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Section History

The Appellate Practice Section was approved by the Board of Governors at the annual meeting of the State Bar in June 2000. State Bar President George Mundy appointed the initial Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary in October 2000. The Section is now fully organized and actively pursuing the aims of its charter.

The purpose of the section, as stated in its bylaws, is "to foster professionalism and excellence in appellate advocacy and to encourage improvements in the appellate process." The work of the section involves publishing newsletters, sponsoring programs and seminars, encouraging appellate pro bono representation, providing a forum for dialogue between the appellate bench and bar of this state, and advocating improvements in appellate procedure through legislation, when appropriate.

The need for this section arose from the developing recognition that appellate advocacy is a distinct practice area that involves a unique set of skills. Appellate practice is governed by independent sets of procedural rules that are very different than those that apply to trial practice. Moreover, the approach to written and oral advocacy in the appellate context differs significantly from that generally employed in the trial context.

The Section's first event, which was held at the Lawyers Club of Atlanta on November 30, 2000, was a meeting at which judges and clerks of the Georgia appellate courts and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals joined the Section's leadership in a round table discussion of ways that the Section could be of service to the members of the bench and bar of this state. This meeting resulted in the development of several projects for the Section.

In January 2001, the Section published its first edition of The Appellate Review. This newsletter is now published four times a year (the "Newsletters" link to the right contains all of the editions of the newsletter published by the Section).

The section presented its first formal programs in the Spring of 2001. The first, Appeals and Technology, was a morning workshop held at the Georgia Supreme Court on March 15, 2001, where Sherie Welch, Clerk of the Supreme Court, and Ward Mundy of the Eleventh Circuit spoke of the use of technology in these courts. On April 12, 2001, the Section held its first full day seminar, Appellate Strategies. The faculty included many of the Section's leaders and focused on some of the practical aspects of appellate advocacy. Judge Ed Johnson of the Georgia Court of Appeals and Judges Frank Hull and Stan Birch of the Eleventh Circuit provided their views from the bench on a number of important issues.

The Section now sponsors seminars several times a year. For more information about the Section's seminars and programs, please click on the "Seminars and Programs" link to the right.

The Appellate Practice Section received the State Bar Achievement Award during the State Bar's Annual Meeting in the Summer of 2001. This was a significant achievement, given that the Section has only been in existence for a year when the award was made.

Chair of the Appellate Practice Section

Past Chairs of the Appellate Practice Section

Dorothy Y. Kirkley 2003-2004
David A. Webster 2002-2003
Christopher J. McFadden 2001-2002
Laurie Webb Daniel 2000-2001