April 8 to 9, 2022
The Masonic Temple
REGION XIII: 3d CIRCUIT MEETING
ON APRIL 8TH AND 9TH, 2022 NEARLY ONE
HUNDRED FELLOWS, SPOUSES AND AND
SIGNIFICANT OTHERS ATTENDED THE REGION
XIII MEETING IN PHILADELPHIA. THE EVENT
KICKED OFF WITH A WELCOME RECEPTION
ON FRIDAY NIGHT, WHERE GUESTS
CONNECTED WITH OLD FRIENDS AND MADE
NEW ONES WHILE ENJOYING THE SOUNDS OF
FELLOW RALPH WELLINGTON’S STANDARD
TIME JAZZ BAND.
Saturday morning’s program in the magnificent Masonic Temple began with a
warm welcome from President Mike O’Donnell. An incredible lineup of speakers
then provided various perspectives on critical issues facing the country. Each
speaker emphasized themes that are central to the College.
United States Senator Chris Coons spoke candidly about pressing issues, both
domestic and international, including attacks on the rule of law. He ended by
emphasizing that lawyers “should, and must, be a critical part of the defense of
the rule of law and democracy itself.”
The Chief Judge of the Third Circuit, Michael Chagares, discussed the challenges
presented by COVID-19, as well as the Court’s responses to ensure that its litigants
continue to enjoy access to justice. Among other things, Judge Chagares
discussed the assignment of circuit judges to sit as district court judges in order
to alleviate some of the backlog at the trial court level. Chief Judge Chagares also
discussed the Court’s community education initiatives, with a particular focus
on the rule of law.
Fellow Ed Kole interviewed New Jersey District Court Judge Karen Williams and
Maurice Jones concerning the Court’s reentry program for previously incarcerated
individuals. Mr. Jones spoke candidly about how his own experience following incarceration
led him to establish PAR-Recycle Works, a non-profit electronics recycler
that provides transitional employment to previously incarcerated individuals. In
six years, PAR has helped 110 individuals—only two of whom have returned to jail.
To put that into perspective, a 2018 report by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of
Justice Statistics indicated that 79% of prisoners are arrested again within six years.