2016-2017 Council

(Year denotes end of Council member's current term.)

Chair: Gregory G. Murphy (2017)
Billings, Montana

Gregory Murphy has been practicing law in Montana for over 34 years. After being awarded a B.A. with high honors at the University of Montana, he earned a J.D. at Notre Dame Law School where he was a Thomas and Alberta White Scholar and served as associate editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. After graduation, he served a law clerkship with a U.S. Court of Appeals judge before returning to Montana to practice law.

Mr. Murphy has long been active in bar admissions and legal education. He has served as chair of the Montana Board of Bar Examiners, chair of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and chair of the Multistate Bar Examination Committee. For approximately a decade he served on the Multistate Performance Test Drafting Committee. He has served on and chaired numerous other committees and boards. He is currently serving as co-chair of the Uniform Bar Examination Committee.

In addition to serving on the Council, Mr. Murphy’s Section activities include serving as chair of the Accreditation Committee. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has received numerous awards for his leadership and service in bar admissions and his community. In 2015, Cornell University Law Schoolinvited him to serve as its Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence for the fall term.

Maureen A. O’Rourke
Dean, Boston University School of Law
Boston, Massachusetts
Maureen O'Rourke is the dean and Michaels Faculty Research Scholar at the Boston University School of Law. Dean O’Rourke joined the law school faculty in 1993 after working at IBM Corporation, where she handled software licensing issues. At the law school, her scholarship is focused on the intersection of intellectual property law and other fields, such as contract and anti-trust law. Dean O’ Rourke is co-author of a leading copyright casebook, Copyright in the Global Information Economy. She has published articles in the law reviews of Columbia, Duke, Iowa, and Minnesota and the technology journals of UC-Berkeley, Harvard, and Boston University. She was the associate reporter on the American Law Institute’s Principles of Software Contracting Project and is a member of the Marist College Pre-Law Advisory Board, past chair of the Association of American Law Schools sections on the Law School Dean and Computers & The Law, and a past member of the Boston Bar Association Council. She currently serves on the Access Group's board of directors and has been a member of the Section Council since 2009.

Dean O’Rourke graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree from Marist College and earned a J.D. from Yale Law School. In May 2000, she became Boston University’s sixth recipient of the Metcalf Award, the school’s highest teaching honor. She served as acting dean for two years prior to becoming the dean in 2006.

Vice Chair: Jeffrey Lewis (2017)
Dean Emeritus and Professor
Saint Louis University School of Law
St. Louis, Missouri
Jeffrey Lewis joined Saint Louis University School of Law as dean in 1999 and served in that capacity for 11 years. He returned to full-time teaching in 2010 with the title of dean emeritus and professor. He began his law teaching career in 1970 at the University of Akron School of Law. He served on the law faculty at the University of Florida from 1972 to 1999, and during his tenure at Florida he served as associate dean for seven years and dean for eight years. Dean Lewis earned both his bachelor’s degree and law degree from Duke University.

Dean Lewis teaches Evidence, Remedies and a seminar entitled Famous Trials. Over his career he has also taught Civil Procedure, Federal Courts and Conflict of Laws. He has always favored procedure courses because of their trans-substantive nature and the mix of the practical and theoretical thinking that they require for mastery.   

In 2012, Dean Lewis received the Section’s Robert J. Kutak Award, which is given annually to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the collaboration of the academy, the bench, and the bar. He is also the recipient of the Outstanding Professor Award at the University of Florida College of Law.

Dean Lewis has been active with the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools throughout his career. He previously served on the Council from 1999 to 2004. He also chaired the Accreditation Committee and the Standards Review Committee, served on the AALS Accreditation Committee, and chaired or served as a member of more than 20 ABA/AALS site evaluation teams.

Secretary: Edward N. Tucker, CPA/ABV (2018)
Ellin & Tucker, Chartered
Baltimore, Maryland
After 49 years as a Senior Director, Edward N. Tucker became a consultant to the accounting firm of Ellin & Tucker, Chartered. He has more than 40 years of experience with the firm as a certified public accountant (CPA), specializing in management advisory services, particularly mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, strategic planning, human resources, real estate development, dispute resolution, investment, syndication, business valuation, and litigation support.

Mr. Tucker earned a B.S. degree in business administration from the University of Maryland and received the designation of CPA in 1963. In addition, Mr. Tucker holds the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) credential awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is active in numerous professional and civic organizations including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Tucker currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc.  Mr. Tucker served on the Section's Accreditation Committee from 2001 to 2007.

Immediate Past Chair: The Honorable Rebecca White Berch (2017)
Chief Justice, Arizona Supreme Court (retired)
Tempe, Arizona
Rebecca White Berch was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in March 2002 and served as its 23rd chief justice from 2009 to 2014. Before her appointment to the state Supreme Court, she served the state of Arizona as solicitor general, chief deputy attorney general, and as a court of appeals judge. Following graduation from the Arizona State University (ASU) College of Law in 1979, Justice Berch practiced law in Phoenix. In 1986, she joined the faculty at the ASU law school as director of the legal writing program and academic support programs.

For the Section, she has served on the Bar Admissions Committee, including two years at its chair. Before joining the Arizona Supreme Court, Justice Berch served on the Arizona Bar Examinations Committee. She currently serves on the board of trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners and is a past member of the board of directors of the Conference of Chief Justices. In addition to her J.D. degree, Justice Berch holds a master’s degree in English. She has published numerous law review articles, and the law school textbook she co-authored, Introduction to Legal Method and Process, is in its fifth edition and is used in law schools throughout the nation. Justice Berch is a strong proponent of pro bono work; the Pro Bono Suite at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is named in her honor.


Jane H. Aiken (2017)
Vice Dean, Associate Dean for Experiential Education & Professor
Georgetown University Law Center 
Jane Aiken is vice dean, associate dean for experiential education and professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. Since joining the Georgetown faculty in 2007, she has directed the Community Justice Project and taught evidence, torts, and motherhood and criminality. In 2010, she received Georgetown’s Frank F. Flegal Award for outstanding teaching. In her 26 years of teaching, she has directed clinics in which students act as lawyers under supervision in cases involving a wide array of legal issues including domestic violence against women and children, HIV, homelessness and international human rights.

Professor Aiken held the William M. Van Cleve Chair at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis where she was a professor from 1997 to 2007.  She was a Carnegie Scholar for Teaching and Learning and a Fulbright Scholar in Nepal. She writes in the area of evidence, women’s rights, and clinical pedagogy. She is a member of the American Law Institute and a fellow with the American Bar Foundation.  She was a member of the AALS Membership Review Committee from 2009 to 2011.  She is the past co-chair of the ABA Women in Criminal Justice subcommittee of the Criminal Justice Section and previously served on the Section of Legal Education's Special Committee on the Professional Education Continuum.

Professor Aiken holds a B.A. from Hollins College and a J.D. from New York University School of Law where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar. Professor Aiken also received an LL.M. from Georgetown Law Center as a fellow in the Center for Applied Legal Studies.

Diane F. Bosse (2017)
Of Counsel,
Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.
Buffalo, New York
Diane F. Bosse practices law in Buffalo, New York. She was appointed to the New York State Board of Law Examiners in 1998, and has been its chair since 2001. She served on the Board of Trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners from 1999 to 2008, serving as its chair in 2006-2007. Ms. Bosse is a past president of the Defense Trial Lawyers of Western New York and a past member of the boards of directors of the Bar Association of Erie County and of the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association.

For the Section, Ms. Bosse served on the Accreditation Committee for six years (2007-2013), including two as committee chair, on the Standards Review Committee for three years (2004-2007), and on the Bar Admissions Committee for two years (2002-2004).

Ms. Bosse is an elected member of the American Law Institute.  She has received the Award of Merit from the Bar Association of Erie County, the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Public Service from the University at Buffalo Law Alumni Association, the Award for Excellence in Public Service from the New York State Bar Association, the Chair’s Award from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and the Lamplighter Award from the Eighth Judicial District Gender & Racial Fairness Committee. She was honored in 2006 as the Defense Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Defense Trial Lawyers of Western New York.  Mr. Bosse was named the Bar Association of Erie County Lawyer of the Year for 2014.  She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

David Byers (2019)
Administrative Director of the Courts
Arizona Supreme Court
Phoenix, Arizona

David Byers is the Arizona Supreme Court’s Administrative Director of the Courts. He is responsible for a overseeing the operations of the Arizona Court system with over 10,000 employees and a total budget of $740M. The system also operates both juvenile and adult probation and 13 juvenile detention centers.  Mr. Byers began his career with the court in 1978 as the first director of the Foster Care Review Board. Before being appointed administrative director by the Arizona Supreme Court in 1992, Mr. Byers was the director of the Program Services Division, director of Adult and Juvenile Probation, and deputy director of the Arizona Supreme Court. 

Mr. Byers has also served as chairman of the $34B Arizona State Retirement System; and is currently a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, the Arizona Prosecuting Attorney’s Advisory Council, the Governor’s Drug and Gang Policy Council, and the Department of Justice Global Advisory Committee.  He is the founder and first president of the National Association of Foster Care Reviewers, and cofounder of the Arizona Friends of Foster Care Foundation.

Mr. Byers earned a B.A. from Northern Iowa University and a master’s degree from Arizona State University. He was honored with the 2012 Gabe Zimmerman Leadership Award, the 2013 Warren E. Burger Award, the National Center for State Courts’ Distinguished Service Award, the Arizona Supreme Courts Distinguished Service Award, the State Bar’s Award of Appreciation, and the Cedar Falls, Iowa 1970 Man of the Year Award.

Roger J. Dennis (2019)
Dean & Professor
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Roger Dennis is the founding dean of the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He was formerly the provost at Rutgers University-Camden as well as the dean at the Rutgers-Camden School of Law.  He clerked for Judge Richard McLaren of the U.S. District Court in Chicago before working in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and practicing at Skadden Arps in Washington, D.C.  Dean Dennis has published widely with a particular focus on the application of modern financial theory to corporate law, strategic corporate behavior, and securities regulation.  His teaching currently focuses on the federal regulation of the purchase and sale of securities, the raising of capital, and the operation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in light of changing economic and political environments.

Dean Dennis is a member of the board of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and past chair of the board of the United Way of Camden County.  He was selected for membership on the national United Way Membership Accountability Committee. He also serves as a trustee of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), board chair of the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of NMSS, and on the advisory board of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.

He earned a B.S. in speech from Northwestern University and is a magna cum laude graduate of Northwestern University School of Law where he was selected for the Order of the Coif. Dean Dennis has held an elected seat in the American Law Institute since 1991 and has served in leadership positions on numerous committees of the ABA’s Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar as well as the Association of American Law Schools.

Antonio García-Padilla (2018)
Dean Emeritus and Professor
University of Puerto Rico School of Law
Before becoming the eighth president of the University of Puerto Rico in November 2001, Antonio García-Padilla had been dean of the school of law for 15 years. During his tenure as president, he launched an ambitious agenda for the institution in all relevant fields. He returned to his chair in the law school in October 2009 as dean emeritus where he teaches courses and seminars in civil procedure, constitutional and commercial law. He is the president of the Puerto Rico Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation. Dean García-Padilla has published extensively about legal and education in Puerto Rico and abroad.

Earlier in his career he served as law clerk to Judge Stephen G. Breyer, now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, then serving as a circuit judge in the Federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and to Justice Angel M. Martín of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico. Dean García-Padilla has also been an adviser to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, Dr. José Trías Monge.

For the Section, Dean García-Padilla has served on the Accreditation Committee. He has also served as president of the Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation of Puerto Rico and as a member of the council of the American Law Institute. Dean García-Padilla received his law degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law in 1978 and a master’s in law from Yale Law School in 1981. He recently published a book about his years as university president.

James J. Hanks Jr., Esq. (2017)
Partner, Venable LLP
Baltimore, Maryland

James Hanks represents publicly- and privately-held corporations and other entities in a wide variety of general corporate law and governance matters. He has advised buyers or sellers in more than 250 mergers or acquisitions, many valued at more than one billion dollars (U.S.) He has also represented parties in cross-border mergers and acquisitions and regularly serves as independent counsel to the boards of directors and board committees of major U.S. corporations. Mr. Hanks been a senior lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law, a visiting senior lecturer at Cornell University’s business school, and an adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School, teaching courses in mergers and acquisitions, and comparative corporate law and governance. In addition, he has taught classes in corporation law at various law schools in the U.S., Guatemala, the Republic of Georgia and South Africa, and at the Institute of Law in Beijing. For many years, Mr. Hanks also has been a visiting professor of law at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany.

Mr. Hanks is the author of the definitive 800-page treatise Maryland Corporation Law and the co-author (with former Stanford Law School Dean Bayless Manning) of the fourth edition of Legal Capital. He is co-editor of the Handbook for the Conduct of Shareholders' Meetings as well as the author of several law review articles and a frequent speaker on corporation law issues. 

For the Section, Mr. Hanks has served on the Standards Review Committee and on the Accreditation Committee, and on several site evaluation teams. He has also been active in the ABA Section of Business Law and is a member of the American Law Institute. He earned an A.B. from Princeton University; an LL.B. from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he was an editor of the Maryland Law Review; and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. For a year after receiving his LL.B., Mr. Hanks was law clerk to Judge Charles Fahy of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. For many years, he has appeared in The Best Lawyers in America in three categories: corporate governance and compliance law, corporate law, and mergers and acquisitions law, and is also recognized in both Chambers Global (Band 1), Capital Markets: REITs: Maryland Counsel (named “Star Individual”) and Chambers USA Capital Markets: REITs; (Band 1), Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions, Maryland (Band 1), and (Band 1) Capital Markets: REITs, Nationwide.

James M. Klein (2018)
Charleston School of Law

James Klein began his academic career more than 40 years ago as a clinical professor at the University of Toledo College of Law. While at the University of Toledo, Professor Klein served as associate dean for academic affairs and as the college of law’s interim dean for two years. During this time, he was on the Ohio Deans Council and was involved in bench and bar committees statewide and in Toledo. In 2008-2009, he was the law school’s representative on the Ohio State Bar Association Task Force on the Education of Lawyers.

Professor Klein’s university activities included serving as the NCAA faculty athletic representative for 17 years and membership on many university committees. In 2007, he was appointed to a university professorship. Upon his retirement in 2009, he was awarded emeritus status. Currently, Professor Klein is a visiting professor at Charleston School of Law where he teaches civil procedure and directs the externship program. While on leave in spring 2015, Professor Klein served as a Fulbright Specialist and taught a graduate school law course on American Judicial Process and Civil Procedure at the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai.

From 1997 to 2003, Professor Klein served on the Accreditation Committee and has served on nine law school site evaluation teams, serving five times as team chair. He has also served on the Section's Nominating Committee, Curriculum Committee, and the ad hoc Accreditation Consistency Committee. Professor Klein earned an A.B. degree from the University of Michigan and a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Paul G. Mahoney (2017)
University of Virginia School of Law

Paul Mahoney joined the University of Virginia School of Law faculty in 1990, served as academic associate dean from 1999 to 2004, and served as dean from 2008 to 2016. He is the David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law and the Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law. Previously he practiced law with the New York firm of Sullivan & Cromwell and clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Ralph K. Winter Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Dean Mahoney’s teaching and research areas are securities regulation, law and economic development, corporate finance, financial derivatives, and contracts. He has published widely in law reviews and peer-reviewed in finance, law and economics journals. He is a past recipient of the All-University Teacher Award and the law school’s Traynor Award for excellence in faculty scholarship.

Leo P. Martinez (2018)
University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Leo P. Martinez is the Albert Abramson Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He served as UC Hastings’ academic dean for twelve years and he served as the acting chancellor and dean of the college in the 2009-2010 academic year.

Professor Martinez is a past president of the Association of American Law Schools. He has chaired or served on more than two-dozen ABA law school site evaluation visits and he has assisted ten law schools in their strategic planning. He is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI); he is one of the academic advisers on the ALI’s Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance project, and he was a member of the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education.

Outside of academia, Professor Martinez has chaired the boards of four different non-profit organizations including KQED, Inc.; Public Advocates, Inc.; the St. Francis Hospital Foundation; and Public Media Company. He is a member of the board of CollegeTrack, a Bay Area-based organization that provides mentoring for high school students living in low-income and underserved areas and he is a member of the University of Kansas Chancellor’s Club Advisory Board.

Professor Martinez is a co-author of a leading insurance law casebook, a co-editor of a four-volume insurance treatise, and the author of many articles on tax, insurance law, and legal education that have appeared in journals ranging from the Stanford Law Review to the Tulane Law Review to the Yale Law and Policy Review to the China EU Law Journal.

Cynthia Nance (2018)
Dean Emeritus and Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law

University of Arkansas School of Law (Fayetteville),
Cynthia Nance served as the dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law from 2006 through 2011, and is both the first African-American and first woman to serve in that position. She earned a B.S. magna cum laude from Chicago State University, an M.A. in finance from the University of Iowa, and a J.D. with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Professor Nance is past chair of the American Association of Law Schools' Employment Discrimination and Labor & Employment Law sections. For the ABA, she is a council member of the Section on Labor and Employment Law (LEL) and represents the LEL Section in the ABA House of Delegates. She was recently appointed to the ABA Center on Racial and Ethnic Diversity.

Other professional affiliations include serving on the board of the National Association of Law Placement Foundation, the American Law Institute, the Deans' Development Committee of the American Inns of Court, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Board and as chair of the LSAC Finance and Legal Affairs Committee. She is a consultant to the Kettering Foundation Legal Education and Democracy Project. 

The recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, Professor Nance is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, an American Bar Association Fellow, and a 2012 recipient of the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award. She was a recipient of the inaugural Judge Andree Layton Roaf Award. She was also honored as the 2005 Arkansas Bar Association Outstanding Lawyer-Citizen. In 2004, she received the University of Arkansas Alumni Association's Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award for Public Service and was recognized in 2003 as a Northwest Arkansas Woman of Distinction and a Northwest Arkansas Martin Luther King Individual Achievement Award recipient. She has been honored as one of 25 Minority Trailblazers and 20 Women of Influence by Arkansas Business. In 2009, the University of Arkansas' chapter of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) was renamed the Cynthia E. Nance Chapter of BLSA.

The Honorable Jequita H. Napoli (2018)
Special Judge
Cleveland County District Court
Norman, Oklahoma
Judge Napoli was appointed as the Special District Judge in Cleveland County (Norman), Oklahoma in 1996 and is recognized as a judicial leader on issues of mental illness and domestic violence. She served for eight years as a member of the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners including a term as chair. During her tenure on the Oklahoma Board, Judge Napoli worked to enhance the close relationship between the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Oklahoma judiciary, and the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners.

Since 2007, Judge Napoli has been a member of the ABA House of Delegates and in 2008-2009 was selected by Carolyn Lamm, then-president of the ABA to serve on the ABA Task Force on Law School Accreditation. She served six years, from 2004 to 2010, on the Accreditation Committee, and served on the Foreign Programs Subcommittee from 2008 to 2012, including two terms as chair (2008-2009 and 2011-2012).

For 12 years, she served on the board of trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), including a term as chair in 2002-2003. Judge Napoli also served as the chair of the NCBE’s Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination Committee, overseeing the MPRE, the examination on professional ethics that is administered in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and a number of American territories. Judge Napoli earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with distinction from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Charles Ray Nash, Ed.D. (2018)
Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs
The University of Alabama System

Charles R. Nash has served as vice chancellor for academic affairs for The University of Alabama System since 1992. As the senior academic officer in the system, he is the chief liaison to academic, institutional research, and planning officials at The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. He advises the chancellor on all academic policy matters and provides primary leadership in program planning, development, and review. Additionally, he is the liaison officer for the UA System to the Alabama Department of Education, the Alabama Department of Post Secondary Education, and the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. In 2009, his duties were expanded to include student affairs functions for The University of Alabama System.

Dr. Nash holds a bachelor’s degree from Jackson (Mississippi) State University, a master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a doctoral degree from Mississippi State University; and has studied at Southeastern Louisiana University (graduate study), Stanford University (distance learning), and Harvard University (IEM), and the Oxford Roundtable.

Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. Nash served as associate executive director (vice president) for the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He has also held the position of dean of the school of education at Armstrong Atlantic State University (Georgia) and director of special studies and assistant vice chancellor for academic development for the board of regents of the University System of Georgia. He began his career teaching junior high school science and served as a high school assistant principal and as an elementary school principal.

Dr. Nash recently completed a six-year term on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and serves on the executive committee of the National Alliance of State Science and Mathematics Coalitions, the Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee, the Access to Justice Commission of the Alabama Supreme Court, the governing board of the A+ College Ready Advanced Placement Program for Alabama, and the New York Academy of Sciences/SUNY STEM Advisory Committee. For the Section, he has served on the Accreditation Committee (AC) and currently serves on the AC’s Foreign Programs subcommittee.

In 2009, Dr. Nash was inducted into the McComb, Mississippi High School Hall of Fame and was chosen as Citizen of the Year in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. In 2010, he was named a Pillar of the Community of West Alabama. He was presented the first Friend of the Alabama Mathematics, Science, and Technology Initiative Award and the NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award. In September 2013, Dr. Nash was inducted into the Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame.

Raymond C. Pierce (2017)
Chief Education Officer
The Global Teaching Project
Washington, D.C.
Raymond Pierce joined The Global Teaching Project in February 2016. Previously, he was a partner with the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley Scarborough where he was a member of the firm's corporate, banking, and education practice groups.  From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Pierce served as dean and professor of law at the North Carolina Central University School of Law where he led the school in achieving several top national rankings and directed the school's successful effort toward obtaining membership with the Association of American Law Schools. 

Prior to joining North Carolina Central University School of Law, Mr. Pierce was a partner in the national law firm of Baker & Hostetler LLP, representing clients in the steel, energy, construction, and banking businesses. From 1993 to 2000, he served in the administration of President Bill Clinton as the politically appointed deputy assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education where he managed the enforcement of federal civil rights laws in education and the development of federal education policy.  Mr. Pierce was also a member of the White House Domestic Policy Council committee that developed the Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Zone economic development initiative. 

Mr. Pierce is a director of M&F Bank and M&F Bancorp where he serves on the audit and corporate governance committees.  He is a past member of the North Carolina State Banking Commission, the North Carolina Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, and Board of Governors of the North Carolina Bar Association. Mr. Pierce has also served on the board of the National Association of Law Placement Foundation; the executive board of Duke University’s Center on Law, Ethics and National Security; the Section’s Bar Admissions Committee; and the Programs and Services Committee of the Law School Admissions Council.  He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and serves on the North Carolina Chief Justice's Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law where he was later inducted into the school's Society of Benchers.

The Honorable Mary R. Russell (2018)
Supreme Court of Missouri

Mary R. Russell, a seventh-generation Missourian, was appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri in 2004. In July 2013, she was elected chief justice by her colleagues for a two-year term. She continues to serve as a member of the court. She was raised on a dairy farm in Ralls County, near Hannibal and was educated in the Hannibal public schools. She attended Truman State University, graduating summa cum laude with both a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts. She earned a J.D. from the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Law.

Upon graduation from law school, Justice Russell clerked for the Honorable George Gunn of the Supreme Court of Missouri. She then practiced law in Hannibal with the law firm of Clayton and Rhodes until her appointment to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, in 1995. At the court of appeals, she served as chief judge from 1999 to 2000. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2004.

Justice Russell is active in many professional and legal organizations around the state and country, including the Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline of Judges; Missouri Lawyers Trust Account Foundation; a commission to select a federal judge for the Eastern District of Missouri in 1993; House of Delegates to the American Bar Association; Young Lawyers Council of The Missouri Bar; numerous Missouri Bar committees; the Missouri Press-Bar Commission; and the Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee and Appellate Practice Committee. She is a past co-chair of the Appellate Practice Committee of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) and has served as chair on other committees in BAMSL.

She also has served on a variety of statewide boards and commissions including the board of governors of Truman State University (president, 1996), Missouri State Senate Reapportionment Commission in 1991, the Missouri Council on Women’s Economic Development, and the Missouri Job Development and Training Council.

Justice Russell is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Women’s Justice Award, the Faculty/Alumni Award from University of Missouri–Columbia, the Citation of Merit Award from the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Law, the Distinguished Alumni Award–Truman State University, the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Equal Justice Award, the Lasting Legacy award from Missouri CASA, the Soroptomist International Women Helping Women Award, the Jefferson City Rotarian of the Year, Zonta Woman of Achievement in Jefferson City, the Matthews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club Appreciation Award and the Kirkwood Citizen of the Year. She is also named in the 2015 Ingram’s 50 Missourians You Should Know. She is a Henry Toll Fellow, a member of the Missouri Academy of Squires and a member of the Rollins Society of the University of Missouri.

Mayra Salinas-Menjivar (2017)
Law Student Division Member
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
William S. Boyd School of Law

Mayra Salinas-Menjivar is a student at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law, where she serves as the secretary to the Child Advocacy Law Association, and is an active member of the Public Interest Law Association, Nevada Justice Association (law student chapter), and La Voz (Hispanic Law Student Association).

Ms. Salinas served as the Circuit Governor for the 14th Circuit of the ABA’s Law Student Division for the 2015-2016 term. In addition to her service to the Law Student Division, Ms. Salinas is a member of the ABA’s Business Law Section, Section of Litigation, Section of Science & Technology Law, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Section of International Law, and the Law Practice Division.

Ms. Salinas is always seeking to improve the law student experience at her school. Her efforts include participating in meetings with her law school’s administration to address mental health awareness, addressing and promoting student participation, and creating lasting partnerships with local professional organizations.

Ms. Salinas has worked as an office manager and paralegal for a boutique criminal defense law firm working on capital criminal cases. She has also worked as a legal intern at Caesars Entertainment Corp., and as an intern to the Honorable Cathleen Delaney, District Court Judge in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada. Currently, Ms. Salinas works as an intern to the Honorable Gloria Sturman, District Court Judge in the Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County, Nevada; and as a law clerk at Donath & Medrala PLLC. Ms. Salinas holds a bachelor of science in business administration degree from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Joseph K. West (2019)
Partner and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Duane Morris LLP
Washington D.C.

Joseph West is the lead trial counsel on behalf of Fortune® 100 companies in complex litigation and significant class action matters. His areas of concentration include insurance and coverage issues, environmental, land use, employment, contractual disputes and catastrophic injury.

Mr. West frequently speaks and conducts training on litigation and case management, outside counsel management, law department metrics and the business of diversity and inclusion. As chief diversity and inclusion officer at Duane Morris, he chairs the firm-wide inclusion committee and manages all firm-wide inclusion initiatives with an emphasis on the recruiting, retention, mentoring, training, and advancement of minority and women lawyers. Mr. West also advises firm clients on diversity and inclusion issues and assists clients with developing meaningful diversity and inclusion programs and metrics.

Mr. West was appointed by ABA President Paulette Brown to the ABA Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360, was a member of the ABA Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education, and has served on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He is also a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel's ACC Value Challenge Steering Committee. Mr. West formerly served on the Arts Council of New Orleans and the Walton Arts Center Corporate Leadership Council. Additionally, former Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco appointed him to chair the Louisiana State Museum Board.

Mr. West is a 1986 graduate of Tulane University Law School and earned a B.A. in journalism from Southern University. He has served as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Tulane’s law school.

Section Delegates to the House of Delegates

The Honorable Christine M. Durham (2017)
Supreme Court of Utah

Justice Christine Durham has been on the Utah Supreme Court since 1982, and served as Chief Justice and chair of the Utah Judicial Council from 2002 to 2012. She previously served on the state trial court after a number of years in private practice. She is the past-president of the Conference of Chief Justices of the United States. She is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, the Board of Overseers for the Rand Corporation's Institute for Civil Justice, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Association. Past professional service includes the governing boards of the American Inns of Court Foundation, the Appellate Judges Conference of the ABA, the ABA's Commission on Women in the Profession, and the Federal Judicial Conference's Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure. She is also a past president of the National Association of Women Judges, and was that organization's Honoree of the Year in 1997.

Justice Durham has been active in judicial education, and was a founder of the Leadership Institute in Judicial Education. She helped create and lead the Utah Coalition for Civic Character and Service Education and served on the Utah Commission on Civic Education. She was an adjunct professor for many years at the University of Utah College of Law, teaching state constitutional law, and served for twelve years on the Utah Constitutional Revision Commission. She has received honorary degrees from four Utah universities and has been recognized nationally for her work in judicial education and efforts to improve the administration of justice. In 2007 she received the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence; and in 2008 she received the Transparent Courthouse Award for contributions to judicial accountability and administration from the Institute for the Advancement of the Legal System at the University of Denver.

Justice Durham served on the Section’s Council from 2004 to 2012, including one year as its chair in 2010-2011. She received her A.B. with honors from Wellesley College and a J.D. from Duke University School of Law, where she is an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees.

The Honorable Solomon Oliver, Jr. (2018)
Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Judge Oliver was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and became Chief Judge in 2010. Judge Oliver holds a B.A. from the College of Wooster, an M.A. in political science from Case Western Reserve University, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. From 1975 to 1976, Judge Oliver was a law clerk for the late Judge William H. Hastie of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  

Judge Oliver was an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, where he served as chief of the Civil Division and chief of Appellate Litigation. From 1982 to 1994, he was a professor at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland Marshall College of Law and served as associate dean from 1991 to 1994. 

He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Wooster and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the New York University Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Association. He is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Foundation, and the board of trustees of the College of Wooster. Judge Oliver has served on the Judicial Conference of the United States, and is currently a member of its Civil Rules Advisory Committee. He was a member of the Section's Council from 1996 to 2005 and from 2011 to 2015, including a term as chair from 2013 to 2014. He has also served on the Accreditation Committee, the Standards Review Committee and numerous site visit teams. Judge Oliver previously served as co-chair of the ABA Litigation Section’s Minority Trial Lawyer Committee.

Board of Governors Liaison
E. Fitzgerald Parnell, III (2018)
Poyner Spruill LLP
Charlotte, North Carolina

Jerry Parnell is a partner in the North Carolina law firm Poyner Spruill and concentrates his practice in litigation, primarily legal malpractice defense.  He graduated from the college of engineering of North Carolina State University and from the University of North Carolina School of Law. He clerked for Chief Justice William H. Bobbitt of the North Carolina Supreme Court and served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.    

Mr. Parnell has been active in bar and civic work including serving as the president of the North Carolina State Bar, the mandatory bar of that state, the state delegate for North Carolina in the House of Delegates, state chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciar,y and the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. He helped found the North Carolina Federal Bar Advisory Council, the NC Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission, Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina, Inc., and the  Judicial Response Committee. 

Mr. Parnell's past board services include Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, NC Association of Defense Attorneys, and Moderator of the Permanent Judicial Commission for the Presbytery of Charlotte.  He currently serves as a member of the board of the UNC Law Alumni Association,  a trustee of NC IOLTA, and as a member of the Board of Governors committees on finance and audit. In addition to North Carolina bar memberships, he is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, the National Conference of Bar Presidents, and the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents.

Young Lawyers Division Liaison
David L. Morrow II (2017)
Special Advisor to the President & Assistant Chief of Staff
Elon University
Elon, North Carolina

As Special Advisor to the President and Assistant Chief of Staff at Elon University, David Morrow serves as a liaison for the university’s board of trustees and works on the president’s behalf with the planning and implementation of major campus-wide strategic initiatives. He was formerly legal counsel for a Fortune 500 company and a regulatory attorney in the Washington D.C. office of an AmLaw 200 law firm where he assisted “top 15” national banks.

Mr. Morrow earned his undergraduate degree from Elon University in 2007, where he was a Presidential Scholar, and his law degree from Elon University School of Law in 2010, where he was a NAACP Legal Defense Fund Earl Warren Scholar. Following law school, Mr. Morrow worked for the Honorable Anna Blackburne-Rigsby of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He also served as a law clerk for BB&T Corporation, U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (N.Y.), and the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Mr. Morrow has been honored by the National Bar Association with a "Top 40 under 40 Attorneys" award and the Junius W. Williams Young Lawyer of the Year award. Mr. Morrow was selected by the ABA’s Business Law Section to serve as one of five fellows nationwide from 2013 to 2015, and was a member of the inaugural class of the ABA’s Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy in 2013 at Target Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Additionally, Mr. Morrow is a Fellow with the American Bar Foundation. He is the past chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the Washington Bar Association and the past vice chair of the Young Lawyers Division of the National Bar Association.