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Group Concludes Successful Launch, Announces Judicial Conference Activities
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(April 8, 2009) – James C. Martin, a partner in the Pittsburgh office of Reed Smith LLP, has become the second president of the Bar Association for the Third Federal Circuit (3CBA). Mr. Martin was chosen as President-Elect by the Association’s membership in its first election of officers in 2007.
Mr. Martin succeeds Nancy Winkelman, a partner at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP in Philadelphia, in 3CBA’s top leadership role. Ms. Winkelman was the first president of the Association, which was founded in 2007, with a mission of improving the quality of appellate practice within the Circuit and strengthening the relationships among the Court, its staff, and practitioners.
“In its first year, the Third Circuit Bar Association has made significant contributions to appellate advocacy,” said Third Circuit Court Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica. “Under Nancy’s leadership the Association enjoyed a very productive first year promoting excellence in federal appellate practice. We welcome Jim as the group’s new president and expect him to continue to expand and enhance the Association’s accomplishments on all fronts.”
The Association’s objectives include raising the standards of appellate practice, helping to develop rules of practice, promoting events and educational programs to aid the Court in the administration of justice, and facilitating bench/bar relations. An important focus of the group is assisting the Court in planning and staging its bi-annual judicial conference, which brings judges and practitioners together from all corners of the Circuit to participate in educational programming.
“I am delighted to assume this leadership role on the heels of an amazing period of growth and development in the organization’s startup,” said Mr. Martin. “Nancy did an outstanding job of creating a solid foundation that we can build on to achieve our important mission in the years ahead.”
The accomplishments of the Association’s first year were numerous, including the development and publication of the group’s On Appeal quarterly newsletter, edited by Charles Becker (Kline & Specter), Colin Wrabley (Reed Smith LLP) and Mary Dixon (White & Williams LLP), and the launch of a website for 3CBA.
In November 2007, 3CBA hosted a reception for the three newest members of the Court of Appeals, Judge Michael Chagares, Judge Thomas Hardiman, and Judge Kent Jordan.
Also in the Association’s first year, its Rules Committee, chaired by Peter Goldberger (Law Office of Peter Goldberger) and George Leone (US Attorney’s Office, Newark, NJ), submitted extensive comments on the Third Circuit’s proposed amendments to its Local Appellate Rules. And, later in 2008, in response to an invitation for public comment, 3CBA submitted an influential 11-page memorandum concerning the Court’s Draft Rule 112 pertaining to the Circuit Courts’ review procedures for Virgin Island petitions for certiorari. The Court’s new rule reflected and incorporated many of the points raised by the Association in its comments.
The group’s Program Committee, led by Robert Graci (Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC), was also busy. Early in 2008, 3CBA sponsored programs on appellate advocacy in Philadelphia and Wilmington, including a course on Effective Oral Advocacy presented by David Fredrick, and a session on Guantanamo Bay litigation presented by former Third Circuit Judge John Gibbons.
In April 2008, the Association hosted three presentations at the 2008 Third Circuit Judicial Conference in Cambridge, MD, including sessions on Do’s and Don’t of Effective Appellate Advocacy, In’s and Out’s of Appellate Motions Practice, and a presentation on building an active Supreme Court practice. In May, 3CBA delivered a CLE program in the Virgin Islands highlighting the new Virgin Islands certiorari process.
“The Association has made significant strides and accomplished a great deal in a very short time frame,” said Ms. Winkelman. “I have every confidence as I pass the baton to Jim Martin that 3CBA will continue to grow and thrive under his very capable leadership.”
Mr. Martin described his priorities for 2009 as maintaining a close and solid working relationship with the members of the Court and its staff, as well as providing high quality CLE opportunities for the Association’s membership.
At the Third Circuit Judicial Conference May 4-6 in Philadelphia, the Association will host a reception for all conference attendees. In addition, the Association is sponsoring two panel presentations. The first panel, on the certification of state law questions to state courts, features the chief justices of the Supreme Courts of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, along with Judge D. Brooks Smith of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The second panel, which will discuss the ethics of appellate advocacy, will consist of seasoned criminal and civil appellate practitioners and Judge Julio M. Fuentes of the Third Circuit.
2009 OFFICERS AND BOARD OF GOVERNORS FOR 3CBA
In addition to Mr. Martin, other new officers of the Third Circuit Bar Association include President-elect Stephen Orlofsky, Blank & Rome LLP, Princeton; Secretary Lisa Freeland, Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh; and Treasurer George Leone.
Ms. Winkelman remains a member of the 3CBA leadership as Immediate Past President.
Members of the Association’s Board of Governors include Witold (Vic) J. Walczak of the American Civil Liberties Union representing the Western District of Pennsylvania; Peter Goldberger representing the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Robert A. Graci representing the Middle District of Pennsylvania; C.J. Seitz, Jr., of Connolly Bove Lodge & Hutz LLP representing Delaware; Mary Gibbons Whipple of Arseneault, Whipple, Farmer, Fassett and Azzarello representing New Jersey; and Andrew C. Simpson of Andrew Simpson, P.C., representing the Virgin Islands.
At-large representatives on 3CBA’s Board of Governors include Charles W. Craven of Marshall Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin; John G. Knorr, Chief Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation in Harrisburg, PA; Charles Becker; and Edna Ball Axelrod of the Law Office of Edna B. Axelrod.