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President’s Message


Hon. Morris Silberman, President

Dear Colleagues,

I am honored to be serving as President of the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal for the 2021-22 year. It is truly a privilege to do so. The educational and social programs at our annual conference are only surpassed by the camaraderie that we share. That camaraderie is strengthened whenever we meet, whether in person or virtually. In addition to our Boston conference, we have gotten together through committee meetings and Chiefs’ Chats, by telephone and via Zoom, in groups and one on one. We have developed friendships through the organization while having multiple opportunities to learn from one another, to share ideas, and to simply chat about the challenges that we face as court leaders. Thank you all for being a part of this great group and for allowing me to represent and lead the Council.

You may have read Judge Stephen Powell’s final email message as President. His did an incredible job, leading us through the challenges presented by the pandemic. Thank you, Steve, for your leadership and friendship.

I echo Judge Powell’s comments about our Boston conference. The annual conference committee, led by Chief Justice Mark Green, set a high goal for the conference, and then exceeded it. Toni Grainer, our long-time Conference Education Planning Manager, was again extraordinary in helping coordinate all aspects of our education program. Our new Association Manager, Sirena Kestner, was incredible, especially considering that this was her first CCJSCA conference. The conference was outstanding in every way. I join Judge Powell in thanking everyone involved in helping us carry on through such a challenging year and getting us together in Boston.

I am very hopeful that the coming year will prove to be an excellent one. The Officers and Executive Committee have already met to discuss plans and projects. Our committees are led by a very strong team of judges. I want to thank all the committee chairs, vice chairs, and members for taking on the work of the Council.

Toni, Sirena, Jennifer Haire, and others at the National Center for State Courts who help us carry on the Council’s work are always terrific. I appreciate their hard work on our behalf. They are now joined by Anika Alcindor, who will be working with us in the role that Sydney Rohnow previously occupied before being promoted to Association Manager. Welcome, Anika!

If you have not already done so, please block off in your calendars the dates for our next annual conference: November 29 through December 3, 2022, at the Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida. There was a lot of excitement about that location when we were planning the 2020 conference, and now the Annual Conference Committee, led by Judge Nelly Khouzam, is already hard at work planning for our 2022 conference. I know it will be outstanding. Please check our website periodically for updates. And if you did not see the video about our 2022 conference that Judge Cory Ciklin, put together and that Judge Khouzam showed in Boston, a link to it should soon be on our website or will be sent out in an email.

Although we still have challenges ahead of us as we figure out the new normal, one thing we can rely on is the fellowship of this organization. Every judge I have met through the Council has been generous with friendship, ideas, and advice. Two of my favorite resources on our website are the searchable member list and the committee information. I hope you will use those resources, among others, to stay connected throughout the coming year. And if there is anything I can do to help in any way, please let me know.

It is a privilege to be working with all of you. I am looking forward to a great year ahead and to seeing all of you soon. Happy Thanksgiving and all the best as we head into the holiday season.

Morris Silberman

November 2021


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