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The 3CBA: accomplishments
and reasons to get involved

By Charles L. Becker, Esq.
Kline & Specter, P.C.

Three years have passed since the Third Circuit Bar Association was launched in 2007. No longer a fledgling organization, the 3CBA has emerged as a major force in promoting practice in the Third Circuit and supporting the Court itself. The time is ripe to consider the organization’s accomplishments and renew the case for membership in the 3CBA.

The 3CBA has worked since its formation to (1) improve the standards of practice before the Third Circuit; (2) promote improved rules of practice, (3) promote events and educational programs to aid the Third Circuit in the administration of justice, and (4) enhance bench/bar relations with the Third Circuit. The 3BCA has concrete achievements in each of these four areas.

First, in partnership with other bar associations or with the Third Circuit itself, the 3CBA has provided numerous educational programs on federal appellate practice to venues throughout the Circuit. The programs have addressed the “dos and don’ts” of federal appellate practice and focused on more specific matters, such as Third Circuit motion practice, ethics in appellate advocacy, and certification of issues to state supreme courts.

Second, the 3CBA has made multiple proactive suggestions for the improvement in the Third Circuit’s local rules of appellate procedure and other circuit-wide rules. It provided substantive comments on the local rules when they were generally revised in 2008. It commented on the proposed local rules relating to certiorari practice to the Virgin Islands Supreme Court. Most recently, it commented on proposed amendments to the Third Circuit’s disciplinary rules. These efforts have enhanced the clarity and effectiveness of the Circuit’s rules for practitioners and the Court.

Third, the 3CBA has supported the Third Circuit Judicial Conference by sponsoring a reception at the beginning of each conference open to the public and providing educational programming in the Conference itself.
Fourth, the 3CBA has worked hard to foster good bench/bar relations and the work is bearing fruit. By working with its liaison judges and staff, 3CBA has fostered discussions about the Third Circuit’s culture, case management and resolution, and the bar’s relationship with the judges and staff.

To continue these good works, we need help. We urge you to stay or get involved in the 3CBA. Annual dues are only $40 – a modest sum hoped to promote broad engagement in the 3CBA’s commitment to the Third Circuit. In addition, you are welcome to become involved in our Rules Committee, Program Committee, or any other committee through which the 3CBA performs its work. We also ask that you help recruit others to support the mission. Especially in an age of federal budgetary constraint, we cannot assume that our institutions will function well and smoothly without support from critical stakeholders. For the Third Circuit, those critical stakeholders include the appellate lawyers who practice regularly before it. But the stakeholders also include non-appellate lawyers who rely on the Court’s work product for litigation, regulatory and transactional purposes.

For anyone with questions about membership in the 3CBA, please visit our website at www.thirdcircuitbar.org, contact me at charles.becker@klinespecter.com, or contact any of the 3CBA’s officers or board members. We look forward to hearing from you.


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