State and Province Committees
Alabama hosted the Tri State Meeting with Georgia and Florida, held June 9-11, 2022 at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. The Jere White Trial Advocacy Conference has been rescheduled to November 4, 2022 at the Sheraton Conference Center, Birmingham.
The Committee hosted the Northwest Regional Conference in Girdwood, Alaska this past July. President O’Donnell and Past Presidents Tom Tongue, Rodney Acker and Doug Young were among the attendees.
The Committee has scheduled an in-person dinner of Alberta Fellows for October 19, 2022 in Calgary. The Committee has also risen to the challenge of organizing the 2025 Regional Meeting, which will tentatively be held at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in July, 2025.
On May 20, 2022, the Arizona Fellows held an in-person CLE to over 100 participants. The program was entitled “Trials in a Radically Changing World.”
Dinner meetings of Atlantic Provinces Fellows were held in Moncton, New Brunswick (June 13), Halifax, Nova Scotia (June 14) and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador (June 15). The provinces welcomed President O'Donnell and Brett, Immediate Past President Rodney Acker and Judy and Past President Douglas Young and Terry at all three events.
Three women from the Province were inducted at the 2022 Annual Meeting in Rome. We look forward to having a dinner with our provincial members on October 18, 2022 at the Vancouver Club.
The Committee is working with University of California, Irvine, to fund and revive its mock trial program.
The Committee held a dinner at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, California on April 28, honoring Fellow John Keker with the inaugural Charles Renfrew Award. The recipient of the award shall be an individual who exemplifies the qualities of ethics and professionalism embodied in the College’s Codes of Pretrial and Trial Conduct and whose action and accomplishments manifest a lifetime commitment to advancing the administration of justice through service in the legal profession, the judiciary, the government or public service.
The Committee held two CLE outreach programs this past year: A CLE in November 2021 on Winning at Trial, co-sponsored with the Colorado Bar Association and in May, 2022, a Boot Camp Trial Training Program held at US District Court in Denver. Colorado also held its annual Summer Party on Saturday, August 6, 2022. We were joined by Colorado Fellow and College President O’Donnell and Brett. The Committee is also planning its Annual “Winning at Trial” CLE that will likely be held in late 2022.
The appellate advocacy CLE for public interest lawyers to be presented this past spring in conjunction with the Supreme Court was postponed due to COVID. The committee hopes to reschedule for fall 2022. In addition, as a result of a meeting with the Chief Judge of the District Court, the committee is exploring assisting with the federal court trial advocacy program.
The Fellows gathered at The Cherokee Town Club on the evening of August 18 for the annual Black-Tie Dinner. We were honored with the presence of President O’Donnell and his wife, Brett. State Chair Scott Greene applauded the work of Vice Chair Virgil Adams and his Outreach Committee, which this fall will be presenting professionalism programs across the state – for the first time – to each of the five Georgia law schools.
The first annual Diversity Trial Advocacy Program was put on by the College from May I-May 3. Chair Tom Heiden helmed the program, with the help of many selfless Fellows. Under the guidance of Mentoring Committee Vice Chair Kimball Anderson, Illinois Fellows participated in the 2022 Summer Judicial Internship Program, fostering the development of the interns paired with District Court judges.
Two Judicial Fellows, Iowa Supreme Court Justice Tom Waterman and Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Sharon Greer, will be presenting a CLE to Fellows on changes to the Iowa Rules of Evidence.
On June 15th Fellows Bob Stopher, Doug Morris, and Lou Anna Red Corn were joined by Chief Regional Circuit Judge Rene Williams and US Magistrate Judge Brent Brennenstuhl for a one-hour CLE presentation entitled “Practical and Ethical Problems Arising from Remote/Zoom Litigation” to the KBA Convention. Additionally, Fellows Ken Williams and Tracy Prewitt have organized a trial skills program for twenty-eight Legal Aid attorneys with less than three years of experience. The program will be held in Louisville on September 30 and October 1, and more than twenty Kentucky Fellows have volunteered to participate as judges and trainers.
The Fellows hosted the ACTL Region Six Meeting (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) at the Windsor Court hotel in New Orleans in April.
The Fellows hosted their first Spring Fling for Fellows of Region 12 in June, a dinner cruise of Boston Harbor. President Elect Harriman, as well as Past President Joan Lukey, were among those who attended. The second annual WooSox event was held on August 4, 2022, an evening at Polar Park in Worcester for a baseball game and ballpark buffet. The committee continues to develop the ACTL Volunteer Conciliation Program that was established jointly with the Essex County Bar Association at the beginning of the pandemic to assist the courts and litigants by providing experienced Fellows to assist in case resolution.
The Fellows welcomed President O’Donnell and Brett at their renewed annual Black Tie Dinner. The venue was Crystal Downs Country Club in northern Michigan. On October 1, 2022 the Fellows look forward to welcoming new President Harriman to northern Michigan to attend the Garvey Barn party. October in northern Michigan is a very special place to be and the Fellows thank the Garveys for their kind hospitality. October 19, 2022 will also bring the renewal of the College Golf Outing to be held at the Country Club of Detroit.
On July 26th, the Fellows hosted a dinner with approximately fifty in attendance. President O’Donnell and Regent Lederer attended.
The Fellows regularly provide support for trial advocacy classes, workshops and institutes that take place in Nebraska, with a significant presence in moot court competitions and other activities that allow both lawyers and lay people access to a greater understanding of the court and judicial systems.
The Committee, under the lead of Fellow and Communications Committee Vice Chair Tammy Peterson has scheduled a Boot Camp Trial Training Program on October 20, 2022. The event is scheduled in the ceremonial courtroom of the Federal Court House in Las Vegas.
The Fellows held their Annual Gala at the Park Chateau in East Brunswick on August 17, 2022. At the Gala, Fellow Dennis Drasco was presented with the Francis X. Dee Award for his service to the Bar and the College.
The Committee is scheduled to host the 10th Circuit Regional Meeting in 2023.
New York (Downstate):
This Spring the committee partnered with the Federal Bar Council and NITA to launch a trial training program for lawyers interested in taking on pro-bono matters in the federal courts. Regent Larry Krantz spearheaded the effort, including two separate training sessions in May and June. This Summer the committee participated in the inaugural mentoring initiative as part of the College’s mentoring program, matching several volunteer Downstate Fellows with law school student mentees.
Six North Carolina Fellows are scheduled to present three days of CLE to the North Carolina Legal Aid Society for their annual meeting/CLE event on September 15 to 17, 2022.
The Fellows met in conjunction with the State Bar Associating meeting. They continue to discuss ways to increase the visibility of the ACTL within the state.
A dinner was held in May for Fellows in the Western half of the State and another in June for Fellows in the Eastern half of the State.
In December of 2021, the committee announced the recipient of the inaugural David W. Scott Award, the Honourable James B. Chadwick of Ottawa, Ontario. Due to the pandemic restrictions, a formal presentation ceremony could not be held, however, at a local dinner of Ottawa Fellows held in May of 2022, a presentation was made to Jim Chadwick.
The Committee has engaged in the mentorship program initiated by Mentoring Committee Chair John Siffert through helping assign Fellows to mentor student interns. Additionally, Mentoring Liaison John Gismondi, along with Pennsylvania Fellows, have engaged the judiciary, specifically the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, so as to have the Court adopt a policy that encourages law firms to have younger lawyers participate in all phases of litigation and trial practice. Judicial Fellow Christine Donohue, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, has been instrumental in working with John to engage fellow members of the judiciary on this initiative.
On June 16, 2022, Québec fellows held a dinner, which was highly attended after the absence of activities resulting from COVID. President O’Donnell and Past President Douglas Young were both present. The event was also attended by the four students who won the Gale Cup 2022. Brian Cover, President of the Gale Cup, remitted the trophy to the four students.
A joint CLE program is planned for the Spring of 2023 with the South Carolina Bar. The program will be held at the South Carolina School of Law.
On June 10th, Fellows met for lunch in Houston. They were joined by President O’Donnell, and Past Presidents Doug Young from California, and Rodney Acker and David Beck from Texas. On April 21st, Houston Fellows David Weinstein and Murry Fogler organized a Trial Academy for the Houston Young Lawyers Association, which was held in Federal District Judge Lee Rosenthal’s courtroom. Twenty-six Fellows served on the faculty. On June 6 – 9, Texas Fellows served as faculty for the Trial Academy sponsored by the Texas Access to Justice Commission for legal aid organizations.
The Committee is hosting a state dinner the weekend of October 29 in Nashville. Tennessee is hosting a Regional Meeting of the College in Memphis in May 2023.
The Committee conducted a summer party on July 15, 2022.
Fellows have been working with the Vermont Bar Association to provide trial skills training to younger members of the Vermont bar. The Fellows are looking forward to the first annual meeting held since the onset of COVID, scheduled for October 12, 2022.
The Committee is very involved in the Summer Trial Institute (STI) conducted at the University Wyoming, College of Law. STI is a program for law students who dedicate part of their summer to an intensive trial practice program culminating in a short mock-trial. Many Wyoming Fellows lend their time, effort and financial support to the program.
Access to Justice and Legal Services:
In conjunction with the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, the committee will have a virtually conducted CLE Program entitled, Doing Well by Doing Good: Enhancing Your Career as a Trial Attorney with Pro Bono Service, on November 10, 2022 from 2 pm-5 pm ET. Click here
for more information.
Advocacy in the 21st Century:
The Committee continues to monitor the changes to the judicial system as a result of the reaction to the Pandemic, including the increased adoption of remote video technology. The Committee will be offering a seminar at the Spring Meeting in Key Biscayne on effective presentations via remote video.
Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Award:
The Committee was thrilled to see Patricia Hebert receive the Award at the Spring Meeting in Coronado and is now beginning the search for potential nominees. Nominations for 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 can be sent to Committee Chair David Ross.
Boot Camp Trial Training Program:
One of the many exciting programs presented by the College is the one-day Boot Camp trial training program for young lawyers. The Boot Camp Committee welcomes requests to present a program with you and Fellows in your State or Region. Contact Committee Chair Paul Sandler
The Committee presented a request to the Board of Regents to change the eBulletin from a bi-monthly to a monthly publication. The motion was approved; monthly distribution will begin January 2023.
The Committee completed its treatise on Electronic Evidence and is pursuing two follow-up items: 1) updating the treatise for new case law developments, and 2) continuing interfaces with the FJC to expand distribution of the treatise.
Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows:
In partnership with the highly acclaimed Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo), the Committee will sponsor a virtual CLE program on November 10, 2022, from 2-5 pm ET entitled “Doing Well by Doing Good: Enhancing Your Career as a Trial Attorney with Pro Bono Service.” The Committee is also accepting nominations for new Distinguished Pro Bono Fellows. Please contact Committee Chair, Kimball R. Anderson
Federal Civil Procedure:
The Committee continues to review and discuss possible Rule amendments, focusing on the Civil Rules Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court. On matters which merit input, the Committee will publish a letter to the Civil Rules Advisory Committee concerning the merits or potential pitfalls of proposed Rule changes.
Federal Criminal Procedure:
The Committee is working on white papers encouraging the expansion of diversion courts and recommending a rule change to permit federal bench trials without requiring the government’s consent.
Federal Rules of Evidence:
The Committee engaged in two main projects during the reporting period. First, the Chair and other members continued attending the meetings of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence. Second, the Committee continued work on its white paper regarding areas in which the Courts and parties have attempted to streamline trials, focusing on the intended (and unintended) consequences of those approaches. We expect to circulate the white paper this fall.
Preparations are underway for recognition of the Fellows of the College for 75 years in anticipation of the anniversary in 2025.
The Committee is expected to hold exciting programs in Poland, South Africa, and Palau in the upcoming year. They have also been invited back to do a repeat of our London boot camp in the Summer of 2023 in London or Oxford, hopefully in person.
Legal Ethics and Professionalism:
The Legal Ethics and Professionalism Committee and the Attorney-Client Relationships Committee have been combined into a single Committee. Recently completed, and now posted on the College Learning and Resource Center
, is a PowerPoint presentation “The Attorney-Client Privilege for In-House Counsel.” The PowerPoint is a resource that can be used in presentations to in-house counsel and will also serve to inform the in-house bar about the College. The Committee is also working on an update to the White Paper “Attorney-Client Privilege Update: Current and Recurring Issues.”
Committee members participated in the Summer Judicial Intern program through mentoring young law students who were interning with Judges; they were enthusiastic about the benefits of the program.
National Moot Court Competition:
The National Moot Court Competition Committee completed its work on the Regional Competitions which were held throughout the country. There were 152 teams, from 104 law schools. Two teams from each of the thirteen 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.
National Trial Competition:
The NTC reminds Fellows that the regional trial competitions will be held during one of the first three weekends in February, 2023. Host schools are not yet identified, but when asked to volunteer to judge, please say yes. You will be inspired by the talent shown by these law students, and your participation is what makes this competition the premier trial competition in the country.
Committee members collect reports on the outreach efforts through CLE and other advocacy programs of our State and Province committees, which is then recorded in a spreadsheet to track ongoing efforts. In collaboration with the Communications Committee, the College podcast continues to grow and will launch its fourth season in October.
The primary project of the committee is to evaluate the perceived contrast between the civil and criminal jury trial selection process. The project is expected to take a year to complete. Additionally, the Committee has continued outreach efforts to DOJ and United States Attorneys urging the implementation of Pretrial Diversion as outlined in the College’s White Paper.
Sandra Day O'Connor Jurist Award:
Earlier this year, the College bestowed the O’Connor Jurist Award on the Hon. Barry G. Williams of Baltimore, Maryland. Judge Williams is a member of the Circuit Court in Baltimore City, Maryland, and stood strong and independent in the face of angry protests and personal risk.
Teaching of Trial and Appellate Advocacy:
The Committee believes that the College ought to be synonymous with all things concerning excellence and ethics in trial advocacy. The Committee believes that the College is uniquely equipped to foster trust, confidence, and belief in our system for the fair and peaceful resolution of disputes. Upcoming and proposed projects, including the Diversity Trial Advocacy Program and Corporate In-House Litigation Attorney Trial Advocacy Program are directed toward these two goals.
Georgia Fellows Dinner, Atlanta, Georgia: August 18, 2022
The Georgia Fellows met at the Cherokee Town Club for a Black Tie Dinner. President Michael O’Donnell and Brett attended along with about ninety Fellows and Guests. Secretary Rick Deane, Regent Bob MacKenzie and Past Presidents Jack Dalton and Chilton Davis Varner also joined the event. After the reception and dinner, State Chair Scott Greene discussed the activities planned by the State Committee. State Vice Chair Virgil Adams has coordinated a Professionalism program to be conducted at five law schools within the state. Scott then introduced President O’Donnell for remarks. President O’Donnell discussed the Just The Beginning Internship, the four moot court and mock trial competitions in the U.S. and Canada and the Advocacy in the 21st Century Committee’s work. He also discussed the work of the Judicial Independence Committee and the Judiciary Committee which involves drafting suggestions to improve the process for Senate Judicial Confirmation Hearings.
New Jersey Summer Gala, East Brunswick, New Jersey: August 17, 2022
The exquisite Chateau Grande Hotel and the Park Chateau Estate and Gardens hosted the Summer Gala in New Jersey. President O’Donnell and Brett attended and were greeted by State Chair Ed Kole and about seventy Fellows and guests. A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Francis X. Dee award to Fellow Dennis Drasco. Francis passed away in 2016 and each year his special qualities are remembered by an award to a deserving Fellow who exemplifies those qualities. State Chair Ed Kole summarized the impressive activities of the New Jersey State Committee through both the expansion of existing programs and the beginning of new programs. Their aggressive agenda addresses diversity, pro bono activities and expanding awareness of the College. They have conducted seminars on Professionalism in Trial Practice at Rutgers University and have one coming up at Seton Hall University in October. They held a Summer Trial Advocacy Institute in July. Over thirty Fellows participated. They also helped co-chair the 3rd Circuit Regional Meeting with Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Iowa Fellows Meeting, Sioux City, Iowa: August 12-14, 2022
The first in-person meeting since 2020 of the Iowa Fellows took place at the Warrior Hotel. President O’Donnell and Brett were hosted by State Chair John Gray and his wife, Diane. More than fifty fellows and guests attended. The business portion of the meeting began Saturday, August 13, 2022 and opened with remarks by President O’Donnell. He spoke about the success of the Just The Beginning Internship, the inaugural Diversity in the Courtroom Training Program held in Chicago, the four trial competitions, the Advocacy in the 21st Century Committee and the Forum on the Rule of Law event held at the U.S. Supreme Court. Regent Greg Lederer then spoke and discussed the nomination process from beginning through the voting by the Board of Regents. Iowa Supreme Court Justice and Fellow Tom Waterman then presented CLE regarding the proposed amendments to the Iowa Rules of Evidence that are under consideration by the Court. In Iowa, all Fellows act as a committee for consideration of nominees and three nominees were considered. The Saturday evening dinner was held at the John Peirce Mansion, a 1893 stone structure that has been restored to its Victorian-era appearance.
Colorado Fellows Summer Party, Denver, Colorado: August 6, 2022
President O’Donnell and Brett finally had a “home game” for the Colorado Fellows at their Summer Party. Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson and his wife, Lauren, hosted the event in their home. Forty Fellows and guests attended. State Chair Kevin Shea emceed the evening. President O’Donnell first thanked all those serving on committees of the College and encouraged others to seek out committee assignments. He then described the various ongoing activities of the college, concluding with a report on progress in inducting diverse Fellows. He remarked on the College's progress, but there continues to be much room for improvement. He fielded questions from Fellow which included the challenges of identifying qualified candidates in rural areas and the future of the College as the number of trials diminish. These continue to be daunting challenges.
Massachusetts Fellows Event, Boston, Massachusetts: August 4, 2022
President O’Donnell and Brett traveled to Boston for two events on August 4, 2022. First was a Special Induction Ceremony of future Judge Brent Tingle. State Chair Ellen Epstein Cohen hosted the Ceremony. Fellow Tingle was quite moved by this Special Induction. Later that day, Chair Cohen and Immediate Past Chair Peter Ettenberg hosted the Massachusetts Fellows in Worcester at Polar Park. About forty attended the WooSox minor league baseball game. Fellow Ettenberg is an Ambassador for the WooSox who no-hit the Durham Bills, which made for an exciting evening.
Minnesota Fellows Meeting, Golden Valley, Minnesota: July 26, 2022
The Golden Valley Country Club in Golden Valley, Minnesota, was the host venue for the Fellows Meeting on July 26, 2022. President O’Donnell and Brett were joined by about sixty Fellows and guests. State Chair Jan Conlin and her brother, Fellow Tom Conlin, were hosts. Following the cocktail hour, State Chair Conlin thanked Regent Greg Lederer for his service and introduced President O’Donnell for remarks. President O’Donnell thanked Jan for her leadership and energy and acknowledged the presence of Fellow Ashwin Madia, the inductee responder in San Diego, and Former Regent Kathleen Flynn Peterson. President O’Donnell’s remarks followed his similar theme of describing the various College successes. He described in more particularity, the Forum on the Rule of Law at the United States Supreme Court and expressed concerns about the U.S. Senate confirmation process for Article III judges, particularly for Supreme Court nominees, including inappropriate questioning of now Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson about her representation of Guantanamo detainees and Justice Amy Coney Barrett about her religious beliefs. He then announced that the ACTL U.S. Foundation has approved the establishment of The Brian O’Neill Memorial Fund to support travel expenses for Judicial and Public Service Fellows for teaching and training lawyers abroad.