The Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal was formed in 1980 when judicial leaders of state appellate courts around the nation recognized the need to have “a body for consultation” and education “concerning the improvement of the administration of justice, rules and methods of procedure, and the organization and operation of state intermediate appellate courts.”
Since its inception, the Council has served as a valuable source of assistance for its members and their courts, through annual educational conferences and ongoing committee work. Each year an Annual Conference Committee (until 2013, called the “Education Committee”) is responsible for developing the content of the Council’s annual education conference. Click HERE to see the names of past chairs of the Committee as well as the dates and locations of past annual conferences.
The Council provides past, current, and future Chief Judges with the opportunity to share ideas on different ways to deal with common problems, learn about effective programs instituted in other intermediate appellate courts, and examine ways to promote efficiency and fiscal responsibility in our own courts. The Council also has surveyed its member courts regarding their practices and procedures, as well as their judicial salaries and benefits, and has shared the information with all of its members. In addition, Council members have access to a “speech bank” on various subjects of importance to courts, such as judicial independence.
Relationships established through the Council stimulate conversations all year long among Chief Judges regarding court administration and procedures. These conversations are enhanced through the Council’s active listserv. Indeed, the Council has become a close group of supportive colleagues who treasure the lasting friendships they have forged and are appreciative of the input they receive from each other. The Council also recognizes the wisdom and sage advice of retired members, many of whom continue to attend the annual conferences.
The Council held its organizational meeting at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada in October 1980, and accepted an invitation to become a part of the Appellate Judges Conference of the Judicial Administration Division of the American Bar Association.