Judge Glenn Acree, President
The Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal was created in 1980 when “visionary leaders of the state appellate courts recognized the need for a ‘body of consultation’ and education ‘concerning the improvement of the administration of justice, rules and methods of procedure, and the organization and operation of state intermediate appellate courts.’” The articulated purpose then was to address the issues facing state intermediate appellate courts themselves.
But, fundamentally, CCJSCA is not a mere Council of State Intermediate Appellate Courts, or that might be its name. No, we are a Council of Chief Judges. Inevitably then, and quite organically, this organization evolved since 1980. The scope of our mission broadened to include addressing the uncommon challenges of Chief Judges. That is our focus.
We don’t know whether those visionary leaders anticipated that the sound foundation upon which CCJSCA would be built is the collection of surprisingly tightly bound relationships that form. But that proves to be the case. No, CCJSCA is not merely a gathering of representatives from state courts that fit in the same category. When our members come together, whether in person at our annual conference or virtually during Chief Chats, or to participate in a G.E.M.S. (Great Educational Moments) program, or for any reason, we gather as a society of loyal friends and trusted colleagues. That is a lesson soon learned by first-time attendees at our conferences.
This Council’s resources make it possible for new chief judges to survive and succeed in a world knowable only by those who have been there before them. And those same resources, when wisely accessed, make even the seasoned chief judge better at his or her job.
The Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal is unique in all the world. Nowhere else will you find the specialized educational opportunities CCJSCA offers. That is because the members of this organization constitute the only truly dependable repository of knowledge and experience needed to identify, challenge, and resolve the issues faced by leaders of state intermediate appellate courts.
There is something very special about CCJSCA. New members are quick to discover there is no greater source of friendship and collegiality, of wisdom, of affirmation and belonging, than you will find in your colleagues here at CCJSCA. It has been so with me from the very start. It is what jump-started my enthusiasm and commitment here. My hope is that it does the same for you. Please don’t hesitate to be part of this professionally enriching experience, to truly belong to this extraordinary organization.
Judge Glenn Acree