April 27, 2007
Appeals seminar answers specialty need (fairy godmothers no longer credible)
~ written by Maureen Taylor
Once upon a time, there was a smart young litigator in a large law firm in Central Ohio. She was graduated with honors from law school, where she had served on the law review and then she clerked for a federal appellate judge. Her colleagues respected her judgment and came to her with questions about appeals. Soon she was writing appellate briefs, making oral arguments, and devoting all of her time to appellate work. And she loved it. In her firm, she was known as “Cinderappella.”
One day the State High Court issued a proclamation for all attorneys with substantial involvement in Appellate Law. If they worked hard, received kudos from colleagues, and passed a special exam, they could be certified Appellate Law Specialists. Whooee! Just what Cinderappella wanted. She quickly downloaded the application and started the process.
But what was this? To be certified, she would need 36 hours of CLE, over the past three years, “in the field of Appellate Law.” Cinderappella racked her brain and reviewed her files. She had taken every available course but could not come near that total. What to do?
First, she Googled for CLEs offered in nearby states. Nothing for numbers needed (36 hours). There was just one solution—her Fairy Godmother.
Get real. Fairy Godmothers priced themselves out of the market back in the last century. Alas, poor Cinderappella was out of luck.
One Friday morning, Cinderappella was reading The Daily Reporter (as she did every Friday), when a bolt from the blue struck her. Actually, she noticed a headline. “Columbus Bar offers Appellate Practice Seminar on May 11.”
If she attended the day-long seminar, she could earn 5.50 hours of CLE credit that would all count toward her certification. She would learn valuable lessons from Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer, Justices Maureen O’Connor and Terrence O’Donnell. She could pick up pointers from judges of the Tenth District Court, Judith L. French, William A. Klatt, and G. Gary Tyack. Updates on recent important appellate opinions from practitioners, Douglas R. Cole, Chad A. Readler, and Anne Marie Sferra. And she could become an even better brief writer by listening to Judge Painter, First District Appeals (and would take home a copy of the judge’s book of 40 rules for legal writing.)
Who needs an obsolete sprite when the Bar answers wishes? Cinderappella rushed to www.cbalaw.org to sign up to complete her CLE requirement, apply for a specialty certification in Appellate Law, and keep on appealing happily ever after. Seminar: May 11, 9 to 3:45; $150 prepaid/ day of seminar, $160.