2012 Annual Conference :: Sept. 30 - Oct. 5

Innovative Judging
September 30 - October 5, 2012
New Orleans, LA
Sheraton New Orleans


The American Judges Association has selected New Orleans, Louisiana for its 2012 Annual Educational Conference. This year the host hotel will be the Sheraton New Orleans. The AJA membership will collaborate with the Louisiana judiciary. We will be working along with the Louisiana judges in developing interesting and meaningful topics that will present "hot button" issues of our day, such as new approaches to procedural fairness, promising criminal justice projects in the U.S. and Canada, and our usual and famous Supreme Court year in review presented by Erwin Chemerinsky.


This conference places AJA at the core of discussions about how judges can be as effective as possible during difficult economic times. AJA, its individual members, and everyone who attends this conference will be better equipped to become judicial leaders setting the future tone, context, and directions of the courts:


You are invited

Come to New Orleans for this conference and meet your colleagues from the United States and Canada and be welcomed as well by the judiciary of Louisiana who have been invited to join members of AJA and their guests. In these tough economic times, AJA is offering a relatively low-cost opportunity to experience high-quality judicial education programming. The conference includes a number of outstanding social events beginning with a stellar welcome reception on Sunday evening, the outstanding Annual American Judges Foundation Fundraiser (at an additional tax-deductable cost), a reception hosted by the Fourth and Fifth Circuit Judges of Louisiana and the fabulous president's reception and banquet at the Sheraton New Orleans on Thursday.


Our Educational Programs

Our education programs will all qualify for continuing judicial education credits and will be presented by faculty experts in their fields who have demonstrated an ability to engage their audiences. This year our programming will focus on the theme of "Innovative Judging" and feature a wide variety of topics, including judicial ethics in the Internet age, use of technology to supervise defendants, and new approaches to procedural fairness.




The conference registration fee is $450; however, those AJA members who postmark their registrations (accompanied by payment) no later than July 15, 2012 will pay only $400. The fee for guests and spouses is $200, with an "early bird special" of $175 for registrations postmarked by July 15. Nonmember judges may attend for a fee of $600; their guests/ spouses will pay $250. The judge registration fee includes the welcome reception, one lunch, coffee breaks, the president's reception and dinner, and all conference materials. The spouse registration fee includes the welcome reception, one lunch, and the final reception and dinner. As noted, the Fourth and Fifth Circuit Judges of Louisiana are graciously hosting a reception on Wednesday evening. Cancellations must be submitted in writing; all cancellations will incur a $50 processing fee ($25 for guest/spouse fees).



Hotel Accomodations

The Sheraton New Orleans is located on Canal Street across from the French Quarter and features 1,100 guest rooms, a restaurant, a lounge, and fitness center. You can find out much more about the hotel at http://www.sheratonneworleans.com. A special rate of $169 single or double plus taxes has been arranged for AJA. Reservations must be received by September 14, 2012. Please contact the hotel at (800) 325-3535 to make reservations. You must request the group rate and identify that you are with AJA. Please be sure to make your reservations as soon as possible — it's easier to cancel a reservation than it is to get a room when nothing is available. A personalized website for AJA has been created by the Sheraton New Orleans. Guests can access the site to book, modify, or cancel a reservation.




New Orleans is accessible by most airlines via Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY). The Sheraton is located about 20-25 minutes from the airport and is easily accessible by taxi, limousine, rental car, or commercial shuttle service. You may reserve a shared ride through New Orleans Airport Shuttle (currently $20 per person one way and $38 round trip) by calling (504) 522-3500 at least 24 hours before your arrival and/or departure time. Valet parking is $33 per day; the hotel does not offer self-parking.



Casual attire is acceptable at AJA educational programs. Resort casual attire is appropriate for the welcome reception. The president's reception and banquet is black-tie optional.



New Orleans is meant to be explored and enjoyed with all of the senses. Relish an unforgettable meal in one of the city's world-famous restaurants. Explore artistic and cultural masterpieces at the numerous museums and galleries or take a ride in living history on a streetcar. Enjoy New Orleans's many beautiful parks, including the delightful Audubon Zoo. Of course, you should experience the nightlife of the city in the world famous "French Quarter" (Vieux Carre). The Sheraton New Orleans has a tour desk right in the lobby. The staff will be happy to help you with reservations for any tour in which you are interested. As you can see, there will be a lot to do in New Orleans in addition to a fantastic education program when you come to the AJA's 52nd Annual Conference.


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