The Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit is scheduled for November 11-14, 2021 in Austin.  In light of the ongoing worries about COVID, questions arise as to whether an in-person conference is still planned, what steps are being taken to assure the safety of those who attend, etc.

As of this writing, the plan is still to meet in Austin.  A committee of personnel from the ABA’s Judicial Division, the National Judicial College, and the AJEI Board has been meeting weekly to keep an eye on the status of the pandemic and to make contingency plans as needed.  Though no drop-dead date has been set, this committee expects to make a final decision on the format for AJEI within ten days.

If you have already registered for AJEI, you should be receiving weekly updates on the plans and the steps that are being taken to protect those who attend.  If you haven’t yet registered and want to see what is going on, this link should give you the latest information. In short, the facilities in Austin are spacious and allow social distancing.  Attendees will be able to set their own limits on interactions with others.  We’re still working on masking protocols.

The contingency committee’s most recent meeting was with Texas’s head epidemiologist.  She indicated that the trends in terms of COVID hospitalizations and infections in the state are encouraging, though she also included the caveat that predictions are iffy.  She promised to continue to give us updates as the Summit nears.

Here’s the HELPFUL TIP for all.  The epidemiologist said that it looks like a bad flu season is in the offing and encouraged everyone to get their flu shots early.  This information will be included in the weekly AJEI updates, along with encouragements to all to be vaccinated against COVID.  So even if you have no intention of attending the Summit, do yourself a favor and get the flu shot.

We’re all eagerly anticipating Matt Leerberg’s participation in the Summit panel on the ethics of building an appellate practice.  The Fourth Circuit’s Judge Al Diaz is Master of Ceremonies for the Summit.  Come watch the fun.  Register now, while the Early Bird rates are still in effect.

–Bob Edmunds