News

Chris McFadden New Chief Judge Georgia Court of Appeals 06/27/2019

Judge Christopher McFadden was sworn in as chief judge of the Georgia Court of Appeals. He was joined by his wife, Gordon State College Professor Linda Hyde, and their son Johnny, who held the Bible for his father.

He replaces Chief Judge Stephen Dillard for a two-year term. Dillard was recognized this year by the Georgia General Assembly for his social media communications. Dillard has 16,000 Twitter followers.

Former Chief Judge Sara Doyle gave McFadden the oath of office. Judge Carla Wong McMillian replaces McFadden as the court’s vice chief. McFadden gave her the oath of office after he had finished his. The changes take effect July 1.

McFadden said he is approaching the midpoint of his judicial career—“assuming I’m reelected in 2022.” He got a laugh when he added, “and I’d like to take this opportunity to announce my campaign.” McFadden was elected to the Court of Appeals in 2010 and took office in January 2011. He was reelected in 2016.

“Eight and a half years ago, I promised to remember that, while the office a big deal, I personally am not,” McFadden said. “I affirm that being called ‘your honor’ is not an entitlement, it’s a challenge.”

He said he still wears a robe belonging to his father, who was a longtime judge in Ohio.

McFadden in his remarks Tuesday said intelligence, patience and wisdom are important qualities for judges. “But the seminal virtue is courage. Without it, the others are pale, puny things,” he said. “It’s worth remembering that the most vile judicial act in the history of Western civilization—and the only sin called out in the creed of Christian churches—was an act of judicial cowardice.”

 McFadden graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta in 1980 and the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens in 1985. After that, he started a private practice focusing on appellate work, which he continued until his election to the bench.

Read More:

https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/2019/06/25/new-court-of-appeals-chief-mcfadden-embarks-on-challenging-path-follows-twitter-laureate/

Nebraska Court of Appeals Holds Annual Session in Lincoln County 05/31/2019

Chief Judge Frankie Moore of North Platte, center, presided over a three-judge panel’s oral arguments during the Nebraska Court of Appeals’ annual session in the Lincoln County Courthouse district courtroom. Joining Moore on the panel were Judges Michael Pirtle of Omaha, left, and Riko Bishop of Lincoln.  Once a year, Frankie Moore’s job lets her stay home in North Platte.

 In a brief interview before the opening session, she said she’s still energized by her work after 19 years on the court — even though “that Interstate can get scary.” “I don’t have any plans at the current time” to retire, said Moore, 60, who first moved to North Platte to practice law in 1983. “I enjoy my job, and I want to keep doing it for the foreseeable future.”

Founded in 1991 after voter approval of a state constitutional amendment, the six-member Court of Appeals was designed from the start to keep both its judges and their formal sessions closer to the Nebraskans they serve.  It divides into two three-judge panels every two months to hear cases, shuffling the panels’ lineups each time, Moore said.

 North Platte has long been a regular stop on the court’s annual circuit, she said. Other regular stops are Kearney, Norfolk, Papillion, Omaha and the court’s home courtroom in Lincoln’s State Capitol. In addition, the appeals court occasionally hears arguments on Nebraska’s college and university campuses, she said. A three-judge panel will visit Concordia University in Seward in September to mark Constitution Day.

 Unlike the seven Nebraska Supreme Court judges, Court of Appeals judges maintain home offices in their districts as well as in the Capitol.  She welcomes the court’s chances to educate Nebraskans about the different role appeals judges play in deciding a case. Whereas county or district court sessions can involve jurors and many other players, oral arguments typically involve the appeals judges, a lawyer for each side and a 10-minute clock.  Moore and her fellow judges already know the case’s trial record and have researched the legal issues, she said. The oral arguments allow attorneys to stress particular points or judges to break in with questions about matters they’re uncertain about.

“We’re not trying to be rude by our interruption of their 10 minutes, but we want to get to the heart of the matter,” Moore said.

 Sometime after the arguments, one member of the panel is assigned to write the opinion. But all three judges critique and review the decision, she said, and “on occasion, the other two can persuade the author-judge to a different way.”  The panel’s ruling is the final word on a case unless the losing side can persuade the Nebraska Supreme Court to take another look, Moore said. The high court takes only two types of cases directly: criminal cases involving death or life imprisonment and any case involving whether a particular state law is constitutional.

Read more: https://www.nptelegraph.com/news/local_news/nebraska-appeals-judge-gets-a-home-game/article_c20985ee-76c7-11e9-aa31-2f8d8b5c597c.html

Former Colorado Chief Judge Sternberg dies at age 93 05/31/2019

Alan L. Sternberg, a former Colorado Court of Appeals judge who served as chief judge for nine years, died Friday, May 24, at home in Englewood. He was 93.  Sternberg was appointed to the state Court of Appeals in 1974, and he served the court until 1998. During his long service, Sternberg authored more than 1800 opinions, including 568 published opinions and 56 published dissents.

 Born on Feb. 13, 1926, in Worcester, Mass., Sternberg joined the Army, at age 18 in 1944, during World War II. Serving in the 95th Infantry Division, Sternberg fought in France and Germany. Wounded in combat, Sternberg received a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge as part of his service.  After the army, Sternberg received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Boston. He moved to Boulder, with his wife, Natalie, and enrolled in the University of Colorado law school. Sternberg graduated from CU in 1950 and moved to Littleton, where he practiced law.

 From 1959 to 1974, Sternberg served as the city attorney in Littleton. He was an attorney with the Littleton Urban Renewal Authority from 1966 to 1974. Sternberg was among a group of people involved in establishing the location of Arapahoe Junior College, now Arapahoe Community College. In 1973, the Littleton Independent recognized Sternberg as its public servant of the year.  In 1998, Sternberg received the William Knous Award in recognition of outstanding achievement and service by a CU-Boulder alumnus. He was a private arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association

Indiana Court of Appeals holds court at DePauw University 04/19/2019

 

On April 15, DePauw University students, faculty and staff, and local citizens had an opportunity to see first hand the workings of the appellate justice system. As it has each spring for more than a decade, the Indiana Court of Appeals came to DePauw and held a session which the public was invited to attend.

 A three-judge Court of Appeals panel heard oral arguments and thereafter answered questions from the audience.    It marked the fourteenth time in the last 15 years that the Court of Appeals has come to DePauw in visits hosted by the department of political science.

 The three-judge panel conducting the oral arguments consisted of Margret G. Robb, the first woman to serve as Chief Judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals; Terry A. Crone. a 1974 graduate of DePauw; and Edward W. Najam Jr.

 https://www.depauw.edu/news-media/latest-news/details/34213/

 Read about Indiana’s program of traveling oral arguments.   As described on its website:  The Court has conducted more than 500 Appeals on Wheels in 84 counties since its 2001 centennial, although the program predates the centennial …

 

 “Traveling oral arguments, or Appeals on Wheels, take the court across Indiana to help Hoosiers learn more about the judiciary’s indispensable role in Indiana government. They also provide opportunities for Court of Appeals judges to meet and talk with a broad range of citizens in relatively informal settings.”

  Read more:

https://www.in.gov/judiciary/appeals/2332.htm

Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer loses bid for Wisconsin Supreme Court. 04/08/2019

Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge Brian Hagedorn has claimed victory against Court of Appeals Chief Judge Lisa Neubauer in the state’s very close Supreme Court election.  Both jurists are currently appeals court judges.  Hagedorn beat Neubauer for outgoing liberal Justice Shirley Abrahamson’s seat by just 5,962 votes, or roughly half a percent, Wisconsin Public Radio reports.  Neubauer was regarded as the “liberal” candidate while Hagedorn was the “conservative” candidate.

 With nearly 6,000 votes separating the two jurists, it is extremely unlikely that a meaningful shift in the vote would occur if Neubauer calls for a recount.  In any event, with official certified numbers still a few weeks away, the 2019 election will still go down in the record books as one of the most closely decided races for the office in Wisconsin Supreme Court history.  Hagedorn’s margin of .0495% is tighter than 121 of 125 state Supreme Court races since the 1850s.

 Read more:

https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/brian-hagedorn-calls-likely-win-historic-victory-says-he-s/article_419b0f97-23fe-58b9-b1a6-6da068a30fb0.html

 https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2019/04/08/smart-politics-high-court-race-4th-closest-in-state-history/

Michael Gibbons Named Nevada Chief Judge 03/22/2019

The appointment was announced in a March 21, 2019 press release from the Supreme Court, as follows:

 

Michael P. Gibbons Named Chief Judge of the Nevada Court of Appeals

3/21/2019 2:13:58 PM

The Nevada Supreme Court has named Michael P. Gibbons as the Chief Judge of the Nevada Court of Appeals to complete the unexpired term of former Chief Judge Abbi Silver, who joined the Supreme Court in January. Chief Justice Mark Gibbons [the new Chief Judge's brother]  did not participate in this decision.

 
 

Judge Michael P. Gibbons was selected as a judge for the Court of Appeals by former Governor Brian Sandoval in December 2014. Judge Gibbons previously served as the inaugural Chief Judge of the court for its first two years.

Judge Gibbons had served as a District Judge for twenty years at the time of his appointment to the Court of Appeals. He was elected to the Ninth Judicial District Court in 1994 and was reelected four consecutive times. Judge Gibbons had presided in nine different counties throughout Nevada as a visiting judge during his tenure on the district court bench including for Clark County in each year from 1995-2004.

Judge Gibbons received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and his law degree from the University of Idaho College of Law.

Historic First - Three Women Comprise Alaska Court of Appeals 03/18/2019

For the first time in Alaska history, three women comprise Alaska Court of Appeals following the installation of  Judge Bethany Harbison, of Fairbanks,   making it the first time in the state’s history that all three seats are filled by women.   The first appointee to the appeals court from Fairbanks, she joins judges Marjorie K. Allard and Tracey Wollenberg, both of Anchorage. Harbison served as a Fairbanks Superior Court Judge for six years and was appointed to the appeals court by Gov. Bill Walker.  She replaces Chief Judge David Mannheimer, who retired in February due to age restrictions.

Alaska Supreme Court Justice Susan Carney presided over Harbison’s installation.  “She joins Marjorie Allard . . .  and Tracey Wollenberg on one of the very few all-woman courts anywhere in the United States,” Carney said. “I’m especially proud to have that kind of court in Alaska.”

Read More:

http://www.newsminer.com/news/alaska_news/for-the-first-time-in-state-history-three-women-comprise/article_f7143876-46eb-11e9-8ade-af4115a785d3.html

Chief Judge Dillard Honored for Social Media Education 03/14/2019

Georgia Court of Appeals Chief Judge Stephen Dillard uses Twitter to educate people about the judicial process. His goal is to get the younger generation more engaged in American government and to mentor young law students.  "There have been a lot of judges that are joining social media…because they see the power of good that can happen when judges are on social media using it to educate.   There’s a lot of negative on social media but there is also a lot of positive," he explained.  Dillard said he hopes other political leaders will follow his tracks and use their platforms to inspire younger generations as well.  Judge Dillard has served on the state court of appeals for the last nine years. The Georgia House of Representatives honored Dillard with the twitter laureate award in January for his use of social media to connect with the Georgians that he serves.

California Presiding Justice Judith McConnell Honored by ABA 02/07/2019

The Margaret Brent award, given each year by the American Bar Association Commission on Women is named after the first woman lawyer in America, who arrived in the colonies in 1638.    It recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of women lawyers who have excelled in their field and have paved the way to success for other women lawyers.   Justice McConnell,  the Administrative Presiding Justice of the Fourth District  of the California Court of Appeal in San Diego, is one of  five women recognized this year.    She will receive the award at a luncheon during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California on Sunday, August 11, 2019.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California and the UC Berkeley School of Law,  Justice McConnell has been involved in a host of law related activities during a judicial year spanning  40 years, including 23 years on the trial bench where she was twice elected presiding judge by her colleagues, and 17 on the California Court of Appeal.    She is a former president of the National Association of Women Judges and an active member of the Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal.  The Margaret Brent award is the latest addition to a long list of awards that includes Jurist of the Year by the California Judicial Council,  and the  Benjamin Aranda Access to Justice Award presented jointly by the California Judicial Council, the California Judges Association and the State Bar of California.

W.Va. Legislature Considers New Intermediate Appellate Court 01/30/2019

A bill that would establish mid-level appeals courts in southern and northern West Virginia was introduced recently in the West Virginia  Legislature.   A similar bill was considered last year.   The Supreme Court  provided a fiscal note that estimated a cost of  $11.7 million and included several objections to the intermediate court proposal.   The state Supreme Court hasn’t budgeted to account for a new intermediate court of appeals, but its justices aren’t necessarily against it.  The Supreme Court’s estimate of its cost this year was $7.6 million.   The estimate the Supreme Court offered this year reflects the bill as it is, the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice noted, but could change if the proposal changes.

She said “the Constitution vests in you, the Legislature, the authority to determine whether an intermediate court is feasible,” Walker said.   But she said justices would like to be involved with planning for the intermediate court if lawmakers decide to go ahead with it.   The intermediate court would have the power to review final judgments in civil cases from circuit court, in cases from family court or administrative law hearings. The intermediate court would not review the outcomes of criminal cases.

(Picture: Chief Justice Beth Walker discusses the Supreme Court's budget alongside House Finance Chairman Eric Householder)

Read more:

http://wvmetronews.com/2019/01/19/supreme-court-hasnt-budgeted-for-intermediate-court-but-doesnt-object/

Donna Barnes New Mississippi Court of Appeals Chief Judge 01/30/2019

Chief Judge Barnes will be the first woman to lead the state Court of Appeals. And, for the first time in its 24-year history, four of the 10 Mississippi Court of Appeals judges are women.  Presiding Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Michael K. Randolph appointed Barnes to the chief judge post, and remarked:  “Judge Barnes, by her training, tenure and temperament, is the obvious choice to lead the Court of Appeals.    She is well-suited to take on the additional duties of chief judge. She is a legal scholar. Her private practice experience focused on appellate advocacy, and she has 14 and a half years of experience on the bench.”   Barnes will replace Judge T. Kenneth Griffis of Ridgeland as chief judge. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Griffis to a vacancy on the Supreme Court effective Feb. 1.

Gov. Barbour appointed Judge Barnes to the appellate court on July 26, 2004. She was elected in November 2006, and re-elected in November 2010 and November 2018.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi, summa cum laude, with majors in classical civilizations and English.   She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi Law School.  In 1996, she took a sabbatical to study law at the University of Cambridge.  She was one of three American students in the LL.M. program which that year admitted 152 attorneys from 48 countries.  She earned her Master of Law from the University of Cambridge in 1997.  

Read more:

https://newsms.fm/first-woman-to-lead-mississippi-court-of-appeals/

https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/coa/bios/judgebarnes.php

https://www.djournal.com/news/tupelo-woman-to-become-chief-judge-of-mississippi-court-of/article_c1ab3b88-b8f4-52ff-ad9a-030c43da5b68.html

Florida 3d Dist Chief Judge Barbara Lagoa Named to Florida Supreme Court 01/28/2019

Judge Lagoa was the first Cuban-American woman to serve on Miami's appeals court. Gov. Ron DeSantis made the announcement in front of Miami's Freedom Tower, a symbol for Cuban immigrants arriving in South Florida. Lagoa, 52, becomes the first Hispanic woman to serve on the court. In emotional remarks at the Freedom Tower   Lagoa — whose parents fled Cuba over five decades ago when Fidel Castro's Communist dictatorship took over — mentioned that her  father "had to give up his dream of becoming a lawyer."

Lagoa grew up in Hialeah, graduated from Florida International University and got her law degree at Columbia University, where she served as an associate editor of the Columbia Law Review.  Governor DeSantis called her credentials “impeccable.”  Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami, called the selection a "judicial home run."She is married to Paul Huck Jr., an attorney and the son of senior Miami federal judge Paul Huck Sr. She and her husband have three children. By law, one of the selections for the state Supreme Court must be from either Miami-Dade or Monroe counties.  Lagoa was appointed to the Third District Court of Appeal in 2006 by then Gov. Jeb Bush.   It was DeSantis' first selection for Supreme Court justice in what is expected to be a conservative makeover of the state's highest court. The Republican governor later appointed Robert Luck, 39, a former Miami federal prosecutor and circuit court judge who also recently served on the 3rd District Court of Appeal.

Read more:

https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2019/01/09/barbara-lagoa-tapped-as-next-florida-supreme-court-justice-by-desantis/

Kevin Emas Unanimously Elected Chief Judge of Florida’s Third District 01/28/2019

Judge Emas succeeds  Chief Judge Barbara Lagoa who was appointed a  justice of the Florida Supreme Court by Gov. Ron DeSantis on January 9.  He is the 19th chief judge of the Third District Court of Appeal since the court was established in 1957 and will serve in this capacity until June 30, 2021. He will be responsible for all administrative matters of the court.

 Judge Kevin Emas has been appointed to the judiciary by three different governors. Gov. Lawton Chiles appointed Emas to the Miami-Dade County Court in 1996. Five years later, Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Judge Emas to the 11th Circuit and on November 24, 2010, Gov. Charlie Crist appointed Judge Emas to the Third DCA.    He  received his J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Miami, School of Law in 1982, where he served as an editor of the University of Miami Law Review. He was a member of the Law School Honor Court and the Order of Barristers. Judge Emas received his B.A. (with honors) from the University of Florida in 1979

Dori Contreras Elected Chief Justice in Texas 01/04/2019

The Texas 13th Court of Appeals welcomed its first woman to be elected Chief Justice. Dori Contreras is a Rio Grande Valley native, PSJA ISD graduate, with 16 years of service on the court. Contreras is now the second Latina statewide elected for this position.

Discussing  the significance of her election, she said.

"One thing that has always been important to me as a lawyer, ultimately when I became a judge is speaking to students at high school and college here at the local university. Talking to them of course of the importance of their education and trying to set a good example for them of someone that's growing up here in the Valley just like them. That through some hard work and dedication we can accomplish goals that you set and pursue dreams, so I try to encourage that. It's important for me to do that specially for young women, young Latinas.”

Contreras says she is proud of the work the court does and is looking forward to making improvements.

https://www.kveo.com/news/local-news/texas-13th-court-of-appeals-welcomes-first-female-chief-justice/1683680319

Two Wisconsin Appeals Court Judges in Race for Supreme Court. 01/04/2019

Two Wisconsin appeals court judges will face each other in April for a seat on the state Supreme Court.

Brian Hagedorn and Lisa Neubauer — both members of the Waukesha-based District 2 Court of Appeals are vying  to replace retiring  Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

Neubauer filed her paperwork in December and Hagedorn did so just prior to the deadline for getting on the April 2 ballot.

Hagedorn is a former chief legal adviser to outgoing Gov. Scott Walker and was appointed to the appeals court by Walker in 2015.  Neubauer, who has been chief judge of the district since 2015,  has won the backing of Democrats and 150 judges and has hired the same team that helped elect liberal Rebecca Dallet to the Supreme Court in 2018.  Conservatives have a 4-3 majority on the court. The April election could keep that balance in place or widen conservative control to 5-2.

 Read more:

 https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/01/02/wisconsin-supreme-court-hagedorn-neubauer-file-spring-election/2465677002/

Kenny Griffis Appointed to Mississippi Supreme Court 12/28/2018

Gov. Phil Bryant has selected Court of Appeals Judge Kenny Griffis of Ridgeland to replace William Waller Jr. on the Mississippi Supreme Court.  Waller has announced that he is retiring Jan. 31.  Under Mississippi  law, the Supreme Court justice with the longest tenure assumes the post of chief justice – and  head of the entire state judiciary.  When Waller retires, Southern District Justice Michael Randolph of Hattiesburg will assume the post of chief justice.  The chief justice of the Supreme Court appoints the chief judge of the 10 member Court of Appeals.  Griffis was scheduled to be sworn as chief judge in January, replacing Court of Appeals Chief Judge L. Joseph Lee upon his retirement.   Governor Bryant also announced he is naming state Rep. Cory Wilson, R-Madison, to fill Griffis’ seat on the Court of Appeals.

Read more:

https://mississippitoday.org/2018/12/19/court-of-appeals-judge-griffis-to-replace-waller-on-states-high-court/

Marla Graff Decker elected chief judge of Virginia Court of Appeals 12/28/2018

Judge Marla Graff Decker has been elected chief judge-elect of the Virginia Court of Appeals to succeed Chief Judge Glen A. Huff. She will begin her four-year term on Jan. 1. Decker was elected by a majority of the court’s judges on Nov. 27. She was appointed to the state Court of Appeals on Nov. 1, 2013, and elected by the Virginia General Assembly to an eight-year term in January 2014.

Judge Decker began her legal career in 1983 in the Criminal Litigation Section of the Office of the Attorney General, handling criminal appeals and habeas corpus litigation.  She later served as section chief of the Special Prosecutions Section and then as deputy attorney general of the Public Safety and Enforcement Division.   Immediately prior to assuming the bench Decker served as Virginia’s secretary of public safety.  Decker received her undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College and her Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond School of Law, where she presently serves as an evening adjunct professor.

The state’s Court of Appeals has 11 judges. It provides appellate review of final decisions by circuit courts in domestic relations matters, as well as appeals related to decisions of administrative agencies, traffic infractions and non-capital criminal cases as well as  final decisions of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Read more:

https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/government-politics/judge-marla-graff-decker-is-elected-chief-judge-elect-of/article_e0c2586b-22e8-57c4-90b4-726108cf411a.html

Felicia Williams Named Chief Judge Louisiana Second Circuit 12/03/2018

Judge Felicia Toney Williams has been sworn in as chief judge of Louisiana’s Second Circuit Court of Appeal.  In 1992  Judge Williams became the first woman elected to the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal, and now becomes the Circuit’s first female chief judge.  Williams has served four years on the Louisiana Judiciary Commission, including serving as its chair this year.   She also completed a term as chairman of the Louisiana Conference of Court of Appeal Judges this year.  She is married to Attorney Moses J. Williams and they have three children, Rhonda, Myra and Justin.  The Second Circuit, one of the five state appeals courts in Louisiana, serves 20 parishes: Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Claiborne, DeSoto, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Red River, Richland, Tensas, Union, Webster, West Carroll and Winn.

Art Scotland Presented With Christenson Award in Washington D.C. 12/03/2018

Seen here with Justice Clarence Thomas and Michael Schwartz, Dean of the University of the Pacific McGeoge Law School, Scotland received the Inn of Court's highest award during a ceremony at the United States Supreme Court.  Scotland, the former presiding justice of the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, retired from the court after 21 years to become  Of Counsel to the law firm of Nielsen Merksamer where he specializes in government law.  He had previously served on the Sacramento Superior Court and served as Cabinet Secretary to Governor George Deukmejian as California Deputy Attorney General and Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney.  He graduated with honors from the  McGeorge School of Law in 1974 and was elected to serve on the university’s board of regents.

 Scotland has been a leader in the American Inns of Court for decades.  An Emeritus member of the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court, he has been on the Inn’s executive committee for more than 20 years, chairs the membership committee, and served as a master of ceremonies at the Inn’s 30th anniversary celebration.  As a member of the American Inns of Court Judicial Task Force, Scotland helped to identify the benefits and challenges of judicial participation in Inns and proposed a strategy and techniques for recruiting and retaining judges as Inn members.  For years, Scotland has organized and hosted a visit to Sacramento for British barristers as part of the Pegasus Scholarship Trust exchange program between the United States and the United Kingdom.  He speaks frequently to Inn and student groups about civility in public and professional discourse. He is a former president of the Council of Chief Judges and was inducted into  the Council's Hall of Fame.

Incumbents Ousted in Texas Judicial Races 11/09/2018

Partisan judicial races can lead to partisan outcomes but few expected the dramatic defeat of 19 incumbent Republican appellate judges in Texas.

 

The turnabout in Democratic party fortunes was centered in the state’s urban, liberal areas, but those areas include neighboring counties whose suburban and rural voters have in recent years delivered wins to Republicans.   Democrats  won by elevating their  victories in the cities and reducing  their margins of defeat in neighboring suburban and rural counties.   Judicial races in Texas like most states are not generally hotly contested.  But straight party line voting aided the victory.  Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado narrowly won the 13th Court of Appeals Place 4 race  after the  Hidalgo County Democratic Party put up billboards urging residents to vote “straight ticket Democrat.”    According to news reports, the party placed signs outside polling sites pushing for the straight ticket option that featured photos of every local Democratic party candidate in a competitive race, with the exception of Delgado, who is under indictment on federal bribery charges.  (https://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_9b6493f4-e25a-11e8-941a-c37aed4a4bf8.html )

 The state’s two highest courts, Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals remain totally Republican

 Read more:

https://www.texastribune.org/2018/11/08/texas-courts-appeals-2018-midterms-beto-orourke/

 

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/GOP-Free-Zone-Republican-judges-swept-out-by-13376806.php   [Houston]

 

  

President May Receives Distinguished Service Award 09/10/2018

Judge Melanie May, who serves on the Fourth District Court of Appeals in Florida is the recipient of the National Center’s Distinguished Service Award.  Judge May started as a circuit court judge in Broward County in 1991 before moving to the court of appeals in 2001. She served as chief judge of the appellate court from 2011 to 2013. 

 

While on the Broward bench, she distinguished herself by overseeing one of the nation’s first drug courts, focusing on getting treatment to nonviolent offenders. As a lawyer and a judge, she is known as thoughtful, hard-working and always prepared.  She also has earned a reputation for looking for ways to improve the justice system. 

 

As evidence of that commitment, she is on the Supreme Court of Florida’s Steering Committee on Treatment-Based Drug Courts, has served on the Advisory Council to the Office of Drug Control since 1999, and is a member of the Reentry Task Force and the Trial Court Performance and Accountability Committee.  On a national level, Judge May served as a member of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and of the Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal, chairing numerous committees and now serving as its president.

Arthur G. Scotland receives American Inns of Court Award 09/10/2018

Art Scotland, retired Presiding Justice of California’s Third District Court of Appeal and former president of the Council,  has been selected to receive has been selected to receive the 2018 A. Sherman Christensen Award.  The Award was announced by Executive Director Malinda Dunn of The American Inns of Court and will be presented at the American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States on the evening of October 20, 2018.  Justice Scotland currently serves of counsel with the firm of  Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni, LLP in Sacramento, California, and remains active in in a host of law related activities, including the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Council of Chief Judges as a well as numerous charitable and civic activities in Sacramento and elsewhere.

Judge Robb Receives Bar Association's Civility Judge Award 07/30/2018