February 2022 eBulletin Issue 35


February 2022

Dear Friends,

Brett and I wish you and your families a healthy and happy 2022! 
2021 was a year of challenges for our society, yet many areas of litigation thrived. Courts continue to innovate in order to provide access to justice for our citizens in the United States and Canada. Technology has the potential to improve our legal system in countless ways. Digital tools have helped our courts remain operational during the pandemic and are poised to become permanent fixtures of our systems of justice. Together, we can modernize our courts and make them more open, accessible, and fair than ever before.
The upcoming Spring Meeting, to be held February 24-27 at the Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island just outside of San Diego, California, should be a welcome respite from winter weather in the United States and Canada. The hotel recently underwent a $400M plus renovation and expansion and promises to be a wonderful location for our meeting. President-Elect Susan Harriman has put together a wonderful program on wide-ranging topics. The subjects to be covered by our speakers include the Arbery case, 9/11 and Gander, Canada, a panel on violence against judges, judicial independence, Broadway theater, the importance of listening, and cities and health. Civil rights icon Ruby Bridges will also address the meeting. Finally, the College is proud to honor Patricia Hebert, QC, with the Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Award, Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn with the Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award, and Judge Barry Williams with the Sandra Day O’Connor Jurist Award.
Our National Office staff has planned an exciting variety of social events and dinners, including a night on the beach. Meeting details follow this report, and a link to registration materials can be found here.
The College’s committees continue their active work in a number of areas:
  • The Boot Camp Trial Training Programs Committee recently conducted a well-attended virtual program with a group of barristers in London, and they have a number of programs scheduled for the coming months. 
  • The Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy Committee is hosting a free program for lawyers of diverse backgrounds to learn advanced trial skills from Fellows. 
  • Our Outreach Committee is busy coordinating with liaisons in all the states and provinces to encourage them to arrange an outreach activity in their area, and to be sure they are aware of the resources the College can provide to help in the planning of such events. 
  • A white paper prepared by the Public Defenders Committee with the support of the Federal Criminal Procedure Committee, “The Effective Use of Pretrial Diversion in Criminal Cases,” was recently approved by the Board of Regents. The Public Defenders Committee is working to make this paper widely distributed for use by public defense practitioners. 
  • A treatise on electronic evidence, written by members of the Complex Litigation Committee, is now available for purchase from Bloomberg. 
  • The Advocacy in the 21st Century Committee is analyzing the results of a recent survey of Fellows about their experiences with and opinions about the use of remote video in pretrial proceedings and at trial. 
  • Finally, the Mentoring Committee is furthering its work on the Just The Beginning program, which offers a paid internship for law students of modest means to intern with a judge. A number of our judicial Fellows have already volunteered to accept a law student for a summer internship. 
This is just a glimpse of the important work in which our committees are engaged. Further details about these committee activities and initiatives are provided elsewhere in this issue of the eBulletin.
Brett and I have very much enjoyed our trips throughout the United States and look forward to our first visit on behalf of the College to Canada in 2022. We are grateful for the warm welcome from our Fellows and spouses/guests at the meetings. In most cases, these meetings are the first time Fellows have gathered in two years due to the pandemic. It is obvious that we all look forward to a return to the “new normal” and unfettered social and educational opportunities to celebrate our Fellowship. 
Many thanks to Immediate Past President Rodney Acker, President-Elect Susan Harriman and Treasurer Bill Murphy for covering several meetings for me due to a trial conflict. 
We look forward to seeing you in Coronado for the Spring Meeting and, of course, in Rome, Italy for our Annual Meeting in September.  


Michael L. O'Donnell
ACTL President

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The 2022 Spring Meeting will be held February 24-27 at the historic Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California. Confirmed speakers for the event include Tony Award winning Broadway composer and attorney, Jay Kuo, author and journalist Kate Murphy, who penned the thought-provoking book You’re Not Listening and will include a special appearance from civil rights icon Ruby Bridges. Additional presentations will include a panel regarding violence against judges. Join us for this collegial event and enjoy a winter respite along the beautiful Southern California Coast. If you're unable to attend in person, virtual attendance is available. Click here to register online. 

ACTL Podcast:
Season Two Launches March 10!

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Download Season One on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite listening app.

Season Two of Trial Tested: A Podcast by the American College of Trial Lawyers will premiere Thursday, March 10 with a riveting discussion from host Amy Gunn with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., recorded just as he was completing his third and final term. Along with hosts Mike Herring and Dave Paul, additional interviews include Justice Marie Deschamps, Kenneth Feinberg, John Keker, Marie Henein and more.

With all six episodes of Season One available for download now, it’s the perfect time to catch up and get ready for an exciting Season Two.
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The College will be in Rome, Italy for the 2022 Annual Meeting. A brochure and registration information will be mailed in early April and registration will open April 25. Mark your calendars now to join us for this historic destination.

Coming Soon:
ACTL to launch Learning and Resource Center
Later this month, the College will launch a new, easy-to-navigate catalog of Fellow resources, including teaching videos, White Papers, committee resources, heritage interviews and more. This new system will integrate seamlessly into the current website, with single sign-on capabilities, providing Fellows with a faster, more intuitive way to search for important documents and videos. This new system will also make it less complicated to locate past National Meeting speaker videos and watch Virtual Meeting Livestreams. More details on this exciting new way to access College resources will be emailed soon!
Florida Fellow Larry S. Stewart has authored a new book titled Chasing Justice to be released this March. Chasing Justice chronicles the first fifty years of the Florida Justice Association, from 1950 to 2000, as it rose from a small education focused organization to one of the most powerful political organizations in the country. President of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers (AFTL) in 1978-79, Stewart has produced a legal history that will be enjoyed by all who are interested in knowing about this remarkable slice of Florida’s history.
Fellow Kevin Hunt received the inaugural Peter C. Kopff Trial Advocacy Award from the Trial Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association. The Peter C. Kopff Trial Advocacy Award was created to recognize the professional career of a trial lawyer in private practice that embodies the highest ideals of the Trial Lawyers Section. To read more, click here.

When the World is on Their Shoulders

How much should any one person be required to bear?

Suppose that person is a very young adult or almost-adult, between 17 and 22 years old, already incarcerated or otherwise in court-involved detention, and without the safety net of a high school diploma, in substantial part because of a disability that interferes with learning.

Three strikes and they’re out?

For all too many young detainees with a disability, for years the answer to that question has been yes. Notwithstanding federal special education laws guaranteeing students with disabilities access to education through age 21, court-involved students have routinely been denied both education services and critical legal assistance. When those students have also experienced trauma in their lives, as is often the case, the likelihood of progressing to a productive adulthood is minimized ever further.

These sad facts were not lost on Claire Blumenson and Sarah Comeau, two young lawyers in their post-graduate legal fellowships at the District of Columbia Public Defender Services who were exposed to this terribly burdened group of young people, almost all of whom were Black. And, so, the School Justice Project (“SJP”) was born in 2013, as the only special education legal services organization in the country specifically dedicated to a student population, aged 17 to 22, with disabilities and involved in the juvenile and criminal legal systems.

SJP addresses a novel problem with a simple, but very meaningful, solution: Establish a legal educational services model designed especially for this unlucky and traditionally excluded student cohort by supplying them with attorneys who would work exclusively for them to increase their access to appropriate special education. Of course, in the process of helping them achieve a high school diploma, SJP just happens also to give those students a pathway to a better life.

When SJP approached the Foundation seeking a $50,000 grant for critical staffing needs, it was an eye-opening application for the Trustees. Some of us may have been aware of the need for advocates to enforce special education rights for court-involved minors, but none of us had likely considered the cohort of such students who were also dealing with disabilities and were already behind the curve in their educational progression.

I suspect we all shared the same thought: The combined factors of incarceration or detention, disabilities, being behind the educational curve, being Black, and often having been traumatized, are far too much weight on shoulders not yet mature enough to bear them. Attorneys dedicated to their needs can be their only bulwark against assured failure.

In granting their application, the Foundation hopes to do a small part on your behalf, with your dollars, in furthering the SJP’s extraordinary cause.

In writing this article, I hope that I may encourage some among you – even one of you – to consider a replication of this effort in your region. Heaven only knows, it would be difficult to design a group of prospective clients more in need of our help.

Please consider donating to the Foundation now, and please consider taking action close to home.

Because justice can’t wait . . .

Joan Lukey
Foundation President

State and Province Committees


For the fifth year in a row, the Mississippi Fellows presented a program for the Mississippi Judicial College in Jackson, Mississippi. After providing video vignettes from the College last year due to COVID, several Fellows were pleased to return in person to make the presentation on Thursday, October 28, 2021. State Chair Phil Abernethy provided opening comments regarding the mission of the College and then turned the mic over to Vice Chair Trey Byars to introduce the first scenario involving an abusive cross-examination in a child custody matter. Immediate past chair Cal Mayo took the bench as a disinterested judge while state committee member John Banahan conducted the abusive cross of the helpless witness, state committee member Ed Taylor. After the vignette, there was lively discussion among the judges.
The second scenario was introduced by State Chair Abernethy, who also had the starring role of the judge. This second part of the presentation involved the direct and cross examination of a witness in products liability trial by Zoom. While the direct examination went off without a hitch, numerous problems ranging from an uncooperative witness to technical difficulties occurred during cross examination. Again, the state court judges had a number of insightful comments on how to handle such a problem.
Last, Former Regent Christy Jones spoke to the attendees about the College’s mentoring program. Christy explained the goal of the College and what has been done to date to assist in providing courtroom experience to young attorneys in the age of the disappearing trial. Christy then encouraged both feedback and cooperation from the Mississippi judges on this important project.


The Ontario Committee is proud to advise that the inaugural David W. Scott Award has been presented to James B. Chadwick, of Ottawa, Ontario. The David W. Scott Award is named after the former President of the College and is awarded to a retired judge, a judge who has taken senior status, or a member of the bar of Ontario, whether or not a Fellow of the College, who most exemplifies the qualities, values and attributes of David W. Scott, including commitment to the provision of pro bono legal services, access to justice and mentoring of young lawyers. Chadwick is a contemporary of Scott, and together they worked on many access to justice and legal aid projects over the years. We celebrate with and congratulate Jim on this great honour.

South Carolina:

The South Carolina Fellows will hold their annual meeting February 4-6 at the Montage Palmetto Bluff Resort. The keynote speaker will be Cara Robertson, author of the recently published book The Trial of Lizzie Borden. Ms. Robertson is a graduate of Oxford University, Stanford Law School and a former United States Supreme Court Clerk. Following her lecture, several SC Fellows in criminal practice will share their insights regarding similarities between the Borden case and prominent cases they have been involved in. The attendees will also welcome the thirteen new Fellows inducted into the College since the last meeting in 2020.

General Committees


The Advocacy in the 21st Century Committee has produced and circulated a survey that sought information from Fellows about their experiences with, and opinions of, the use of remote video in civil and criminal proceedings. The results of the survey have been tabulated and will be shared with the Board before its next meeting. Based on the results of the survey and the experience of the Committee generally, the group is creating a position paper that discusses the future of remote video in civil proceedings. This paper will be presented to the Board.

Boot Camp Trial Training Programs:

On Saturday December 4, 2021, the Committee presented a virtual program to young lawyers in England, Wales, and Scotland. Joining with the Boot Camp Committee in this presentation was the International Committee. UK Judges and Barristers joined the USA faculty. The program was exciting and successful, with 150 young lawyers in attendance. Our host, The Young Barristers’ Committee of the Bar Council of England, invited The College to present the program again next year in person.
The Committee will also launch its newest version of the boot camp – a virtual, one year/one hour a month version. Six Bar Associations in Maryland are joining the College as co-sponsors. The first session is February 10, 2022. The sessions will run from 12pm to 1pm.

Complex Litigation Committee:

The Committee’s Handbook of Electronic Evidence has just been published by Bloomberg Law. As U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm says in his foreword, the handbook fulfills a need for a tightly written resource that is detailed enough to get beyond generalities but compact enough to fit into a folder or notebook that you can keep on your desk. He writes that the handbook “covers the waterfront of various types of electronic evidence, addresses familiar forms of technology as well as cutting edge new technology, contains a useful glossary, and insights from technical experts. It is the resource that you will keep in your ‘favorites,’ on your desk or in your briefcase, and it will be a ‘grab-and-go’ companion you can turn to in the middle of trial.” The handbook, the product of more than three years of work, is now published and available to Bloomberg Law subscribers. Subscribers can log in using this link to access the handbook. For more information on how to subscribe or access the publication, please contact Alison Lake at alake@bloombergindustry.com.

Federal Criminal Procedure

The Committee recently issued a Brady-Giglio Guide For Prosecutors, which provides suggested practices to help all prosecutors meet their disclosure obligations. The guide was written with input from current and former federal and state prosecutors, with the goal of encouraging prosecutors to adopt practices that will assist them in meeting their disclosure obligations with integrity, thereby enhancing the administration of justice. The guide can be found on the ACTL website by clicking here.

Heritage Committee:

The Committee's work continues with videotape interviews of senior Fellows and plans for the 75th anniversary of The College. Immediate Past Chair Ron McLean is authoring the next article to appear in the Journal, which will feature Fellow John Sharer.  

National Moot Court Competition:

The Committee completed its work on the regional competitions which were held throughout the country. A total of 152 teams participated from 104 law schools. Two teams from each of the 13 Regions will advance to the finals to be held virtually during the first week of February. Committee members helped recruit judges and many judged in the competitions themselves. The most enriching and important aspect of our work was helping our profession's next generation of lawyers. Overall, we were impressed with the students' preparation, poise and confidence. A standout moment was when a participating student admitted that a case, which the judges had not read carefully, was not as helpful to her position as it first appeared. This mastery of the law and intellectual honesty was refreshing.

Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy:

Postponed several times due to COVID, the College’s Diversity Trial Advocacy Program has been rescheduled for May 20-22, 2022. This program is designed to help equip the next generation of excellent trial lawyers while committing to mirror the diversity in our society. This unique trial advocacy training program will be taught by a diverse faculty of College Fellows and will provide the highest quality training in trial advocacy to a select group of underrepresented lawyers who are poised to become leaders of the next generation of outstanding trial lawyers. For more information or to nominate a candidate for the program, contact Committee Chair Thomas Heiden at Thomas.Heiden@lw.com
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 nationaloffice@actl.com or directly to the committee chair indicated below.

Griffin Bell Award for Courageous Advocacy
Awarded only when appropriate to honor outstanding courage demonstrated by trial lawyers in unpopular or difficult causes. The award is one of the highest honors conferred by the College upon an individual trial lawyer and recognizes lawyers who have persevered in pursuit of an important cause despite substantial personal danger, fear, unpopularity, opposition or other difficulties. To view past recipients, click here.

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. The person selected might be a trial practitioner, a judge, a teacher, a writer, a legislator, an administrator, or initiator of organizations or programs, or some other person whose work has been substantively significant or who has inaugurated or advanced significant programs. To view past recipients, 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 was 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.
Laura M. Jordan
Troy, New York
New York State Supreme Court, Rensselaer County
January, 2022

Rachel T. McGuckian
Rockville, Maryland
Montgomery County Circuit Court
January, 2022


Del Hotel square
2022 Spring Meeting
February 24 - 27, 2022
Hotel del Coronado
Coronado, CA

Colosseum outside square
2022 Annual Meeting
September 15 - 18, 2022
Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
Rome, Italy


3rd Circuit Regional Meeting
(Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania)
April 8 to 10, 2022 
Masonic Temple
Philadelphia, PA

Region 6 Regional Meeting
(Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas)
April 22 to 24, 2022 
The Windsor Court Hotel
New Orleans, LA

Region 9 Regional Meeting
(Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee)
April 29 to May 1, 2022
Memphis, TN

Tri-State Regional Meeting
(Alabama, Florida, Georgia)
June 9-12, 2022 (rescheduled from January, 2022)
The Windsor Court Hotel
New Orleans, LA

Region 12 Spring Fling
(Atlantic Provinces, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island)
June 10
Boston, MA

Northwest Regional Meeting
(Alberta, Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)
July 7 to 10, 2022
The Hotel Alyeska
Girdwood, AK

Southern California Fellows Dinner
February 3, 2022
La Jolla, CA

Utah Fellows Dinner
February 19, 2022
Salt Lake City, UT

North Carolina Fellows Meeting
March 17-20, 2022
Charleston, SC


National Moot Court
February 3, 2022

Gale Moot Cup
March 3-4, 2022

Sopinka Cup
March 18-19, 2022

OTHER MEETINGS Please click here for a listing of all upcoming events.

Arkansas Fellows Dinner, Little Rock: On December 2, 2021, President O’Donnell and Brett arrived in Little Rock for the traditional Fellows dinner at the iconic Capital Hotel. State Chair Spence Fricke (pictured) and his wife, Kari, hosted the event. Regent Lyn Pruitt spoke and shared her delight in the experience of getting together again. She encouraged all Fellows to identify potential candidates, particularly diverse candidates. President O’Donnell thanked the fifty fellows and spouses in attendance and recognized Immediate Past State Chair Ken Cook and all members of the State Committee. He also discussed current College initiatives including the Just The Beginning Initiative, and the work of the committees on Judicial Independence, Advocacy in the 21st Century and Boot Camp Trial Training Programs. All Fellows were encouraged to attend the San Diego and Rome meetings and there seemed to be much enthusiasm for travel in 2022.   

Mississippi Fellows Dinner, Jackson: Mississippi_Dec2021On December 3, 2021, The Capital Club in Jackson hosted the Mississippi Fellows for a wonderful black tie affair. State Chair Phil Abernethy hosted the event. Vice Chair Trey Byars and members of the State Committee were recognized. President O’Donnell reviewed highlights of the Chicago meeting and Leadership Workshop in Tucson. Fellows were encouraged to become more involved in the many College committees and to attend the meetings in San Diego and Rome. All were very happy to have an in-person meeting.

Louisiana_Dec2021Louisiana Fellows Meeting, New Orleans: On December 4, 2021, the Louisiana Fellows enjoyed cocktails and dinner in a private dining room at Antoine’s in the French Quarter. State Chair James Brown introduced President O’Donnell, who as a Notre Dame graduate, couldn’t resist commenting on the “steal” of Coach Brian Kelly by LSU. Immediate Past Chair Don McKinney and all state committee members were recognized. Kimball Anderson, Mentoring Committee Chair and Mark Surprenant, Access to Justice Committee Chair were introduced. Kimball has funded dozens of internships for underprivileged students and Mark is following suit. All thanked them for their generosity. Current College initiatives such as the Boot Camp Trial Training Programs were discussed, the significance of Judicial Independence was stressed, and the work of the Judicial Independence Committee was appreciated. President O’Donnell applauded the Louisiana Fellows for their enthusiasm for the work of the College.

Oregon Fellows Dinner, Portland:
On December 8, 2021, Oregon_Dec2021President O’Donnell and Brett traveled to Portland for the Oregon Fellows Dinner. After a wonderful tour of Portland, guided by Past President Tom Tongue, they landed at the iconic Sentinel Hotel for cocktails in the Library Room. State Chair Gordy Welborn hosted the event, which was attended by nearly fifty fellows. Current Regent Carey Matovich, Former Regent Paul Fortino and past State Chair Renee Rothauge were introduced and recognized. President O’Donnell spoke and discussed the Just The Beginning initiative, Advocacy in the 21st Century Committee initiatives and the first international Boot Camp Trial Training Program held virtually in London and Wales the previous weekend. Fellows were encouraged to participate in the many committees of the College and the upcoming national meetings were discussed. Fellow and Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Lee Walters (pictured) spoke about the challenges of COVID in the Court system. Fellow and former Federal Public Defender Steve Wax discussed the good work of the Oregon Innocence Project.  

Pennsylvania_Philadelphia_Pittsburgh_Dec2021Pennsylvania Fellows Events, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh: December 15-16, 2021. Treasurer William Murphy and his wife Pat took a whirlwind tour of Pennsylvania in December to fill in for President O’Donnell. Approximately fifty-five Fellows attended the first gathering in Philadelphia. Vice Chair John McShea organized an excellent event, and everyone enjoyed being together again. Former Regents Lou Fryman, Dennis Suplee and Bob Welsh, along with current Regent Katie Recker were present. State Chair John Conti, of Pittsburgh, also attended and was present for both Pennsylvania events. The gathering was mostly social, but a good discussion on the opportunities for mentoring and the programs such as Just The Beginning and the Boot Camp Trial Training Programs was held. On the following day, Pittsburgh’s event was hosted by State Chair John Conti. Twenty Fellows from Western Pennsylvania attended, including Past Chair Sam Braver. All were encouraged to personally attend the meetings in San Diego and Rome.   
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.

Hobart A. McWhorter, ’76, Birmingham, January 6, 2022

John E. Lindberg, ’82, Tucson, April 28, 2021
Ed Hendricks, ’06, Phoenix, November 28, 2021

John E. Moore, ’05, Little Rock, April 9, 2021

Florentino Garza, ’74, San Bernadino, November 21, 2021
Thomas J. Nolan, ’96, Palo Alto, December 21, 2021
Clyde Blackmon, ’96, Sacramento, November 26, 2021

Wesley Kettelkamp, Jr., ’73, Pueblo, Dec. 13, 2021

Michael P. Kelly, Sr., ’15, Wilmington, January 10, 2022

James M. Russ, ’83, Longwood, November 25, 2021
Hugh E. Reynolds, Jr., ’76, Pompano Beach, December 22, 2021

Michael C. Keating, ’03, Evansville, November 5, 2021

Richard C. Hite, ’78, Wichita, Dec. 16, 2021

C. Christopher Brown, ’00, Baltimore, Dec. 17, 2021
Stephen H. Sachs, ’78, Baltimore, January 12, 2022

James R. DeGiacomo, ’87, Lenox, January 12, 2022

Charles T. Hvass, ’75, Minneapolis, May 20, 2012

James B. Tucker, ’90, Jackson, December 29, 2021

Monte P. Clithero, ’06, Springfield, January 16, 2022

Joseph K. Meusey, ’82, Omaha, November 15, 2021

New Mexico
Frank Burckhalter Bailey (Burck Bailey), ’77, Santa Fe, November 18, 2021

New York
Roy L. Reardon, ’73, New York, January 7, 2022

North Carolina
J. Brian Scott, ’70, Wilmington, January 3, 2021
Daniel W. Donahue, ’86, Winston Salem, December 10, 2021

Daniel P. Ruggiero, ’07, Loveland, Nov. 16, 2021

James M. Sturdivant, ’82, Tulsa, November 24, 2021

Wendell S. Wigle, ’88, Toronto, January 9, 2022

Don L. Davis, ’95, Austin, December 8, 2021

C. William Bailey, ’96, Seattle, Dec. 10, 2021