Honored Guests and Speakers
- Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was born in Bronx, New York. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university’s highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She thereafter served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she was an associate and then partner from 1984–1992.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She then served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.
- Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch
Honorable Neil M. Gorsuch, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was born in Denver, Colorado. He and his wife Louise have two daughters. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University, a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, and a Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University.
He served as a law clerk to Judge David B. Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and as a law clerk to Justice Byron White and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the Supreme Court of the United States. From 1995 to 2005, he was in private practice, and from 2005 to 2006 he was Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice.
He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in 2006. He served on the Standing Committee on Rules for Practice and Procedure of the United States Judicial Conference, and as chairman of the Advisory Committee on Rules of Appellate Procedure. He taught at the University of Colorado Law School.
President Donald J. Trump nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat on April 10, 2017.
- Circuit Judge Robert Bacharach
Honorable Robert Bacharach was appointed in March 2013 as a United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
He graduated with High Honors from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and the Tom Lottinville Award for the Best Essay submitted in the History Department. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in 1985, where he graduated order of the coif and was awarded the Breckenridge Scholarship for the second highest grade average in his senior year of law school. In law school at Washington University, he also served as the Developments Editor of the Washington University Law Quarterly (now named the Washington University Law Review) and was awarded the Mary Collier Hitchcock Prize for writing for the best Note (student article) in the law review.
Upon graduation from law school, Judge Bacharach clerked from 1985 to 1987 for Judge William J. Holloway, Jr., who was then the chief judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. After completing this clerkship, Judge Bacharach practiced civil litigation at Crowe & Dunlevy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from 1987 to 1999. He then served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Western District of Oklahoma until 2013, when he was appointed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Bacharach is the author of “Section 1983 and the Availability of a Federal Forum: A Reappraisal of the Police Brutality Cases,” 16 Memphis State University Law Review 353 (1986); “Section 1983 and an Administrative Exhaustion Requirement,” 40 Oklahoma Law Review 407 (1987); “Motions in Limine in Oklahoma State and Federal Courts,” 24 Oklahoma City University Law Review 113 (1999); “Dirks v. SEC’s Footnote Fourteen: Horizontal and Vertical Reach,” 62 Washington University Law Quarterly 477 (1984); and “Post-Trial Juror Interviews by the Press: The Fifth Circuit’s Approach,” 62 Washington University Law Quarterly 783 (1985). In addition, he and Professor Lyn Entzeroth (now Dean of Tulsa University School of Law) coauthored “Judicial Advocacy in Pro Se Litigation: A Return to Neutrality,” 42 Indiana Law Review 19 (2009).
Judge Bacharach was also honored with the national Federal Bar Association’s Earl W. Kintner Award.
- J. Nick Badgerow
Nick Badgerow is a partner with Spencer Fane LLP in Overland Park, Kansas. He has been a trial lawyer for 42 years, specializing in the areas of construction, employment, and professional responsibility. For 16 years, Nick was a member of the Kansas State Board of Discipline for Attorneys. He has been a member of the Kansas Judicial Council for 23 years, and chairman of the Council’s Civil Code Committee and Antitrust Law Committee. He has served as Chairman of the Johnson County, Kansas, Ethics and Grievance Committee for 30 years, and he also serves as chairman of the Kansas Bar Association Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee. Nick served as chairman of the Kansas Ethics 2000 Commission and chairman of the Kansas Ethics 20/20 Commission, and he was a member of the Kansas Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism, whose recommendation led to the adoption of the Creed of Professionalism in Kansas state and federal courts. He has published more than 50 journal articles and presented more than 150 seminars, mostly on the topics of ethics and professional responsibility.
- Magistrate Judge Gwynne E. Birzer
Honorable Gwynne E. Birzer, the sixth United States Magistrate Judge sitting in Wichita, Kansas, was appointed to the bench on July 1, 2015. Judge Birzer holds two degrees from Washburn University; a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice received in 1989, and a Juris Doctorate received in 1992.
Following law school, Judge Birzer practiced law in Topeka, Kansas in the public sector as an assistant public defender, an assistant district attorney, as an assistant attorney general and in the private sector in her own firm.
In 2004, Judge Birzer relocated to Wichita, Kansas where she worked at the Sedgwick County Public Defender’s Office. In 2006, she joined Hite, Fanning & Honeyman, LLP where she specialized in medical malpractice defense litigation. In 2011, Judge Birzer became a partner in the firm, and she served in that capacity until her judicial appointment.
In addition to her judicial responsibilities, Judge Birzer serves her community on various boards and civic organizations. Judge Birzer has held leadership positions in both Kansas and Wichita Bar organizations. She has served on various KBA and WBA committees. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
- Karen Blum
Karen Blum is a Professor Emerita at Suffolk University Law School where she taught for forty-three years in the areas of federal courts, police misconduct litigation and civil procedure. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wells College, a Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School, and a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School.
Professor Blum has been a regular faculty participant in Section 1983 Civil Rights Programs and Institutes throughout the United States. Since 1990, she has served as a faculty member for workshops sponsored by the Federal Judicial Center for federal district court and federal magistrate judges. She has authored numerous articles in the Section 1983 area, including her most recent piece in the 2018 Notre Dame Law Review Federal Practice & Procedure Issue: “Qualified Immunity: Time to Change the Message.” She is co-author, along with Michael Avery, David Rudovsky, and Jennifer Laurin of the treatise Police Misconduct: Law and Litigation.
- Louis Bullock
Louis W. Bullock was admitted to the bar in 1975. Within six months he was named the lead class counsel in Battle v. Anderson, CIV 72-95 (E.D. Okla.), otherwise known as the Oklahoma Prison Case. That case, which continued for another 26 years, resulted in reforms in virtually all aspects of prison operations in the state of Oklahoma. As counsel for the plaintiff class Mr. Bullock achieved reforms in overcrowding, food service, fire protection, sanitation, medical care, psychiatric care, due process, access to courts, use of force, use of chemical agents, access to mail, equal protection for racial minorities, equal protection for women, and the free exercise of religion in all of Oklahoma’s prisons.
Mr. Bullock also served as lead counsel in a number of other major civil rights actions, including: Homeward Bound v. The Hissom Memorial Center, 85-C-437-E (N.D. Okla.). This case involved a class of over 800 persons that had resided in The Hissom Memorial Center, an institution built for housing and segregating persons with developmental disabilities. As a result of that litigation The Hissom Memorial Center was closed, and a community-based delivery system was built to provide family-scale living arrangements and needed services for the class members. Johnson v. City of Tulsa, 94-CV-39-TCK-FHM (N.D. Okla.). The plaintiff class in Johnson was composed of the City of Tulsa’s African-American police officers and resulted in a consent decree requiring broad reforms in the operations of the Tulsa Police Department, including reforms in promotions and assignments as well as other operational reforms related to the Police Department’s treatment of minority citizens.
Mr. Bullock has also represented plaintiffs in numerous civil rights damage actions under § 1983 and Title VII. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including twice being awarded the Courageous Advocacy Award by the Oklahoma Bar Association. Mr. Bullock has also frequently lectured at continuing legal education seminars in the areas of civil rights and complex federal litigation and has previously presented at the 1990 Tenth Circuit Bench & Bar Conference in the area of civil rights.
- Toby Crouse
Toby Crouse currently serves as the Solicitor General for the State of Kansas in the office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt. He was appointed to that position on January 31, 2018. As Solicitor General, he serves as the state’s chief appellate lawyer, representing the state in the United States Supreme Court, Kansas Supreme Court, and other state and federal appellate courts. In addition, he maintains a solo practice, Crouse LLC, that represents municipal clients in constitutional litigation claims.
Immediately before his appointment, he was a partner in the Overland Park, Kansas office of Foulston Siefkin LLP. His practice was primarily focused on defending state, local, and federal entities and officials in constitutional claims. He also served as appellate counsel to many of the firm’s other clients.
Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Crouse served as a law clerk to District Judge Monti L. Belot of the District of Kansas and Circuit Judge Mary Beck Briscoe of the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
He obtained his law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law and obtained his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University.
Mr. Crouse and his wife, Kori, reside in Overland Park, Kansas and have two children, Alexandra (10) and William (7). In his free time, Mr. Crouse enjoys coaching youth basketball, training his Labrador Retriever, and golf.
- Will S. Dobbie
Will Dobbie is an assistant professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University and a research fellow at the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Economics and the Woodrow Wilson School, and is a faculty associate of the Industrial Relations Section. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of poverty in the United States. His recent work has studied racial bias in the court system, the benefits of the consumer bankruptcy system, and the effects of different types of debt relief.
Professor Dobbie received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Kalamazoo College, a Master of Arts degree in economics from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in public policy from Harvard University.
- The Right Honorable Lord John Dyson
The Right Honorable Lord John Dyson was Master of the Rolls (President of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and Head of Civil Justice) for four years until he retired in October 2016. He was a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from April 2010 until October 2012. He was a Lord Justice of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales from 2001 until 2010 (and Deputy Head of Civil Justice from 2003 until 2006). He was a judge of the High Court of England and Wales from 1993 until 2001 and the judge in charge of the Technology and Construction Court from 1998 until 2001. He was a Recorder from 1986 until 1993.
He was called to the bar by the Middle Temple in 1968 and was awarded a Harmsworth Scholarship.
In his long judicial career, Lord Dyson decided many cases across the whole range of law, including contract, construction and commercial law, general common law, international law, and public and human rights law. Many of his judgments are reported in the Law Reports and are frequently cited as precedent.
He has lectured extensively on a wide range of subjects in the United Kingdom and abroad, including in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, United States, Australia and New Zealand. A selection of his lectures and speeches was published in February 2018 entitled Justice: Continuity and Change.
Lord Dyson has participated in legal exchanges with judges and lawyers from other jurisdictions, such as United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Israel, France and judges of the Court of Justice of the European Union and has contributed papers on these occasions.
He is a honorary fellow of Wadham College, Oxford, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He is a visiting professor at Queen Mary, London and University College, London. He has honorary doctorates from University College, London and the Universities of Leeds and Essex.
Lord Dyson is a bencher of The Honorable Society of the Middle Temple and was treasurer in 2017. He led a large delegation to Washington, DC in September 2017 and had the pleasure of making Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch an Honorary Bencher of the Inn at a ceremony in the United States Supreme Court.
- Circuit Judge Allison H. Eid
Honorable Allison H. Eid received her commission to serve on the United States Court of Appeals on November 2, 2017. She was nominated by President Donald J. Trump. She had previously served eleven years as a Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. Prior to that, Judge Eid was the Solicitor General of the State of Colorado, serving as the chief legal officer to the Colorado Attorney General and representing Colorado officials and agencies in state and federal court. She was also a tenured Associate Professor of Law at the University of Colorado School of Law, teaching constitutional law, legislation, and torts, and writing on the topic of constitutional federalism.
Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Colorado School of Law, Judge Eid practiced commercial and appellate litigation with the Denver office of the national law firm of Arnold & Porter. She clerked for the Honorable Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston, Texas.
Judge Eid earned her bachelor’s degree in American Studies (with distinction and Phi Beta Kappa) from Stanford University in 1987. She then served as a special assistant and speechwriter to United States Secretary of Education William J. Bennett. In 1991, she graduated with high honors from The University of Chicago Law School, where she was Articles Editor of The University of Chicago Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed her to serve on the Permanent Committee for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise, established by Congress in 1955 to prepare the history of the United States Supreme Court. She is a member of the American Law Institute and studied comparative law in London as a Temple Bar Scholar.
Judge Eid grew up in Spokane, Washington. She and her husband Troy, an attorney, have two children.
- Virginia Grady
Virginia (Ginny) Grady is the Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming. Ms. Grady received her law degree from Syracuse University, where she was a member of the school’s nationally recognized competitive trial team. She began her 34-year career in public service as a trial lawyer in the Denver Trial Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. She joined the Office of the Federal Public Defender in 1990.
Ms. Grady is the founder of a bi-annual continuing legal education program for attorneys who practice under the Criminal Justice Act in the United States District Courts in Colorado and Wyoming. She has represented indigent defendants in dozens of jury trials and hundreds of motions hearings, as well as numerous appeals in the Tenth Circuit. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Conduct in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, and a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. In September, 2013, she was appointed Interim Federal Public Defender, and sworn in as Federal Public Defender in June 2014.
- Justice Melissa Hart
Honorable Melissa Hart was appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado Supreme Court on December 14, 2017. Prior to joining the Court, Justice Hart was a professor at the University of Colorado Law School, where she directed the Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law. Throughout her years as a professor, Justice Hart maintained an active pro bono practice, writing amicus briefs in appellate courts and representing clients through Metro Volunteer Lawyers. Her teaching and scholarship focused on access to justice, constitutional law, judicial decision making, legal ethics, employment discrimination, and civil procedure.
Justice Hart grew up in Denver, where she graduated from East High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard-Radcliffe College and then spent a year teaching at a high school in Athens, Greece. She returned to study at Harvard Law School, where she was the Articles Editor for the Harvard Law Review and Book Review Editor on the Harvard Women’s Law Journal. After graduating from law school in 1995, she clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court. She practiced law for several years in Washington, D.C., including as a Trial Attorney at the United States Department of Justice.
Justice Hart is a member of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Sam Cary Bar Association, and the Colorado LGBT Bar Association. She is a founding member of the Sonia Sotomayor Inn of Court, a 2017 graduate of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s Leadership Denver program, a 2016 graduate of the Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training (COBALT) program, and a Commissioner on the Colorado Access to Justice Commission.
For her active work in community service, Justice Hart has been recognized with the 2016 Women Who Light the Community Award from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, the 2014 Raising the Bar Award from the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, the 2012 Chase Faculty Community Service Award from the University of Colorado, the 2011 Clifford Calhoun Public Service Award from the University of Colorado Law School, the 2009 Serving Communities Award from the CU-Boulder Institute for Ethical and Civil Engagement, and the 2008 Outstanding Community Service Award from the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association.
Justice Hart and her husband, Kevin Traskos, have two children.
- Pamela Karlan
Pamela Karlan is the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and a founder and co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School. The clinic has represented parties in more than fifty merits cases before the Court (and in numerous cases at the certiorari stage) and a wide range of amici curiae (from the bipartisan leadership of the House Judiciary Committee to labor unions, and from overseas voters to survivors of torture). Professor Karlan herself has argued eight cases.
Professor Karlan’s primary scholarship involves constitutional litigation, particularly with respect to voting rights and antidiscrimination law. She has published dozens of scholarly articles. She is also the co-author of three leading casebooks and a monograph on constitutional interpretation: Keeping Faith with the Constitution. She has received numerous teaching awards.
Professor Karlan received her bachelor of arts, master of arts, and juris doctorate degrees from Yale. After clerking for United States District Court Judge Abraham Sofaer and Associate Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, she practiced law at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, focusing on employment discrimination and voting rights. Her public service includes a term as a commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission, which implements and enforces the state’s campaign finance, lobbying, and conflict of interest laws. She also served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. There, she received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service (the Department’s highest award for employee performance) for work in implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor and the John Marshall Award for Providing Legal Advice for her work on Title VII and gender identity.
Professor Karlan is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and the American Law Institute. In 2016, she was named one of the Politico 50 — a group of “thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics;” earlier in her career, the American Lawyer named her to its Public Sector 45 — a group of lawyers “actively using their law degrees to change lives.”
- Jeff Lamken
Jeff Lamken has argued 23 cases before the United States Supreme Court, and briefed scores more on topics as diverse as administrative law, the First Amendment, antitrust, bankruptcy, civil rights, criminal procedure, energy, intellectual property, separation of powers, and telecommunications. Mr. Lamken regularly argues in the courts of appeals and handles critical motions.
Before founding MoloLamken, Mr. Lamken headed Baker Botts’ Supreme Court and Appellate Practice in Washington, D.C. Mr. Lamken has served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the United States Department of Justice and was a partner at Kellogg, Huber & Hansen. He clerked for the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court and the Honorable Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Since 2005, Mr. Lamken has been recognized as a top appellate practitioner each year by the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Business Lawyers (Nationwide). The 2017 edition heralds him for “exquisite” draftsmanship, while the 2015 edition describes him as “outstanding,” “incredibly knowledgeable and quick to understand issues” — “a fierce advocate” with a “very detailed” approach.
Mr. Lamken received his Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School, where he was Nathan Abbott Scholar (highest cumulative GPA), Order of the Coif, Senior Editor of the Stanford Law Review, and “Best Oral Advocate” in the Kirkwood Moot Court competition. Mr. Lamken has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, magna cum laude, from Haverford College, where he received the Department Prize in Mathematics, the Kurzman Prize in Political Science, and was Phi Beta Kappa.
- David W. Lee
David W. Lee is Of Counsel with the law firm Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis in Oklahoma City. Mr. Lee served as Chief of the Criminal and Federal Divisions of the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office for three Attorneys General: Robert H. Henry, Michael C. Turpen, and Jan Eric Cartwright. Mr. Lee also was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, and an Assistant District Attorney in Washington and Oklahoma Counties. He was an Assistant Public Defender in Oklahoma County.
In his career, Mr. Lee has argued four cases before the United States Supreme Court: Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U. S. 815 (1988); Burlington Northern v. Oklahoma Tax Commission, 481 U. S. 454 (1987); Oklahoma v. Castleberry, 471 U. S. 146 (1985); and Eddings v. Oklahoma, 455 U. S. 104 (1982).
Mr. Lee has presented oral and written argument in numerous cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Section 1983 cases he argued in the Tenth Circuit include: Estate of Lockett v. Fallin, 841 F.3d 1098 (10th Cir. 2016); Graham v. Sheriff of Logan County, 741 F.3d 1118 (10th Cir. 2013); Hernandez v. Ridley, 734 F.3d 1254 (10th Cir. 2013); Campbell v. City of Spencer, 682 F.3d 1278 (10th Cir. 2012); Mascorro v. Billings, 656 F.3d 1198 (10th Cir. 2011); Martinez v. Beggs, 563 F.3d 1082 (10th Cir. 2009); Martin v. City of Del City, 179 F.3d 882 (10th Cir. 1999); Smith v. City of Enid, 149 F.3d 1151 (10th Cir. 1995).
Mr. Lee has authored a book on the subject of 42 U. S. C. § 1983, which is entitled, Handbook of Section 1983 Litigation.
For over twenty years, Mr. Lee was an adjunct professor at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, and taught courses in constitutional civil rights, disability law, trial practice, employment law and appellate advocacy. He also taught employment law as an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
- Gregory P. Magarian
Gregory P. Magarian is Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He teaches and writes about the United States’ constitutional law, with emphasis on the freedom of expression.
His first book, Managed Speech: The Roberts Court’s First Amendment, was published in 2017. His work also examines church and state, firearms regulation, and regulations of the political process. He has published widely in leading law journals, made numerous scholarly presentations, and taught and lectured at universities around the world.
Professor Magarian received his Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude from Yale and his Juris Doctorate degree magna cum laude, as well as a master’s degree in public policy, from the University of Michigan, where he was editor-in-chief of the Michigan Law Review.
He served as a judicial clerk, first for Judge Louis Oberdorfer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, then for Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court. He practiced law at Jenner and Block in Washington, D.C. and taught at Villanova University before joining the Washington University faculty in 2008.
- Senior District Judge Tom Marten
Honorable Tom Marten was appointed by President Bill Clinton as United States District Judge for the District of Kansas in January 1996, succeeding Judge Patrick F. Kelly. He graduated from Washburn University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and Washburn University School of Law in 1976. Following a 1976-1977 clerkship with Tom C. Clark, retired Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, he began nearly 20 years of general private practice with an emphasis on litigation, principally with Bremyer & Wise, P.A., now Wise & Reber, L.C., in McPherson, Kansas.
Since his appointment to the bench, Judge Marten has been involved in a wide range of civil and criminal litigation. He serves on the Rules of Evidence Advisory Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, on the Advisory Board of the Sedona Conference, and has completed terms on the Information Technology Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States and on the Board of Directors of the Federal Judges Association. He has taught at Wichita State University and the Department of Justice National Advocacy Center, and has lectured at National University of Ireland, Galway, and has been a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars throughout the country, including ALI-ABA’s Antitrust Trial and Employment Law workshops, and the Sedona Conference Seminars on Complex Litigation and Antitrust.
He is a founding member of the Wesley E. Brown American Inn of Court. For more than thirty years, he has taught trial advocacy at various programs and workshops throughout the United States, including at Harvard Law School, most recently in January 2018. He is working on a series of lectures on “The Law of Trials” which he hopes to present at law schools starting in the Fall of 2019. He is a judicial advisor to New York University’s Civil Jury Trial Project. He served as chief judge of the District of Kansas from April 2014 until May 1, 2017, when he took senior status.
Outside of the law, he enjoys spending time with his family (including his three grandchildren), has played with a band (The Shoes, which recently retired), attends concerts, watches television, and reads. He and Jimmy Fortune (former Statler Brother and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame) have written songs together, one of which appears on Jimmy’s album Lessons. He also developed and teaches a workshop on concise, colorful, persuasive writing with Don Schlitz, writer of The Gambler, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October 2017.
- Michael McConnell
Michael McConnell is the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
From 2002 to the summer of 2009, he served as a circuit judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Professor McConnell has held chaired professorships at the University of Chicago and the University of Utah, and visiting professorships at Harvard and New York University.
He has published widely in the fields of constitutional law and theory, especially church and state, equal protection, and constitutional structure. According to a recent study, his work has been cited in opinions of the Supreme Court second most often of any legal scholar during the past decade. He is co-editor of three books: Religion and the Law, Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought, and The Constitution of the United States.
McConnell has argued fifteen cases in the Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the 2017 winner of the Rex E. Lee Appellate Advocacy Award, and the recipient of honorary doctorates from Notre Dame University and the Michigan State University College of Law. He served as law clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. He is Of Counsel to the appellate practice of Kirkland & Ellis.
- Melanie Morgan
Melanie S. Morgan is a Kansas City federal criminal defense lawyer and the managing partner of the law firm Morgan Pilate LLC, which specializes in federal criminal defense, death penalty litigation, civil rights litigation and innocence cases. Passionate about the clients she serves and making sure each client’s story is meaningfully and convincingly told – whether to a jury during trial or a judge at sentencing – Ms. Morgan is equally passionate about striving to improve the criminal justice system. To that end she currently serves as co-chair of the Defender Services Advisory Group, a working group within the Administrative Office of the United States Courts which provides input on policy, administration and management of the indigent defense function within the Judiciary. In addition, she is the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel Attorney Representative for the District of Kansas, a role in which she has advocated for improvements in the system.
In the past Ms. Morgan has served on the faculty at the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia and the faculty of the Ross T. Roberts Trial Academy in Kansas City, Missouri. She has presented at continuing legal education (CLE) programs on topics related to search and seizure, expert witnesses, ethics and law practice management as well as serving as a vice-chair of the CLE committee for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).
Past service to the courts and the bar also includes Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL) President and board member, President of the Federal Courts Advocates Section of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA). She has also served on a magistrate selection committee, a federal defender reappointment committee, a District of Kansas ad hoc committee relating to local discovery practice in federal cases , and as a fee dispute mediator. In 2012, Ms. Morgan received the Kansas Bar Association’s Courageous Attorney Award for her work in defending Lazare Kobagaya, the first Rwandan genocide-related prosecution in the United States.
- Rex Sharp
Rex Sharp has over thirty years of experience representing individuals and businesses in litigation matters throughout the United States. Mr. Sharp graduated from Stanford University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors and distinctions. He earned is Juris Doctorate from University of Michigan (cum laude) in 1985. He is the former Assistant City Attorney and City Attorney of Liberal, Kansas.
Mr. Sharp was a member of the Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys from 1996 to 2016, presiding over numerous attorney disciplinary matters.
He is licensed in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Missouri. He has been a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocacy Specialist through the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1997. He was named a Litigation Counsel of America Fellow in 2016. He has handled over 50 appeals, and argued before the Tenth Circuit and United States Supreme Court.
Over the last 20 years, Mr. Sharp has focused on plaintiff class actions involving antitrust, oil and gas, and consumer law.
- Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults. EJI recently won a historic ruling in the United States Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Mr. Stevenson’s work fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system has won him numerous awards. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded more than 25 honorary doctorate degrees. He is the author of award winning and New York Times bestseller, Just Mercy. In 2015, he was named to the Time 100 recognizing the world’s most influential people. He was named in Fortune’s 2016 and 2017 World’s Greatest Leaders list.
In April 2018, EJI opened a new museum called The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration. It is built on the site of a former slave warehouse in downtown Montgomery. This is a companion to a national memorial to victims of lynching: The National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
- Steve Susman
Steve Susman has been trying lawsuits for 50 years. In 2016 he was among six lawyers honored by the American Lawyer for his lifetime achievements as a trial lawyer and reformer. Forty years ago, he founded Susman Godfrey, the country’s first commercial litigation boutique, specializing in representing plaintiffs on a contingent fee basis in complex business disputes including antitrust and securities fraud class actions. The firm now has four offices around the country and more than 100 trial lawyers. Because he was a pioneer in creating fee arrangements that compensate trial counsel for results rather than effort, Mr. Susman has devoted his career to eliminating unnecessary expense in trying cases. In the mid-90s, as chair of the Texas Supreme Court Discovery Advisory Committee, Mr. Susman succeeded in having Texas adopt rules that limited discovery. In 1998, he was a member of the ABA’s Task Force that wrote the original Civil Trial Practice Standards. Taking that one step further, Mr. Susman has urged lawyers and courts to encourage the parties to agree upon their own rules to streamline trials and reduce expenses. He has developed and maintained TrialbyAgreement.com, a website that allows counsel and judges to communicate about innovative discovery and trial protocols. He was a member of the Federal Circuit’s Committee on Limiting E-Discovery and he co-chaired the trial committee of the Southern District of New York’s task force to implement a pilot project for expediting civil jury trials.
Most recently, Mr. Susman has been on a crusade to save jury trials in civil cases. Mr. Susman was indoctrinated in the value of trial by jury while serving as a law clerk to Supreme Court Associate Justice Hugo Black, unquestionably the Court’s most staunch defender of juries in modern times. Now Mr. Susman has established The Civil Jury Project at University of New York Law School. Mr. Susman is still trying cases while serving as the Executive Director of the project. He is a frequent lecturer on trial advocacy skills at CLE programs around the country. And he often speaks to judges about innovations designed to make jury trials less expensive and more comprehensible.
- Timothy P. Terrell
Timothy Terrell is a Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law, where he joined the faculty in 1976. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Maryland (1971); his law degree is from Yale Law School (1974); and he has a post-graduate Diploma in Law from Oxford University, England (1980).
After graduation from Yale, Professor Terrell was an associate in the Atlanta law firm now called Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton. Since joining the faculty at Emory he has been awarded two Fulbright grants, one to attend Oxford University to study political philosophy, and another to teach legal theory at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England.
At Emory, Professor Terrell currently teaches principally in the areas of legal ethics, legal theory, property law, and advanced legal writing, and has scholarly publications in all those areas. For example, he is the co-author of a popular text on legal writing, entitled Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Writing and Editing (3d ed.). His most recent publication is a book entitled The Dimensions of Legal Reasoning: Developing Analytic Acuity from Law School to Law Practice.
Professor Terrell developed, and then served briefly in, the position of Director of Professional Development at King & Spalding in Atlanta. He is a frequent lecturer around the country for law firms, corporate law departments, government agencies, and other lawyer organizations on the topics of legal ethics and legal writing. He has also presented numerous programs on opinion writing to judges and judicial clerks, and has for more than two decades conducted the writing and editing portion of the New York University Institute of Judicial Administration’s annual training program for new appellate judges.
- Robert Troyer
Bob Troyer was born in Colorado, grew up in Washington DC, attended college in California, worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska for four years, and then attended law school in Boston (graduating in 1990). He practiced law as a civil litigator in Boston and Denver for nine years before joining the United States Attorney’s Office in 1999 as a criminal prosecutor. In 2004 he returned to private practice, as the head of the litigation department at Hogan & Hartson’s Denver office. Bob returned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in October of 2010 as First Assistant U.S. Attorney, became Acting U.S. Attorney in August of 2016, and in November he was appointed by the Attorney General to serve as U.S. Attorney.
- Donald Verrilli, Jr.
Donald Verrilli, Jr. served as Solicitor General of the United States from 2011 to 2016. His landmark victories included his successful advocacy in defense of the Affordable Care Act, for marriage equality, and in favor of federal preemption authority in the immigration field.
Before serving as Solicitor General, Mr. Verrilli served as Deputy White House Counsel, and previously, as an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice. In those positions, he counseled the president and senior government officials on a wide range of legal issues involving national security, economic regulation, domestic policy, and the scope of executive and administrative authority.
Mr. Verrilli joined Munger, Tolles & Olson in October 2016, and is the founder of its Washington, D.C. office. Mr. Verrilli’s practice focuses on Supreme Court and appellate litigation and on representing and counseling clients on multi-dimensional problems, where litigation, regulation and public policy intersect to shape markets and industries in our evolving economy.
He earned his Juris Doctorate with honors in 1983 from Columbia Law School, and was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979 from Yale University. He clerked for Associate Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. from 1984 to 1985 and for Judge J. Skelly Wright for the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit from 1983 to 1984.
- Crystal S. Yang
Crystal S. Yang is an assistant professor at Harvard Law School and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Professor Yang’s teaching and research interests center around empirical law and economics, particularly in the areas of criminal justice and consumer bankruptcy. Her current research includes empirical projects on the effects of the bail system on defendants’ short and long-term outcomes, racial bias in the criminal justice system, and the spillover effects of deportation fear. In addition to publications in leading economics journals and law reviews, her work has been featured in the New Yorker, Boston Globe, among other media outlets, and has been cited by the United States Supreme Court.
From 2014 to 2015, Professor Yang served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
Professor Yang graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2013, where she was a John M. Olin and Terence M. Considine Fellow, and recipient of the John M. Olin Prize. She also received her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 2013 and was a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics summa cum laude and a Master of Arts degree in statistics from Harvard University in 2008.