NJC Faculty Council members help ensure that quality teaching standards are maintained and that the curricula offered are relevant, challenging and invigorating to the College’s participants. There are ten members on the Faculty Council who serve on staggered three-year terms. The members of the Faculty Council continue to recognize the outstanding efforts of the College’s volunteer faculty through hosted faculty receptions and dinners, commemorative awards, faculty development workshops for in-person and distance education programs, and special recognition for NJC outreach efforts.
Hon. V. Lee Sinclair, Jr.(Ret.) Chair
Judge V. Lee Sinclair has served as a judge for Stark County Common Pleas Court in Canton, Ohio since 1995. He previously practiced law for 18 years, serving as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Stark County and as a trial partner for Buckingham, Doolittle and Burroughs. Judge Sinclair received his bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and Juris Doctor from the University of Akron School of Law. He serves on the board of editors for Ohio Jury Instructions and is on the executive committee of the Stark County Bar Association. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Kent State University and is in the University of Akron Judicial Hall of Fame, and was awarded public servant of the year. He is co-author of “Handling Capital Cases”; “Law Enforcement Officer’s Guide to Juvenile Law”; “Banks Baldwin Domestic Relations Law”; and author of numerous articles and law review publications. Judge Sinclair is a Trustee of the Ohio Judicial College and served three terms as chair of the College. He has been teaching for 30 years on the subjects of criminal procedure, trial practice, evidence, medical malpractice, handling capital crimes, consumer litigation, new judges’ training, family law, substance abuse, court security, and police procedure. Judge Sinclair is an alumnus of The National Judicial College and has served as faculty since 2002. He is serving his first term on the Faculty Council representing Specialty Courses jurisdiction.
Hon. Toni T. Boone (Ret.) Immediate Past Chair
Judge Toni T. Boone served as an administrative law judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles in Las Vegas from 2003 until her retirement in 2014. Previously she was an administrative hearing referee for the state of Arkansas from 1985 to 2003. Judge Boone is an alumna of the University of Arkansas where she was a Truman Scholar. Her undergraduate degrees were in criminal justice and social work. Since 1995, Judge Boone has frequently served as adjunct faculty for criminal and administrative law classes at universities, community colleges, and police academies. She has conducted numerous continuing legal and judicial education courses for county bar associations, state judicial conferences, the National Association of Hearing Officials (NAHO), the National Association of Administrative Law Judges (NAALJ), and at national meetings of sections of the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division. She received national certification as an administrative law judge from the National Association of Hearing Officials in 2008 and currently serves on NAHO’s Board of Directors. She was an instructor for and co-creator of The National Judicial College’s web-based course “Evidence Challenges for Administrative Law Judges.” Judge Boone is an alumna of The National Judicial College and has served as faculty since 2000. She is serving her first term on the Faculty Council representing Administrative Law jurisdiction.
Hon. Jennifer Gee Secretary
San Francisco, CA
Judge Jennifer Gee currently serves as the district chief judge with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges in San Francisco, CA. In this position, she presides over formal hearings under 80 diverse, labor-related statutes and regulations, including the Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act, the whistleblower protection provisions such as the Clean Air Act, Energy Reorganization Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, and Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, as well as statutes relating to alien certification, child labor laws, civil rights, and minimum wage disputes. She has been a judge since 1982 and has served with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board hearing personnel-related cases involving federal employees, the California State Bar Court hearing attorney discipline cases, the California Department of Insurance hearing insurance regulation cases, and the Office of Hearings and Appeals for the Social Security Administration hearing social security disability benefits cases. Before becoming a judge, she practiced law with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for eight years as a trial attorney, specializing in employment discrimination. Judge Gee received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of California at Berkeley and Juris Doctor from Boalt Hall, University of California Berkeley School of Law. She is a past president of California/Nevada Women Judges Association and previously served on the board of directors of the National Association of Women Judges. She has taught numerous continuing legal education courses in ethics, employment discrimination, and MSPB law. Judge Gee has served as faculty for The National Judicial College since 1994. She is currently serving her second term on the Faculty Council representing Administrative Law jurisdiction.
Hon. Efrain Alvarado
Justice Efrain Alvarado has been an acting Supreme Court Justice in Bronx County since 1994. Previously, he served as a criminal court judge in Bronx County from 1989 to 1993. Justice Alvarado started his professional career as an assistant district attorney in Bronx County, New York City. While at the district attorney’s office, he was a trial attorney in the Major Offense Bureau and was chief of the Narcotics Bureau. At the time he was appointed judge, he held the top administrative post in the Bronx district attorney’s office. Justice Alvarado obtained his bachelor’s degree from New York University and his law degree from New York University School of Law. Justice Alvarado is involved in numerous organizations and programs including the Bronx Supreme Court Mentor Program and the Courthouse Visitation Program and has been a presenter for the Bronx Bar Association and for his state’s Judicial Institute. From 2009 to January 2013, Justice Alvarado was the Administrative Judge for criminal matters in the county of the Bronx. Justice Alvarado is an alumnus of The National Judicial College and joined the faculty in 1999.
Hon. Ilona M. Holmes
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Judge Holmes has been a judge since 1995. She was appointed first as a County Court judge and since 1998 has been a Circuit Judge serving in the criminal division of the Broward Circuit Court from 1998 to 2003. She served in the civil division of the Circuit court from 2003-2005. Judge Holmes returned to the criminal division in 2005 and has served there to the present and was the Administrative Judge from 2008-2010. Previously, she served as a county court judge, an assistant United States attorney and an assistant state attorney in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Judge Holmes attended Stetson University and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Judge Holmes also attended Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University and worked toward a doctorate in public administration. She is admitted to the Florida Bar, the Bar of the Southern District Court of Florida and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. She has taught courses at the University of Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University, St. Thomas School of Law, Florida’s New Judges College, Florida International University and the University of Mississippi through the National Center for Justice and the Rule of Law. She serves on numerous boards and committees including the Steering and Education committees of the Florida Conference of Circuit Court Judges. She is currently the Criminal Track Leader for the Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies. She is the current Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Fort Lauderdale. Judge Holmes received the 2003 Stephen R. Booher Memorial Award from the Broward County Bar Association in recognition of her dedication to the bench, bar and community. Judge Holmes was inducted into the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame in March 2010. She is an alumna of The National Judicial College and joined the faculty in 2008.
Hon. Jess B. Clanton, Jr. (Ret.)
Judge Jess B. Clanton, Jr. is an active-retired judge for the State of Oklahoma, 12th Judicial District. He holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Oklahoma State University, (1964), and a juris doctor degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law, (1971). He served as a Captain in the USAF in Vietnam, (1968-1969). Judge Clanton served as a municipal judge in Claremore, Oklahoma (1972-1975). In 1975, he was appointed as a full-time special judge of the District Court. In 1978, he became an elected general jurisdiction judge, and served in that capacity until becoming active-retired. He first attended the National College of The State Judiciary (now the NJC) in 1976, and has served as a group facilitator many times. He is an alumnus of the National Judicial College, and became a member of the Faculty in 2004. He has served in six states as faculty for NJC specialty courses, as well as for the General Jurisdiction course in Reno.
Hon. Kristi L. Harrington
Moncks Corner, SC
Judge Kristi Lea Harrington was born to Carter and Jane Harrington on April 4, 1969. Judge Harrington received her B.A. in English from Francis Marion University in 1991 and earned her J.D. from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1996. She was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma in 1996, in the State of South Carolina in 2001 and in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina in 2004.
She began her legal career with a limited license to practice law in 1994 as an intern in the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office. In 2000, Judge Harrington returned to South Carolina and while studying for the bar, she worked in her father’s law office. Judge Harrington was employed by the Ninth Circuit Solicitor’s Office from 2002 until her election to the Bench.
Judge Harrington was elected by the South Carolina General Assembly on February 6, 2008, to the position of Resident Circuit Judge for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, filling the unexpired term of Judge Daniel F. Pieper who was elevated to the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
Judge Harrington has been honored to serve as a past member of the Children’s Justice Task Force, South Carolina Bar House of Delegates, and a former Chair of the Bar’s Cinderella Project. She has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Limestone College, teaching Business Law and Criminal Law. She is a member of the Berkeley and Charleston Bar Associations. Her volunteer activities include Roscoe Reading Program, the Ronald McDonald House, and the Trident Literacy Association. She has served on the Berkeley County Aeronautics Commission and on the District PTA Board for Berkeley County.
Judge Harrington resides in Hanahan and has one child. She is working on completing the hours required for her pilot’s license. In her free time she enjoys sports with her child, knitting, and reading.
Hon. Vincent L. Knight
Zia Pueblo, NM
Judge Vincent L. Knight served as the first pro tem judge for the Gila River Indian Community Court to handle felony cases under the federal Tribal Law and Order Act. He served as judge for several other tribes in Arizona and New Mexico. Additionally, he continues to serve as faculty at the National Tribal Judicial Center, where he has been teaching since 2006. Judge Knight first started as a tribal prosecutor for the Pueblo of Laguna and composed several laws for Laguna in a variety of areas including domestic violence, natural resources and children’s law. He also served as tribal administrator on two occasions and is well versed in the area of tribal governance. Judge Knight continues to stay active in his traditional and customary ways at the Pueblo of Laguna, while also providing legal services to individuals from Laguna in all areas of the law. In addition, he specialized in educational law while serving as a former school board president for the Laguna Department of Education. Judge Knight received two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma in English literature and Native American studies. He also received his juris doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law with an Indian Law Certificate and the Dean’s Community Service Award. He recently received a 40 under 40 award from the NCAIED for his volunteer work for the school board and judicial faculty. He has also served on many local, regional, and national boards relating to public safety in the prevention of methamphetamine use, sex offender notification, and athletic competitions. He is a member of the State Bar Association of New Mexico and is a former Indian Law Section board member.
Hon. Robert E. McBeth (Ret.)
Judge Robert E. McBeth served as a judge for the King County district court in Seattle, Washington for 24 years, retiring in 2005. Previously he practiced law for 10 years, specializing in family law, land use, and criminal misdemeanor defense. Judge McBeth received his bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and Juris Doctor from the University of Washington. He has been teaching the Fourth Amendment, criminal practice, and judicial ethics at Washington Judicial conferences for 25 years. He is past president of the Washington State District and Municipal Court Judges Association and named 1999 Judge of the Year by the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. He is author of the “Washington Search and Seizure Deskbook” originally prepared in 1990 and updated each year. Judge McBeth is an alumnus of The National Judicial College, previously served as a member of the College’s faculty council, and joined the faculty of The National Judicial College in 2000. He previously served as a Judicial Fellow of The National Judicial College, presenting “Commercial Driver’s License: Laws and Enforcement” to all 50 states.
Hon. Daniel P. Ryan, J.D., Ph.D.
Judge Daniel P. Ryan currently serves as a retired visiting trial judge for the State of Michigan and is a certified civil mediator. He served as a general jurisdiction judge on the Third Judicial Circuit Court in Detroit, Michigan from 1998 -2015 and as a 17th Judicial District Court judge in Redford, Michigan from 1994-1998. Prior to his appointment to the bench in 1994, he practiced law for seven years specializing in construction liability and architect engineer professional liability defense. Judge Ryan received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Detroit and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School. He received his Masters of Judicial Studies, Trial Court Major, from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2000 and Ph.D. from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2009. Judge Ryan has taught as an adjunct and visiting associate professor of law at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Ave Maria Law School, University of Detroit-Mercy Law School, and the University of Toledo College of Law. He has served on the evidence faculty of multiple continuing legal and judicial education institutions. He is a member of the Michigan Judges Association. Judge Ryan is the author of several books and has authored numerous law review articles. He has received Certificates of Development in Special Courts and General Jurisdiction Trial Skills. He is serving his fourth term on the NJC Faculty Council representing Special Courts jurisdiction and has previously served as NJC Faculty Council Chair. Judge Ryan is an alumnus of The National Judicial College and has served on its faculty since 1996.