Report me and my cause aright
Hamlet, Act V, Scene 2

  The Catchline



BULLETIN OF THE ASSOCIATION OF REPORTERS OF JUDICIAL DECISIONS


Volume XX, No. 1 September 2001

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

      As I finalize my first message to you as your president, the events of September 11 are still fresh in everyone's mind. The cheery message I prepared on the return flight from Alabama in August now seems inappropriate and trite in light of such immense suffering and the trying times that are sure to follow. Our association's membership includes people from throughout the United States and its territories, as well as from Canada, England, and Mexico. All of us are overwhelmed by a mixture of strong emotions. Shock, disbelief, horror, grief, and anger. In times like these, we need to embrace the commonalities that define us as an international community. For this association, the work of reporting judicial decisions is the common thread that weaves us together. So let us stop for a moment and reflect on a happier time when we gathered in Alabama this summer for our annual meeting.

      And what a great meeting we had. On behalf of the entire membership, I extend the warmest thanks to our hosts George Earl Smith and Bilee Cauley and, of course, to our president Andy Ashe. Sheila D'Ambrosio and the education committee put together a magnificent program that informed us yet captured the spirit of Alabama. Many thanks to Lloyd Hysan for finding such an excellent venue. All of you did a terrific job.

      The excitement caused by an uninvited guest—tropical storm Barry—won't soon be forgotten. For days, Barry threatened to join us at the resort. Red flags, cancelled fishing trips, 25-foot waves in the Gulf of Mexico, and lounge chairs bunkered behind sand dunes harbingered the storm's arrival. Barry's imminent presence closed the hotel swimming pool and riveted our attention on the darkening skies above. We dutifully pulled in our porch furniture and waited, all eyes glued to the maps and incomprehensible millibar charts on the omnipresent and overexcited Weather Channel. And we waited some more. Then some of us fled. Others tried to run, but were stuck on a barrier island about to be slammed by that whirling red eye on the TV screen. Braver (or perhaps more naïve) souls taken in by the Weather Channel's hype looked forward to Hurricane Barry as an event to experience. And then ... well, ... nothing. Many who left Orange Beach ahead of the storm felt its effects more than those who remained to "tough it out" at the Perdido Beach Resort. Reports of miles-long traffic jams and torrential rains were heard, but not seen, by the few "survivors" left to attend Monday morning's meeting. Sunday's plan for a night-long Survivors Party in the lobby lounge was scuttled as Barry fizzled out and passed us by. Darn! The fun we could have had.

      After lazy afternoons lounging on the beach and dodging jellyfish in the churned up surf, those attending the Alabama meeting saw several impromptu dinners and outings, including a daring venture to the "World Famous Flora-Bama Lounge" late Saturday night. Although no one witnessed mullets being tossed at the Flora-Bama, a curious annual event, Richard Ross advised that they threw rolls at him at Lambert's Café, a curious daily event at "The Only Home of Throwed Rolls." Fried food was the order of the day and sugar sand filled our sheets at night. The high humidity even caused our furniture to sweat. But still, we found little to complain about.

      Howard Zibel, Reporter of Decisions and Clerk of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, joined us for the first time. We all hope to see him and his family again at future meetings. For the record, Howard pointed out to me that he and I are the only two people in the country to have attended the annual meetings for ARJD, NCACC, and CASA as members of these organizations. I've thought about what this means and concluded that the two of us are either too old or too busy.

      And let's not forget our vendor friends. Their support and sponsorship helped make our annual meeting a great success. Thursday night, LexisNexis treated us to the sounds of a local blues band and delightful southern-style cooking. Although none of us could figure out how to dance to the Alabama blues beat, that didn't stop us from having great fun. The yummy breakfasts we enjoyed each morning were also hosted by LexisNexis. On Friday evening, West Group hosted a cocktail reception and dinner on the USS. Alabama at Battleship Memorial Park on Mobile Bay. Informative tours, more southern food (complete with lessons on how to eat it), group pictures, birthday wishes, and a full moon rising over the water made this a truly memorable event. Oops, I almost forgot the delicious key lime pie.

      LexisNexis and West Group also participated in an Information Session Thursday afternoon. This well-attended session provided an informal setting for members to meet with the vendors' representatives and discuss issues of mutual interest. Many thanks to Deb Costanzo, Tom Leighton, Vicky Phillips, and Cynthia Sletto of West Group and to Nikki Daugherty, Patrick Garcia, Ken Hoover, Alison Manchester, and Leigh Trippe of LexisNexis. We enjoyed your company and hope to see all of you in Montréal next year.

      We also said goodbye in Alabama to two of our charter members. The association presented George Earl Smith with an award for his many years of service to ARJD. We wish you well, George Earl, after 22 (plus 1) years of reporting for Alabama. Thanks, by the way, for sharing your trivia file with us. Also, John Cutts broke the news that he is retiring this fall. He announced no definite date for his departure from the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (formerly C.O.M.A.—my favorite acronym), but expects to leave in September. John, your gentle and steady manner will be missed. Rumors abound that we will soon say goodbye to Judy Ronningen, as well. Many are in a state of denial on this as we ask what will happen to The Catchline without our bellwether.

      ARJD is looking at a busy year ahead. My goal as your president is to maintain the association as a vital organization, attractive to both existing and new members. Urge your staff members and coworkers to join and get involved in the association. With some of our long-time members retiring, there will be many changes as new faces take over the responsibilities they quietly assumed for years. I encourage all of you to view their retirement not as a loss, but as an opportunity to play a more active role. As members, your involvement is the key to ARJD's success. I think you will find that the rewards that come from participating are the true value of your membership.

Janette Bloom


20TH ANNUAL MEETING
HIGHLIGHTS
AUGUST 2-6, 2001
ORANGE BEACH, ALABAMA

Thursday, August 2, 2001

      Andy Ashe opened the 20th Annual Meeting of the Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions on Thursday morning by welcoming everyone to the beautiful Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Alabama. Andy extended special thanks to Alabama members George Earl Smith and Bilee Cauley, the hosts of this year's meeting, and also to Lloyd Hysan for his work in selecting the site. He extended a welcome to our guests representing both LexisNexis and West Group, and thanked them for sponsoring events this year.

      George Earl Smith then introduced Justice Champ Lyons, Jr., of the Alabama Supreme Court. Justice Lyons welcomed all to Alabama and treated us to a humorous look at lawyers and judges by sharing a Texas trial court decision in Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp., 147 F. Supp. 2d 668 (SD Tex. 2001).

      Education Program.  Andy Ashe expressed thanks to Sheila D'Ambrosio of California for putting together an excellent program. Our first speaker was Craig Waters of the Florida Supreme Court. Craig is the court's public information officer and a colleague of member Jim Logue. He spoke about management of high profile cases, giving a fascinating account of the 2000 Presidential election appeals as well as practical advice for handling a high profile case. West Group and LexisNexis participated in an information session Thursday afternoon, providing an informal setting for presenting their products and answering individual questions.

      Thursday's activities concluded with a very relaxing reception hosted by LexisNexis at the hotel. All enjoyed a local blues band, wonderful food, and good company.

Friday, August 3, 2001

      The educational program continued Friday morning with an informative presentation on the ALWD Citation Manual by Coleen Barger, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her presentation included a comprehensive overview of the ALWD Manual and a detailed comparison of the manual with the Bluebook. She generously provided all in attendance with a copy of the style manual.

      Sheila D'Ambrosio than led a roundtable discussion of style manuals and related issues. Several reporters shared their court's style manuals with the group: Bill Jones of Arkansas, Richard Ross of Kansas, Sheila D'Ambrosio of California, Andy Ashe of New York, and Bill Haggerty of Michigan. Discussion ranged from the merits of citation footnotes, to dealing with the idiosyncrasies of particular judges, to the orientation of new law clerks.

      Friday evening, the group reconvened for a cocktail reception and dinner hosted by West Group on the USS. Alabama at Battleship Park in Mobile Bay. Highlights of the evening included self-guided tours of the ship and park, a southern-style menu, photos of the entire group and of the charter members present, birthday wishes to various members, 11th anniversary congratulations to Claude Marquis and Denyse Belec, and the treat of a full moon rising over Mobile Bay.

Saturday, August 4, 2001

      Saturday's program began with a presentation by Dr. Doug Phillips on the ecology of Mobile Bay. We viewed a video he produced explaining the ecological diversity of Alabama and emphasizing the complexity of present environmental issues. George Earl Smith then shared his trivia files of humorous use and abuse of the English language gathered over his 22 years of law reporting.

      The highlight of the morning program was Andy Ashe's presentation of the ARJD Outstanding Leadership Award to George Earl Smith, noting his retirement from the Alabama Supreme Court and his longstanding service as an ARJD charter member.

      At the conclusion of Saturday's meeting, John Cutts announced his upcoming retirement from the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. All congratulated him on this milestone.

* * *

      Business Meeting.   Business matters were addressed on Thursday, Saturday, and Monday mornings. Much time was devoted to the subject of annual meeting sites and the site selection process. The members passed three motions relating to this topic: (1) hold the 2003 annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, with Salt Lake City, Utah, as an alternative location in the event that Portland is not a feasible site; (2) hold the 2004 annual meeting in Lake George, New York; and (3) reimburse the expenses incurred by the site selection committee with the Executive Board to determine the reasonableness of the expenses.

      The business meeting also included discussion of a possible change in the annual meeting dates. The general consensus was to survey the members for input, allow the members to vote on the dates, and delay implementing any new meeting dates until the 2004 or 2005 meeting.

      Andy Ashe also updated us on the ARJD website and extended his thanks to member Wilma Grant for her work on the website. Ideas for the website's content were discussed, including the membership directory, constitution and bylaws of the organization, links to members' sites, and a chat room or list serve. The membership also voted to form a website committee to finalize the website, with the Executive Board providing oversight of the site's content.

      Finally, Sally Griffin, Claude Marquis, and Janette Bloom requested input from the group on the program for the Montréal meeting. The many excellent suggestions received include: the history of law reporting in Canada; the Canadian court system and details of the Canadian Reports; and a presentation on bilingual law reporting.

      Committee Reports.  Treasurer Tim Fuller presented the treasurer's report for the period July 1, 2000, to June 30, 2001. The report showed a healthy balance of $10,384.16. Tim noted that the registration fees for this year's meeting are not reflected on the report because they were received after June 30.

      Clifford Allen presented the nominating committee's slate of officers for 2001 to 2002. Unanimously approved were Janette Bloom, president; Sara Rocha, vice-president; Bilee Cauley, secretary; Tim Fuller, treasurer.

      Kathryn Bann presented the membership committee's report. She noted that presently there are 32 paid members with 3 new members having been added this year.

      Richard Ross presented the honors committee report in Chris Fallon's absence. Richard informed the group that following its research of the current nominee's writings, the committee unanimously voted against bestowing on him the Henry C. Lind Award for failure to meet the criteria for receiving the award.

      Lloyd Hysan, the site selection committee chair, informed the members about the current status of the arrangements for the Montréal meeting in 2002 and the potential meeting sites for 2003 and 2004.

      Scott Henwood reported that the electronic publications committee has no report. Given that the universal citation issue is as "dead as Julius Caesar," Scott indicated that the committee has no need for further existence.


ARJD
STANDING COMMITTEES

      ARJD has eight standing committees at present. These committees form the core of the association, fostering communication and cooperation among those reporting judicial decisions. Each committee and its primary purpose is listed below.

      The Catchline Committee: Edit, publish, and distribute ARJD's newsletter.

      Education Committee: Plan and coordinate interesting and varied programs for the annual meetings.

      Electronic Publishing Committee: Maintain ARJD's proactive stance on electronic publishing issues.

      Honors Committee: Accept nominations and review the nominees' eligibility for the Henry C. Lind Award.

      Membership Committee: Encourage new and continuing memberships in ARJD.

      Nominating Committee: Nominate a new slate of officers for the upcoming year.

      Site Selection Committee: Research, recommend, and arrange for annual meeting locations.

      Website Committee: Design, implement, and maintain ARJD's new website.

      ARJD members are encouraged to serve on any of the committees that interest them. It's a great way to get involved in the organization and meet your fellow members. The time commitments are truly minimal compared to the benefits of serving.

      Want to volunteer your time? Please contact Janette Bloom at the Nevada Supreme Court. You can call her at (775) 684-1600 or e-mail her at jbloom@nvcourts.state.nv.us.


MEMBERSHIP
REPORT

      As of August 2, 2001, 32 members of the Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions have paid their dues. If you have not already paid your dues, please take the time to do so now. Thank you.

      A warm welcome is extended to our newest members: Ralph A. White, Jr., Appellate Division Reporter of Decisions for the North Carolina Supreme Court and the North Carolina Court of Appeals; and Brian C. Draper, Legal Editor, Michigan Supreme Court.

      Please encourage your staff members to join our association. If you have any suggestions regarding new members, please let me know.

Kathryn M. Bann
Membership Chair


JANET BULLINGER
RETIRES

      Janet Bullinger, a staff assistant in the Reporter of Decisions Office, United States Supreme Court, and an ARJD member for the past five years, retired on August 31, 2001. Her assistance in mailing The Catchline is greatly appreciated.

      Janet plans to spend the next few months remodeling her home in Northwest Washington and taking care of her Tibetan terrier, Mickey.


GREETINGS
FROM MARLO BUSH

      Just wanted to share my good news with all my ARJD friends. James Robert Krueger and I were married on September 15, 2001, in a private ceremony at my family home. An open reception will be held after the honeymoon for all friends and family.

      Jim is the landscape supervisor at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, about 45 miles southwest of Benton (Arkadelphia is also Mom's hometown). Jim's aunt was married to my uncle, so Jim and I have known each other since I was 10 and he was 13. When I'd visit my uncle for two weeks each summer, Jim, his brother, and I would go fishing together, shoot fireworks, drive the old WW II jeep around the farm, or do any number of fun things together. More recently, Jim has brought his aunt up for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for the past seven years.

      Apparently, we have each had our eye on one another over the years, but neither of us did anything about it. He started writing in February and we started dating in March. We have kept the post office, Ma Bell, and the highways busy since.

      Jim and I enjoy fishing, kayaking, photography, and four-wheeling. We will be living in Benton or at least splitting time between Benton and Arkadelphia.

      The open house will be held Sunday, October 14, from 2-5 p.m., at 318 Dogwood, Benton, Arkansas. All ARJD members, and spouses or friends, are welcome.

      (Friends and colleagues extend best wishes to Mario and Jim.)


2001-2002
MEETING DATES

      Fall Executive Board Meeting:
      The fall Executive Board Meeting will be held on November 15 and 16, 2001, in Washington, D. C., at the United States Supreme Court. We will convene at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, and adjourn about noon on Friday, November 16. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting. Due to the uncertainty of air travel this fall, please call Janette Bloom (775-684-1600) before coming to verify the meeting date.

      On the agenda for discussion are a new salary survey, the contents of the website and ARJD brochure, the program for Montréal, long-term planning for the annual meetings, possible changes to composition of the Executive Board, membership recruitment, and the future of The Catchline and the Membership Directory. If you are unable to attend, contact Executive Board members in advance of the meeting and let them know what is on your mind. Executive Board members are Janette Bloom of Nevada, Sara Rocha of Massachusetts, Bilee Cauley of Alabama, Tim Fuller of Washington, and Andy Ashe of New York.

      Spring Executive Board Meeting:
      The exact date and location of the spring Executive Board meeting have not yet been set. The meeting, however, will be held in Washington, D.C., in April. As usual, all members are encouraged to attend the meeting.

      2002 Annual Meeting:
      The 2002 Annual Meeting will be held in Montréal, Quëbec, Canada, starting Thursday, August 1, and continuing to Monday, August 5. The site of the meeting is the Hilton Montréal Bonaventure, a penthouse hotel atop the Place Bonaventure Exhibit Hall. Mark your calendars now for what is sure to be an exciting and informative meeting in this cosmopolitan city.


The Catchline
Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions

President:

Janette M. Bloom
Clerk of Court
Nevada Supreme Court

Vice President:

Sara V. Rocha
Deputy Reporter of Decisions
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Secretary:

Bilee Cauley
Assistant Reporter of Decisions
Alabama Appellate Courts

Treasurer:

Truman S. Fuller
Editorial Coordinator
Washington Supreme Court

The Catchline
Editor: Judith Ronnigen
Supreme Court of the United States
Office of the Reporter of Decisions
1 First Street, N. E.
Washington, DC 20543


Photos from the ARJD's 20th Annual Meeting in Gulf Shores, Alabama are available on line.