On September 9, 2021, the Southern District of California and the San Diego Chapter held the Seventeenth Annual Judith N. Keep Federal Civil Practice Seminar as an in-person event at the Westin Gaslamp. The Keep Seminar honors District Judge Judith Nelson Keep, who was the Southern District’s first female judge and first female chief judge. With approximately 110 participants, the seminar began with a video tribute to Judge Keep and followed with four speaker panels of distinguished federal judges.
In the first panel, U.S. Circuit Judge John B. Owens and Chief U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw shared how the Court has adapted to COVID-19, and offered practice pointers on how to make a record for appeal. During the second panel, Presiding U.S. Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael S. Berg, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes discussed their respective chambers' practices on conducting early neutral evaluation conferences, mandatory settlement conferences, and resolving discovery disputes. Next, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel and U.S. District Judge Todd W. Robinson discussed how they handle pretrial motions and provided insight into what they are looking for in briefs. Finally, U.S. District Judges Cathy Ann Bencivengo, Larry A. Burns, and Jeffrey T. Miller rounded out the seminar with a lively discussion on trial and the care and feeding of the jury. The judges discussed how they manage voir dire and conduct efficient civil jury trials through use of time limits.
The San Diego Chapter recognizes U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia, who is responsible for creating this event seventeen years ago and who has led the planning efforts since its inception. The Chapter also thanks the Keep Planning Committee for their hard work in facilitating the event. Finally, the Chapter appreciates the support of its annual sponsor, Judicate West, and Keep Seminar sponsors, US Legal Support and Tisa Legal Media.