Judicial Conference

The 43rd Annual United States District Court Judicial Conference was held on Thursday, March 28, 2019 at Mayfair Farms, West Orange, NJ.

8:30 AM Conference Registration and AFBNJ Member Photo
Identification Cards

9:30 AM Welcome Remarks and Update from the Historical Society

William T. Reilly, President, AFBNJ and Partner, McCarter & English, LLP

Keith J. Miller, President, United States District Court Historical Society and Partner, Robinson Miller LLC

9:45 -10:50 AM The Immigration Debate: The Constitution, Federal Powers, and Current Litigation Update

Explore the current law and policy debate over immigration in the United States and the status of relevant litigation, including DACA and the Executive Order limiting travel to the U.S. from certain countries.

Moderator: Lawrence S. Lustberg
Co-Chair, Commercial & Criminal Litigation, Gibbons P.C.

Hon. Michael A. Chagares, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

August E. Flentje, Special Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice

Lee Gelernt, Deputy Director, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project

Amy Gottlieb, Associate Regional Director, American Friends Service Committee

10:50-11:10 AM Break

11:10 AM State of the Judiciary

Honorable Jose L. Linares, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey

11:30 AM – 12:35 PM The First Amendment Right of Access to the Courts: Promoting Openness and Protecting Privacy

Topics will include confidentiality orders, proprietary information, sealing orders, courtroom closure, secrecy involving uncharged individuals, and the District Court’s protocol for the disclosure of sentencing material.

Moderator: Professor Alexis Karteron
Director of the Constitutional Rights Clinic at Rutgers Law School


Hon. Stanley R. Chesler, U.S. District Judge

Hon. Leda Dunn Wettre, U.S. Magistrate Judge

John M. Fietkiewicz, Senior Counsel, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Jeanne LoCicero, Legal Director, ACLU of New Jersey

12:35 PM Closing Remarks
William T. Reilly, President, AFBNJ

2019 Judicial Conference Coordinators: Jennifer C. Critchley and Zahid N. Quraishi


Our annual Spring event provides varied and practical training to members of the federal bar, including continuing legal education credits for attorneys licensed in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Each year the Chief Judge of the District delivers an annual “State of the Court System” address.

Our first Judicial Conference began concurrently with the inception of the AFBNJ in 1976. The first Judicial Conference was convened in Princeton and entitled “What’s Your Beef?” That daylong conference featured a panel comprised of every judge in the District, each of whom fielded questions and complaints about federal practice and procedures. Then tables were turned. Later in the day, their roles reversed, lawyers faced similar questioning by the judges.

Over the years, the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey’s Judicial Conferences have maintained their reputation among the Garden State legal community as one of the premier professional events on the calendar.

2017 AFBNJ Judicial Conference Photos

2016 AFBNJ Judicial Conference Photos

2015 AFBNJ Judicial Conference Photos

Previous Judicial Conferences

Each previous Judicial Conference program will appear in a PDF (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader) either in a new tab or browser window when you click on that year’s thumbnail.
Among Judicial Conference program topics and panel discussions over the years were: “Why Women Lawyers Should Stay in the Game: A View from the Bench and the Bar,” 2014; “The Work-Family Balance and Federal Practice,” and “Maintaining Civility in Federal Court,” 2013; “Sealing Orders, Confidentiality, Public Access and the Press,” and “Social Media and Litigation: Issues Affecting Lawyers, Litigants, Judges and Jurors,” 2012; “The Key to Winning at Trial in the Federal Courts of New Jersey: United States v. John Doe,” and “Developing, Refining and Executing the Themes of the Trial in Criminal and Civil Cases,” 2011; and “Discovery Abuses in Federal Criminal Prosecutions—Is the System Broken,” and “The Nuts and Bolts of Civil Discovery in Federal Cases—Winning Your Case Through Fair and Thorough Discovery,” 2010.