Past Events

Second Annual Alaska Federal Bar Conference

Darrel Gardner, Immediate Past Alaska Chapter President; Brewster Jamieson, Alaska Chapter President; Hon. Gustavo A. Gelpi Jr., Immediate Past National President

Matthew B. Moreland, FBA National President; Brewster Jamieson, Alaska Chapter President


Alaska Chapter Begins a New District Tradition

On August 22, 2014, the Alaska Chapter presented its “First Annual Alaska Federal Bar Conference.” It was a great success! The full-day event featured an unprecedented visit by the national FBA president, U.S. District Judge Gustavo Gelpi, as one of the last trips of his presidency. No current FBA president had ever visited Alaska before. Alaska Chapter president Darrel Gardner provided opening remarks and then read letters of appreciation and support from both of Alaska’s U.S. Senators, Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski. Judge Gelpi moderated several programs at the conference and also presented an historical overview on the development of constitutional law in current and former U.S. Territories such as Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. There was a panel presentation marking the 50th anniversary of the Criminal Justice Act featuring Alaska’s Chief Judge, Ralph Beistline; Federal Public Defender Rich Curtner; and U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler. Joshua Decker, the Executive Director of the ACLU of Alaska, presented a retrospective talk on the 50 years following the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Lunch included a presentation on current efforts to establish equal rights for Americans in U.S. Territories by Neil Weare, president and founder of the “We the People Project” based in Washington, DC. In the afternoon there was a half-day CLE on federal sentencing presented by Alan Dorhoffer, Deputy Director of the Office of Education and Sentencing Practice of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and included a moderated panel discussion with Alaska’s three active district judges. The event concluded with a gala reception.

At the annual national meeting and convention in Providence, Judge Gelpi had high praise for the Alaska conference and encouraged FBA members to consider attending the “Second Annual Alaska Federal Bar Conference” in 2015. Although the exact date has yet to be announced, it will likely be on a Friday in August, offering conference attendees the opportunity to stretch out their trip and enjoy many of the sights and experiences that Alaska has to offer in the summer. Mark your calendar now, and check back later on the Alaska Chapter page of the FBA’s website for conference details.

Alaska Chapter Participates in Naming Ceremonies for Two Federal Courthouses in Alaska

On March 3, 2014, the Alaska Chapter participated at the dedication ceremony for the newly-named “Robert Boochever United States Courthouse” in Juneau. Alaska FBA Chapter President Darrel Gardner was among the numerous speakers who recounted Judge Boochever’s inestimable contributions to Alaska’s early judiciary. Gardner presented the Court with an engraved plaque from the Alaska FBA Chapter memorializing the date of the dedication ceremony. The Alaska Chapter also donated financially to the event and reception that followed. Other speakers included two of the judge’s daughters, Barbara Boochever Lindh and Ann Boochever; U.S. Senator for Alaska Mark Begich (who was instrumental in obtaining the Congressional Act need to name the courthouse); U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess (presiding); retired Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter Carpeneti; Bart Rozell on behalf of the Alaska Bar Association; and, Renee Wardlaw on behalf of the Juneau Bar Association. Senator Begich ended the program by performing a ribbon-cutting for the numerous spectators and Boochever family members present.

Similarly, on April 14, the Alaska Chapter was involved in the naming ceremony of the “James M. Fitzgerald United States Courthouse and Federal Building” in Anchorage. President Gardner again made comments and presented the Court with an engraved FBA plaque honoring the dedication event. Senator Begich was also present and spoke in honor of Judge Fitzgerald’s enduring legacy. Other speakers included Senior Judge H. Russel Holland (presiding); Lloyd Miller, master of ceremonies and former Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference; and, Dana Fabe, Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. Judge Fitzgerald’s daughter, Debra Fitzgerald, who along with her brother Kevin went on to become lawyers themselves, spoke in recognition of Senator Begich’s dedicated efforts to achieve passage of the federal law necessary to name the Anchorage courthouse and federal building in Judge Fitzgerald’s honor.

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