The Art of Appellate Advocacy:
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Sponsored by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
and the Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington


PRESENTER: Ninth Circuit Judge (to be announced)

CLE: 1.25 credits for WA | Pending

DATE: Thursday, September 2nd, 2021
3:00 – 4:15 PM Pacific Time

This is a hybrid event.

Virtually or in person at the
William K. Nakamura Courthouse

7th Floor Courtroom
1010 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA

VIRTUAL ACCESS: A Zoom link will be provided to registrants.

IN-PERSON ACCESS: Limited seats available. No drinks or food allowed.

Pursuant to current CDC Guidelines and the health and safety protocols currently in effect in all Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals courthouses,
everyone must be masked in public areas of the courthouse at all times, regardless of their vaccination status. In the case either of further restrictions imposed by the local jurisdiction, or a relaxation of protocols, in-person attendees will be notified of any updated guidance/restrictions.

Register here!

To learn more about Judge Walker’s journey to and time on the NDCA federal bench: 

Read the full transcript to his oral history!

Judge Vaughn Walker, a veteran of the NDCA federal bench for over 20 years, and its Chief Judge from 2004 to 2010, oversaw thousands of cases during his time on the bench. These cases spanned a variety of topics including challenges to the NSA’s warrantless searches under the Bush Administration’s Terrorist Surveillance Program in the post-9/11 world, and a bid for compensation from former WW II-era prisoners of war who endured Japanese forced labor. 

But it appeared at the outset that Walker’s judgeship might never get off the ground in part due to his representation of the U.S. Olympic Committee in a trademark lawsuit challenging the use by gay and lesbian athletes of the name “Gay Olympics.”  

One factor not revealed at the time was that Walker is gay.  The irony of his struggle for confirmation to the bench came with his last major trial: a challenge to the constitutionality of California’s voter-approved initiative that amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.  Walker would write a landmark decision declaring the initiative, Proposition 8, unconstitutional and clearing the way for same-sex marriage in the state.  The U.S. Supreme Court let his 2010 decision stand.  

A distinguished jurist on the Ninth Circuit Court since 2006, Milan D. Smith, Jr. comes from a rich family tradition of public service going back four generations.

As a young man,  he met Richard Nixon, John and Bobby Kennedy, and George Wallace. He probably is one of the few people who can say he saw Nikita Khrushchev holding a goose! Evelyn Woods, the matriarch of speed-reading, hired him as a demonstrator and taught him herself. As a result of legislation vetoed by Governor Pete Wilson, Judge Smith resigned from the Fair Employment & Housing Commission due to its inability to recompense women seeking assistance. Unbeknownst to him at the time, 20 years later this moral stance would end up helping him get appointed to the Ninth Circuit bench.

These are some of the many defining experiences Judge Smith shares with us in his oral history, as interviewed by fellow Ninth Circuit jurist and friend, Judge Randy Smith.

Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr., discusses one of the cases
he ruled on that was very significant to him.

On Wednesday, June 23rd, NJCHS Program Chair Cynthia Jones moderated a conversation between Professors Leah Litman, Melissa Murray and Kate Shaw, hosts of the Strict Scrutiny podcast.  What were significant cases from this term and what might we expect from the Court going forward? How might the Biden Commission’s work compare to New Deal efforts at Court-packing, which ended with the “Switch in Time that Saved Nine”? Tune in to find out!

In the following excerpt, Prof. Leah Litman provides a broad overview of some themes of this Supreme Court term.  To hear more analysis of the past term and predictions about the future, watch the full program here or listen in on the Strict Scrutiny podcast. 

in person in Los Angeles, for outdoor cocktails on the Veranda,
or over Zoom from anywhere!


This will be a hybrid event: at the historic California Club in Los Angeles, or virtually!

Join us for a lavish and extended cocktail hour outside on the Veranda, with plenty of delicious food and time to catch up with friends.  We will then adjourn inside (masked) to hear from our illustrious speaker, Linda Greenhouse.  Sponsor groups will be seated together, with priority seating.

See the source image

Our special keynote speaker for the evening will be Linda Greenhouse, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covered the Supreme Court for nearly three decades for the New York Times.


To sponsor this year’s Gala, download the sponsorship form available here, and email it to Robyn at




Dessert Sponsor

Flower Sponsor

Virtual Host


Pay by credit card using the form below, or if you prefer to pay by check, please fill out the form available here, and include it with your check!

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Price: $175.00
Price: $50.00
Price: $25.00