2016 AJEI Summit for Appellate Judges, Lawyers, and Staff Attorneys – Nov. 10-13 Philadelphia

by Christina Cooley Smith

This year’s Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit features a conversation with the newest member of the United States Supreme Court, Justice

Elena Kagan, who was sworn in just over six years ago. Conversations with Supreme Court Justices are a recurring feature at the Summit. Last year, Justice Stephen Breyer spoke about the “pragmatic passion” that motivates him and contrasted his approach to legal interpretation with Justice Antonin Scalia’s. Justice Scalia spoke at the 2014 AJEI Summit with his co-author Bryan Garner about their book, “Reading Law.”

Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, from the University of California Irvine School of Law, will again present his reviews of civil and criminal opinions issued by the U. S. Supreme Court last year, and will also serve as a panelist in a session titled “Evolution or Revolution? The Future  of the Supreme Court.” Several sessions will focus on appellate writing, from a plenary session by author and Professor Ross Guberman on “The Role of Personality in Appellate Writing,” to breakout sessions on “Making 31 Flavors of Opinions: Who’s Eating What You’re Serving” and “Pixels to Punctuation: Writing in the Digital Age.”

The AJEI is a non-profit institution whose mission is to produce this annual appellate law seminar, which is co-hosted this year by the ABA’s Appellate JudgesConference and SMU Dedman School of Law. This is SMU’s last Summit, as the 2017 Summit in Los Angeles will be co-hosted by the Duke University School of Law Center for Judicial Studies. In 2018, the Summit will come to Atlanta and will be chaired by the Appellate Practice Section’s esteemed founder, Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Christopher McFadden.

I have written before about the Summit and how my attendance years ago led me to my current position as the 2015-2016 chair of the ABA’s Council of Appellate Staff Attorneys (CASA), which is part of the Appellate Judges Conference, along with the Council of Appellate Lawyers. The Summit is developed and produced by the appellate judges, lawyers, and staff attorneys of the AJC, with the assistance of the co-hosting law school.

The Summit will be held at the historic Loews Philadelphia Hotel, which bills itself as “America’s first skyscraper.” It was commissioned in 1929 by the country’s first savings bank and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. Registration is open and more information is available at ajei.law.smu.edu

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Christina Cooley Smith is the senior staff attorney for Presiding Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes of the Court of Appeals of Georgia.