Sonia Escobio O'Donnell

Committee Chair Corner – Appellate Practice Committee
Sonia Escobio O’Donnell
Sonia Escobio O’Donnell PA

I am honored to be chairing the Appellate Practice Committee this year. We had our first conference call on August 16, 2018. Thanks to all who attended. I anticipate that our calls will be scheduled on the third Thursday of each month. We have a great group of Vice Chairs who are already doing wonderful work. I would ask that all Vice Chairs please calendar the monthly Committee conference calls, and we of course encourage all members to call in. If a call is rescheduled, you will be notified. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

I am happy to report that our former leader, Robert Brundage, is staying on as Emeritus Vice Chair of Publications. Those are hard shoes to fill -- thank you, Robert, for your dedication and guidance. Robert and John Drummy will be planning publications, with your help. We need short one or two-page articles for the newsletter, as well as longer law review type articles, for the Journal. It’s a great way to get published. Appellate lawyers like to show off their writing and usually have a lot to say! I encourage everyone to consider contributing an article to the Committee’s publications.

Audrey Ramsey and David Gunn are in charge of programming. Audrey is focused on CLE programs and David on Webinars. We have submitted two proposals for programs. The Major proposal for the Annual Meeting involves a panel discussion on the reach of federal court jurisdiction. At a time when judges are issuing nationwide injunctions, this is a relevant issue worth discussing. Our Committee proposal for the Midyear is entitled: Reasons Why Doing Pro-Bono Appeals is Good for Business. We have co-sponsored the Trial Techniques and Tactics Midyear Committee program: Preserving the Appeal. The programs are being reviewed and we will be notified whether any are chosen. Please send us ideas on new programs. It would be great to have more member involvement in developing programs.

Michael Smith is taking charge of both Membership and Diversity. We will be focusing on diversifying the Committee and have already started to look for new members. We urge everyone in the Committee to look for new members and submit them to Michael. He needs all of us to come up with new proposals for members.

Lara Grillo is Vice Chair for Communications. Please send any announcements, social media postings, or other items that you wish to circulate and let’s maintain the Committee’s presence.

Anita Hotchkiss is Vice Chair of International. This is an important way to engage with our members around the world and we are looking forward to Anita’s ideas and input.

If anyone is interested in getting more involved in a particular area of the Committee, please let the Vice Chair know, or send me an email.

We hope everyone is planning to attend the Midyear, which will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara, California, February 23-28, 2019. Please visit the IADC page for details, as they are finalized. It is always lots of fun and a great way to meet new members and catch up with old friends.

I’m looking forward to a great year ahead and I thank you all for your continued involvement.

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