DRI Faculty List

Appellate Advocacy Seminar

Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino | Las Vegas, NV | March 14 - 15, 2018

Lisa M. Baird
Reed Smith LLP

Lisa M. Baird, counsel with Reed Smith, 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. Lisa is the Vice Chair of the DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee.

The Honorable Kathleen M. Banke
Associate Justice
California Court of Appeals First District

The Honorable Kathleen M. Banke was appointed as an Associate Justice to the Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division One, in June 2009. Prior to being elevated to the appellate bench, Justice Banke sat on the Alameda County Superior Court, to which she was appointed in June 2006. During her last year on the superior court bench, she was one of three judges appointed to the Alameda County Superior Court's Appellate Division and was an elected member of the Court's Executive Committee. Justice Banke now serves, by appointment, on the Center for Judicial Education and Research's Appellate Advisory Committee and is the chair of the Legislative and Privacy subcommittees. She previously served on and was chair of the Appellate Practice Curriculum Committee. She is very active in judicial education and has helped produce numerous educational videos for the appellate bench and often speaks at statewide appellate programs. Justice Banke has written numerous articles on civil appellate and writ practice. She is the chief consulting and updating editor and a contributing author of the significantly revised and expanded California Civil Writ Practice (CEB 4th ed. 2008), a contributing author and updating editor of Civil Procedure Before Trial: Statutes of Limitations (TRG 2016), and a contributing author to California Civil Appellate Practice (CEB 3d ed. 1996), Employment Litigation (TRG 2001), and Federal Civil Trials and Evidence (TRG 2000).

Mary Beth Beazley
UNLV William S Boyd School of Law

Mary Beth Beazley with UNLV, William S. Boyd School of Law has taught legal writing for nearly 35 years. She has held numerous leadership positions in legal education, including President of the Legal Writing Institute, Chair of the ABA's Communication Skills Committee, and President of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. Her previous academic appointments include faculty positions at Vermont Law School, the University of Toledo, and The Ohio State University College of Law, where she taught legal writing for 29 years. Professor Beazley is the author of the text A Practical Guide to Appellate Advocacy and co-author of Legal Writing for Legal Readers. She also contributed a chapter to the compilation The Law of Harry Potter, and she believes that she wrote the first law review article that quoted Hogwarts student Parvati Patil. Her current scholarship focuses on behavioral aspects of legal writing and legal reading, and on the impact that digital platforms have on cognitive aspects of legal reading.

Tillman J. Breckenridge
Bailey & Glasser LLP

Nicole A. Diaz
Senior Counsel of Litigation and Compliance
Snap Inc.

Nicole A. Diaz currently serves as Senior Counsel of Litigation and Compliance at Snap, Inc. (formerly Snapchat), where she manages a wide variety of complex litigation matters and oversees regulatory compliance. Previously, Nicole was a litigator with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom LLP and Willenken, Wilson, Loh, & Delgado LLP, handling civil and white collar criminal cases. She also clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford in the Central District of California. Nicole is actively involved in numerous professional organizations, including the Defense Bar's DRI Trial Tactics Committee (Publications Editor), Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (2016 Fellow), and California Minority Council Program (CMCP Ambassadors Council 2017-2020 Term). Nicole was born in Mexico City and is fluent in Spanish.

John P. Doerner
Principal Court Management Consultant
National Center for State Courts

John P. Doerner joined the National Center for State Courts in 2007, bringing a broad range of experience in judicial administration as well as appellate courts. Before joining the NCSC, he served as Clerk of Court for the Colorado Court of Appeals, managing all administrative and operational components for the statewide intermediate appellate court. Prior to that appointment, Mr. Doerner was the Manager of Operations Support for the Colorado Judicial Branch. Mr. Doerner was awarded a Bachelor degree in Business Administration by the College of St. Francis (Joliet, Illinois) in 1975. He received an MBA degree from the University of Colorado at Denver in 1987 and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant by the State of Colorado.

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.

The Honorable John Cannon Few
Chief Judge
South Carolina Supreme Court

The Honorable John Cannon Few began his legal career as law clerk to The Honorable G. Ross Anderson, Jr., United States District Judge. Before joining the South Carolina Supreme Court, Justice Few served for almost ten years as a trial judge on the Circuit Court of South Carolina, and then served for almost six years as the Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals. Justice Few is a frequent public speaker, and he also has been active in teaching law. He has served on the faculty at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, and he now teaches at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Justice Few also has always been active in community service, and he currently chairs the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission.

Charles T. (Charlie) Frazier
Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP

Charles T. (Charlie) Frazier is a partner in the Dallas office of Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend, LLP, an appellate boutique. Certified in civil appellate law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Charlie's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, insurance-related disputes, and professional-liability claims in trial and appellate courts, including successfully arguing before the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a long-time active member of the DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee, and currently chairs its Appellate Rules Subcommittee.

Bryan A. Garner
LawProse Inc

Bryan A. Garner is the author of more than 20 books on legal writing and language in general. His magnum opus is the third edition of Garner's Modern American Usage, published by Oxford University Press. He is best known as editor-in-chief of the venerable Black's Law Dictionary, now in its tenth edition. Since 1991, he has taught more than 125,000 lawyers, judges, and paralegals in continuing legal education seminars throughout the U.S. and abroad. His company, LawProse, Inc. of Dallas, is the country's largest provider of legal writing and drafting CLEs. The late novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace, writing in Harper's, called Garner "a genius, though of a rather particular kind. . . . He's both a lawyer and a lexicographer (which seems a bit like being both a narcotics dealer and a DEA agent)."

Neil A. Goldberg
Goldberg Segalla LLP

Neil A. Goldberg is a nationally renowned litigator and past president of DRI. He has defended products liability, pharmaceutical, medical device, trucking, toxic tort, fire, and other catastrophic cases across the United States for many New York Stock Exchange companies. One of his recent trials arose from the crash of Colgan Flight 3407 that resulted in the deaths of 50 people. A former president of Lawyers for Civil Justice, Mr. Goldberg has authored, co-authored, edited, and contributed to 7 books and treatises on complex personal injury cases and civil lawsuits. He was awarded the 2016 Defense Trial Lawyer of the Year Award by the Defense Trial Lawyers Association of Western New York.

The Honorable James E. Graves, Jr.
United States Circuit Judge
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

The Honorable James E. Graves, Jr. is a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Prior to his federal appointment in 2011, he had been a justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court. Judge Graves began his legal career as a staff attorney at Central Mississippi Legal Services in 1980. He then worked in the private practice of law for three years, before returning to public service work. He served as legal counsel for both the Health Law Division and the Human Services Division of the Mississippi Attorney General's Office. He also worked as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Mississippi and served as the Director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement in the Mississippi Department of Human Services. In 1991, Judge Graves was appointed as a circuit court judge in Hinds County, Mississippi. He was appointed to the Mississippi Supreme Court in 2001. Judge Graves has served as a Teaching Team Member of the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School since 1998 and he has also held the position of adjunct professor at Millsaps College, Tougaloo College, and Jackson State University. He has taught courses in media law, civil rights law, and sociology of law and is a jurist-in-residence at Syracuse University School of Law.

Thomas R. Jayne
Sr. General Attorney
BNSF Railway Company

Thomas R. Jayne is a native Missourian who graduated from Westminster College and the University Of Missouri School Of Law. After a federal court clerkship, he joined Thompson Coburn LLC. In 2011, he joined BNSF Railway Company in Fort Worth, Texas. When he isn't playing golf, he supervises tort litigation for BNSF. He recently coordinated BNSF's personal jurisdiction battles in numerous courts, culminating in the decision in Tyrell v. BNSF Railway Company by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mary Re Knack
Ogden Murphy Wallace PLLC

Mary Re Knack is a member of the Healthcare and Litigation Departments at Ogden Murphy Wallace. Her practice focuses on insurance, healthcare and civil matters. Re provides a wide range of legal services to members of the healthcare industry including regulatory compliance, confidentiality and privacy-related compliance services including HIPAA and state laws, licensing and risk management related services and related investigations, federal and state agency investigations, guidance and representation related to medical staffing, and defense of professional negligence claims. Re also provides guidance and advice to the insurance industry and self-insureds with respect to their obligations under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act and Section 111 of the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act (MMSEA). Re was named to the Washington Super Lawyers by Super Lawyers magazine for 2005 and 2010 – 2017. She has also been recognized by Seattle Met magazine as a "Top Lawyer" in Health Care for 2011 and has been designated as one of the "Top Women Attorneys in Washington" for 2012 – 2017.

Sara Kobak
Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt PC

Sara Kobak is the Program Chair of the 2018 DRI Appellate Advocacy seminar. As 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. 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. Ms. Kobak has been named as a top appellate litigator in Oregon by Super Lawyers magazine.

Melinda S. Kollross
Clausen Miller PC

Melinda S. Kollross is a senior partner and Co-Chair of Clausen Miller's Appellate Practice Group, handling post-trial and appellate litigation for savvy clients nationwide. She has litigated more than 100 appeals in state and federal reviewing courts, including participation in two appeals before the United States Supreme Court. Melinda's practice includes commercial litigation, first-party property, liability insurance coverage and liability defense. Her skilled advocacy has saved clients millions of dollars. Melinda's notable works include a chapter on post-trial motions in DRI's A Defense Lawyer's Guide to Appellate Practice (2004), and two feature articles published in DRI's For The Defense magazine. "Oral Argument: What It Really Takes To 'Please the Court' " (October 2015), and "Evaluations, Negotiation and Effectuating Settlements on Appeal" (March 2016).

Adam M. Koss
D'Amato Law Corporation

Adam M. Koss is the Vice Program Chair of the 2018 DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar. Mr. Koss is an attorney with D'Amato Law Corporation located in Orinda, CA in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Koss is certified by the California State Bar as a specialist in Legal Malpractice Law. He represents professionals and their businesses in both trial courts and on appeal, particularly regarding ethics and attorneys' fees issues. In addition to his involvement with the Appellate Advocacy Committee, Mr. Koss also serves on the Professional Liability Steering Committees for DRI.

Wendy Cole Lascher
Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP

Wendy Cole Lascher with Ferguson Case Orr Paterson has represented clients in the United States Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, various federal circuits, and every California appellate district. She is a past president and active member of both the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Ms. Lascher represents businesses, public entities, and individuals in family law, criminal, employment, personal injury, intellectual property, and real estate appeals, and consults with trial lawyers on drafting and strategy.

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. Mr. Martin 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. Mr. Martin 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.

Simone McCormick, CIPP (US)
Selman Breitman LLP

Simone McCormick, CIPP (US) with Selman Breitman LLP represents businesses and professionals in commercial litigation, professional liability, privacy and employment matters. Ms. McCormick handles disputes at all stages of litigation from inception to conclusion in state and federal courts as well as in administrative proceedings and state and federal government investigations. As a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), Ms. McCormick has represented businesses and professional clients in data incidents, which have included forensic investigations, multi-state notifications of affected clients and state Attorney General offices, the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services and other governmental entities. Ms. McCormick has also counseled clients in incident response planning, risk assessment, best practices in information privacy and data security, Board/manager/employee training and countering cyber incidents/threats.

Matthew T. Nelson
Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

Matthew T. Nelson chairs Warner Norcross & Judd's Appellate Practice Group. Mr. Nelson has successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court, and has represented businesses, governments, and individuals in appeals throughout the country. During the 2016 Term of the U.S. Supreme Court, Mr. Nelson represented clients in two cases on the merits addressing such diverse topics as copyrighting the design of cheerleading uniforms and constitutionally deficient immigration advice. Mr. Nelson serves as Vice-chair of DRI's Amicus Committee and Membership Co-Chair of the DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee. Among other honors, Mr. Nelson has received three distinguished brief awards for briefs he has submitted to the Michigan Supreme Court.

The Honorable Kristina Pickering
Nevada Supreme Court

The Honorable Kristina Pickering joined the Nevada Supreme Court in 2009, after a career practicing civil litigation in Nevada. She is a life member of the American Law Institute and has worked to advance the legal profession and civic education, serving on the Nevada Board of Bar Examiners, as an adjunct faculty member at the UNLV Boyd School of Law, and as a volunteer with the We, The People Program sponsored by the Center for Civic Education. Justice Pickering grew up in northern Nevada, where she graduated from Reno High School as a Presidential and National Merit Scholar. She earned her B.A., cum laude, from Yale University; attended Georgetown University Law Center; and received her J.D., from the University of California-Davis, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif. Upon graduation, Justice Pickering clerked for U.S. District Judge Bruce R. Thompson in Reno. Justice Pickering and her husband, Steve Morris, make their home in Las Vegas. They own the remnants of an old working ranch near Belmont, Nevada, whose historic courthouse is being restored through a 501(c)(3) organization, Friends of the Belmont Courthouse, they formed and help support. Justice Pickering is an avid runner and dog sport enthusiast.

The Honorable Eliot D. Prescott
Connecticut Court of Appeals

The Honorable Eliot D. Prescott was appointed to the Connecticut Court of Appeals in 2014. Judge Prescott started his legal career in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP, before he returned to Connecticut to serve as an Assistant Attorney General, and later as the Department Head of the Special Litigation Department. in the Office of the Attorney General. During his tenure as an Assistant Attorney General, Judge Prescott represented the State of Connecticut in complex litigation matters in state and federal court, and argued more than twenty-five appeals in the Connecticut Supreme Court, Appellate Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge Prescott then served for nearly 10 years as a trial judge for the Superior Court of Connecticut, presiding over criminal trials and civil matters in various locations around the State. He also served as the Presiding Judge of the Administrative Appeals and Tax Session of the Superior Court. In addition, Judge Prescott has served as a member of the Rules Committee of the Superior Court and the Advisory Committee on the Appellate Rules.

The Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson
United States Circuit Judge
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

The Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson was appointed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2000. Before her appointment to the Ninth Circuit, Judge Rawlinson served as a U.S. District Judge for the District of Nevada. Prior to her judicial service, Judge Rawlinson spent 18 years with the Office of District Attorney, Clark County, Nevada. She rose from deputy district attorney to chief deputy district attorney to assistant district attorey, where she supervised civil, family support and administrative divisions.

Amar D. Sarwal
VP and Chief Legal Strategist
Association of Corporate Counsel

Amar D. Sarwal is the Chief Legal Officer & Senior Vice President of Advocacy & Legal Services for the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) in Washington, DC. ACC is the world's largest legal association dedicated exclusively to serving the interests of in-house counsel. With an international membership of more than 42,000 in-house lawyers at more than 10,000 organizations in 85 countries, ACC serves as the "voice of the in-house bar" for corporate lawyers at 98 percent of the Fortune 100 and 51 percent of the Global 1000.

Vishal H. Shah
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Vishal H. Shah with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Philadelphia, PA. His national practice focuses on representing Fortune 100 companies in both trial and appellate litigation. Outside of work and exploring the city, Mr. Shah spends time supporting Alabama football, globetrotting, and (despite the adage) teaching his dog, Stella, new tricks. Mr. Shah graduated from Samford University in 2010 and the University of Alabama School of Law in 2013.

Sarah Elizabeth Spencer
Christensen & Jensen

Sarah Elizabeth Spencer is a shareholder at Christensen & Jensen in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is an experienced appellate advocate who has handled a variety of appeals in state and federal court. Ms. Spencer also defends high-stakes lawsuits involving commercial disputes, business torts, and product liability claims. She has been active in DRI since 2008. Ms. Spencer currently serves as the marketing co-chair of DRI's Appellate Advocacy Committee and previously served on the DRI Young Lawyers Committee's steering committee.

Jill M. Wheaton
Dykema Gossett PLLC

Jill M. Wheaton is a member of Dykema Gossett, PLLC, resident in the Ann Arbor Michigan office, where she serves as the Chair of its nationwide Appellate Practice Team. Ms. Wheaton has argued numerous cases in various state and federal courts of appeals and is a frequent writer and speaker on various subjects related to appellate practice. Ms. Wheaton is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

Robert L. Wise
Managing Partner
Bowman and Brooke LLP

Robert L. Wisewith Bowman and Brooke LLP is is the Chair of the DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee. Mr. 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. Mr. Wise 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. Mr.Wise is active in several legal and professional organizations, including DRI and its Class Actions and Appellate Advocacy Committees (of which is the new committee Chair), as well as the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (for which he served on the board for several years).

Teresa M. Young
Brown & James PC

Teresa M. Young is a partner in the St. Louis, Missouri law firm Brown & James, P.C., practicing in the firm's St. Louis office. Within her specialty of insurance defense, Teresa regularly takes on cases that fall into the category of complex litigation, including coverage analysis, multi-party and multi-jurisdictional cases, as well as cases that contain intricate factual or legal issues. She also consistently handles appellate matters for her insurance clients and was recently named an Influential Appellate Advocate by Missouri Lawyers Weekly for her work in bringing a seminal case on co-employee liability before the Missouri Supreme Court. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degree from the University of Kansas, and her J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.