(Posted July 12, 2019) Despite the lack of summer court sessions, there’s still plenty going on in the appellate world.


Criminal appellate-practice seminar

The Fourth Circuit will sponsor a seminar for practitioners who handle criminal appeals. The program will convene Monday, October 28 and will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It’s free to members of the bar. Given the price, the relative paucity of appellate training, and the timing – three days before the MCLE deadline – I expect it to sell out. You can register here.


ABA Appellate Summit

Preparations proceed apace for the Appellate Judges Education Institute, known informally as the ABA Appellate Summit, in Washington DC November 14-17. Registration is now open through this link. The summit is the best annual nationwide gathering of appellate jurists, advocates, and staff attorneys. Yes, you will see me there; I seldom miss these terrific events, and if you’re serious about developing your appellate practice, you should make plans to attend, too. There’ll be four days of educational programming, plus social functions including a reception at the US Supreme Court. In the past, at least one of the Robes has attended those receptions. Next year’s summit will be in Texas, so this year you can attend without bringing your passport.


Road shows loom

Here’s this year’s reminder of the Supreme Court’s remote writ panels, known informally as the road shows. This is the only time all year when the court convenes outside Richmond. There will be one panel in the Supreme Court Building, on the afternoon of Wednesday, August 21. The next morning, another panel will convene in Fredericksburg, and that Friday morning, a third will meet in Grundy.

You should regard these as opportunities for free informal training. The sessions are open to the public, and you’ll likely find it enlightening to watch the court, and the lawyers practicing before it, in action. You’ll see some excellent arguments that can help you to improve your own presentations. You may even see some that will give you ideas on what not to do. If you practice anywhere nearby, make plans to go. If you stay for just 90 minutes, you can see perhaps ten or twelve writ arguments, and learn from each of them.