Idaho Chapter

Introduction of the Chapter

Formed in 2004, the Idaho Chapter of the Federal Bar Association includes the entire State and District of Idaho. Since its inception, the Chapter has been progressive and active in carrying out its stated mission to advance the science of jurisprudence and to promote the welfare, interests, education, and the professional growth and development of the members of the Federal legal profession.

Charter Members

Chief District Judge B. Lynn Winmill*
Thomas A. Banducci
Amanda K. Brailsford
Richard C. Fields
Trudy Hanson Fouser
Susie Headlee*
John Magel
Larry E. Prince
G. Rey Reinhardt
Steven F. Schossberger
J. Walter Sinclair
P. Larry Westberg

*Chief Judge Winmill and Ms. Headlee were the motivating force in forming the Chapter. Without their efforts and diligence, there likely would not be an Idaho Chapter. Both remain actively involved in the Chapter and Ms. Headlee remains its Executive Director.

Chapter Presidents

- 2005: Larry Westberg
- 2006: Ted Creason
- 2007: Trudy Hanson Fouser
- 2008: Trudy Hanson Fouser
- 2009: Wendy Olson
- 2010: Kim Toryanski
- 2011: Keely Duke
- 2012: Keely Duke
- 2013: Keely Duke
- 2014: Keely Duke
- 2015: Keely Duke
- 2016: J. Walter Sinclair

District of Idaho Chapter FBA Awards

Chapter Activity Awards
- 2008 (Administration, Membership Outreach & Programming)
- 2009 (Administration, Membership Outreach & Programming; and “FBA Civil Rights CLE” Program)
- 2010 (Administration, Membership Outreach & Programming; and “Tri-State Seminar” Program)

Newsletter Recognition Awards
- 2006 (Outstanding)
- 2009 (Outstanding)
- 2010 (Meritorious)
- 2011 (Outstanding)

Chapter Exemplary Lawyer Award Recipients

The Idaho Chapter awards the Exemplary Service Award to honor attorneys who have improved the quality of practice in Idaho's federal courts.

- 2008: Joseph Meier; Richard Fields; David Metcalf; Richard Rubin
- 2009: Katie Ball; Ford Elsaesser; Trudy Hanson Fouser
- 2011: Donald L. Harris; Lowell N. Hawkes; Debora K. Kristensen; David Leroy
- 2013: Deborah A. Ferguson; J. Walter Sinclair
- 2016: Daniel E. Williams

Key Milestones and Events

Throughout its existence, the Idaho Chapter has been dynamic in carrying out its stated mission to advance the science of jurisprudence and to promote the welfare, interests, education, and the professional growth and development of the members of the Federal legal profession.

From plays to conferences to speeches and debates, the Chapter has presented numerous events that not only provide regular professional development opportunities and the chance for members of the Chapter and judiciary to interact, but also foster the collegiality and professionalism that have been the hallmark of the practice of law in Idaho for over a century.

In particular, the Chapter puts on two annual events—the Tri-State Conference and the end-of-year Mix and Mingle.

The Tri-State Conference is presented each year by the Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming Chapters of the Federal Bar Association and rotates regularly among the three states. With speakers from all levels of the Ninth and Tenth Circuit federal benches, the Conference provides an excellent opportunity for federal lawyers in the Mountain West area to hear directly from sitting and retired judges on a variety of topics of interest to the practice of federal law.

An annual highlight, the Chapter puts on its annual Mix and Mingle social event at the end of each year to bring together its members and the District of Idaho federal judges.

The Idaho Chapter has also hosted a variety of events on diverse topics interesting and important to its members.

In 2007, the Chapter hosted a luncheon honoring the District of Idaho’s federal judges that included a keynote speech by Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen S. Trott. Judge Trott, a former prosecutor and Department of Justice official, recounted the prosecutions of the Watergate burglars, and how the events surrounding the Watergate scandal shaped history and affected judicial independence.

In 2008, the Chapter celebrated the District of Idaho’s magistrate judges. The District of Idaho has been fortunate to have a number of renowned attorneys serve as magistrate judges who help ease the immense caseload handled by the District’s two Article III judges. In 2008, Magistrate Judges Larry M. Boyle and Mikel Williams retired and the Chapter hosted a large event (that came to be known simply as, “The Party”) to honor their many years of service and to celebrate the appointment of The Honorable Candy W. Dale and Ronald E. Bush.

2010 was an especially eventful year for the Chapter. In February, the Chapter celebrated the dedication of Ninth Circuit Judge N. Randy Smith’s Chambers in Pocatello, which was attended by many judges, Chapter members and Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski. In April, the Chapter presented the play, “Clarence Darrow’s Judicial Perspective.” Four local jurists played the roles of the judges who presided over Darrow’s most famous trials. In June, the Chapter welcomed the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (“MDL”) to Boise. The MDL’s hearings were attended by hundreds of lawyers and members of the media who uniformly lauded the Chapter and District of Idaho for its hospitality and effectiveness in hosting the hearings.

2011 was an equally busy year that included three more major events in addition to the Tri-State Conference. In February, the Chapter presented a play analyzing issues pertaining to informant witnesses and the use of perjured testimony by focusing on convictions resulting from the 1993 Ohio State Prison Riot. The play was titled, “The Lucasville Rebellion: Informants, Perjury and the Search for Truth,” and was well-received by the local bar and community.

In August, the Chapter hosted the Liberty Bell Dedication Ceremony at the Pocatello Federal Courthouse. This was an important and historic event for the citizens of eastern Idaho and had been in the making for nearly three decades.

In October, the Chapter presented its first Indian Law Conference. The conference addressed and was titled, “Sovereignty and Modern Day Challenges” and was attended by well over 100 practitioners in the field and many other interested parties.

In 2012, the Chapter hosted the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel both in the federal courthouse and at a well-attend luncheon where the Panel explored the increasing complex field of bankruptcy law.

Throughout its existence, the Chapter has published an annual newsletter (Sidebar), which has received numerous awards from National FBA in the short time the Chapter has existed.

Now entering its second decade, the Idaho Chapter of the Federal Bar Association is continuing its work to promote the welfare, interests, education, and the professional growth and development of the members of the Federal legal profession.


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