*Speakers subject to change

Print Agenda

Click on one of the tabs to expand the content.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

6:00 p.m.Registration and Networking Reception
7:30 p.m.Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants for dinner (on your own). More details onsite.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

7:00 a.m.Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m.Welcome and Introduction

M. Re Knack, Ogden Murphy Wallace, Seattle, WA
Adam W. Hoffman, Hanson Bridgett LLP, Sacramento, CA
8:15 a.m.Legal Writing Perspectives: Writing with the Reader in Mind

Effective legal writing helps the reader do his/her job in a way that advances your interests. This panel as-sembles legal writers—judges, practitioners, and faculty—who discuss how their prior experiences shape their current approaches to legal writing and offer practical advice for current advocates.

Jeff W. Sheehan, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Nashville, TN

Hon. Alistair Newbern, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Hon. William C. Koch, Jr., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
9:15 a.m.Appellate Lawyers to the Rescue! Strategies for Dealing With—and Fixing—Preservation Mistakes

Preserving issues for appeal is not always an easy or straightforward task. Overcoming a failure to pre-serve can be dispositive and is one of the most satisfying wins an appellate lawyer can achieve. This session will cover advanced techniques for obtaining review of unpreserved issues, including Rule 59 and Rule 60 post-trial motions, the plain error doctrine, discretionary review of questions of law that do not require additional fact finding, discretionary review to avoid a manifest injustice, and procedures and tactics for supplementing the record on appeal.

Sarah E. Spencer, Christensen & Jensen, Salt Lake City, UT

Tillman J. Breckenridge, Breckenridge PLLC, Washington, DC
10:00 a.m.Refreshment Break
10:30 a.m.Ethics, Lies, and Videotape

Join your colleagues in viewing scenes from movies to explore, analyze, and compare "reel" life with common ethical issues and the Rules of Professional Conduct. How many gavels will the movie receive? How many ethical violations can Hollywood exploit?

Ed D. Lanquist, Jr., Patterson Intellectual Property Law PC, Nashville, TN
Hon. W. Neal McBrayer, Tennessee Court of Appeals, Nashville, TN
11:45 a.m.Lunch (on your own)
1:15 p.m.Cleaning the Slate: Overturning Prior Authority and Sua Sponte Decision-making

Precedent about precedent is relatively scarce. In the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Ramos v. Louisiana, several justices explained their respective views on stare decisis, but consensus was not to be found. United States v. Sineneng-Smith tackled a different prudential principle, with forceful commentary in the lead opinion that reviewing courts should not materially expand the issues on review beyond the dispute presented by the parties. This program will discuss these two jurisdictional principles at all levels in the federal system, approaches that federal appellate courts employ when deciding whether to overturn precedent or engage in sua sponte decision-making, and what involving either principle might cost the court system in terms of institutional legitimacy.

James C. Martin, Reed Smith LLP, Pittsburgh, PA

Sarah M. Harris, Williams & Connolly LLP, Washington, DC
Mark C. Fleming, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Boston, MA 
Michael B. Kimberly, McDermott Will & Emery, Washington, DC 
2:15 p.m.Manufactured Finality

One of the most difficult issues for an appellate attorney is to advise a client on how and when to bring about finality after an adverse interlocutory order and so obtain an appeal as of right. From time to time, a trial court's interlocutory ruling will undercut the entire purpose of the lawsuit by, for example, limiting damages or foreclosing equitable relief without resolving the entire case. From the client’s perspective, continuing such litigation to a final judgment—particularly a final judgment after trial—seems to be throwing good money after bad. Other than the rare interlocutory appeal by right, how and when can a party manufacture a final judgment that can be appealed by right? Join a panel of attorneys and judges in discussing how to tiptoe through the minefield of identifying when you can (and cannot) "manufacture" finality.

Edmund S. Sauer, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Nashville, TN
Hon. Jane Branstetter Stranch, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Nashville, TN
3:00 p.m.Refreshment Break
3:30 p.m.Session (TBD)
4:30 p.m.Rule 702 and the Gatekeeping Role of District Courts

The Federal Rules of Evidence make the trial court the gatekeeper for admission of expert evidence on is-sues, such as qualifications, sufficiency of facts and data upon which an expert opinion is based, and reliability of the opinion based upon the methodology utilized to reach a conclusion. This session will discuss the related issues that trial courts should determine, how expert-challenging attorneys should frame arguments to invoke the court’s gatekeeper function and to preserve points for appeal, insights into the cur-rent push for the Federal Rules committee to adopt changes that improve performance of the gatekeeper function, and the possibility of requesting guidance from the Supreme Court of the United States.

Lee Mickus, Evans Fears & Schuttert LLP, Denver, CO
5:30 p.m.Appellate Advocacy Committee Meeting

Open to all
6:30 p.m.Networking Reception

Friday, May 28, 2021

7:00 a.m.Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m.Welcome and Introduction

Matthew T. Nelson, Warner, Norcross + Judd LLP, Grand Rapids, MI
8:15 a.m.Remote Argument - What Have We Learned?

Remote argument by audio and video has been around for quite a while, but it was never common until the pandemic arrived this spring. Over the ensuing months, judges, lawyers, and court personnel have acquired a lot of experience in how it works and how to make it better. This program will provide the perspectives and recent experiences of a judge, a clerk, and an experienced practitioner about what has worked and what the future looks like.

Hon. Danny J. Boggs, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Cincinnati, OH
Michael B. King, Carney Bradley Spellman, P.S., Seattle, WA 
Deborah Hunt, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Cincinnati, OH
9:00 a.m.Strategic Use of Amicus Briefs in Appellate Advocacy

Amicus curiae briefs have become a regular feature of appellate practice, not only in the Supreme Court, but also in federal courts of appeals and state appellate courts. They enable myriad industry and professional organizations, advocacy groups, and ad hoc coalitions to address important legal issues from a broad perspective, including from a public policy viewpoint. This panel will examine how appellate counsel and their clients can use amicus briefs strategically; when, how, and from whom amicus support should be solicited; and what makes an amicus brief influential and effective.

Lawrence S. Ebner, Capital Appellate Advocacy PLLC, Washington, DC

Stephen P. Lehotsky, Lehotsky Keller LLP, Washington, DC
Richik Sarkar, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Cleveland, OH
10:30 a.m.Tour of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Join your colleagues and Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge W. Neal McBrayer for a curated tour of the Tennessee Supreme Court in Nashville.

Hon. W. Neal McBrayer, Tennessee Court of Appeals, Nashville, TN