Section History

Take a Fun Trip Down the APS Memory Lane!

For the 25th Anniversary Celebration, many Members sent their photos to be included in the evening’s slideshow. These photos are not in chronological order, but represent a sprinkling of events through the years.


  • May 2013:  Timothy Osterhaus was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal by Governor Rick Scott.
  • June 2013:  The Appellate Practice Section celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Annual Florida Bar Convention in Boca Raton. Festivities included a dinner of more than 100 appellate attorneys and judges at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, as well as a Great Gatsby Gala, complete with jazz entertainment and champagne toasts.
    The Section presented its Adkins Award to Judge David Monaco of the Fifth District Court of Appeal for outstanding contributions to appellate practice in Florida. Michael Ufferman received the Pro Bono Award for exemplary dedication to appellate pro bono work.
    At the convention, the Section again co-sponsored the Robert Orseck Memorial Moot Court Competition with the Young Lawyers Division. After the final round of the competition, the justices of the Florida Supreme Court took questions from law students and attorneys on a range of topics.
  • September 2013:  The annual Florida Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges was held in Ft. Myers, Florida. The Honorable Diane S. Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit delivered the keynote address titled “The Role and Value of Judicial Restraint.” A highlight of the conference was a “Conversation with Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court.” 
  • October 2013:  Florida Supreme Court Clerk Thomas Hall retired after 13 years in the position.
    • CLE
      • Eleventh Circuit Appellate Practice Institute Seminar in Miami, co-sponsored by the Alabama and Georgia State Bars
      • Practicing Before the Fifth District Court of Appeal
      • Monthly telephonic seminars
    • Outreach Committee
      • Worked to advance the Section’s visibility and expand the liaison program
      • Continued to collaborate with other sections and committees on seminars and other special events
    • Pro Bono Committee
      • Handled appeals referred from legal aid organizations
      • Handled appeals by direct requests from indigent pro se litigants
      • Worked with legal aid organizations to provide mentoring and guidance through the appellate process


  • January 2010:  The Section held the second part of the two-part Mini-Retreat (the first part having been held the previous calendar year) at the Bar’s Mid-Year meeting in Orlando. Break-out groups worked over an Italian lunch buffet to vet ideas generated from the previous meeting.
  • February 2010:  As plans for electronic filing in the appellate courts continued to take shape, the issue became a focus of numerous presentations. In February, Chief Judge Paul Hawkes of the First District Court of Appeal presented the first part of a multi-part series on electronic filing.
  • February 2010:  The Section produced its Advanced Appellate Practice Certification Review course, open to all Section members.
  • March 2010:  Tom Hall, Clerk of the Florida Supreme Court, spoke on “Florida Supreme Court Jurisdiction.” Meanwhile the judges of the Third District Court of Appeal presented a seminar titled “Appellate Accidents: What To Do When Things Go Wrong.” And the judges of the Fifth District Court of Appeal presented a seminar on practicing before their court.
  • April, 2010:  Judge Judith Kreeger and Clerk of the Florida Supreme Court, Tom Hall, presented part two of the electronic filing series. Their focus is developments in the statewide e-portal that we have since all grown to know and love.
  • May, 2010:  A bevy of judges from the District Courts of Appeal presented on “The Art of Objecting: A Trial Lawyer’s Guide to Preserving Error for Appeal.” And Former Supreme Court Justices Charles Wells and Raoul Cantero spoke on “Practice Before the Supreme Court and Discretionary Review Proceedings.”
  • June, 2010:  The Florida Bar’s Annual Meeting took place in Boca Raton. The Section’s events included the Executive Council Meeting, the Robert Orseck Memorial Moot Court Competition, and a question and answer session with the Florida Supreme Court. The Justices of the Florida Supreme Court also discussed (1) the future of court funding; (2) the status of e-filing; (3) improving the process of amending the rules of procedure; (4) trends in lawyer discipline; and (5) trends in death penalty appeals.

    The theme for the Section’s now-infamous annual Dessert Reception was an “Evening in Tuscany.” Over 200 people attended. The Section presented the James C. Adkins award to Judge Martha Warner of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, and the Pro Bono Award to Nicholas A. Shannin.

    Also, the newly-appointed officers took their positions:
    • Chair – Raoul G. Cantero III
    • Vice Chair – Jack Reiter
    • Chair-Elect – Matthew J. Conigliaro
    • Secretary/Treasurer – Caryn Bellus
  • September 2010:  The Section’s Executive Council held a meeting in Orlando. Of the many topics, e-filing again became a main point of conversation. The Florida Supreme Court and Second District Court of Appeal plan to try one system through the statewide e-filing portal, while the First and Fifth District Courts of Appeal plan to try another system. Only time will tell how e-filing plays out.


  • January 15, 2009:  Executive Council Meeting
  • February 13, 2009:  The section held the 2009 Advanced Appellate Practice and Certification Review CLE program.
  • June 25, 2009:  Executive Council Meeting; Moot Court Final competition; and “Conversation with the Florida Supreme Court.” The annual Dessert Reception had an 80’s theme (think Matt Conigliaro as MC Hammer). The 2009 James Adkins Award was presented to Hon. Peter D. Webster, and the Pro Bono Award was presented to Bryan Gowdy.In a peaceful transition of power, the 2009-2010 leadership positions were filled as follows:
    • Chair – Dorothy F. Easley
    • Chair-Elect – Raoul G. Cantero III
    • Vice-Chair – Mathew J. Conigliaro 
    • Secretary/Treasurer – Jack R. Reiter
    Under Siobhan Helene Shea’s terrific leadership for the 2008-2009 fiscal year, and with the hard work of many, the APS accomplished the following:
    • Reorganized the Appellate Practice Pro Bono Committee under leadership of Bryan Gowdy, developing a network of lawyers in a diverse array of specialties. Bryan received the 2009 APS Pro Bono Award for his work.
    • Voted to support Florida Law Related Education’s Moot Court program with funding, and volunteer appellate lawyers to serve as moot court judges.
    • Voted to allow a stipend for judges to attend The Florida Bar’s Annual meeting, and scholarships for government and legal aid lawyers to attend Advanced Appellate Advocacy programs. 
    • Co-sponsored the Eleventh Circuit’s Appellate practice Institute in Atlanta. Family Law Appeal Seminar in Tampa
    • Hosted “Hot Topics in Appellate Practice” Seminar in Broward, in May.
    • Produced innovative, economical, and well-received monthly telephonic CLE’s.
    • Renovated the APS website. 
    • Completed the first APS CLE webinar.
    • Produced online editions of the Appellate Practice Guide and The Record, under Editorship of Rebecca Creed.
    • Filed an amicus brief in Pleus v. Christ, SCO09-565 in response to the unanimous request from the judges of the Fifth District Court of Appeal.
    • The Section opened membership to law students and law professors as affiliate, non-voting members.
    • Decided to incorporate the tri-annual retreat of the Section into regular scheduled Florida Bar meetings.
  • June 2009:  Appellate Practice Section member Sylvia H. Walbolt received the 2009 Florida Bar Foundation Medal of Honor Award.
    The Record (Summer 2009) was especially notable for containing in-depth articles and interviews with Justices Peggy Quince, Charles Canady, Jorge Labarga and James E. C. Perry.
  • September 10, 2009:  The section held a Mini-Retreat and Executive Council Meeting in Tampa, Florida, attended by judges from the Second, Third and Fifth Districts. The primary topics of discussion were the Section’s future and leadership, fiscal independence, use of technology, and e-filing.


  • January 2008:  The Section’s biggest achievement this year was the publication of its the Pro Se Represented Appellate Handbook. Section member Tom Hall (then Clerk of the Florida Supreme Court) envisioned the idea and wisely chose Dorothy Easley to help him see it through. Dorothy brought many members of the Section in on the project, including Kimberly Jones, Caryn Bellus, Susan Fox, Siobhan Shea and Harvey Sepler, who served as editors and liaisons. The Handbook is available to anyone on line and at law libraries, prison libraries and clerks’ offices throughout the state. The Florida Bar Foundation provided a grant to have the Handbook translated into Spanish and Creole French. Henry Gyden and Jonathan Streisfeld saw to it that the on-line version is accessible to those with hearing or vision impairments, and thus, the Handbook is ADA-compliant. Section members will periodically update the Handbook to keep it current.
  • June 19, 2008:  The Section’s Executive Council convened at The Florida Bar’s Annual Meeting in Boca Raton. The Council unanimously elected its officers for the 2008-2009 year:
    • Chair – Siobhan Shea
    • Chair-Elect – Dorothy Easley
    • Vice-Chair – Raoul Cantero
    • Secretary/Treasurer – Matt ConigliaroFollowing the Council Meeting, the Section co-sponsored with the Young Lawyers Division the Robert Orseck Moot Court Competition and held its annual Conversation with the Court.
  • July 1, 2008:  Section member Honorable Peggy J. Quince became Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.


  • January 2007:  In response to proposed legislation to decrease funding and independency of Florida’s judicial branch, the Section “for the first time” adopted legislation positions, which The Florida Bar approved on January 26, 2007. Specifically, the Section opposed a proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution that would alter the Florida Supreme Court’s authority to adopt rule of practice and procedure, or that would empower the legislature to repeal the Court’s rules. Florida voters rejected the amendment on November 6, 2007. The Section’s positions also supported: (1) maintaining an impartial and independent judiciary; (2) the Florida Supreme Court’s budget request for pay raises for appellate judges and support staff; and (3) the Florida Supreme Court’s certification of additional judges.
  • April 2007:  The Florida Bar Journal published the Special Appellate Edition. Section members contributed articles on many subjects, including: perfecting an appeal, deciding with your client whether to appeal, standards of review, extraordinary writs and motion practice in the district courts of appeal. Additionally, Section Chair Susan Fox wrote a brilliant pitch for the Section: The Appellate Practice Section — An Invaluable Resource For All Your Appellate Needs. See 81 Fla.B.J. 10 (April 2007).
  • June 2007:  Thus begins the season of celebrating the 50th anniversaries of the First, Second and Third District Courts of Appeal which were created in July 1957. The Third District celebrated its anniversary on June 22, 2007, in Miami. Section Members Wendy F. Lumish, Barbara W. Green, Kathleen M. O’Connor, Edward G. Guedes, Lucinda A. Hofmann, Lauri Waldman Ross, Judge Frank A. Shepherd, Roy D. Wasson and Lincoln J. Connolly were on the 50th Anniversary Committee. Jack Reiter, on behalf of the Appellate Practice Section, presented a plaque to the Third District’s Chief Judge, David M. Gersten and immediate past Chief Judge Gerald B. Cope, Jr.
  • June 27, 2007:  At the Bar’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, the Section once again co-sponsored the Appellate Justice Conference with the Conference of District Court of Appeal Judges. The topic was Balancing Judicial Independence and Accountability. Section members Celene Humphries, Chair Steve Brannock, Gwendolyn Braswell, and Siobhan Shea were members of the conference steering committee, along with Judges Patricia Kelly, David Monaco, Peter Webster and Charles J. Kahn. All Section members were invited to a reception with the Judges following the conference.
  • June 28, 2007:  The Section’s Executive Council met in the afternoon. Dorothy Easley circulated copies of the final draft of the Pro Se Appellate Handbook, which was at the time circulating among the Florida UPL members for comments and editing. The Council unanimously elected its officers for the 2007-2008 year:
    • Chair – Steve Brannock
    • Chair-Elect – Siobhan Shea
    • Vice Chair – Dorothy Easley
    • Secretary/Treasurer – Matthew Conigliaro
  • Following the Executive Council meeting, the Section hosted the annual Discussion with the Florida Supreme Court, where attorneys were the ones asking the questions.Outgoing Chair Susan Fox hosted an afternoon hospitality reception for Section members and judges. Then, at 9:30 p.m., the event everyone had been waited for —Appellate Practice Section’s Annual Dessert Reception — began! This year, the Cuban American Bar Association co-sponsored the reception with the Section. The vibe for the evening featured a Cuban flair, from cigar rolling and guayaberas to mojitos and tres leches. As customary, the Section presented its annual awards at the reception. Tom Hall received the Adkins Award for his many, significant contributions to the field of appellate practice in Florida. For his huge commitment to providing legal services to those who could not otherwise afford representation, John Hamilton received the Section’s Pro Bono Award. The Section also presented a singular award to member Tracy Carlin for her many contributions to the Section. Tracy left the practice of law for early retirement in Wyoming where, among other adventures, she started writing lyrics and music for guitar. The Section supported her endeavor by giving her a book on songwriting, which many members signed.
  • July 12, 2007:  The First District Court of Appeal’s 50th anniversary celebration was held in Tallahassee. Tom Hall and Wendy Loquasto presented the Court with a plaque on behalf of the Section. Many Section members attended, including Chair Steve Brannock and immediate past Chair Susan Fox.
  • September 2007:  Following the Section Meeting in Tampa, members and judges gathered for dinner and fun at Carole and Steve Brannock’s beautiful ranch in Duette, Florida. As always, Carole prepared an incredibly delicious dinner for 30+ people. All members await this event every year. Thanks so much, Carole and Steve!
  • October 25, 2007:  The Second District Court of Appeal celebrated its 50th Anniversary at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Tampa.z


  • Winter, 2006:  The Section prepares for its third Section Retreat, with the intention of pondering such issues as whether the leadership track for the Section should be modified and what additional content should be offered by the website.
  • May 12, 2006:  The Section’s third retreat begins at Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and results in the clear identification of priorities for the next several years.  After the social dinner at the retreat, it also features what is fast becoming an appellate section staple, crooning and jamming appellate practitioners in best voice, picking away at the strings of their beloved wooden friends and commiserating about American Idol’s age limit.
  • June 21, 2006:  Through a collaborative effort with Chief Judge Charles Kahn (1st DCA), and especially through the great efforts of Section member Celene Humphries, the first annual Appellate Justice Conference takes place at the site of the Florida Bar End-of-Year Meetings in Boca Raton.  More than 60 judges and practitioners gather to discuss the topic for the first annual conference:  the roles served by the District Court opinion as well as different appellate opinion formats for achieving a particular purpose.  Based upon the success of the conference, it is resolved to attempt to make it an annual event.
  • June 22, 2006:  Susan Fox becomes Chair of the Section.  The other officers were:
    • Chair-elect – Steven Brannock
    • Vice-chair – Siobhan Shea
    • Secretary – Dorothy Easley
    • Treasurer – Matthew Conigliaro
  • June 22, 2006:  The 2006 Adkins award is presented to Tom Elligett, and the Pro Bono Award is presented to Alan Mishael.  The theme of the annual Dessert Reception was rock n’ roll, with each attendee donning a name tag of a current or former rock n’ roll legend and, in most cases, willingly suffering through the evening in appropriate head gear. Click HERE for photos from day’s events.
  • September 14, 2006:  The Brannocks graciously host the second Appellate Practice Section Dinner at their ranch, followed by sightings of various practitioners on the piano and guitars into the wee hours.  As in 2005, pleas for another encore ensue.


  • Spring, 2005:  The spring 2005 issue of The Record reports the results of the Section’s appellate practice survey.
  • June 23, 2005:  Thomas Hall becomes Chair of the Section.  The other officers were:
    • Chair-elect – Susan Fox
    • Vice-chair – Steven Brannock
    • Secretary – Siobhan Shea
    • Treasurer – Dorothy Easley
  • June 23, 2005:  For the first time, the finals of the Robert Orseck Moot Court Competition are held in conjunction with the discussion with the Florida Supreme Court at the End-of-Year Bar Meeting. As the audience of practitioners and other observers wait, the justices and judges presiding over the competition return their decision in a few minutes, to the envy of every appellate practitioner in the room. Click HERE for photos from the Moot Court. Later that evening, at the Dessert Reception, the James C. Adkins Award is given to Sylvia Walbolt, and the Pro Bono Award is given to John Mills. Click HERE to see photos from the Rules Committee Meeting. Click HERE to see photos from the day’s meetings. Click HERE to see photos from the Dessert Reception and Awards.
  • July 20, 2005:  The Section once again presents its appellate practice workshop in conjunction with the Stetson College of Law.
  • September, 2005:  In conjunction with the General Meeting of The Florida Bar and the Appellate Section in Tampa, Steve and Carol Brannock graciously host the first dining extravaganza at their “ranch,” which is theoretically located somewhere within driving distance of the Tampa bar meetings site.  It was a great event for those Section members who attended and led to pleas for an encore.


  • February 20, 2004:  The Section is represented by both the attendance of the Section Chair and the Section’s financial contribution as the Second DCA opens its new court facility within the Tampa Law Center.  Also, the Section begins holding its series of monthly appellate telephonic lunch seminars.
  • June, 2004:  John Crabtree becomes the Chair of the Section.  The other officers were:
    • Chair-elect – Thomas Hall
    • Vice-chair – Susan Fox
    • Secretary – Steven Brannock
    • Treasurer – Siobhan Shea
  • June 24, 2004:  The Section presents the 2004 Adkins Award to Arthur England and the Pro Bono Award jointly to Stephen Hanlon and Susan Kelsey.  Those awards were made at the annual Dessert Reception which, thankfully, featured ample treats (in New Orleans style, no less) as the Section celebrated its 10th Anniversary.
  • Fall, 2004:  Section Chair John Crabtree announces that his theme for the year is “focus,” a focus on who we are and what we do.  The Section, in pursuit of that theme, distributes a survey to its members for the guidance of future goals and initiatives.  The survey was, in addition to being e-mailed, reprinted in full in the Winter 2005 issue of The Record.


  • Spring, 2003:  The Supreme Court of Florida requests the Appellate Practice Section to comment on various matters relating to electronic filing, as the Court continued to plan for future expansion of the use of computer technology in the court system.
  • Spring, 2003:  The Section proposed revisions to the Section’s Bylaws to better solidify the presence of the Section’s website and provide for the website’s development and maintenance.
  • May 1, 2003:  The Section held its second retreat, this one at Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa.  David Freeman of Whetstone Consulting (who is also a lawyer), served as facilitator and led the Section through initiatives suggested by the Section’s mission statement.  Hala Sandridge, together with Bar liaison, Austin Newberry, worked hard to assure the success of the event.  The Section announced that its next retreat would take place in 2006.
  • June 26, 2003:  Jack Aiello becomes the Chair of the Section.  The other officers were:
    • Chair-elect – John Crabtree
    • Vice-chair – Thomas Hall
    • Secretary – Susan Fox
    • Treasurer – Honorable Patricia Kelly
  • June 26, 2003:  Former Third District Court of Appeal Judge and long-time appellate practitioner, Dan Pearson, is awarded the Section’s Adkins Award.  Siobhan Shea receives the Section’s Pro Bono Award. Click HERE to see photos from the Annual Meeting.
  • Fall, 2003:  The Section Chair reports on the state of the Section in the Fall, 2003 edition of The Record, actually concluding that one of the most significant goals for the coming year should be to stem the “defection of the confections” at the Dessert Reception.  By this time, the Dessert Reception had become such a successful and high profile event for the Section and for the End-of-Year Bar meetings in general that dessert shortages, caused in significant part by marauding interlopers, threatened the event.
  • Fall, 2003:  The Sections’ mentoring program commenced and was accessible from the Section’s website.
  • December, 2003:  Guided by the efforts of Dorothy Easley and others, The Section’s website really hits its stride as more substantive and current content is added and as regular blast e-mails to all Section members are offered.


  • June 20, 2002:  Angela Flowers becomes the Chair of the Section.  The other officers were:
    • Chair-Elect – Jack Aiello
    • Vice-Chair – Thomas Hall
    • Secretary – John Crabtree
    • Treasurer – Susan Fox
  • June 20, 2002:  Second District Court of Appeal Judge Chris Alternbernd was awarded the James C. Adkins Award at the Dessert Reception at the 2002 Annual Meeting.
  • July 10, 2002:  The Section was down one officer in a rather grand way as previous vice-chair Raoul Cantero, III was appointed by Governor Bush as the newest justice of the Supreme Court of Florida, filling the seat left by the retirement of Justice Major Harding.
  • Summer, 2002:  The Record proudly reprinted Judge Alternbernd’s enumeration of the 16 steps to an effective brief entitled, “Brief Writing: True Confessions of  a Legal Grease Monkey.”
  • Summer, 2002:  The Section announced its ambitious plan to create  the Pro Se Appellate Handbook, designed to help pro se litigants understand what they need to do to obtain appellate court review of a trial court decision.


  • Spring, 2001:  The Chair’s Message in The Record exhorted appellate practitioners to contact their local legislators to oppose proposed judicial reforms that would threaten the independence of the judiciary.
  • June, 2001:  Hala Sandridge becomes the Chair of the Section.  The other officers were:
    • Chair-Elect – Angela Flowers
    • Vice-Chair – Jack Aiello
    • Secretary – Raoul Cantero, III
    • Treasurer – Thomas Hall
  • June 21, 2001:  Judge Rosemary Barkett chosen as 2001 recipient of James C. Adkins Award.
  • Winter, 2001:  An article in The Record discussed the National Appellate Bench/Bar Conference that convened in New York not long after 9-11.  Cindy Hofmann, former Chair of the Appellate Practice Section, was elected Chair-Elect of the Council of Appellate Lawyers, and Siobhan Shea, then the co-editor of The Record, was voted to serve on the Executive Board of that same body.  (The Council of Appellate Lawyers was the newly-chartered appellate lawyers’ division of the American Bar Association.)


  • April, 2000:  The Section holds its first retreat, hammering out its mission statement and shaping its goals and plans for the next several years.
  • June, 2000:  Ben Kuehne becomes the Chair of the Section.  The other officers were:
    •  Chair-Elect – Hala Sandridge
    • Vice-Chair – Angela Flowers
    • Secretary –  Jack Aiello
    • Treasurer – Raul Cantero, III
  • Fall-Winter, 2000:  Multiple articles in The Record discuss the important role of appellate practitioners and many Section members in the recent presidential election disputes.


  • March, 1999: Austin Newberry becomes the new Florida Bar Program Administrator for the Section.
  • March, 1999:  Roy Wasson’s, article entitled “We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!” celebrated the impact that the Section has had on the advancement of appellate practice as a specialty in Florida.
  • June, 1999: The Section reports that it is close to embarking on its new internet venture – establishing a website for the Section.
  • June, 1999: The Section membership votes to shorten the name of the Section to the Appellate Practice Section.  (Regardless, all agree that the Section continues to recognize — and even advocate — advocacy).
  • June, 1999: Cindy Hofmann becomes Chair of the Section.  Other officers were:
    • Chair-Elect – Ben Kuehne
    • Vice-Chair – Hala Sandridge
    • Secretary – Angela Flowers
    • Treasurer – Jack Aiello
  • July, 1999: The second Appellate Practice Workshop is held at Stetson University.
  • September, 1999:  Assisted by the sponsorship of the Section, together with Mike Richmond, Law Professor at Nova Southeastern University, the Southeast Regional Moot Court Competition was scheduled to take place in Florida for the first time in November, 1999.
  • September, 1999:  The Section announces that it will hold its first retreat, aimed at long-term Section planning, in April, 2000 at Hutchinson Island (near Stuart, Florida).
  • October 14, 1999: Section holds its first seminar in collaboration with the Trial Lawyers Section to thereafter be held every other year, alternating with the flagship Hot Topics seminar.  The first installment of the co-sponsored seminar was entitled, “What Do You Mean I Didn’t Preserve the Issue?:  What Every Trial Lawyer Needs to Know About Preservation of Error and Appeal.”
  • December, 1999:  Membership of the Appellate Section was 1,054.
  • December, 1999:  The Section announces that it has established its website at


  • June, 1998: Roy Wasson becomes Chair of the Section. The other officers were:
    • Chair-Elect – Cindy Hofmann
    • Vice-Chair – Ben Kuehne
    • Secretary – Hala Sandridge
    • Treasurer – Angela Flowers
  • July 22-25, 1998: The Section holds the first Appellate Skills Workshop.  The faculty included current and former District Court of Appeal Judges and a former Supreme Court Justice, together with at least one appellate law professor.
  • September, 1998:  The Section issues a survey to solicit feedback on whether the name of the Section should be shortened.


  • June, 1997: Chris Kurzner becomes the Chair of the Section.  Other officers were:
    • Chair-Elect – Roy D. Wasson, Miami
    • Vice-Chair – Cindy Hofmann, Miami
    • Secretary – Ben Kuehne, Miami
    • Treasurer – Hala Sandridge, Tampa
  • By June, 1997, Appellate Section membership was approaching 1,000.
  • December 3, 1997:  The Section’s first installment of its flagship seminar, Hot Topics in Appellate Practice, takes place.  The Seminar gets off to a very good start, with attendance of approximately 130 people, somewhat better than expected.
    • At the same time, through the leadership of Tom Hall and the development of a joint relationship with Stetson University, the Section plans its first Appellate Practice Workshop (the now well-known learning-by-doing seminar) for July, 1998.


  • February 16, 1996:  The Section holds its first Appellate Practice Certification Exam Review Course (in Orlando).
  • June, 1996:  Tom Elligett becomes Chair of the Section.  The other officers were: 
    • Chair-elect – Chris Kurzner
    • Vice-Chair – Roy Wasson
    • Secretary – Cindy Hofmann
    • Treasurer – Ben Kuhne
  • October, 1996:  As a portent of things to come, in an article entitled “The Case of the Defamed Stripper,” Section member Robert Glazier advocates that appellate lawyers should be “on the internet.”  Glazier even provided the A-B-C’s of how to set up a website.


  • June 22, 1995:  the Supreme Court Justices appear at the End-of-Year Meeting for a one-hour question and answer session.
  • June 22, 1995:  the first Dessert Reception is held at the End-of-Year Meeting in Orlando.
    • At the Dessert Reception, the First Annual James C. Adkins Award is made posthumously to Justice Adkins, who passed away in 1994.
  • June 22, 1995:  at the end of the Executive Council meeting, Tony Musto takes over as Chair of the Section.
    • Other officers:
      • Chair-elect – Tom Elligett, Tampa
      • Vice-chair – Chris Kurzner, Miami
      • Secretary – Cindy Hofmann, Miami
      • Treasurer – Roy Wasson
  • December, 1995:  The Section introduces its plan to have an annual Appellate Practice guide.


  • January, 1994:  The Executive Council discusses and proposes to seek Executive Council membership for a judge from each of the District Courts of Appeal.  The Council also discussed the concept of an annual reception to honor Supreme Court justices with dessert and coffee (the roots of the Dessert Reception).
  • March, 1994:  The Record publishes the first in its ongoing series, Inside the District Courts of Appeal, covering the First DCA.  Later, all DCAs and the Florida Supreme Court would be covered by the series.
  • March 9, 1994:  The first appellate certification examination is held by The Florida Bar.
  • June, 1994: 46 (out of 65) examinees pass the initial Appellate Practice Board Certification Examination and become board certified in Appellate Practice.


  • August, 1993:  The Florida Bar’s new appellate section is officially approved as the “Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section.”
    • First Chairperson: Steve Stark.
    • The Section’s initial priorities:  developing membership and CLE offerings.
    • Marking the beginning of the Section in time: During the period when the Section was founded, the 11th Circuit Federal Court opened its Miami location.  Also:
      • Nelson Mandella won the Nobel Peace Prize that year.
      • The Waco siege of Branch Davidian took place.
      • The first World Trade Center bombing occurred.
      • Ruth Bader Ginsberg was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
      • Midway Airlines commenced operations, remember it?
      • DOS was still many people’s operating system of choice.
      • We did not know what a DVD was.
      • Some magazines that started circulation that year included Chic, Bite, and Your Garden.
      • Jurassic Park was the top grossing movie, many of us saw Mrs. Doubtfire and Jerry Seinfeld saw Schindler’s List that year (or parts of it).
      • People lost to us that year:  Audrey Hepburn, Arthur Ashe, Johnny Mize, Conway Twitty, and Bill Bixby.
      • The most popular song that year was “A Whole New World,” sung by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle.
      • Lyle Levitt and Julia Roberts married.
      • Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger married.
      • Beavis and Butthead debuted.
      • The Chevy Chase show debuted (and desisted).
      • The world’s population was approximately 5.522 billion people. It has since increased by nearly another billion. (It is unknown the extent to which the Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section has been instrumental in that growth).
  • August, 1993:  it was announced that board certification in appellate practice would become available as of June 1, 1994.
  • September 9, 1993 – First meeting of the Executive Council.
    • First slate of officers:
      • Chair – Steven E. Stark, Miami
      • Chair-Elect – Anthony Charles Musto, Fort Lauderdale
      • Vice-Chair – Stacey DeLayne Blank, Tampa
      • Secretary – Steven Mark Goldsmith, Miami
      • Treasurer – Lucinda Ann Hofmann, Miami
  • October 7, 1993 – Jackie Werndli becomes the permanent staff liaison/coordinator to the Appellate Section from The Florida Bar.
  • December, 1993 – First issue of The Record was published.  The first Editor of The Record was Christopher Kurzner, now an attorney in Dallas.  The name of the publication was coined by Suzanne Heller, staff attorney at the 5th District Court of Appeal.