Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
Deb Anderson, PhD, MSW
Thomas O. Ashby
Mark T. Benedict
Patrick J. Borchers
Mark V. Bossi
Kurt Bumby, PhD
Hon. William B. Cassel
Edwin Chemerinsky
Frank Cordaro
Richard P. Dooling
Chai R. Feldblum
G. Michael Fenner
Joseph S. Friedberg
Hon. F. A. Gossett, III
Sherrilyn Ifill
U.S. Senator Mike Johanns
Hon. Douglas F. Johnson
Gregory P. Joseph
Andrew W. Jurs
Lawrence Lessig
Eric J. Magnuson
Peggy R. Mastroianni
Hon. Michael J. Melloy
Hon. Terrence L. Michael
Michael P. Norris
Gary A. Norton
Hon. Kathleen M. O'Malley
Fr. Greg J. O'Meara, S.J.
George F. Pappas
Larry Raful
Nancy B. Rapoport
Hon. James M. Rosenbaum
Hon. Kevin G. Ross
Kevin Ruser
Hon. Patti B. Saris
Ron Schutz
A. Christal Sheppard
Troy K. Stabenow
Kirk C. Stange
Robert Greene Sterne
Donald L. Swanson

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Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference

Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
Associate Justice
U.S. Supreme Court

Samuel A. Alito, Jr. was nominated as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President George W. Bush and was sworn in on January 31, 2006. He previously served as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, having been appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

Justice Alito received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1972 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1975.

He began his legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Leonard I. Garth of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. From 1977 to 1981, he was an Assistant United States Attorney in Newark, New Jersey. From 1981 to 1985, he was an Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States, and in that capacity he briefed and argued numerous cases in the United States Supreme Court. From 1985 to 1987, he was Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which is responsible for providing legal advice to the Justice Department and other components of the Executive Branch. In 1987, Justice Alito was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey. He held this office until his appointment to the Third Circuit.

He was born in Trenton, New Jersey, April 1, 1950. He married Martha Ann Bomgardner in 1985, and has two children - Philip and Laura.


Deb Anderson, PhD, MSW
Director of Training and Coordination
Project Harmony
Omaha, NE

Dr. Anderson develops curricula and oversees training in child abuse and neglect. She and her staff have trained over 30,000 students and professionals since 2007. She has presented at regional, national, and international conferences, including the San Diego International Child Abuse and Neglect Conference, Protect our Children, National Children’s Alliance, and the National Children’s Advocacy Conference. Dr. Anderson also oversees case coordination, supervising coordinators and managing 10 multi-disciplinary teams. She has over 25 years of experience training and consulting to public and private child welfare agencies. Prior to Project Harmony, Dr. Anderson was a professor of social work at Creighton University and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.


Thomas O. Ashby
Baird Holm LLP

Thomas O. Ashby, a member of Baird Holm's Financial Transactions Section and its Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights and Technology and Intellectual Property Groups, practices in the areas of bankruptcy, creditor rights (including rights in electronic commerce and intellectual property), commercial litigation and loan documents. He regularly advances clients’ interests in debt-credit matters through litigation, establishing credit/collection forms and procedures, documenting credit transactions, negotiating credit defaults and/or mediation. Tom also has represented numerous banks and health care providers in insurance disputes. His JD is from the University of Michigan Law School.

Mark T. Benedict
Husch Blackwell, LLP

Mark Benedict assists clients in corporate and debt reorganizations and distressed mergers and acquisitions. In particular, Mark guides clients in Chapter 11 restructuring proceedings, whether the party is a lender, vendor, debtor or strategic buyer.

Although Mark is best known for his work on behalf of asset-based secured lenders and trade vendors, he most recently represented a system of rural critical-access hospitals in a Chapter 11 restructuring proceeding.

Mark began his career as the law clerk for federal bankruptcy Judge Frank W. Koger during the Food Barn Stores Inc. bankruptcy in Kansas City, Mo. Building on that early grocery experience, Mark has focused a substantial portion of his practice during the past decade on food industry and agricultural Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. This has involved matters from “field to table” and everywhere along the supply chain, including issues under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) and the Packers and Stockyards Act (PASA).

In addition to the food industry, Mark’s restructuring experience includes healthcare (surgical specialty hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices, critical-access hospitals and medical equipment leasing); transportation (trucking and capital equipment and terminal rental adjustment clause leases, also known as TRAC); and energy (oil, natural gas, coal, ethanol and wind; exploration, production and pipelines).

Mark is active in the local bar, having served as co-chair of the Bankruptcy and Commercial Law Committee for the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association and the Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Local Rules for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Missouri. Mark is board certified in business bankruptcy by the American Board of Certification.

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • American Bankruptcy Institute, Trade Creditor Committee
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Kansas City Bankruptcy Institute
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, Committee on Bankruptcy and Commercial Law, co-chair, 2005; vice chair, 2004
  • The Missouri Bar

Awards & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers In America, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law, Litigation-Bankruptcy, 2008-2014
  • Kansas City Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2011-2012
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights, 2006-2013
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • The Missouri Bar, Pro Bono Award, 1995


Patrick J. Borchers
Director of the Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution, 
Professor of Law and former Dean at Creighton University

Patrick J. Borchers served as Dean of Creighton Law School from 1999 to 2007 and as Creighton’s Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2007 to 2013. He is the author, co-author or editor of eight books and approximately 60 law review articles.

Professor Borchers received his B.S. in Physics, with honors, from the University of Notre Dame in 1983; and his Juris Doctor degree in 1986 from the University of California, Davis, graduating in the top 2% of his class. Elected to the Order of the Coif; Elected to the American Law Institute; Winner, ABA Section on Administrative Law and Regulatory Policy's Award for Scholarship (1995); Managing Editor, U.C. Davis Law Review (1985-86). Author: Hay, Borchers & Symeonides, Conflict of Laws (5th ed. 2010); Hay, Weintraub and Borchers, Cases and Materials on Conflict of Laws; Borchers & Markell, New York Administrative Procedure and Practice (1st ed. 1995; 2d ed. 1998). Former employment: Albany Law School, Professor (1990-99) and Associate Dean (1993-99); Private Practice (1987-90); Clerk, Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Cir. (1986-87).


Mark V. Bossi
Thompson Coburn LLP

Mark is co-chair of the Firm's Financial Restructuring Group. His practice includes the representation of clients in financial restructurings, asset liquidations, out-of-court workouts and bankruptcy cases. He has advised all types of parties in these matters, including lenders, creditors, bondholders, creditors' committees, receivers and asset purchasers. Mark is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2014 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.) as well as in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers. He is a frequent speaker on bankruptcy and creditors' rights topics and the author of numerous articles on such subjects.


Kurt Bumby, PhD
Senior Associate, The Center for Effective Public Policy

Dr. Kurt Bumby is a Senior Associate with the Center for Effective Public Policy and the Center for Sex Offender Management. In this capacity, he provides training and technical assistance nationwide to policymakers, administrators, and practitioners across disciplines to support sex offender management, prisoner reentry, evidence-based practices in criminal justice, and other court-based initiatives. In addition, Dr. Bumby has authored and co-authored several of CSOM’s policy and practice briefs, training curricula, and other written resources. He received his doctoral degree from the Law/Psychology and Clinical Psychology Training Program specialty track at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has had a diverse career in the juvenile justice and adult criminal justice fields, maintaining roles as an administrator, clinician, consultant, and researcher. With a primary specialization in the assessment and treatment of sex offenders, Dr. Bumby has worked with adults and juveniles in state and federal correctional institutions, forensic hospitals, juvenile justice facilities, civil commitment programs, and outpatient settings. He has published multiple journal articles and book chapters on a variety of forensic topics including sex offender management, youth violence, child maltreatment, offender reentry, and alternative sentencing options for adults and juveniles. He is the Immediate Past President of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) and also serves on the International Advisory Committee for the Safer Society Foundation.


Honorable William B. Cassel
Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court
Third Judicial District

Judge William B. Cassel of O’Neill, Nebraska, is one of the seven members of the Nebraska Supreme Court. He was appointed in April 2012, after having served for 8 years as a judge of the Nebraska Court of Appeals, and for 12 years as a general jurisdiction trial judge on the district court in north-central Nebraska.

He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law, was selected to the Order of Coif, and served on the Law Review and the National Moot Court Team.

Judge Cassel began his legal career practicing law, first with his father and then as a solo practitioner, at Ainsworth, Nebraska. His general practice included representing numerous cities, villages, school districts, public power districts, and other public bodies, as well as a wide variety of civil and criminal matters.

Judge Cassel has been widely recognized as a leader in the use of technology as a lawyer and judge, and has chaired the Nebraska Supreme Court’s Committee on Technology since 2004.

Before joining the Supreme Court, Judge Cassel was twice honored as a recipient of the Nebraska Supreme Court distinguished judge award, in 2002 and 2011. He also received the Warren K. Urbom Mentor Award of the Robert Van Pelt American Inn of Court for his long service as a mentor to lawyers and judges.


Erwin Chemerinsky
Founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law
Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law
University of California, Irvine School of Law

Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, with a joint appointment in Political Science. Previously, he taught at Duke Law School for four years, during which he won the Duke University Scholar-Teacher of the Year Award in 2006. Before that he taught for 21 years at the University of Southern California School of Law, and served for four years as director of the Center for Communications Law and Policy. Chemerinsky has also taught at UCLA School of Law and DePaul University College of Law.

His areas of expertise are constitutional law, federal practice, civil rights and civil liberties, and appellate litigation. He is the author of seven books, most recently, The Conservative Assault on the Constitution (October 2010, Simon & Schuster), and nearly 200 articles in top law reviews. He frequently argues cases before the nation’s highest courts, and also serves as a commentator on legal issues for national and local media. Chemerinsky holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.


Frank Cordaro
Former Catholic Priest
Co-Founder and Member of the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community 

Cordaro subscribes to civil disobedience as a model and means for effecting social change. He identifies with the Berrigan brothers, Dan and Phil, and their direct action approach to peacemaking, based on a biblical Jesus who was a radical, nonviolent, egalitarian reformer, acting his way to the Cross and inviting others to do the same.

His first arrest and conviction was a blood spilling at the Pentagon Aug 9, 1977 and did 30 days of jail time. Since then, Cordaro has done close to six years of jail time, mostly federal time, never more than six months at a time. Most of his federal time came with eight 'six month' sentences for tresspass at Offutt AFB south of Omaha. His for life BOP # is 13093 047. His last six month sentence in Omaha was in 2005. He also participated in the 1998 God's of Metal Plowshares witness http://www.jonahhouse.org/archive/godsofmetal.htm and got a six month sentence.

Cordaro has done Federal BOP 'time' in the last four decades, half the time in transit. He has done time or passed through the following BOP facilities in the Midwest; Leavenworth, Marion, Terre Haute, Oxford, Duluth, Sand Stone and Yankton. He has flown on Con Air numerous times and gone through the OK City BOP Airport joint.

Cordaro brings a first hand experience of the BOP over a 36 year period from an inmate's perspective.  

Richard P. Dooling
Visiting Professor of Law
University of Nebraska College of Law

Professor Richard Dooling began teaching at the University of Nebraska College of Law in January 2008 after almost two decades of working in the publishing, television, and film industries. He attended the St. Louis University School of Law, and worked in private practice for five years before launching a career as a novelist after his second novel, White Man’s Grave, was nominated for the National Book Award in 1994. The author of five novels and two books of nonfiction, Professor Dooling was also co-writer and co-producer with Stephen King for Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital ABC primetime in 2004. He is also a regular contributor to the New York Times opinion page and writes often about technology and the first amendment. Professor Dooling teaches Entertainment Law, Mass Communications Law, Legal Profession, and Law and Literature.

Chai R. Feldblum
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Chai Feldblum was nominated to serve as a Commissioner of the EEOC by President Barack Obama, and was confirmed by the Senate, for a term ending on July 1, 2013.

Prior to her appointment to the EEOC, Commissioner Feldblum was a Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center where she has taught since 1991. At Georgetown, she founded the Law Center's Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic, which represented clients such as Catholic Charities USA, the National Disability Rights Network, and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. She also founded and co-directed Workplace Flexibility 2010, a policy enterprise focused on finding common ground between employers and employees on workplace flexibility issues.

As Legislative Counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union from 1988 to 1991, Commissioner Feldblum played a leading role in helping to draft and negotiate the ground-breaking Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Later, as a law professor representing the Epilepsy Foundation, she was equally instrumental in the drafting and negotiating of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

Commissioner Feldblum has also worked to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, has been one of the drafters of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, and is the first openly lesbian Commissioner of the EEOC. She clerked for Judge Frank Coffin of the First Circuit Court of Appeals and for Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun after receiving her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She received her B.A. degree from Barnard College.


G. Michael Fenner
James L. Koley ‘54 Professor of Constitutional Law
Creighton University School of Law

Professor G. Michael Fenner is the James L. Koley '54 Professor of Constitutional Law. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Kansas University in 1965; and his Juris Doctor degree, with distinction, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1969. From 1969-1972 he was a trial attorney in the Honors Law Graduate Program with the United States Department of Justice. In 1970, he received the U.S. Department of Justice Special Achievement Award. He joined the Creighton Law faculty in 1972. Professor Fenner is President of the Nebraska State Bar Association (2013-2014). He is a member of the Nebraska Supreme Court Committee on Practice and Procedure and the House of Delegates of the Nebraska Bar Association, and past chairperson of the Evidence section of the Association of American Law Schools. Professor Fenner received the Nebraska State Bar Foundations 1992 Shining Light award. He is a frequent speaker at continuing education programs for lawyers, judges, and their support staffs. He is the author of the treatise "The Hearsay Rule" (Carolina Academic Press, 3d ed. forthcoming 2013). In addition to theCreighton Law Review, he has written articles for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Catholic University Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Nebraska Law Review, Washington University Law Quarterly, University of Missouri- Kansas City Law Review, and Trial. He has also published a number of pieces of "editorial whimsy" in a variety of popular papers and magazines. As Reporter for the Nebraska Supreme Court Committee on Practice and Procedure, Professor Fenner has primary responsibility for Nebraskas pattern jury instructions for civil trials, NJI2d Civ., and is the author of the annual supplements to NJI2d Civ. (West).  

Joseph S. Friedberg
Joseph Friedberg Law Office

Joseph Friedberg has extensive experience in litigating criminal, white-collar criminal, and complex civil cases in state and federal courts across the United States including the United States Supreme Court. His clients include physicians, bankers, lawyers, chief executive officers, athletes, and police officers. The Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers honored him with their Distinguished Service Award. He is President of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. The National Board of Trial Advocacy has certified him as a criminal trial specialist. He is a frequent lecturer at law schools and continuing legal education seminars and is a television and radio commentator. His JD is from the University of North Carolina.


Honorable F. A. Gossett, III
U.S. Magistrate Judge
District of Nebraska


F.A. Gossett III is a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Nebraska. He practiced law and served as the elected county attorney of Dodge County, Nebraska, and as city prosecutor for Fremont, Nebraska,after receiving his B.S.B.A. degree from Midland University and J.D. degree from Creighton University. In 1981 he was appointed to the bench, serving as president of the Nebraska County Judges' Association in 1985. In 1998, Judge Gossett was appointed to the district court, and he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Nebraska State Bar Foundation. In 2000, he was awarded the Distinguished Judge Award for Improvement of the Judiciary, from the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Judge Gossett served on the faculty of the National Judicial College for fifteen years, six years on the faculty council, and as chairman in 1997.

In 2011, Judge Gossett was appointed by United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts to serve on the Judicial Conference Committee on Space and Facilities.

Judge Gossett, in the last twenty years, has lectured in half of the states of the U.S., teaching judges from every state, as well as in Moscow, Irkutsk, Barnaul and Yekaterinberg in the Russian Federation, Armenia, Tajikistan, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands.

Judge Gossett represented the states of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Missouri on the Executive Committee of the Conference of Special Court Judges of the American Bar Association, from 1992-1998.

Judge Gossett's writings include a book on evidence, Judge Gossett's Nebraska Evidence Handbook, revised edition 2014, published by Nebraska Continuing Legal Education, Lincoln, Nebraska.


Sherrilyn Ifill
President and Director – Counsel
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Sherrilyn Ifill is the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Ms. Ifill is a long-time member of the LDF family. After graduating law school, Ifill served first as a fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union and then for five years as an assistant counsel in LDF’s New York office, where she litigated voting rights cases. Among her successful litigation was the landmark Voting Rights Act case Houston Lawyers’ Association vs. Attorney General of Texas, in which the Supreme Court held that judicial elections are covered by the provisions of section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

In 1993, Ms. Ifill joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Law, where, in addition to teaching Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law and variety of seminars, she continued to litigate and consult on a broad and diverse range of civil rights cases while grooming the next generation of civil rights lawyers. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Ms. Ifill launched several innovative legal offerings while at Maryland Law School, including an environmental justice course in which students represented rural communities in Maryland, and one of the first legal clinics in the nation focused on removing legal barriers to formerly incarcerated persons seeking to responsibly re-enter society. From her base in Baltimore, Ifill emerged as a highly regarded national civil rights strategist and public intellectual whose writings, speeches and media appearances enrich public debate about a range of political and civil rights issues.

A critically acclaimed author, her book “On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century,” reflects her lifelong engagement in and analysis of issues of race and American public life. Ifill's scholarly writing has focused on the importance of diversity on the bench, and she is currently writing a book about race and Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Ifill is the immediate past Chair of the Board of U.S. Programs at the Open Society Institute, one of the largest philanthropic supporters of civil rights and social justice organizations in the country.

Ms. Ifill is a graduate of Vassar College, and received her J.D. from New York University School of Law.


U.S. Senator Mike Johanns
State of Nebraska


On January 6, 2009, Mike Johanns was sworn in as U.S. Senator for Nebraska. He won the support of an overwhelming majority of Nebraskans by demonstrating principled leadership throughout 30 years of public service.

Senator Johanns serves on four committees: Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Appropriations; Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; and Veterans Affairs.

Johanns has established himself as a legislative leader on issues that are not only important to Nebraska but also the nation. He has introduced and championed common-sense legislation dealing with issues ranging from agriculture to veterans to small businesses.

After hearing from businesses in Nebraska about a provision in President Obama’s health law that would have created a paperwork nightmare for job creators, Johanns began an effort that gained bipartisan momentum and the 1099 reporting mandate was repealed. On agriculture, he is leading the fight against harmful government regulations and continuing his work on a long-term, reform-minded farm bill that focuses on risk management tools. One of the first pieces of legislation to be signed into law for 2013 was the National Defense Authorization Act, which contained Johanns’ legislation to help returning veterans find civilian employment and supplied funding to continue work on the new command facility for the Strategic Command (STRATCOM) at Offutt Air Force Base.

Before being elected to the Senate, Johanns was appointed the 28th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January 2005. For nearly three years he worked to expand foreign market access for U.S. producers, promoted the growth of the renewable fuels industry and advanced cooperative conservation. Additionally, Johanns developed an in-depth farm bill proposal, which became the foundation for improvements and reforms adopted in the final 2008 farm bill.

Johanns also served as Nebraska's 38th governor from 1999 to 2005. As governor, he promoted an agenda of tax relief, less government, building the economy, protecting families, and ensuring the health, safety, and success of Nebraska's children.

Johanns served on the Lancaster County Board from 1983 to 1987, and on the Lincoln City Council from 1989 to 1991. He was elected mayor of Lincoln in 1991 and was reelected in 1995 without opposition. He successfully ran for governor in 1998 and was reelected in 2002.

He grew up on a farm where he learned a work ethic that has been put to use serving the people of Nebraska and this country. The values he developed while growing up serve as the foundation for his commitment to public service. Johanns is a graduate of St. Mary's University of Minnesota. He earned a law degree from Creighton University in Omaha and practiced law in O'Neill and Lincoln.

Johanns is married to Stephanie Johanns, former Lancaster County Commissioner and Nebraska State Senator. The couple has two children and five grandchildren.


Honorable Douglas F. Johnson
Douglas County Juvenile Court
Omaha, Nebraska

Judge Douglas F. Johnson of Omaha was appointed as Judge of the Separate Juvenile Court of Douglas County in 1993. He graduated from Creighton University School of Law in 1987.

Judge Johnson is the Immediate Past President of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) (2010-2011). He is a longtime NCJFCJ member and past Trustee of the organization. Founded in 1937, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, based on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, is the nation's oldest judicial membership organization. The NCJFCJ is focused on improving the effectiveness of our nation's juvenile and family courts and is a leader in continuing education opportunities, research, publications, and policy development in the field of juvenile and family justice. The 2,000-member NCJFCJ is unique in providing practice-based resources to jurisdictions and communities nationwide.

Judge Johnson presides over Nebraska’s First Family Drug Treatment Court, focusing on infants, toddlers and their parents, which opened in May 2005. He played a major role in starting Douglas County’s CASA program. He is co-chair of the Nebraska Supreme Court’s Commission on Children in the Courts, and serves on the Governor’s Commission for the Protection of Children. Judge Johnson also served as the first Lead Judge in the NCJFCJ’s Child Victims Act Model Courts Project. The Douglas County Juvenile Court is one of 36 Model Courts nationwide that is implementing strategies to improve the courts’ handling of child abuse and neglect cases.

Judge Johnson frequently teaches on behalf of the NCJFCJ on topics including delinquency, abuse and neglect, permanency, evidence, judicial ethics, collaboration, and judicial leadership. He co-facilitates and teaches at NCJFCJ's annual Child Abuse and Neglect Institute. He is an adjunct professor of law at Creighton University School of Law where he has taught Juvenile Law since 1995. Judge Johnson is a 2005 Harris Mid-Career Fellow at Zero To Three located in Washington, D.C. He also regularly contributes articles in the CASA Judge's Page Newsletter.

In 2010, Judge Johnson received the Omaha Bar Association Robert M. Spire Public Service Award and the Creighton University 2010 School of Law Alumni Merit Award. In 2005, Judge Johnson received the A. W. Clark Award from the Child Saving Institute, an Omaha child advocacy organization, in honor of his outstanding service to the community's children and families. Also in 2005, he received the Child Advocacy Coalition's Individual Award in recognition of his systems reforms efforts, including his leadership on the Model Court project and his endeavors to improve outcomes for children and families. He also received the Nebraska Supreme Court's 2001 Distinguished Judge Award for Service to the Community. 

Gregory P. Joseph
Joseph Hage Aaronson LLC

Gregory P. Joseph is a past President of the American College of Trial Lawyers and former Chair of the 60,000-member Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association. He has served on the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence, as Chair of the New York State Courts’ Committee of Lawyers to Enhance the Jury Process, and as Co-Chair of the Third Circuit Task Force on Selection of Class Counsel. He is the President of the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society. He is the author of SANCTIONS: THE FEDERAL LAW OF LITIGATION ABUSE (5th ed. 2013); CIVIL RICO: A DEFINITIVE GUIDE (3d ed. 2010); and MODERN VISUAL EVIDENCE (Supp. 2013). His books and articles have been cited in more than 200 judicial opinions and 350 law review articles. He is a member of the Editorial Board of MOORE'S FEDERAL PRACTICE (3d ed.). He is a founder of Joseph Hage Aaronson Ltd., a law firm with offices in New York and London (www.jha.com) and can be reached at gjoseph@jhany.com.


Andrew W. Jurs
Associate Professor of Law
Drake University Law School

Andrew W. Jurs is currently an Associate Professor of Law at Drake Law School in Des Moines, Iowa, where he teaches Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and a class on Expert Witnesses. His research focuses on how the legal system handles complex science, by examining both the substantive standards for admission of expert testimony and the procedural methodologies judges use to make those gatekeeping decisions. Prior to academia, Professor Jurs practiced law in Denver, Colorado, first as a state prosecutor and then later in a private firm handling medical liability claims. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and Stanford University.


Lawrence Lessig
Roy L. Furman Professor of Law
Faculty Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
Harvard University

Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and founder of Rootstrikers, a network of activists leading the fight against government corruption. He has authored numerous books, including Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Our Congress—and a Plan to Stop It, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Free Culture, and Remix.

Lessig serves on the Boards of Creative Commons, AXA Research Fund and iCommons.org, and on the Advisory Boards of the Sunlight Foundation, the Better Future Project, and Democracy Café. He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries.

Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale. As Professor at Stanford Law School, Lessig founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court.


Eric J. Magnuson
Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.

Eric J. Magnuson was a justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court. He was appointed to this position on June 2, 2008 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Justice Magnuson retired from the court on June 30, 2010 to return to the private practice of law.

Prior to joining the supreme court, Magnuson was a law clerk to former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Sheran from 1976 until 1977. He was an attorney and Partner with the Rider Bennett law firm, in Minneapolis from 1977-2007 and an attorney and shareholder at Briggs and Morgan in Minneapolis, specializing in appellate law. After serving as Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court and focusing almost exclusively in state and federal appellate courts, he is regarded as one of the most effective appellate lawyers in Minnesota and the Eighth Circuit. In more than 35 years of practice, he has handled hundreds of appeals involving a wide range of issues including the constitutionality of the public school finance system, employment law, trust and probate matters, trade secrets, business contracts, corporate fraud, insurance law and professional liability.

Magnuson speaks regularly on appellate topics, as well as matters of public interest. He has served as an associate professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law and the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and teaches at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Justice Magnuson earned his B.A. degree in history from the University of Minnesota. He received his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law, graduating cum laude.


Peggy R. Mastroianni
Legal Counsel
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Peggy R. Mastroianni is Legal Counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). She is responsible for developing Commission guidance under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and for providing legal advice for the Commission on a wide range of substantive issues and administrative matters. Ms. Mastroianni directed the development of EEOC's Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions (April 2012), as well as its Final Regulations on Reasonable Factors Other than Age Under the ADEA (March 2012), on the ADA Amendments Act (March 2011 ), and on Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (November 201 0). Under Ms. Mastroianni's direction, the Office of Legal Counsel has also developed policy documents addressing Religious Discrimination, Unlawful Disparate Treatment of Persons with Caregiving Responsibilities, Race and Color Discrimination, National Origin Discrimination, and a wide range of topics under the ADA.

Ms. Mastroianni graduated from Cornell University, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and the Fordham University Law School. She was elected a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2003; she received the Mary C. Lawton Award for Outstanding Government Service from the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice in 2008; and, in 2009, she was named Federal Labor and Employment Attorney of the Year by the ABA's Section of Labor and Employment Law.


Honorable Michael J. Melloy
Senior Circuit Judge
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

Judge Michael Joseph Melloy (b. 1948) is a judge serving on senior status for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He joined the court in 2002 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. He assumed senior status on February 1, 2013.

Born in Dubuque, Iowa, Judge Melloy graduated from Loras College with his bachelor's degree in 1970. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1974. He served in the United States Army on active duty from 1970 to 1972 and then in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1972 to 1976.

Judge Melloy was a private practice attorney in the state of Iowa from 1974 to 1986.

Judge Melloy was a United State Bankruptcy Judge in the United States bankruptcy court, Northern District of Iowa from 1986 to 1992.

In 1992, on the recommendation of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, Judge Melloy was nominated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa by George H.W. Bush on April 9, 1992, to a seat vacated by David Hansen. He was confirmed by the Senate on August 12, 1992, and received commission on August 17, 1992. He served as the Chief Judge until 1999.

On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, Judge Melloy was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit by President George W. Bush on September 4, 2001, to a seat vacated by George Fagg as Judge Fagg assumed senior status. Judge Melloy was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 11, 2002 on a unopposed 91-0-9 vote and received commission on February 14, 2002. On February 1, 2013, Judge Melloy assumed senior status for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit after serving on the court for almost 10 years.


Honorable Terrence L. Michael
Chief Judge 
United States Bankruptcy Court
Northern District of Oklahoma

The Honorable Terrence L. Michael is the Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. A native of Columbus, Nebraska, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in history, magna cum laude, from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska in 1980 and his Juris Doctorate degree in 1983 from the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law. While at USC, Judge Michael served as the Administrative Chair of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program. The highlight of his participation in this program was the three days he and his wife spent hosting Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and his wife, Cecilia, when Justice Marshall served as a judge of the final round of the moot court competition in 1983.

Upon graduation from law school, Judge Michael joined the firm of Baird, Holm, McEachen, Pedersen, Hamann & Strasheim in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was a member of the firm’s bankruptcy and creditor’s rights practice group. His practice included all types of bankruptcy matters and general civil litigation. While at Baird, Holm, Judge Michael served as Chair of the Bankruptcy Section of the Nebraska State Bar Association, and was a member of the local rules committee responsible for authoring local rules in Chapter 12 cases. He authored numerous papers which were presented at various continuing legal education seminars. Judge Michael also taught courses for the American Banker’s Association School of Agri-Finance and Metro Technical Community College.

On June 9, 1997, Judge Michael began his career as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma, sitting permanently in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On June 7, 2000, Judge Michael was appointed to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Tenth Circuit, a position he still holds. As a member of the BAP, Judge Michael chaired the committee charged with revising the local rules of that court. He is the author of over 100 published opinions, and has co-authored articles in the Tulsa Law Review and the Texas Tech Law Review. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa, and has served as a speaker at various seminars presented by the Federal Judicial Center, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Nebraska State Bar Association, the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Tulsa County Bar Association, the West Texas Bar Association, and the Southwest Regional Turnaround Management Association.

Judge Michael is a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (past chairman of the Ethics Committee), an emeritus member of the Council Oak/Johnson-Sontag American Inn of Court, which awarded him the John A. Athens Leadership Award in 2004, and the Nebraska State Bar Association. He has also served as the President of the Doane College Alumni Council, the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Broken Arrow Community Playhouse, and in various lay offices and capacities at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Omaha and the Boston Avenue Church in Tulsa.

He and his wife Amy are the parents of two daughters. His interests other than his family and the law include basketball, music, acting and golf. Since coming to Tulsa, Judge Michael has appeared in numerous local theater productions, playing characters ranging from a murderous doctor (in Cards on the Table, based upon an Agatha Christie mystery), the bumbling director of an insane asylum (in Dracula! The Musical), to one of the founding fathers of our country (John Adams in 1776!). He also was part of a multi-state select choir which sang in Carnegie Hall in 1999.  

Michael P. Norris
Assistant U.S. Attorney
District of Nebraska

Michael P. Norris is an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the District of Nebraska. Mr. Norris received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He graduated from the Creighton University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review. After two years as a state prosecutor, Mr. Norris joined the United States Attorney’s Office. He has twice received the Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney and a Director’s Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Among his other duties, Mr. Norris is currently the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, Appellate Coordinator and Senior Litigation Counsel for the District of Nebraska.

Gary A. Norton
Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C.

Gary A. Norton is a member attorney in the firm of Whitfield and Eddy, P.L.C and currently chair of the firm’s Business and Banking Committee. He has been a member of the Iowa bar since 1984, practicing extensively in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor/debtor relations, commercial law and commercial litigation. He is a frequent speaker before attorney and business groups on various topics involving commercial and bankruptcy law and has served as an adjunct professor at Drake Law School, teaching Secured Transactions.

Mr. Norton has served several times as a member and is a past Chair of the Commercial and Bankruptcy Law Section Council of the Iowa State Bar Association and is currently again a Council member. He served as Chair of that Section's Study Committee on the 1998 Revised Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, and was heavily involved in implementing the passage of Revised UCC Article 9 in Iowa, and has been and continues to be a consultant to the Iowa legislature on that legislation and other matters of commercial law. Mr. Norton is a member of the ABA Section on Business Law. He also has been a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute since 1986 and is a former Law Clerk to the Honorable Richard Stageman, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Southern District of Iowa in1984-85.


Honorable Kathleen M. O’Malley
Circuit Judge
Federal Circuit

Kathleen M. O’Malley was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit by President Barack Obama in 2010. Prior to her elevation to the Federal Circuit, Judge O’Malley was appointed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio by President William J. Clinton on October 12, 1994.

Judge O’Malley served as First Assistant Attorney General and Chief of Staff for Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher from 1992-1994, and Chief Counsel to Attorney General Fisher from 1991-1992. From 1983 to 1991, Judge O’Malley was in private practice, where she focused on complex corporate and intellectual property litigation; she was with Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur from 1985 to 1991 and with Jones Day from 1983 to 1985.

During her sixteen years on the district court bench, Judge O’Malley presided over in excess of 100 patent and trademark cases and sat by designation on the United States Circuit Court for the Federal Circuit. As an educator, Judge O’Malley has regularly taught a course on Patent Litigation at Case Western Reserve University Law School; she is a member of the faculty of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology’s program designed to educate Federal Judges regarding the handling of intellectual property cases. Judge O’Malley has served as a board member of the Sedona Conference; as the judicial liaison to the Local Patent Rules Committee for the Northern District of Ohio; and as an advisor to national organizations publishing treatises on patent litigation (Anatomy of a Patent Case, Complex Litigation Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers; Patent Case Management Judicial Guide, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology).

Judge O’Malley began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1982-1983. She received her J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Order of the Coif, in 1982, where she served on Law Review and was a member of the National Mock Trial Team. Judge O’Malley attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio where she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1979.  

Fr. Greg J. O’Meara, S.J.
Rector of the Jesuit Community and Professor of Law
Creighton University School of Law

Fr. O'Meara is Rector of the Jesuit Community and Professor of Law at Creighton University School of Law. He formerly served as an Associate Professor of Law at Marquette University for 11 years where he was a three time recipient of the James D. Ghiardi Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Fr. O'Meara has law degrees from the University of Wisconsin and New York University. He studied theology at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, MA. His prior legal experience includes working as an Assistant District Attorney in Milwaukee County, where he second-chaired the trial of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer; captained the Misdemeanor Team and Drug Enforcement Team; and coordinated appellate briefings. His area of research includes criminal procedure and questions of legal interpretation.

George F. Pappas
Covington & Burling LLP

During his more than 35 years of practice, George F. Pappas has served as lead counsel in hundreds of cases, having appeared in federal and state courts throughout the United States and internationally. He has successfully represented clients across a broad range of industries including pharmaceutical, medical device, biotechnology, computer and electronics, software, telecommunications, and the financial services industry.

Mr. Pappas is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and served as Chairman of its Complex Litigation Committee from 2008 to 2011. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only, and membership cannot exceed 1% of the total lawyer population of any state or province.

Mr. Pappas is Chairman of the Editorial Committee and one of the co-authors of the book, Anatomy of a Patent Case (2009; 2d Edition 2012), prepared by the Complex Litigation Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers and published in conjunction with the Federal Judicial Center. The book has been distributed to all federal judges.

Ranked in the top tier of lawyers for Intellectual Property by Chambers USA and Chambers Global 2012, clients have described him as, "...a class apart", "has tremendous presence in the courtroom and understands the legal issues very well. He is both thorough and unrelenting.” His peers have commented that, “He is a fantastic lead trial lawyer and, though very tough to compete against, is a true gentleman."

At the invitation of the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) beginning in 1996, Mr. Pappas has presented programs on patent law issues at 37 FJC National Workshops for federal district and magistrate judges, including the Annual Workshop for Federal Judges at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

In 2001, he was appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court to serve as a member of the District Judge Education Advisory Committee for the Federal Judicial Center. This Committee reviews and makes recommendations for the continuing legal education courses offered to federal judges. Mr. Pappas was reappointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist in 2004 and served through 2007.

In 1993, Mr. Pappas and U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis created and continue to serve as Co-Chairmen of a national program entitled Trial of a Patent Case which is sponsored by the American Law Institute Committee on Continuing Professional Education and has become a permanent annual course offering.

At the request of Chief Judge Garrett E. Brown, Jr., he was appointed and currently serves as a Member of the District of New Jersey Local Patent Rules Committee. Mr. Pappas has also served as an advisor to the Local Patent Rules Committees in Maryland and the Northern District of Ohio.


Larry Raful
Professor of Law and former Dean of Touro College
Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Lawrence Raful is a Professor of Law at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Central Islip, New York, where he served for eight years as the dean of the school. Touro Law’s new law school building is the first law school in the United States to be located on a campus with a federal courthouse and a state courthouse. Raful received his JD at the University of Denver College of Law, and his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego. He served as the associate dean at the University of Southern California Law Center, and then as dean and as a professor of law at the Creighton University School of Law. Dean Raful teaches and writes in the area of professional responsibility and legal ethics, and he served as chair of the Nebraska State Bar Association Committee to Adopt the Model Rules. He is married to the very patient and understanding Dinah Raful and is the father of three beautiful daughters, Sarah, Anna and Leah, who share their father’s love of baseball. He is a proud grandfather.


Nancy B. Rapoport
Gordon Silver Professor of Law
William S. Boyd School of Law

Nancy B. Rapoport is the Gordon Silver Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. After receiving her B.A., summa cum laude, from Rice University in 1982 and her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1985, she clerked for the Honorable Joseph T. Sneed on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then practiced law (primarily bankruptcy law) with Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco from 1986-1991. She started her academic career at the Ohio State University College of Law in 1991, and she moved from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor with tenure in 1995 to Associate Dean for Student Affairs (1996) and Professor (1998) (just as she left Ohio State to become Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law). She served as Dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law from 1998-2000. She then served as Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center from July 2000-May 2006 and as Professor of Law from June 2006-June 2007, when she left to join the faculty at Boyd. She served as Interim Dean of Boyd from 2012-2013. She is currently serving as the Leadership Development Academy Coordinator for UNLV.

Her specialties are bankruptcy ethics, ethics in governance, and the depiction of lawyers in popular culture. Among her published works are ENRON AND OTHER CORPORATE FIASCOS: THE CORPORATE SCANDAL READER 2D (Nancy B. Rapoport, Jeffrey D. Van Niel & Bala G. Dharan, eds.), which addresses the question of why we never seem to learn from prior corporate scandals, LAW SCHOOL SURVIVAL MANUAL: FROM LSAT TO BAR EXAM, coauthored with Jeffrey D. Van Niel (Aspen Publishers 2010), and LAW FIRM JOB SURVIVAL MANUAL: FROM FIRST INTERVIEW TO PARTNERSHIP, also co-authored with Jeffrey D. Van Niel (Wolters Kluwer 2014). She is admitted to the bars of the states of California, Ohio, Nebraska, Texas, and Nevada and of the United States Supreme Court.
In 2001, she was elected to membership in the American Law Institute, and in 2002, she received a Distinguished Alumna Award from Rice University. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. In 2009, the Association of Media and Entertainment Counsel presented her with the Public Service Counsel Award at the 4th Annual Counsel of the Year Awards. She is also a board member of the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (the Mob Museum) and the Vice President for Research/Grants for the American Bankruptcy Institute.

She has also appeared in the Academy Award®-nominated movie, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (Magnolia Pictures 2005) (as herself). Although the movie garnered her a listing in www.imdb.com, she still hasn’t been able to join the Screen Actors Guild. In her spare time, she competes, pro-am, in American Rhythm and American Smooth ballroom dancing with her teacher, Sergei Shapoval. Currently, she is ranked 2nd in the country in one of her ballroom categories (9-Dance). The most interesting thing about her is that she is married to a former Marine Scout-Sniper.


Honorable James M. Rosenbaum
U.S. District Judge (retired)
District of Minnesota

Judge Rosenbaum served 25 years on the federal bench as a United States District Court Judge for the District of Minnesota and for the four years prior, as Minnesota’s United States Attorney.

While on the bench, he presided over the construction of the Minneapolis federal courthouse, the most technologically advanced courthouse in its time. He served as Chief Judge of the District, represented the Eighth Circuit at the Judicial Conference for eight years, and served on the Conference’s Executive Committee.

He retired from the federal bench in 2010 to join JAMS, the largest private provider of mediation and arbitration services worldwide, at its resolution center in Minnesota. Judge Rosenbaum specializes as a mediator, arbitrator and discovery master in Minnesota and throughout the country. He manages disputes ranging from intellectual property and patent matters, complex and class action litigation, domestic and international, securities, civil rights, environmental and employment.


Honorable Kevin G. Ross
Minnesota Court of Appeals

Kevin G. Ross joined the Minnesota Court of Appeals in February 2006, appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty. Judge Ross was confirmed in the post by statewide election in November 2008. He has authored more than 500 opinions for the court and 40 concurring or dissenting opinions. Judge Ross formed the Quill & Bagel Society, a periodic workshop for judges, law clerks, and staff attorneys committed to honing individual legal-writing skills and maintaining the quality of the court’s opinions. The George Mason School of Law’s 2011 Green Bag Almanac & Reader named him one of the year’s exemplary judicial opinion writers and in 2013 he was asked to serve as board member of Scribes: The American Society of Legal Writers.

Kevin Ross has been interpreting, applying, practicing, or enforcing the law since 1987. His appointment to the bench ended his partnership at the Minneapolis law firm of Greene Espel. His law practice had focused on the areas of constitutional law, employment consultation and litigation, and general litigation. He was named a “Rising Star” then a “Super Lawyer” in the fields of governmental and employment law, based on statewide surveys of lawyers conducted by The Minnesota Journal of Law & Politics. Ross had joined the firm in 1997 after serving a judicial clerkship in the United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, for the Honorable Donald P. Lay in St. Paul. This followed his judicial clerkship in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota, for the Honorable Paul A. Magnuson, Chief Judge. Before practicing law, Ross served as a police officer five years in Iowa City.

Judge Ross received both his Juris Doctorate, with High Distinction and other honors, and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Iowa. His additional law school commendations and achievements are varied: Dean’s Achievement Award; Donald P. Lay Faculty Recognition Award; Law Foundation Merit Scholarship; Hancher-Finkbine Medallion Nominee; University of Iowa Learning, Loyalty and Leadership Award; Iowa College of Law Best Litigator Award; National Trial Advocacy Competition Team; American Bar Association Regional Trial Finalist; Invitational Van Oosterhout Moot Court Quarter Finalist; multiple American Jurisprudence Academic Excellence Awards.

Judge Ross is a member of various bench and bar associations and he serves on professional and community boards. Most recently, he was the judicial representative on the Minnesota Forensic Laboratory Advisory Board throughout its existence, first appointed by Chief Justice Russell Anderson and then reappointed by Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, and he served as member and then chairperson of the Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government state board. He served on the Federal Local Rules Committee and its successor, the Federal Practice Committee, for eight years.

Judge Ross is a member of Eden Prairie Assembly of God. He was a founding member of PASIJ (Park Avenue Seeking International Justice), served on the board of directors of Christ Church in Minneapolis, and has organized and participated in various projects with Habitat for Humanity. He is a past president of Park Avenue United Methodist Men, coaches youth soccer, baseball, and football, and serves as a mentor with Minnesota Teen Challenge.

Judge Ross enjoys chess, dabbles in pottery and poetry, and can be seen periodically cycling Minnesota’s many scenic trails or camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.


Kevin Ruser
M.S. Hevelone Professor of Law
University of Nebraska College of Law

Professor Ruser joined the Law College faculty in June, 1985, as a supervising attorney in the Civil Clinical Law Program. He received a B.A. from UNL in 1975, with an English major and a history minor. Professor Ruser attended UNL College of Law and received his J.D. in 1979. He worked for Western Nebraska Legal Services from 1979-1985; the first two years were spent in the Grand Island branch office, and the last four years were spent in the Scottsbluff office, where he was managing attorney. Professor Ruser is the Director of Clinical Programs at the College of Law and teaches in the Civil Clinic and the Immigration Clinic. He is a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Clinical Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and the Clinical Legal Educators Association. He has been a member of the Robert Van Pelt American Inn of Court and is currently a member of the Nebraska Supreme Court Pro Se Litigation Committee. He also serves on the boards of directors of various non-profit corporations.

Ruser has worked abroad on law reform and legal education reform projects. He is currently involved in a project in which he is evaluating and making recommendations for curricular changes in the Masters Level clinical programs at the University of Pristina Law Faculty and Iliria University Law Faculty in Pristina, Kosovo. From 2000 to 2005, he was involved with law and legal education reform efforts in several countries of the former Yugoslavia, most notably Montenegro and Serbia. From 2010 to 2012, he was, along with Professor Steven Schmidt, principal investigator of a USAID-funded grant to help teach oral advocacy techniques to faculty at the law school of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. These skills are needed by Mexican law students and practitioners to enable them to function effectively in Mexico's new oral adversarial system, which was created by recent constitutional reforms in Mexico.

Ruser's research interests lie primarily in the area of “crimmigration” – the intersection of immigration and criminal law. In August, 2012, he published an article in The Habeas, which is the monthly newsletter of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association, reviewing and analyzing recent decisions by the Nebraska Supreme Court in the area of post-conviction “crimmigration” cases. Also in 2012, he made substantial updates to The Nebraska Criminal Practitioner’s Guide to Representing Non-Citizens in State Court Proceedings, which he first published in 2008. The Guide's purpose is to background criminal law practitioners in immigration law, in order to enable them to effectively advise their non-citizen clients of possible immigration consequences to criminal proceedings in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Padilla v. Kentucky holding that non-citizens have a 6th Amendment right to be advised by their defense counsel of immigration consequences in criminal cases. Ruser developed a 4-hour seminar on "crimmigration" issues and presented this seminar in each of Nebraska's 12 district court judicial districts in 2011 and 2012.

In 2011, Greg McLawsen, Julia McLawsen and Ruser co-authored an article entitled "Demonstrating Psychological Hardship: A Statistical Study of Psychological Evaluations in Hardship Waivers of Inadmissibility."  The article, which was published in the January 1, 2011 issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin, reviewed decisions of the Administrative Appeals Office (AA0) to see how helpful it is for non-citizens to submit psychological evaluations with their applications for hardship waivers to certain grounds of inadmissibility. Ruser has written other practice-related manuals and guides, the most recent of which are in the following areas: Chapter 7 consumer bankruptcy (2012); powers of attorney, guardianships and conservatorships (2012); and landlord/tenant law (2011).


Honorable Patti B. Saris
Chief District Judge, District of Massachusetts
Chair, U.S. Sentencing Commission

United States District Judge Patti B. Saris became Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on January 1, 2013. She became Chair of the United States Sentencing Commission in Washington, DC in January, 2011. She is a graduate of Radcliffe College ‘73 (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School ‘76 (Cum Laude).

After graduating from law school, she clerked for the Supreme Judicial Court, and then went into private practice. When Senator Edward M. Kennedy became chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she moved to Washington D.C. and worked as staff counsel. She later became an Assistant United States Attorney, and eventually chief of the Civil Division. In 1986, Judge Saris became a United States Magistrate Judge, and in 1989, she was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. In 1994, she was appointed to the United States District Court.

Chief Judge Saris became President of the Harvard Board of Overseers in 2006 and has served on visiting committees to Harvard College, Law School, Education School and the Kennedy School of Government. Chief Judge Saris has been active on various judicial committees, including the Budget Committee, and The Defender Services Committee (2002-2005) which she chaired in 2005. She also serves on the Board of the Federal Judges Association.

Judge Saris currently serves on various boards, including the National Board of Bottom Line, a non-profit that helps lower income students get into and succeed in college, as well as Codman Academy, a charter school.

She has received awards for judicial excellence from the Boston Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association and the Patent Bar Association, and is a recipient of the Harvard Medal.

She has authored various publications, including and with Hon. Abner Mikva, "Congress: The First Branch of Government", and with Justice Margot Botsford and Barbara Berenson, "Breaking Barriers, The Unfinished Story of Women Lawyers and Judges in Massachusetts" (2012).

The mother of four children, Judge Saris is married to Professor Arthur Segel who teaches real estate at Harvard Business School.


Ron Schutz
Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP

Ronald J. Schutz is the Chair of the National IP Litigation Group, Managing Partner of the New York office, and a member of the Executive Board of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. Mr. Schutz is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. In 2008 the National Law Journal named Mr. Schutz to its annual list of the Top 10 Winning Litigators in the United States. Mr. Schutz is a frequent lecturer and author on topics related to litigation and trials and he is often quoted in the business and legal press. He has also appeared on the NBC Nightly News and the CBS Morning News.

Mr. Schutz has extensive trial experience. Among his significant jury verdicts are the following: $110 million (Fonar v. GE); $66 million (Grantley v. Clear Channel); $35 million (St. Clair v. Canon); $25 million (St. Clair v. Sony); and $8 Million (Personal Audio v. Apple).

Mr. Schutz is very active in community and public affairs. He is a former Chair and current board member of the Center of the American Experiment. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Guthrie Theater and the YMCA of The Greater Twin Cities. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the William Mitchell Law School Intellectual Property Institute and the St. Thomas Law School Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Mr. Schutz is a past president of the University of Minnesota Law School Alumni Association. He is also the most recent past Chair of the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection (appointed by Governor Pawlenty). In 2010 Campaigns & Elections Magazine named Mr. Schutz one of the 100 most influential people in Minnesota politics. Mr. Schutz also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pawlenty for President (2011-2012).

Mr. Schutz attended Marquette University on an ROTC Scholarship where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Mr. Schutz graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota Law School where he was a member of the Law Review. After law school he fulfilled his military obligation by serving four years in the United States Army JAG Corps stationed with the 7th Infantry Division where he tried twenty jury trials.

Mr. Schutz is married to his high school sweetheart Janet and they have three adult children. Mr. Schutz enjoys running triathlons, marathons, and participating in other outdoor adventure sports and activities.


A. Christal Sheppard 
Assistant Professor of Law 
University of Nebraska College of Law

Assistant Professor Sheppard joined the University of Nebraska faculty in 2011, after over two decades of Science and Intellectual Property Law and Policy experience. She is an Assistant Professor and co-founded a program of Concentrated Study in Intellectual Property law at the Law College. 

Dr. Sheppard began her career as a scientist earning a M.S. and Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan. After receiving a J.D. from Cornell University Law School and interning with Judge Rader at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Executive Office of the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy, she was a practicing attorney at the law firm of Foley & Lardner earning extensive experience in patent prosecution, client patent counseling and ligation. She then served in the Office of the General Counsel of the United States International Trade Commission working on Section 337 matters, arguing before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2005, Dr. Sheppard also completed Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education for Senior Managers in Government program.

Her successful career in intellectual property law and policy included her tenure as Chief Counsel on Patents and Trademarks for the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary where she was integral in many endeavors including the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the most comprehensive change to this nation's intellectual property laws in over 60 years. 

In April of 2012, Dr. Sheppard testified before the United States Congress House Committee on the Judiciary at the hearing “International Patent Issues: Promoting a Level Playing Field for American Industry Abroad.” She has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones News Wire, Fox Business News, the Chicago Sun Times and Politico on a variety of intellectual property issues.


Troy K. Stabenow
Assistant Federal Public Defender
Western District of Missouri

Troy Stabenow is an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Missouri. In 2008, he authored "Deconstructing the Myth of Careful Study: A Primer on the Flawed Progression of the Child Pornography Guidelines," a paper that galvanized debate on Guideline 2G2.2. In 2012, he published a follow-up article summarizing what science can tell us about these offenders, and proposing an alternate system of offense levels and enhancements. His work has been the subject of federal opinions in almost every circuit. He continues to teach, write, and practice in this field.

Mr. Stabenow first developed his experience in this field while serving in the U.S. Army. During an eight year period of Active Duty, Major Stabenow served a tour as a military prosecutor with the 1st Infantry Division, and then a second tour as the senior prosecutor for the 1st Armored Division, both overseas. While in Germany, he worked closely with the German Bundeskriminalamt, (The "BKA" - the German equivalent of the FBI) on child pornography cases and other computer crimes. He was also a primary Department of Defense trainer for both military investigators and prosecutors on these crimes. Later, as the head of trial defense services at Fort Riley, he continued to try child pornography cases throughout the central United States.

In addition to his position as an AFPD, Mr. Stabenow continues to serve as an adjunct professor at both the University of Missouri Law School, and at the U.S. Army's JAG school in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is the author of the four-volume series entitled "West Federal Forms for District Courts - Criminal (2012)" and serves on the 8th Circuit Criminal Jury Instructions Subcommittee.


Kirk C. Stange
Managing Partner
Stange Law Firm

Mr. Stange is licensed in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Mr. Stange received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2000. Mr. Stange received a B.A. in History from Fontbonne University in 1997 with Secondary/Middle School Certification in Social Studies.

Mr. Stange has years of experience with complex family law litigation. He has represented countless clients in contested family law matters across Missouri and Illinois. Mr. Stange is also a trained mediator and guardian ad litem.

Mr. Stange was selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star through Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers Magazine in 2013 as one of the top up-and-coming lawyers in the State of Missouri. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in the state receive this honor. Mr. Stange has also received numerous other awards. For example, Mr. Stange was selected by the National Academy of Family Law Attorneys (NAFLA) in 2014 as a Top 10 Attorney for Missouri Family Law; was selected in 2014 by the American Society of Legal Advocates (ASLA) to the list of the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 for Missouri Family Law; and was Lead Counsel Rated for Family Law in 2014, which a quality assurance tool established in 1997.

Mr. Stange has served as a mentor through the Missouri Bar Mentoring Program. He is a frequent lecturer at CLE seminars for other attorneys and legal professionals on family law topics through National Business Institute and the Missouri Bar.

Mr. Stange authored a chapter in a book through Aspatore Publishing titled: "Strategies for Military Family Law: Leading Lawyers on Navigating Family Law in the Armed Forces (Inside the Minds)."  Mr. Stange has a full-length book through Aspatore Publishing set to release in 2014 titled: "Prenuptial Agreements Line by Line."


Robert Greene Sterne 
Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.

Mr. Sterne is one of the leading patent attorneys in the United States in patent reexamination and concurrent patent litigation both in the federal courts and the United States International Trade Commission. He is recognized by his peers as a thought leader on board of director responsibility and best practices concerning intellectual property. He specializes in the area of intellectual property for cutting edge technologies in the electronics, computer, communications, biomedical and nanotech arenas, the monetization of patents, patent litigation and patent licensing. Mr. Sterne has been consistently recognized in peer-based directories and lists as a leading attorney in the intellectual property arena. Clients rely on his negotiation skills and big picture approach to patent procurement and protection, licensing and enforcement that considers the product, distribution, network and market conditions. Additionally, Mr. Sterne is a sought after expert witness, has leading patent attorneys in the United States in patent reexamination and concurrent patent litigation both in the federal courts and the United States International Trade Commission.  He has served as a Special Master for Judge Marvin J. Garbis in a case involving patent inventorship, ownership, and U.S. and foreign patent applications and prosecution.


Donald L. Swanson
Koley Jessen P.C., L.L.O.

Don Swanson has been practicing for three decades in the areas of Banking, Bankruptcy, Creditors’ Rights and Commercial Litigation. He has a broad range of experience in these areas of practice. He represents creditors, debtors, bankruptcy trustees, examiners, creditor committees and post-bankruptcy investors to maximize client rights and minimize loss. His representative experience includes:


  • Represented the Ad Hoc Committee of Corn Suppliers in a $1.5 billion Chapter 11 ethanol case
  • Represented the primary secured creditor in many bankruptcy proceedings
  • Represented the primary secured creditor in many non-bankruptcy business restructures
  • Represented purchasers in many Section 363 sales
  • Represented farmers in many Chapter 12 cases
  • Represented debtors in many bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy restructures
  • Represented Trustees in many Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 cases
  • Represented committees in many Chapter 11 cases

Mr. Swanson received his J.D. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 1980. He was Associate Editor of the Nebraska Law Review, 1978-1980. He received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Nebraska – Omaha in 1977 and a A.A. from Grace University in 1976.

Mr. Swanson's Bar admissions include the State of Nebraska, State of Iowa, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa, U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.