The Honorable Phyllis J. Hamilton, Chief Judge
Chief U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton was appointed in May 2000 by President William Clinton to serve as a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California, in San Francisco. After 19 years at the San Francisco Federal Building, she relocated her chambers to Oakland in 2009. She became the Chief Judge of the District in December 2014. In April 1991 Judge Hamilton was appointed as a U.S. Magistrate Judge and served the Northern District of California in that capacity until her elevation to the District Court. Prior to her federal judicial career, Judge Hamilton served as a Court Commissioner in the state court for Alameda County (1985-1991) and as an Administrative Judge for the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, San Francisco Regional Office (1980-1985). She also practiced law as a deputy public defender for the California Office of the State Public Defender (1976-1980). Judge Hamilton received her B.A. degree from Stanford University and her J.D. cum laude from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1976.
Fred Alvarez is one of the preeminent employment lawyers in the United States. His practice combines a unique blend of public service with legal profession leadership. He has an active individual and class action litigation practice devoted to defending employers in claims brought by private and governmental parties and by former senior executives. Mr. Alvarez has represented clients in a range of industries, including energy, retail, communications, financial services and technology. He focuses substantial attention on strategic and compliance advice and internal investigations. His practice includes serving as a court-appointed monitor of class action decrees. He has testified before Congress on several occasions. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan and confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Alvarez served in two federal government subcabinet positions. As Assistant Secretary of Labor, he managed the Wage and Hour Division and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. He also served as a Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He began his career as a trial attorney with the National Labor Relations Board.
Mr. Alvarez is consistently ranked in legal guides as among the top employment law practitioners representing employers. He is an adviser to the ALI Restatement of Employment Law and has been appointed to a variety of task forces as well as to judicial-selection committees. He is a former chair of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and has served on the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. Mr. Alvarez currently serves on the board of trustees of Stanford University and on the board of governors of Public Advocates Inc.
Professor Shima Baradaran Baughman
Professor Shima Baradaran Baughman is a professor of criminal law at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law. She is a national expert on bail and pretrial prediction and her current scholarship examines criminal justice policy, prosecutors, drugs, search and seizure, international law and terrorism, and race and violent crime. Professor Baughman has worked with economists and political scientists to write articles involving advanced empirical modeling and randomized controlled trials, including the largest global field experiment in the world. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, on National Public Radio, The Economist, The Washington Post, Forbes and other media outlets and she has been invited to present her work at Stanford, Cornell, NYU, UCLA and many other law schools and to groups of judges and attorneys across the country. Her articles have been published in many top journals, including University of Pennsylvania Law Review, USC Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Texas Law Review, George Washington Law Review, Minnesota Law Review and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. She is currently working on a book, Bail: The High Cost of Freedom, with Cambridge University Press, and has published a textbook, Criminal Law: Case Studies and Controversies (4th Ed. Aspen), co-authored with Paul Robinson and Michael Cahill.
William J. Baxley
William J. Baxley served as Alabama Attorney General from 1971 to 1979 and as Lieutenant Governor from 1983 to 1987. Though only 28 years old when first elected to office, Mr. Baxley was already a seasoned and accomplished prosecutor, having tried dozens of jury trials as District Attorney in Houston and Henry counties. While Attorney General, Mr. Baxley appointed the state’s first African-American Assistant Attorney General. Mr. Baxley’s successful prosecution of Ku Klux Klansman Robert Chambliss for the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is featured in the Spike Lee documentary, “4 Little Girls.” His legal accomplishments are also documented in “Lay Down with Dogs, Until Justice Rolls Down,” and numerous other publications. Among other organizations, he is a fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Baxley is in private practice in Birmingham, Alabama at the law firm of Baxley, Dillard, McKnight, James & McElroy.
The Honorable Hannah L. Blumenstiel
Judge Hannah L. Blumenstiel was appointed to the bankruptcy bench on February 11, 2013. Prior to her appointment, from 2003 to 2012, Judge Blumenstiel was an associate and partner with Winston & Strawn LLP, where her practice focused on creditors’ rights litigation in state and federal court, including bankruptcy court. From 2001 to 2003, she was an associate with Murphy Sheneman Julian & Rogers LLP, where she represented debtors, creditors and trustees in bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings. Judge Blumenstiel served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Charles M. Caldwell of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Eastern Division) from 1998 to 2001. From 1997 to 1998, Judge Blumenstiel represented the State of Ohio as an Assistant Attorney General with the Revenue Recovery Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Judge Blumenstiel earned her law degree from Capital University Law School in 1997. During her first two years of law school, she worked full-time for the Columbus Bar Association as Director of its pro bono initiative “Lawyers for Justice.” Judge Blumenstiel received her B.A. from The Ohio State University in 1992.
Leslie A. Brueckner
Leslie A. Brueckner is a Senior Attorney at Public Justice, where she has spent the past 25 years litigating complex appeals on a wide range of public-interest issues. Her areas of expertise include class actions, constitutional rights, federal preemption and combating court secrecy. Ms. Brueckner received her A.B. degree summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley in 1983 and her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1987.
Among other victories, Ms. Brueckner has won unanimous preemption rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court in Sprietsma v. Mercury Marine Corp., 537 U.S. 51 (2002) (upholding an injury victim’s right to sue a manufacturer for failing to install a propeller guard on its recreational motor boat engines), and from the California Supreme Court in Quesada v. Herb Thyme Farms, Inc., 62 Cal. 4th 298 (2015) (upholding consumers’ rights to sue an organic grower for mislabeling its conventionally grown herbs as “organic”).
In 2011, Ms. Brueckner founded Public Justice’s Food Project, which seeks to hold corporations accountable for the manufacture, distribution and marketing of food and other products that endanger consumers’ safety, health and nutrition. In 2012, she was honored by the Animal Legal Defense Fund with its “Pro Bono Achievement Award” for her work fighting the unsafe and inhumane treatment of animals in factory farms. In addition to her litigation work, Ms. Brueckner has taught appellate advocacy at American University Law School and Georgetown University School of Law.
Elizabeth J. Cabraser
Elizabeth J. Cabraser, a native of Oakland, California, received her bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. As founding partner of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, she represents plaintiffs in securities fraud, product defect, consumer, civil rights, human rights and antitrust litigation. She has served in court-appointed leadership roles in numerous multidistrict and class actions, currently serving as Plaintiffs’ Lead Counsel in Volkswagen “Clean” Diesels” Litig. (MDL No. 2672); on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon (MDL No. 2179) (E.D. LA); and the Indirect Purchaser team in Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litig. (MDL No. 2420) (N.D. CA). She teaches complex litigation at Berkeley and Columbia Law Schools, is Editor-in-Chief of California Class Action Practice and Procedure and the ABA’s The Law of Class Actions 2015-2016, and writes on class action and complex litigation topics. Ms. Cabraser was named one of The National Law Journal’’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” in 1997, 2000, 2006 and 2013, and is frequently on the “California Daily Journal” and “Top 100 Lawyers” lists. She also serves on the Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee.
Dean Erwin Chemerinsky
Dean 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.
Prior to assuming this position in 2008, Dean Chemerinsky was the Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2008, and before that was a professor at the University of Southern California Law School from 1983-2004, including as the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science. He also has taught at DePaul College of Law and UCLA Law School. He is the author of 10 books, including The Case Against the Supreme Court, published by Viking in 2014, and two books to be published by Yale University Press in 2017, Closing the Courthouse Doors: How the Supreme Court Made Your Rights Unenforceable and Renewing Free Speech on College Campuses (with Howard Gillman).
Dean Chemerinsky also is the author of more than 200 law review articles. He writes a weekly column for The Orange County Register, monthly columns for the ABA Journal and The Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. In January 2014, National Jurist magazine named Dean Chemerinsky as the most influential person in legal education in the United States. He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.
The Honorable Edward Chen
Judge Edward Chen is a 1979 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He served on the California Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif. After clerking for U.S. District Judge Charles B. Renfrew and U.S. Court of Appeals Chief Judge James R. Browning, he practiced as a litigation associate with the law firm of Coblentz, Cahen, McCabe & Breyer. Judge Chen joined the legal staff of the ACLU Foundation of Northern California in 1985 where he served until joining the Court in 2001. From 2001 to 2011, Judge Chen served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California. He was first nominated by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court on August 6, 2009. After a lengthy confirmation process, Judge Chen was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May 2011.
The Honorable Vince Chhabria
Judge Vince Chhabria is a federal district judge in the San Francisco Division of the Northern District of California. He was nominated by President Barack Obama, and confirmed by the Senate on March 5, 2014. Before taking the bench, Judge Chhabria was Chief of Appellate Litigation for the San Francisco City Attorney’s office. He was also on the City Attorney’s affirmative litigation task force and was a member of the team of lawyers that challenged California’s ban on marriage by same-sex couples. Prior to joining the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, Judge Chhabria worked in the San Francisco office of Covington & Burling, where he focused primarily on criminal defense litigation. He served as a law clerk to Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2001-2002 term. Before that, he served as a law clerk at the Ninth Circuit (the Honorable James R. Browning), and at the Northern District of California (the Honorable Charles R. Breyer). Judge Chhabria attended law school at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law from 1995-1998. Before that, he spent three years working as a Legislative Assistant to Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey in Washington, D.C. He received his undergraduate degree in Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1991.
Jina L. Choi
Jina L. Choi is the Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s San Francisco Regional Office. The Regional Office has a staff of 130 people and is responsible for the SEC’s enforcement and examination programs in Northern California, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and Alaska with over 1,000 investment advisers (and $5 trillion in assets under management), over 50 mutual fund complexes and over 250 broker-dealers located in the region. The public and pre-IPO companies located in the region are among the most dynamic and closely-followed issuers and companies in the country, including those in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Prior to her appointment as Director of the Regional Office, Ms. Choi served as an Assistant Regional Director and in the Division of Enforcement’s Market Abuse Unit. She has conducted and supervised investigations into financial reporting fraud, insider trading, misconduct by investment advisers and brokers, FCPA and other securities law violations.
Ms. Choi also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Texas. Before joining the SEC, Ms. Choi clerked for the Honorable Robert P. Patterson, Jr. (SDNY), worked as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York and served as a Trial Attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. She received her B.A. from Oberlin College and her J.D. from Yale Law School.
The Honorable Jacqueline Scott Corley
Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley has presided over a variety of civil cases at all stages of the proceedings, from motions to dismiss through jury trial. She has also served as a settlement judge in nearly every type of federal litigation.
Just prior to her 2011 appointment to the Court, Judge Corley was a partner at Kerr & Wagstaffe, LLP in San Francisco as a civil litigator with an emphasis on federal practice. She represented individuals, government entities and institutions as plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of matters that included trademark, copyright, patent, constitutional law, defamation, malicious prosecution, class actions, contract and probate.
From 1998 through 2009 Judge Corley served as a career law clerk to the Honorable Charles R. Breyer. She also served on the Northern District of California Alternative Dispute Resolution mediation and early neutral evaluation panels from 2006 through her appointment.
Judge Corley received her undergraduate degree from University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, where she was an editor and Articles Chair of the Harvard Law Review. Upon graduation she served as a law clerk to Judge Robert E. Keeton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. She then practiced complex commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense at Goodwin, Procter LLP in Boston and was a litigation associate at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP in San Francisco before joining Judge Breyer in 1998.
Kathryn Burkett Dickson
Kathryn Burkett Dickson is repeatedly recognized as one of California’s top employment litigators. She brings more than 35 years of litigation experience to Dickson Geesman. Most of her clients are individuals in employment discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and whistleblower actions, although she has also had notable success in several high-profile class action cases. Ms. Dickson is committed to representing the entire spectrum of employees from entry-level workers to top-level executives. She is a frequent speaker on employment issues and has made presentations to the American Bar Association, the California State Bar Labor and Employment Section, the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), American Law Institute – American Bar Association (ALI-ABA), the Pacific Coast Labor and Employment Law Conference, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and many others.
Ms. Dickson serves as a court-appointed Early Neutral Evaluator and Mediator for the U.S. Federal Courts. In addition, she serves on the governing council of the American Bar Association Labor & Employment Section and is a past board member of both NELA and CELA, the largest national and state organizations of lawyers representing employees. Her recent recognition includes consistent annual listing among the “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Northern California” and the “Top 100 Lawyers in Northern California” — both of which cover all fields of law — and her election to the national College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Ms. Dickson was also recently identified by The Daily Journal legal newspaper as one of the top 75 Labor and Employment Lawyers in California. In 2013, Ms. Dickson was awarded the prestigious Joe Posner award by the California Employment Lawyers Association. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Professor Brian Fitzpatrick
Professor Brian Fitzpatrick is a professor at Vanderbilt Law School, where his research focuses on class action litigation. In 2010, he published a comprehensive empirical study of class action settlements in federal court, “An Empirical Study of Class Action Settlements and their Fee Awards,” 7 J. Empirical L. Stud. 811 (2010). His current project is the forthcoming book, The Conservative Case for Class Actions (University of Chicago Press 2018). Professor Fitzpatrick graduated first in his class from Harvard Law School and went on to clerk for Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. After his clerkships, Professor Fitzpatrick practiced commercial and appellate litigation for several years at Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.
The Honorable Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr.
Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. serves as a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California. He was appointed by President Barack Obama on September 8, 2014, and received his commission on
December 19, 2014.
Judge Gilliam graduated magna cum laude from Yale College in 1991 and received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1994. After law school, Judge Gilliam clerked for the Honorable Thelton E. Henderson, then the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. He was in private practice from 1995 to 1998 before leaving to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Francisco from 1999 to 2006. In his last two years at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Judge Gilliam served as Chief of the office’s Securities Fraud Section. Before Judge Gilliam was appointed to the bench, his law practice focused on white collar criminal and regulatory matters and internal investigations.
The Honorable Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers was appointed in 2011 to serve as a Federal District Court Judge for the Northern District of California. From 2008 to 2011, she served as a California Superior Court Judge in Alameda County, presiding over criminal trials and a civil direct calendar. Before joining the Superior Court, she was a partner at Cooley LLP. Judge Gonzalez Rogers is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Texas School of Law. She was elected to the Council of the American Law Institute in 2010 and the Princeton University Board of Trustees in 2014.
Paul Grewal is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Litigation at Facebook, Inc. Before joining Facebook, Mr. Grewal served as U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California. He was appointed by Chief Justice Roberts to the Magistrate Judges Education Committee of the Federal Judicial Center.
Before his appointment to the bench, Mr. Grewal was a partner at Day Casebeer LLP (later merged with Howrey LLP). He has tried cases from Marshall, Texas to Wilmington, Delaware, and has argued before various federal appellate courts. He is the proud holder of a registration to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and an equally proud former President of the South Asian Bar Association of North America.
Mr. Grewal served as a law clerk to Federal Circuit Judge Arthur J. Gajarsa and U.S. District Judge Sam H. Bell. He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and his S.B. from MIT. Mr. Grewal and his wife Gowri have been married 20 years and are the proud parents of Calvin, age 16, and Sarina, age 9.
Deepak Gupta is the founding principal of Gupta Wessler PLLC. He specializes in Supreme Court, appellate and complex litigation on a wide range of issues, including constitutional law, class actions, and consumers’ and workers’ rights. He has also taught public interest law and appellate advocacy at Georgetown and American universities.
Mr. Gupta has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court multiple times and has handled appeals in every federal circuit and seven state supreme courts. He has also testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and appeared on CNN, Fox News, ABC’s World News, Good Morning America and NPR’s All Things Considered and Marketplace.
Currently, Mr. Gupta and his law firm represent Everytown for Gun Safety (in Second Amendment litigation); the American Association for Justice (on forced arbitration and civil justice issues); former pro football players (on concussions in the NFL); the family of an unarmed Mexican teenager shot by a U.S. border patrol agent (in a U.S. Supreme Court case over the Constitution’s extraterritorial reach); and others in impact, consumer and constitutional litigation.
Previously, Mr. Gupta served as Senior Litigation Counsel and Senior Counsel for Enforcement Strategy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As the first appellate litigator hired under Elizabeth Warren’s leadership, he was instrumental in launching the Bureau’s amicus program, defending its regulations and working with the Solicitor General’s office on Supreme Court matters. Earlier in his career, Mr. Gupta served as an attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group, where he founded and directed the Consumer Justice Project and was the Alan Morrison Supreme Court Project Fellow. Mr. Gupta received his law degree from Georgetown, studied Sanskrit at Oxford, and received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Fordham.
Jennifer C. Hayes
Jennifer C. Hayes is a partner at Finestone Hayes LLP. She focuses her practice in representing court-appointed fiduciaries and commercial litigation. Ms. Hayes successfully represents both plaintiffs and defendants in federal district court, bankruptcy court, state court and arbitration in a wide range of matters, including breach of contract, commercial torts, unfair competition, disability discrimination, employment discrimination and fraudulent transfers. She handles appeals before the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit and the District Court. Prior to joining Finestone Hayes, she was a partner with Dentons. Before that, she was the long time attorney in Chambers to the Honorable Thomas E. Carlson, bankruptcy judge for the Northern District of California, after having been in private practice in the Bay Area and Austin, Texas. Ms. Hayes is a member of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees, ABI and BABF. She graduated from the University of Texas School of Law, holding both a J.D. and an LL.M. Degree in Empirical Bankruptcy Studies.
G. Douglas Jones
G. Douglas Jones is a graduate of the University of Alabama and of the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. From 1979 to 1980, he served as Staff Counsel to U.S. Senator Howell Heflin (D-AL), on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 1980 to 1984 before entering private practice. In 1997, Mr. Jones was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of Alabama and served in that capacity until 2001. Thereafter, Mr. Jones returned to private practice. He is a founding member of the Birmingham, Alabama law firm of Jones & Hawley, P.C., where his practice concentrates on complex civil and criminal litigation.
As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Jones supervised the investigation that led to the successful prosecution of Eric Robert Rudolph, a domestic terrorist who committed the 1996 bombing at the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park. Additionally, Mr. Jones led the “cold case” prosecution involving the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Mr. Jones is nationally recognized for his commitment to civil rights and diversity.
Professor Pam Karlan
Professor Pam Karlan is the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School. Her primary scholarly interests lie in the areas of constitutional litigation and the law of democracy. She is the co-author of several leading casebooks, a monograph on constitutional interpretation – “Keeping Faith with the Constitution” – and dozens of scholarly articles.
In addition to being a law professor, Professor Karlan has served as a law clerk to Judge Abraham D. Sofaer (SDNY) and to Justice Harry A. Blackmun; as an assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; as a commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission; and as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Professor Karlan is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and the ALI.
Miriam Kim is a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson. Her practice focuses on complex business litigation, intellectual property disputes and government and internal investigations for high technology companies. Recently selected as a Best Lawyer Under 40 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), Ms. Kim has significant experience on trade secrets, antitrust and false advertising claims. Her pro bono practice focuses on the needs of victims of sexual abuse. Before joining the firm, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Levin Campbell, U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit. She is president of the Asian American Bar Association (AABA) and serves on the board of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Justice & Diversity Center. Ms. Kim graduated from Harvard College and University of California, Berkeley School of Law. When not practicing law, she enjoys teaching preschool at Christ Church Berkeley and volunteering with her husband and sons (ages 6 and 9).
The Honorable Elizabeth D. Laporte
Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte is the immediate past Chief United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California. Judge Laporte presides over numerous civil cases, including intellectual property, employment, civil rights and environmental cases. She also presides over criminal matters, conducts settlement conferences and resolves discovery disputes.
Judge Laporte is a Judicial Advisor to the Sedona Conference and Judicial Observer to its Working Group on Electronic Document Retention and Production, and chaired the Northern District of California Local Rules Committee Subcommittee on E-Discovery. Judge Laporte regularly speaks and participates in panels concerning patent litigation, jury trials, e-discovery, employment law, settlement and other topics. She is the recipient of the 2015 Electronic Discovery Institute Judicial Leadership Award and co-authored a 2015 article, “A Practical Guide to Achieving Proportionality Under New Federal Rule of Civil Procedure,” published in the Federal Courts Law Review.
Judge Laporte is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School and is a Marshall Scholar, with an M.A. from Oxford University. Prior to her appointment, she was a partner at a litigation firm and an Administrative Law Judge for the California Department of Insurance. Judge Laporte also served as Chief of Special Litigation for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office and was a law clerk to the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel and a policy planner/economist at the Federal Trade Commission.
Brian Lewis was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for eight years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Chief of the Oakland Branch, supervising the prosecution of federal crimes in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. He joined the office in 2009 and worked in the San Francisco and Oakland offices. Before becoming the Deputy Chief in Oakland, Mr. Lewis served as a Senior Litigation Counsel in the office. During his tenure, he prosecuted a wide variety of federal crimes, including corporate fraud, violent crimes, firearms offenses, drug trafficking, child exploitation, counterfeiting, immigration fraud and major art theft. Prior to joining the office, Mr. Lewis was in private practice in Chicago and was on a team of lawyers who represented three Guantanamo Bay detainees. He left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in February 2017, and he is now an Associate General Counsel at Facebook, Inc.
Silvio Lugo is the Deputy Chief Pretrial Services Officer for the Northern District of California. During his 22-year career in pretrial services, Mr. Lugo has assisted in the development and implementation of multiple specialized court programs. He has served as a strategic planning instructor for the Federal Judicial Center and has worked on the implementation of Smart On Crime initiatives within the District. As a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Committee on Criminal Justice, Mr. Lugo assists with efforts to enhance the availability of pretrial services in San Francisco County. He is also a member of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and has assisted in the development and implementation of the District’s first drug court, the Conviction Alternatives Program. He received a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in Criminal Justice and completed graduate course work in Public Administration, both at San Francisco State University.
Brent D. Meyer
Brent D. Meyer is a founding member of Meyer Law Group, LLP, where his practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, general civil litigation, bankruptcy and insolvency matters, receiverships and appellate advocacy. Mr. Meyer has extensive experience representing debtors and creditors in Chapter 7, Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 cases and representing trustees in appellate proceedings. Prior to joining Meyer Law Group, he served as a senior law clerk for the Honorable Hannah L. Blumenstiel and as a law clerk for the Honorable Thomas E. Carlson for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.
Candis Mitchell is currently working in San Francisco as an Assistant Federal Public Defender. Ms. Mitchell previously worked for seven years as a trial attorney at the Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc. Prior to working as an assistant federal public defender, she worked for Teach for America with underprivileged youth and co-edited a chapter on the Bail Reform Act for the 2010 edition of Defending a Federal Criminal Case. She also sits on the Board of Directors of a non-profit. Ms. Mitchell is a graduate of Tulane University Law School. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in Educational Technology from the George Washington University.
Scott L. Nelson
Scott L. Nelson is an attorney at the Public Citizen Litigation Group in Washington, D.C., where he has a pro bono, public interest practice including consumer law, campaign finance regulation, class actions, arbitration, administrative law, regulation of hazardous products and substances, access to government records, energy regulation, environmental law, and Supreme Court and appellate practice. Before joining Public Citizen in 2001, Mr. Nelson was a partner at Washington’s Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, a litigation boutique where his clients included former President Richard Nixon. Mr. Nelson is a 1984 graduate of Harvard Law School, where he was President of the Harvard Law Review, and he was a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White from 1984 to 1986. Mr. Nelson’s diverse practice has involved him in arbitrations, administrative trial-type hearings, trials in federal court and appeals in both federal and state court systems. He has argued four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ann O’Brien is the Special Counsel for Criminal Policy and Assistant Chief of the Legal Policy Section at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. After clerking in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in 2000 Ms. O’Brien began her career at the Department of Justice as a prosecutor in the Antitrust Division’s Cleveland Field Office. She served for more than a decade in the Antitrust Division’s Front Office as Senior Counsel for Criminal Enforcement advising the leadership on criminal matters. Before moving to her current position, Ms. O’Brien was the Assistant Chief of the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal II Office. From 2011 to 2013 she also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting a wide variety of federal crimes in her hometown of Greenbelt, Maryland. Ms. O’Brien attended the University of Notre Dame and Northeastern University School of Law.
David Patton has been the Executive Director of the Federal Defenders of New York since July 2011. From 2002 to 2008, he worked at the Federal Defenders as a trial attorney in the Manhattan office. From 2008 to 2010, he was an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Alabama where he taught Criminal Law and directed the Criminal Defense Clinic. From 2010 to 2011, he was a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and founded the school’s first trial-level criminal defense clinic. He currently teaches Professional Responsibility in Criminal Law as an Adjunct Professor of Law at NYU.
Mr. Patton is a member of the American Law Institute. Among other publications, he is the author of “The Structure of Federal Public Defense: A Call for Independence,” 102 Cornell L. Rev. 101 (2017) and “Federal Public Defense in an Age of Inquisition,” 122 Yale L.J. 100 (2013). He clerked for the Honorable Claude Hilton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Prior to joining the Federal Defenders in 2002, he was an associate at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. Mr. Patton is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as an editor of the Virginia Law Review.
Sylvia Quast is the EPA’s Regional Counsel in San Francisco, where she leads a 78-member office responsible for the enforcement of the federal environmental laws in California, Arizona, Nevada and the Pacific Islands. Before that, she was the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of California U.S. Attorney’s Office. From 2005-2008, Ms. Quast was an attorney in private practice in Sacramento, where she served as finance coordinator for a $5.4 billion conservation bond campaign and helped develop the long-term restoration plan for the San Francisco Bay Salt Pond project. Prior to 2005, Ms. Quast was with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington, D.C., where she litigated cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeal and the district courts. She also prepared Department officials for Congressional hearings, press conferences and other public presentations and appearances.
The Honorable Donna M. Ryu
Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu has presided over consent cases in a wide variety of fields, including commercial disputes, patent and other intellectual property, employment, civil rights, insurance, personal injury, environmental, maritime and constitutional law. She conducts settlement conferences in all major practice areas and manages discovery in complex matters, including multi-district litigation. Judge Ryu has served on numerous court committees, including Oakland Reentry Court, Local Rules, Subcommittee on E-Discovery and Pro Bono Projects, among others.
Prior to taking the bench in 2010, Judge Ryu was a Clinical Professor of Law at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and before that at Golden Gate University Law School. Judge Ryu began her career as a commercial litigator at a large San Francisco firm before joining an Oakland-based firm specializing in class actions, and later founding her own small firm. She has been honored as a California Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law. Judge Ryu is the recipient of the Asian American Bar Association’s Joe Morozumi Award for Exceptional Legal Advocacy, the Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Trailblazers Award. She co-designed a national training institute on class actions and has written and lectured in the areas of employment law, e-discovery, pretrial practice, attorneys’ fees, class actions and professionalism.
Judge Ryu graduated with honors from Yale University and received her law degree from University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she continues to teach as a Lecturer.
Quyen Ta is a partner at Keker, Van Nest & Peters, a litigation boutique law firm in San Francisco. She has handled a significant number of high-stakes matters in state courts and federal courts and before the International Trade Commission. Her practice focuses on class action defense, intellectual property, securities and other high-stakes, complex civil litigation. Ms. Ta was part of a trial team that secured a trial victory and settlement publicly valued at more than $300 million for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC). She recently litigated a class action lawsuit for her client and successfully had a $1 billion claim dismissed at the summary judgment stage. Her representative clients include TSMC, Public Storage, NRG Energy, JM Eagle, McDonald’s and Molina Health. She is currently handling a number of consumer class action lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country.
In 2013, Ms. Ta was selected by The Recorder as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” based on her career achievements and leadership roles within her practice and the larger community. In 2014, she was selected as a “Woman Leader in Tech Law” by The Recorder and named one of the nation’s “Best Lawyers Under 40” by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, a 10,000-plus member bar organization. Ms. Ta has been recognized by various other bar organizations for her professional achievements and community service.
In 2013, she was selected as a Lawyer Representative of the Northern District of California, serving as the Co-Chair of that Committee in 2015-16. Ms. Ta is active in bar and community activities and has served on the Boards of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus and the Bar Association of San Francisco. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and twin sons.
The Honorable Jon S. Tigar
Judge Jon S. Tigar has been a District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California since January 2013 and previously served as a Judge of the Alameda County Superior Court for 11 years. In addition to serving in the leadership of both the Litigation and Antitrust Sections of the ABA, Judge Tigar is an Adviser to the American Law Institute for the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Harm, and a member of the Ninth Circuit Jury Instructions Committee.
Before taking the bench, Judge Tigar practiced complex commercial litigation at Keker & Van Nest in San Francisco, as a trial lawyer in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, and in the litigation department of Morrison & Foerster. He clerked for Judge Robert S. Vance of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Birmingham, Alabama. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley Law School in 1989, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and an Articles Editor on the California Law Review. He has a B.A. in Economics and English from Williams College.
Tom A. Willoughby
Thomas A. Willoughby’s practice focuses on difficult insolvency-related cases with the respected bankruptcy boutique Felderstein Fitzgerald Willoughby & Pascuzzi LLP. Mr. Willoughby serves as bankruptcy counsel to individuals and businesses in financial distress, Trustees and Official Committees and, occasionally, banks and creditors.
Although Mr. Willoughby is probably best known for his role as bankruptcy counsel in major cases where significant plaintiff’s litigation has generated returns for creditors (e.g., Heller Ehrman and Tri Valley Growers), his favorite Chapter 11 role is to help businesses recapitalize and survive. In a recent case, Zacky Farms was on the verge of closing multiple turkey processing plants with the loss of approximately 1,000 jobs. Mr. Willoughby assisted the debtor in a sale and plan that recapitalized the business resulting in the continued employment of over 700 full-time employees.
Mr. Willoughby received his J.D. from the UC Davis Law School in 1988 and was Associate Editor of the UC Davis Law Review.
Bobbie Wilson joined Perkins Coie, LLP in 2010 in its Patent Litigation Group and as the first African-American female partner in the firm’s then 99-year history. She has extensive experience in complex civil litigation primarily in the area of intellectual property and class action cases. Ms. Wilson represents a broad array of both national and international technology companies in cases involving software, streaming, smart products, payments and the sharing economy. Ms. Wilson’s work on behalf of many of these technology clients has been recognized, most recently by The Recorder on its “Top Women in Technology Law” list (2016). She also serves as the lead trial counsel in intellectual property, complex class action litigation and political law cases challenging voter suppression. In addition to her practice, Ms. Wilson is involved with the Northern District courts having served as a Lawyer Representative and is now serving as a member on the Professional Conduct Committee. As part of her civic commitment, Ms. Wilson serves as a Commissioner on the City and County of San Francisco Board of Appeals.
Jonathan J. Wroblewski
Jonathan J. Wroblewski is the Director of the Office of Policy and Legislation in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Wroblewski previously served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and head of the Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department and also as a prosecutor in the Department’s Civil Rights Division. He has been the Department’s ex-officio member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and also served on the Commission staff as Deputy General Counsel and later as Director of Legislative and Public Affairs. He is a lecturer at the Harvard Law School and Director of the law school’s Semester in Washington Program. He has previously taught at The George Washington University National Law Center and George Mason University School of Law, and has studied at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology as a recipient of the Atlantic Fellowship in Public Policy. Mr. Wroblewski received his B.A. magna cum laude from Duke University, and his J.D. from Stanford Law School.