Fostering Excellence in Professionalism, Ethics, Civility, and Legal Skills

The Hon. William B. Enright American Inn of Court

William B. Enright Inn History

The William B. Enright Chapter of the American Inns of Court was created in 1991, and named in honor of United States District Court Judge William B. Enright, who has been very involved in the development of the American Inns of Court in the United States, as well as having been a highly respected leader of the judiciary in San Diego.

The judges and lawyers who were instrumental in establishing the Enright Inn of Court are Justice Howard Wiener, Ret., Hon. Kevin Midlam, Ret., Justice Judith Haller, Attorney Virginia Nelson, Hon. James R. Milliken, Attorney Suzanne Stanford, and Attorney William McCurine, Jr.

Our past Presidents include the Hon. Howard Wiener, Ret., the Hon. James Milliken, the Hon. Kevin Midlam, Ret., Virginia Nelson, Kenneth Turek, Robert Grimes, the Hon. William McCurine, Robert S. Brewer, the Hon. David Danielsen, the Hon. Kevin Enright, the Hon. Maureen Hallahan, Susan M. Hack, Nancy Stagg, and the Hon. Barbara L. Major. Our current president is Craig R. McClellan.

About Judge Enright

The Honorable William B. Enright was appointed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of California in 1972, and went on senior status July 12, 1990, and retired in 2001. Before his appointment to the Bench, Judge Enright was an outstanding trial lawyer, first as a Deputy District Attorney, and then as a criminal defense lawyer.

Judge Enright's dedication to the goals and principles of the American Inns of Court movement is widely recognized and he was a major force in the movement's acceptance in California. He was a founding member of the Louis Welsh American Inn of Court (No. 9), and has assisted in the formation of many other Inns at both the state and national levels.

Judge Enright served as Trustee for the American Inns of Court Foundation from 1985 to 1992. He is currently one of ten Emeritus Trustees.

In 1987, the American Inns of Court Foundation awarded Judge Enright the Chairman's Award (now the A. Sherman Christensen Award), which is bestowed upon a "member of an American Inn of Court who, at the local, state or national level has provided distinguished, exceptional and significant leadership to the American Inns of Court movement." He is the only Californian to receive this award and a measure of being a recipient -- in both prestige and Inn service -- can be seen in his successor to the award: U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger.

There are many examples of ways Judge Enright has worked in the general and legal community to make California a better place, including community involvement (Rotary Club, United Crusade, Big Brothers, Little League, Urban Coalition) and legal leadership (President, San Diego Bar Association, 1965; President, Defenders, Inc., 1972; Vice-President, State Bar of California, 1970). He has also been a chair or member of numerous state, 9th Circuit and national boards working to improve our justice system.

Hon. William B. Enright Inn of Court Mission

The purposes of the Inn are to create an atmosphere of camaraderie among the lawyers and judges of our county, and to provide attorneys with the opportunity to learn from other attorneys and judges. This is accomplished through monthly meetings. A strong emphasis is placed on professionalism, ethics and civility. The goal of the Inn is to create a lasting, permanent mechanism to enable senior members of the Bar and Bench to pass on to other members of the Bar the higher standards and technical skills necessary to enhance the practice of law by those in the trial community. Regular meetings of the Inn are supplemented by regular meetings of smaller subgroups called teams.

The Inn is composed of Associates, Barristers and Masters. Associates are invited to join the Inn for two years, Barristers for three years, and Masters for life. Barristers are experienced lawyers, who may have as much as 25 or 30 years of experience, or sometimes as little as five years experience. Associates generally are younger lawyers, some of whom have considerable experience, and some of whom are relatively new to the practice of law. 

The Inn meets on the third Thursday of the month from September through April at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, 655 West Broadway, Suite 1900, San Diego. The legal education program begins promptly at 5:30 p.m. and ends promptly at 7:00 p.m. Dinner is served during the meeting, buffet style. There is no meeting in December, the January meeting is a combined Inns dinner which includes alumnae and the May meeting is a special event at Petco Park.

Yearly dues for attorneys in private practice is $400.  Dues for attorneys in the public sector is $300.  Those dues cover all meetings and dinners, including the annual Joint Inns of Court Dinner and the Petco Event.

Education and Meeting Summary

The William B. Enright American Inn of Court has a powerful educational agenda each year

Our upcoming meeting dates and topics are:

September 20, 2018:  People v. Sanchez, featuring California Supreme Court Justice Carol Corrigan
Team Leaders: Hon. Judith Haller and Judy Bae 

October 18, 2018: How to Handle Difficult Opposing Counsel
Team Leaders: Frank Tobin and Mark Conover

November 15, 2018: The "Me Too" Movement's Effect on the Practice of Law and the Judiciary
Team Leaders: Jerrilyn Malana and Dana Grimes

December 2018: Happy Holidays  no meeting scheduled

January 2019: February 21, 2019:  Joint Dinner Program with the other Inns of Court in San Diego (Date TBD)

February 21, 2019: The Use of Storytelling in Advocacy
Team Leaders: Steven Vosseller and Rebecca Kanter

March 21, 2019: Analyzing and Proving Damages Team Leaders: Nancy Stagg and John Freni

April 18, 2019: How to Convince Your Judge
Team Leaders: Stephen Hogan and Robert Knaier

May 2019: Petco Park Presentation/Padres Game (Date TBD)
Team Leaders: James Frantz and Antonio Maldonado 

Join the Enright Inn

Applications are accepted April 1 through May 30 for the following fall term. Click here to download our membership application.

Please email applications to Susan Hack at Timely submission is recommended because limited membership spaces fill quickly.

If you have any questions regarding the application, please email Executive Director Laura Vest at