.
With the onset of COVID-19, the need for counsel in the eviction process has grown exponentially. In PJC’s own words, “[w]hen considered against the backdrop that roughly 90 percent of tenants facing eviction are unrepresented, it is not difficult to imagine the widespread devastation to families and communities that will result,” most particularly for Black tenants.

We hope that you are proud that the Foundation, as steward for your charitable dollars, is extending grants to organizations like CFSY and PJC. If you are, we humbly ask that you include the Foundation in your charitable giving decisions this year. One hundred percent of every current dollar contributed goes directly to grantees, as interest from the Foundation’s investments pays the operating expenses.  That is a statement that very, very few charities can make.

The needs are so great, and we need your help now. Because justice can’t wait...

Thank you.
Joan A. Lukey


Judicial Independence Committee

In 2019, the College published an update to a 2016 paper, “The Need to Promote and Defend Fair and Impartial Courts.” In the publication, the College looks back at the past decade and concludes that threats to fair and impartial courts in the United States increased in volume – both number and pitch – and at the federal and state levels. As a result, the 2018-2019 ACTL Task Force on Judicial Independence made multiple recommendations for action to the College.

One recommendation “encouraged and supported the engagement of Fellows of the College in advocacy and public education to promote fair and impartial courts.” It directed proactive educational outreach to the public be provided by Fellows of the College in collaboration with the NAWJ and its Informed Voters, Fair Judges Project.

Our Fair and Impartial Courts public education collaboration with the National Association of Women Judges is up and running with several presentations given and others planned! Click here, or visit, to link to all the information you need to get involved in this critically important project. 

Advocacy in the 21st Century Committee

An article, Litigation During the Pandemic: The American College of Trial Lawyers’ Interim Guidelines for Best Practices written by Fellow M. Dawes Cooke, Jr. appeared in the November, 2020 issue of SC Lawyer.

The College’s Task Force on Advocacy in the 21st Century, chaired by Regent John Day continues to release and review “interim guidance” papers relating to the administration of justice during the pandemic to assist the Bench and Bar.

Please bookmark or print the guidelines for quick

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 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.
Chair: David E. Ross, 

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 hereChair: David E. Dukes,

New Jersey State Committee The New Jersey Fellows along with several Bar Associations have helped create the Daniel Anderl Memorial Scholarship at Rutgers Law School.

On Sunday, July 19, 2020, the Salas-Anderl family suffered an outrageous act of violence when Daniel Anderl, age 20, and his father, Mark, were shot at their home in North Brunswick.  Daniel’s wounds were fatal. 

Because Daniel had planned for a career in law, his family authorized the creation of the Daniel Anderl Memorial Scholarship at Rutgers Law School.  With the goal of raising at least $100,000, students in the Minority Student Program at the School’s Newark location will be able to defray a portion of the cost of tuition.  Funded on an endowed basis, the scholarship will assist generations of future students.  All donations are tax-deductible.   To make a contribution go to

Fellow Robert L. Trapper, Q.C. was named the 2020 recipient of the Richard J. Scott Award.  The award was created in 2013 by The Law Society of Manitoba in honor of the former Chief Justice of the Manitoba, and is awarded annually to a person who advances the rule of law through advocacy, litigation, teaching, research or writing.



2021 Spring Meeting
March 4-7, 2021
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa
Maui, Hawaii

2021 Annual Meeting
September 30 - October 3, 2021
Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park
Chicago, IL


Region 6 Regional Meeting
(Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas)
April 16-18, 2021
Windsor Court Hotel
New Orleans, Louisiana

Northeast Regional Meeting 
(Atlantic Provinces, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island)
June 5-7, 2021
Cranwell Resort
Lenox, Massachusetts

Northwest Regional Meeting 
(Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)
July 8-11, 2021
The Hotel Alyeska
Girdwood, Alaska

Tenth Circuit Regional Meeting
(Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming)
August 26-29, 2021
Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
Avon, Colorado


December 15, 2020
Downstate New York Fellows Virtual Luncheon
1:00 p.m. EST
New York, New York

April 30-May 2, 2021
Missouri Fellows Retreat
Big Cedar Lodge
Ridgedale, Missouri
Arizona Fellows Meeting, Saturday, November 7, 2020 : Unlike my 2019 trip from Dallas to Phoenix for the Arizona  annual Fellows  meeting, my trip from the kitchen to my study was quick and uneventful, and Zoom worked just fine.  Chair Paul McGoldrick ran an efficient 2 hour meeting that was well attended, including by present Regent Peter Akmajian and former Regent Bill Sandweg.
Paul began the meeting with a recap of the annual meeting and the leadership workshop, and he was very complimentary of both.   In particular, Paul discussed the need to identify more candidates, as well as younger and more diverse candidates.
The Arizona Fellows met on the day following the Jenckes competition, which is the trial competition between the law schools of Arizona and Arizona State.  This was a virtual competition and there were several Fellows who expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of the competition as well as ideas for improving the competition next year.
I was then asked to speak on what is happening at the College, and the emphasis for the coming year. I discussed the Fellow Engagement project and our attempts to get more Fellows engaged in the College’s mission, the Advocacy in the 21st Century Committee, the Boot Camp program (which tied into a later discussion about a boot camp planned for Arizona), the Thurgood Marshall Award, the need for mentoring now more than ever, and emphasized the need to look harder for younger and more diverse candidates for Fellowship.  The comments seemed to be well received.
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.

S. Allen Baker, Jr., ’12, Birmingham, October 28, 2020

Donald E. Shely, ’74, Peoria, October 5, 2020

James S. Green, ’03, Wilmington, October 12, 2020

Nicholas J. Neiers, ’87, Decatur, July 15, 2020

Edward L. Foote, ‘76, Aurora, May 18, 2019

Kenneth Gregory Haynes, ’00, Pewee Valley, November 1, 2020

John C. Christian, ’77, Madisonville, June 30, 2020
S. Gene Fendler, ’04, New Orleans, October 21, 2020

David O. Haughey, ’77, Grand Rapids, October 19, 2020

Eugene K. Buckley, '79, Saint Louis, October 19, 2020

Larry E. Riley, ’94, Missoula, October 24, 2020

David R. Grundy, ’01, Reno, February 25, 2020

New York-Upstate
John J. Darcy, ’87, Rochester, August 13, 2018
William F. Lynn, ’81, Skaneateles, November 9, 2020
Sanford P. Tanenhaus, ’93, Vestal, October 19, 2019

New York-Downstate
Michael A. Cooper, ’77, New York, November 16, 2020
Arthur J. Voute, Jr., ’95, South Salem, August 27, 2020

North Carolilna
W. Erwin Spainhour, ’91, Concord, September 26, 2020

John M. Adams, ’76, Columbus, November 14, 2020
Donald J. Moracz, ’19, Sandusky, September 25, 2020
George J. Moscarino, ’84, Novelty, July 21, 2020

Donn Baker, ’20, Tahlequah, November 12, 2020

Theodore A. Borrillo, ’90, Portland, August 27, 2019
James P. Martin, ’08, Portland, August 1, 2020

Edward W. Madeira, Jr., ’83, Philadelphia, May 21, 2020

Rhode Island
Howard I. Lipsey, ’79, Providence, July 25, 2020

South Dakota
Mark V. Meierhenry, ’04, Sioux Falls, July 29, 2020

Leo Bearman, Jr., ’81, Memphis, September 22, 2020
Lewis B. Hollabaugh, ’84, Franklin, August 13, 2020

Jerry L. Beane, ’01, Dallas, July 31, 2020
H. Dustin Fillmore, ’95, Fort Worth, November 11, 2020
Dewey J. Gonsoulin, ’85, Beaumont, November 3, 2020
Jack N. Little, ’75, Austin, September 2, 2015

Jackson L. Kiser, ’78, Danville, October 20, 2020

Warren J. Daheim, ’92, Tacoma, May 3, 2020

William B. Campbell, ’82, Wilson, October 9, 2020