DRI Faculty List

Appellate Advocacy Seminar

Sheraton New Orleans Hotel | New Orleans, LA | May 11 - 12, 2017

Lisa M. Baird
Reed Smith LLP

Lisa M. Baird, counsel with Reed Smith LLP, is a member of the Life Sciences Health Industry Group, practicing in the area of product liability litigation. Lisa has extensive experience defending corporate clients in both trial and appellate courts. She has experience in the full range of issues that regularly recur in product liability litigation (including preemption, statute of limitations, the learned intermediary doctrine, Daubert issues, and general and specific causation), as well as other types of complex litigation (class issues, unfair competition, consumer fraud claims, and punitive damages). Lisa is the editor of Reed Smith's Life Sciences Legal Update, the firm's weblog covering trends and developments in life sciences and health care law. In addition, Lisa regularly represents pro bono clients in humanitarian parole and asylum cases.

Tillman J. Breckenridge
Bailey & Glasser LLP

Tillman J. Breckenridge is a partner at Bailey & Glasser LLP where he concentrates his practice on appellate litigation at all levels. He has represented individuals, companies, organizations, and foreign, state, and local governments before the United States Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh, District of Columbia, and Federal Circuits as well as many state appellate courts. Tillman is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the William & Mary School of Law, where he directs the Appellate and Supreme Court Clinic. He is a Barrister in the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court and was named to the Washington, DC SuperLawyers and Virginia's Legal Elite lists for appellate practice in 2014 and 2015, and was named one of the National Bar Association's 40 Trailblazers Under 40 in 2014. Tillman also serves as a Board Member for the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence and is the Appellate Advocay Committee Chair

Sara Rodrigue Buggs

Sara Rodrigue Buggs is a partner at NeunerPate, a civil defense firm in Lafayette, Louisiana. She graduated from LSU's Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 2009 and joined the firm in 2010, after clerking for a Louisiana district court judge in Lafayette. Sara's civil litigation practice focuses on insurance defense and governmental liability defense. Sara upholds NeunerPate's philosophy of serving the community through her pro bono work with Lafayette Volunteer Lawyers and as a mentor involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana.

Mark S. Chenoweth
Washington Legal Foundation

Mark S. Chenoweth has served as General Counsel of Washington Legal Foundation since 2013, where he oversees WLF's extensive litigation, publishing, and other advocacy efforts on behalf of economic liberty and the American free-enterprise system. Previous to joining WLF, he was the first Chief of Staff to Congressman (and now incoming CIA Director) Mike Pompeo (KS-04). Before that Mr. Chenoweth was Legal Counsel to Commissioner Anne Northup at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Attorney Advisor in the Office of Legal Policy at the U.S. Department of Justice. In the latter role he vetted more than 40 of President George W. Bush's judicial nominees and helped shepherd them through the confirmation process. Mr. Chenoweth also served for several years as an in-house counsel at Koch Industries, Inc., and he began his legal career in Washington, DC as an Associate with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale). At various times he has held volunteer leadership roles in the Civil Justice Reform Group, Lawyers for Civil Justice, the American Tort Reform Association, and the Federalist Society.

The Honorable Michael A. Cherry
Chief Justice
Nevada Supreme Court

The Honorable Michael A. Cherry, Chief Justice, Nevada Supreme Court, has been an attorney in Nevada since 1970 and was elected to the Supreme Court in 2006. He ran unopposed for a second 6-year term in November of 2012, when he served as Chief Justice for the Nevada Supreme Court. Justice Cherry will again serve as Chief Justice through 2017. While he has had a long career in private practice, he always involved himself in public service within the legal community. Justice Cherry chairs the Indigent Defense Commission that is examining how the justice system deals with criminal defendants who cannot hire their own attorneys. He also is the supervising justice over the Senior Justice and Judge Program. Justice Cherry earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri in 1966 and a juris doctorate degree from Washington University School of Law in 1969.

The Honorable Steven H. David
Indiana Supreme Court

The Honorable Steven H. David was appointed in 2010 to the Indiana Supreme Court by Governor Mitch Daniels. Justice David has built a multi-faceted career of private practice, corporate counsel experience, and stellar service as a military lawyer. He also served as a trial court judge for 16 years before being named to the Supreme Court as Indiana's 106th Justice. He graduated from Murray State University and earned his law degree from Indiana University McKinney School of Law. He served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps for 28 years, earning the rank of Colonel and holding a Top Secret SCI security clearance. Justice David is a member of many legal and civic organizations. He is currently an adjunct professor at Indiana University McKinney School of Law and the University of Notre Dame. Justice David enjoys participating in marathons and triathlons, reading, and golf. His personal motto is: "WORK HARD, DO GOOD, BE PROUD, HAVE FUN, and D0 WHAT'S RIGHT." He believes in The Rule of Law Always!

Lawrence S. Ebner
Capital Appellate Advocacy PLLC

Lawrence S. Ebner, a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, is an accomplished appellate advocate whose nationwide practice is devoted to representing businesses and industries in high-stakes appeals. After 42 years at the world's largest law firm and its predecessors, Larry opened his own Washington, D.C.-based appellate litigation boutique, Capital Appellate Advocacy, in September 2016. Larry began his legal career as an Honors Program attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Division following graduation from Harvard Law School. Larry's practice focuses on cases that implicate significant federal interests, such as appeals involving federally regulated or procured products or services. Many of those cases involve litigation against the United States or federal departments or agencies. Larry's thought leadership is reflected numerous appellate litigation-related articles and blogs, available at capitalappellate.com. Larry serves as Chair of DRI's Amicus Committee, which selects Supreme Court cases for DRI amicus support, and Publications Chair of DRI's Appellate Advocacy Committee.

Kristine M. Ellison
Eversheds Sutherland US LLP

Kristine M. Ellison is a seasoned litigator, representing insurance and financial services clients in a variety of commercial litigation matters, including Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation, unclaimed property litigation, and class action cases involving claims under various state consumer protection laws and federal laws such as the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. She represents her clients on both the trial and appellate levels and regularly appears in the state and federal courts of Virginia. Prior to joining Eversheds Sutherland (US), Kristine was a litigation associate at a law firm in Washington, DC. There, she focused on commercial litigation and business disputes with an emphasis on employment and professional liability issues.

Elizabeth J. Feeney

Elizabeth J. Feeney is an Assistant General Counsel at GlaxoSmith Kline in Philadelphia, PA. She joined GSK in 2002. Elizabeth focuses on product liability matters, governement investigations, commercial and securities litigation, and e-discovery and data privacy issues. She is also the Chair of GSK Legal's Global Inclusion & Diversity Steering Team.

Charles T. Frazier, Jr.
Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP

Charles T. Frazier, Jr. is a partner in the Dallas office of appellate boutique Alexander Dubose Jefferson and Townsend LLP. Board certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal pecialization, Charlie has successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court, and has written and spoken on a variety of topics related to appellate practice. He is a long-time member of the Appellate Advocacy Committee, and currently serves as chair of the Appellate Rules Subcommittee.

The Honorable Harris L. Hartz
US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

The Honorable Harris L. Hartz has been a member of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals since December 2001. From 1989 to 1999 he was a judge on the New Mexico Court of Appeals, serving as chief judge from 1997 to 1999. From 2002?09 Judge Hartz was a member of the Judicial Conference?s Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. He served as Chair of the Appellate Judges Conference of the ABA in 2004?05. He has been active in the American Law Institute since 1993 and is an Adviser to the Principles of Government Ethics project. Judge Hartz is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was Case and Developments Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He received his AB degree from Harvard College summa cum laude in physics. In 2013 Judge Hartz was appointed by Chief Justice Roberts to the Federal-State Jurisdiction Committee of the United States Judicial Conference. He was recently a member of the Board of Overseers of the Searle Civil Justice Institute and is on the Deans Advisory Committee at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

Jeffrey A. Holmstrand
Grove Holmstrand & Delk PLLC

Jeffrey A. Holmstrand is a member at Grove, Holmstrand & Delk, PLLC, in Wheeling, West Virginia. His practice focuses on defending products liability claims, including those brought against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers; mass torts/class actions of all sorts; and complex insurance disputes. AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, he has been named a Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in the areas of Appellate Practice, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants.

Sara Kobak
Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt PC

Sara Kobak is an appellate litigator with Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, P.C. in Portland, Oregon. Ms. Kobak regularly handles appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Oregon appellate courts. She also has assisted with briefing before the United States Supreme Court at both the certiorari and merits stages, including the briefing in Hall Street Associates, L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., 552 U.S. 576 (2008). Before joining her firm, Ms. Kobak served for three years as the judicial clerk for then-Chief Justice Wallace P. Carson, Jr. of the Oregon Supreme Court. Sara is the Vice Program Chair for the 2017 Appellate Advocacy Seminar

Adam M. Koss
D'Amato Law Corporation

Adam M. Koss is with D'Amato Law Corporation located in Orinda, CA. He represents professionals and their businesses, particularly in real estate litigation and lawyer malpractice, and serves as appellate counsel on a wide range of subject matters. Adam is on the Appellate Advocacy and the Professional Liability Steering Committees for DRI. He is also a member of the ABA, Bar Association of San Francisco, and California Mortgage Association.

Lincoln S. Le Varge
Tower Hill Insurance Group LLC

Lincoln S. Le Varge is an AVP at the Tower Hill Insurance Group and supervises all first party insurance litigation for the family of Tower Hill companies. Mr. LeVarge received his Juris Doctorate degree with Honors from the University of Maryland, his Masters of Business Administration Degree from the University of Tampa and his B.A. degree from the University of South Florida. He is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Middle and Northern Districts of Florida as well as the District of Maryland. Prior to coming to Tower Hill, Mr. LeVarge was a partner at the firm of Boehm Brown in Orlando, Florida specializing in first party insurance litigation. His career has included positions as a general counsel in the banking industry and also as an Assistant County Attorney and Risk Manager for Manatee County, Florida. Mr. LeVarge has presented with the Windstorm Insurance Network, the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance and the Property Loss and Research Bureau.

Melanie C. Lockett
Lowe Stein Hoffman Allweiss & Hauver LLP

Melanie C. Lockett is a Partner at Lowe, Stein, Hoffman, Allweiss & Hauver, LLP, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She enjoys a diverse litigation practice with an emphasis on insurance coverage and defense in areas of commercial general liability, professional liability, extra-contractual liability, and bad faith.

James C. Martin
Reed Smith LLP

James C. Martin is a partner in Reed Smith LLP whose practice emphasizes appeals and complex litigation. He has briefed and argued hundreds of appeals in federal and state courts across the country. He is certified as a specialist in appellate law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He is a fellow and immediate past president of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a member and former president of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and a founding member and past president of the Third Circuit Bar Association. He has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in appellate law, as one of Pennsylvania's and Southern California's Super Lawyers in appellate law, and for admission in the American Law Institute. Jim has written widely on appellate and various substantive legal topics, including in CEB's Civil Appellate Practice Manual, PBI's Third Circuit Appellate Practice Manual and CEB's California Expert Witness Guide. He also regularly consults with trial lawyers on substantive and procedural issues and these consultations include briefing and argument before and during trial, as well as the preparation of post-trial motions, writs, or interlocutory appeals.

Deanne E. Maynard
Morrison & Foerster LLP

Deanne E. Maynard is chair of Morrison & Foerster's Appellate and Supreme Court practice. She has argued 13 cases in the Supreme Court and many more in the federal courts of appeals, including a successful argument for client Sotheby's (as well as Christie's and eBay) before an 11-judge en banc Ninth Circuit panel. Deanne is a former Assistant to the U.S. Solicitor General, and has clerked twice on the Supreme Court of the United States. She clerked for Justice Stephen Breyer in his first year on the court and for retired Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell and affiliated with Judtice John Paul Stevens.

Kevin C. Newsom
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Kevin C. Newsom is the chair of the appellate group at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. Before joining Bradley, Kevin served as Alabama's Solicitor General, in which capacity he directed the State's litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the Alabama Supreme Court. Kevin has argued four cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, filed amicus curiae briefs in many others, and authored numerous certiorari-stage briefs. Kevin has also argued more than 35 cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits, as well as in state supreme and appellate courts and a Native American tribal appellate court. In 2011, and then again in 2014, Chief Justice John Roberts appointed Kevin to the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules, which studies and advises the Judicial Conference of the United States concerning amendments and improvements to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Kevin is one of only three private practitioners on the 10-person committee.

Aaron M. Panner
Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel PLLC

Aaron M. Panner is a partner at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, in Washington, DC, specializing in antitrust law, administrative law, intellectual property law, and appellate and Supreme Court litigation. He has argued five cases in the Supreme Court and dozens in the federal courts of appeals, including two en banc appeals in the Federal Circuit. Panner graduated at the top of his class from Harvard Law School and clerked for Judge Michael Boudin and Justice Stephen G. Breyer.

Nicholas L. Secord
Kia Motors America Inc

Nicholas L. Secord serves as Litigation Counsel at Kia Motors America in Irvine, California. In this role, he manages class action, product liability, and consumer warranty litigation across the United States. He also provides legal advice for regulatory matters and various commercial issues. Prior to joining Kia, Nick worked for several years as a litigator in Los Angeles. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his law degree from the University of Illinois.

The Honorable D. Brooks Smith
US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

The Honorable D. Brooks Smith is the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He has served on the Third Circuit since 2002 and was elevated to Chief Judge on October 1, 2016. Judge Smith has the longest tenure of all Article III judges within the Third Circuit who are in active service, and he is the only judge in the history of the Circuit to have served as both a chief district judge and chief circuit judge. Judge Smith has served by appointment of the Chief Justice of the United States on the Judicial Conference of the United States (JCUS) Space and Facilities Committee, concluding a three-year term as chair on September 30, 2016. In the 1990's, he served on the JCUSAdvisory Committee on Criminal Rules. Prior to his elevation to the Third Circuit, Judge Smith was the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He joined the District Court in 1988. While on the federal bench, he has participated in various rule of law programs for the judiciary in a number of Eastern European Countries.

The Honorable Donna S. Stroud
North Carolina Court of Appeals

The Honorable Donna S. Stroud was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in November 2006 and re-elected without opposition in 2014. She is a graduate of Campbell University, summa cum laude, with a BA in Government in 1985, and a graduate of the Campbell University School of Law, with a J.D. magna cum laude in 1988. Judge Stroud was ranked first in her law school class each year of law school and upon graduation and served as the Notes and Comments Editor of the Campbell Law Review. She practiced law as an associate and later as a partner with Kirk, Gay, Kirk, Gwynn & Howell in Wendell, Wake County, N.C. from 1988 until 1995; she was then a founding partner of Gay, Stroud & Jackson, LLP, where she continued to practice until her election as a District Court Judge in Wake County in 2004. While in private practice, Judge Stroud was also a certified Superior Court mediator and a District Court arbitrator. Judge Stroud served as a Family Court Judge while on the District Court. Judge Stroud has served as Chair of the Judicial Division of the NC Association of Women Attorneys and as a member of the Governor's Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use. She currently serves as an ex officio member of the Dispute Resolution Committee and on the Appellate Rules Committee and Women in the Profession Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Paula Duggan Vraa
Larson King LLP

Paula Duggan Vraa focuses her practice on appeals, insurance coverage disputes, product liability claims, and professional malpractice defense cases. In her appellate practice, Paula is adept at working with trial counsel to ensure that potential appellate issues are identified, preserved, and presented to the appellate courts in a manner that has the highest likelihood of success. She is a former law clerk of Judge Harriet Lansing of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and a former adjunct Professor of Law for appellate advocacy at the University of St. Thomas Law School. In addition to appeals, Paula represents insurers and policyholders in coverage disputes, which gives her a balanced and reasonable approach that ensures good results. She has defended product manufacturers and property owners in asbestos-related litigation. Paula also represents professionals in malpractice cases, including guardians, trustees, accountants, insurance agents, and personal representatives.

Jill M. Wheaton
Dykema Gossett PLLC

Jill M. Wheaton is a litigator at Dykema Gossett PLLC, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is involved in high-profile appellate work, commercial litigation, and product liability defense. Ms. Wheaton is the leader of the firm's appellate practice.

The Honorable Helene Nita White
US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

The Honorable Helene Nita White is a graduate of Barnard College (Columbia University) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She clerked for Justice Charles Levin of the Michigan Supreme Court for two years. Judge White was elected to the Court of Common Pleas in 1980, which was reorganized into the 36th District Court for the City of Detroit in 1981. She served on that court until elected to the Wayne Circuit Court in 1982, taking office in January, 1983. She served on the Rules and Docket Review Committees and was active in the court's transition from a central to an individual docket. After serving on that court for 10 years, Judge White was elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 1992, and served on that court until August, 2008, There, she chaired the Rules Committee and was active in planning the court's bench/bar conferences. She was nominated to the 6th Circuit by President Clinton in January 1997, 1999, and 2001, but never received a committee hearing. She was nominated again by President Bush in April 2008, and was confirmed in June of that year.

Keith E. Whitson
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

Keith E. Whitson is a partner with Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, resident in its Pittsburgh office. Mr. Whitson is Administrative Partner of the Firm's Pittsburgh Office, and Chair of the Firm's Product Liability Practice Group. His practice focuses on general commercial litigation, product liability litigation, and appellate advocacy. He has extensive experience representing manufacturers and suppliers/distributors, as well as product owners and premises owners, in litigation nationally, and is licensed to practice in New York, Ohio and West Virginia as well as Pennsylvania. Mr. Whitson also is very active in his Firm's pro bono efforts and serves on the Firm's Pro Bono Committee. He participates in several pro bono programs through the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership. Keith is the Program Chair for the 2017 Appellate Advocacy Seminar

Nancy Winkelman
Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

Nancy Winkelman, is the immediate Past-President of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, is a partner in the Philadelphia office of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, where she has concentrated her practice in federal and state appellate litigation for over 25 years. Ms. Winkelman has handled cases in a variety of substantive areas before numerous appellate courts, including presenting argument before the Supreme Court of the United States. In addition to briefing and arguing appeals, she regularly is engaged to serve as issues and appeals counsel at pre-trial or trial states of litigation. Ms. Winkelman is former co-chair of both Schnader's Litigation Services Department and of its Appellate Practice Group, and is the co-founder and first president of the Third Circuit Bar Association. She has lectured widely on appellate practice, including teaching Appellate Advocacy as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School for ten years. Ms. Winkelman graduated magna cum laude from Wesleyan University, summa cum laude (first in her class) from Western New England College School of Law, and then clerked for Third Circuit Judge Dolores K. Sloviter.

Robert L. Wise
Managing Partner
Bowman and Brooke LLP

Robert L. Wise focuses his practice on class and mass actions, appeals and advanced motions, product liability defense, and complex commercial litigation. As a founding member of the firm's Appellate and Advanced Motions Practice, Rob is integrally involved in several high-profile putative class and mass actions—including ongoing alleged football-concussion-injury litigation, as well as several putative nationwide putative class actions in the automotive, consumer product, and medical device industries—coordinating the briefing, legal-issues, and appellate strategy for those cases. Rob has also handled appeals before all levels of appellate courts in Virginia in both civil and administrative proceedings and has been involved in appeals throughout the country as lead appellate counsel, on-brief author, and off-brief legal-strategy consultant. Rob is active in several legal and professional organizations, including DRI and its Class Actions and Appellate Advocacy Committees of which is the committee Vice Chair, as well as the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, for which he served on the board for several years.

Anthony (Tony) R. Zelle
Zelle McDonough & Cohen LLP

Anthony (Tony) R. Zelle, a partner at Zelle McDonough & Cohen, LLP (Boston), has developed a national reputation representing insurance companies in coverage and bad faith claims through 30 years of trial and appellate advocacy in courts across the country. He has been involved in most of the decisions that presently shape bad faith law in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He is a past member of the DRI's Board of Directors and previously chaired DRI's Insurance Committee. He compiled and edited the first edition of the Compendium of Bad Faith Law in 2002 and has served as lead editor for each biennial update.