The California Academy of Appellate Lawyers is a statewide organization of experienced appellate practitioners. It was launched in 1972 by Edward L. Lascher, and Gideon Kanner who became its first president. Some of the earliest members included Cyril Viadro, Paul Selvin, Hillel Chodos, Raoul D. Kennedy and Ellis J. Horvitz. It is the oldest lawyers' organization in the United States dedicated solely to the practice of appellate law.
The primary purpose of the academy is to provide an informal setting in which appellate judges and lawyers can meet and discuss issues in appellate practice that are of interest to bench and bar. In addition, the Academy files amicus briefs in cases involving issues of appellate practice which are considered to be important. The Academy also offers educational programs at the state's annual bar meetings.
Membership in the Academy is decided by a majority vote of existing members. Applicants must have a minimum of ten years of practice, must have served as lead counsel in no fewer than 25 appeals or writ proceedings, and must have orally argued at least 15 appeals or writs. The application process includes recommendations from co-counsel, judges, and former opponents.
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