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December 2015

Mark your calendars

If you plan to apply to the Louisiana Board of Legal Specialization in 2016 for certification as an appellate specialist, one of the things you’ll need is 18 hours of CLE in 2016 in the area of appellate practice. A likely place to pick up some of those hours will be the Appellate Summit put on by the ABA’s Appellate Judges Educational Institute and Council of Appellate Lawyers. According to an e-mail I received today, the 2016 Summit will be held in Philadelphia (presumably PA, not MS) on November 10–13. If you’re interested in attending this seminar and are the type who likes to plan ahead, block out the dates now.

And if you can’t wait 11 months to scratch your appellate-CLE itch, then register for the DRI Appellate Seminar, to be held in Scottsdale, AZ on February 10–12. For details on that seminar, read this blog post.

Hallowed ground

The John Minor Wisdom Courthouse, home of the U.S. Fifth Circuit, is a cathedral. Anyone who has ever been inside of it has been awed. Any lawyer who has stood at the lectern in one of its three courtrooms has been humbled.

Today, many people probably don’t know the history made in that building. To state the case briefly: The Supreme Court in Washington, DC, decided Brown v. Board of Education, which made “separate but equal” unconstitutional. The judges in the Fifth Circuit made that decision a reality in the deep south. Today, the Fifth Circuit includes Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. In those days, it also included Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. The judges were all white males. The leading figure was John Minor Wisdom, a Republican appointed by Ike Eisenhower.

Today, the courthouse is named after John Minor Wisdom. And yesterday, the courthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark. Every lawyer who ever argued a case in that building knows that she or he was on hallowed ground. Now it’s official.