Board of Trustees
The College has an appointed 21-member Board of Trustees, which sets policy, fosters a climate of excellence, promotes the development of innovative judicial education programs and provides leadership in achieving the NJC’s mission. Trustees are dedicated individuals from diverse fields encompassing the law and the judiciary, as well as business and corporate areas.
Sandra S. Yamate, Esq., Chair
Sandra S. Yamate is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (“IILP”), a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive legal profession in the US and around the world through its research, programs, and projects.
Previously, Sandra was the Director of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession and the first Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. Prior to that, she was a litigator in Chicago for ten years. Sandra earned her A.B. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Political Science and History and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Sandra was a founding member of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where she served as the first Central Region Governor. She is a former president of the Japanese American Service Committee and the Harvard Law Society of Illinois. She is a former member of the boards of the Japanese American Citizens League, the Asian American Institute, the National Women’s Political Caucus of Metropolitan Chicago, the Girl Scouts of Chicago, Friends of the Chicago Public Library, the Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute, and Asian Americans for Inclusive Education. She has written and spoken extensively on diversity in the legal profession and on multicultural children’s literature. Outside the legal profession, Sandra is best known for her interest in multicultural children’s literature. She and her husband are the founders of Polychrome Publishing Corporation, dedicated to producing children’s books by and about Asian Americans.
Peter Bennett, Esq. Chair Elect
Peter Bennett, managing partner of The Bennett Law Firm, advises employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, with particular emphasis in representing management in collective bargaining negotiations and related traditional labor law matters throughout the Eastern United States. He represents clients in state and federal courts as well as before various administrative bodies and in arbitration. Mr. Bennett brings extensive trial and arbitration experience to bear on behalf of clients, and also provides counsel to employers in all employment matters, taking a proactive approach to prevent personnel problems before they occur.
Mr. Bennett graduated from Harvard College with honors and from Boston University School of Law and Graduate School of Management with a JD/MBA. Mr. Bennett has been active in numerous bar organizations. He is Chair of the Standing Committee on Judicial Independence of the American Bar Association, a past Chair of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association, an executive committee member of the American Bar Association’s Section Officer’s Conference, a member of the A.B.O.T.A. Roundtable and a past President of the Boston University School of Law Alumni Association. He served on the faculty of the University of Southern Maine Department of Continuing Education for Business, teaching Personnel Law for over twenty years and appears in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers, the Bar Register and New England Super Lawyers under Labor and Employment Law.
He has been recipient of numerous awards including: Top 100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in the Nation, recognized by Super Lawyers Business Edition 2012 as one of the top attorneys outstanding in the area of employment business practice for 2012, recognized by Best Lawyers in America for his work in Employment Law-Management, Labor Law-Management and Litigation–Labor and Management and has received AV Preeminent Attorney Rating in Labor and Employment Law. In 2006, Boston University awarded Mr. Bennett its Silver Shingle to recognize his service to the profession. Mr. Bennett has also been an active community volunteer in Portland, Maine.
Alan R. Brayton, Esq., Treasuer
Senior & Founding Partner of Brayton • Purcell in Novato, California. With over twenty–eight years of experience, Mr. Brayton is recognized as one of the West’s leading attorneys representing injured individuals and their families in all types of personal injury, product liability and mass tort litigation. He also enjoys a national reputation as one of the foremost attorneys representing victims of asbestos–related disease and has represented clients from virtually every state. He has been recognized by the Consumer Attorneys of California for his expertise in the areas of Products Liability and Professional Negligence.
He has successfully tried and settled numerous cases involving victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos–related diseases, products liability, medical malpractice and personal injury, and has handled and argued cases involving a wide range of issues before the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal and various Federal Courts. Under his leadership, Brayton • Purcell has become one of the premier trial firms in the western United States.
Hon. Christopher T. Whitten, Secretary
Christopher T. Whitten is a general jurisdiction trial court judge on the Superior Court of Arizona, where he serves as the Presiding Tax Judge for the State of Arizona. Before his appointment to the bench, he was a trial lawyer for 15 years, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and certified by the Arizona State Bar as a specialist in serious injury and wrongful death litigation. He is the Chair Elect of the ABA’s National Conference of State Trial Judges and has served on several ABA Judicial Division committees. He also on the board of directors of the Arizona Judges Association as the Maricopa County representative.
Judge Whitten has taught as an adjunct professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, Louisiana State University School of Law, The University of San Diego School of Law and the Arizona Summit Law School. He sits on the board of directors for the Arizona Trial College, chairs the Maricopa County Superior Court Judicial Training Committee and regularly works with the National Institute for Trial Advocacy both nationally and internationally, most recently as the co-director of the San Diego Building Trial Skills Program. He also frequently works with the University of San Diego, the Trans-Border Institute, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California and the Conference of Western Attorneys General training fellow Judges and lawyers in Mexico as they reform their judicial process.
Away from the bench, he serves his community as a board member for many organizations including the Arizona Foundation for Blind Children, the University of San Diego School of Law Alumni Board, the Arizona School for the Arts, the Recreational Association of Madison Meadows and Simis, St. Thomas Moore Society and the Brophy Lacrosse Club. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Ann, for over 23 years and have 2 teenage sons.
Kim Dean Hogrefe, Esq., Immediate Past Chair
Washington Township, NJ
Kim D. Hogrefe is a retired Senior Vice President of Chubb & Son.
He was the Worldwide Claim Technical Officer of Chubb’s Claim Department, with responsibility for claims of the highest complexity and financial exposure. Mr. Hogrefe joined Chubb in 1986 after nine years of experience as a trial attorney, supervisor and administrator in the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
He is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a member of the American Bar Association and served as the Financial Officer of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS). He is on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession. From 2006 to 2009 he served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He was also elected for a three year term as a member of the governing Council of TIPS and was Co-Chair of its Professionals’ Officers’ and Directors’ Liability Committee. He was also the Chair of the Directors’ and Officers’ subcommittee of the Insurance Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Mr. Hogrefe is a frequent speaker on the topics of cyberliability risks, mediation and resolution strategies and Directors’ and Officers’ liability claim handling. He has made presentations at National and Regional RIMS, PLUS, the Stanford Law School Directors’ College and various bar associations. He is the co-author of an article on D&O claim management published by Risk Management Society Publishing, Inc. and an article on utilization of damage analysis in the settlement of securities class action claims.
Hon. Mary-Margaret Anderson
Judge Mary-Margaret Anderson has been an administrative law judge with the California Office of Administrative Hearings, a central panel agency, since 1997. In 2009, she was appointed to the Medical Quality Hearing Panel, which hears physician discipline matters. She also hears the full range of cases heard by OAH, including those brought by state, county, and other local agencies, such as school districts. As an attorney, she practiced civil and criminal litigation representing individuals and small businesses, and served as a commissioner pro tem for the Alameda County Superior Court Juvenile Division. Judge Anderson is a past president of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (NAALJ). Her current American Bar Association (ABA) activities include serving as Co-Chair of the Judges’ Journal Editorial Board, the quarterly magazine published by the ABA’s Judicial Division. She has taught ethics, evidence, and expert evidence to new and experienced administrative law judges in a variety of settings. Judge Anderson is an alumna of The National Judicial College and joined its faculty in 2012. She is also a member of the Alameda County Bar Association and an American Bar Foundation Fellow. Community activities include the Board of Trustees of the Piedmont Community Church. She and her husband are very proud of their two adult sons and the (never-ending!) restoration of their 1907 brown-shingle craftsman house. She received her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley and her juris doctorate from San Francisco Law School.
Norma Barnes-Euresti, Esq.
Battle Creek, MI
Ms. Barnes-Euresti joined the Keebler Company in November 1999 and became an employee of Kellogg Company as part of the 2001 acquisition. Norma Barnes-Euresti has been Vice-President, Chief Counsel, Labor-Employment, Ethics & Compliance Kellogg Company since September 2007. Ms. Barnes-Euresti manages all Kellogg business units in the areas of labor and employment. She formerly served as an administrative law judge for the Illinois Human Rights Commission. She also served as an attorney for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. She is a member of the American Bar Association, National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms and HOLA and is the executive sponsor for KPride & Allies. Ms. Barnes-Euresti received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina and a juris doctor degree, cum laude from Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina.
Hon. Margarita B. Bernal (Ret.)
Judge Bernal served as a municipal court judge for 26 years in Tucson, Arizona, from Sept 1985-December 2011.. She specialized in criminal and public access litigation and immigration law during her seven years of practicing law. As a child of immigrants from Mexico, Judge Bernal is a first generation American and former public housing resident and a Legal Aid honor student Reginald Heber Smith Fellow .Judge Bernal was one of 8 minority students to graduate from the University of Arizona college of Law in 1979. Judge Bernal graduated with honors , received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Arizona. Judge Bernal was appointed as the first Latina to serve as a municipal court judge in Tucson Arizona, a community sixty miles from the US/Mexico border.
A continuing legal and judicial educator, Judge Bernal has taught over 100 courses on various subjects such as DUI, new case updates, court seminars for new judges, domestic violence courses, and minority diversity for the Arizona Supreme Court, including the New Judges Orientation and the State Bar of Arizona. From 1989-1999, Judge Bernal has served as a chairperson of the Judicial Intervention Committee of the Southern Arizona Task Force on Domestic Violence. She has taught domestic violence at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy since February 1993-2006 . She is founding member of a countywide task force on domestic violence. She is past vice-chair of the Arizona State Bar Committee on Minorities and Women, and chairperson on mentor (new judge) orientation for the Arizona Judicial College. Judge Bernal has published several articles on minority recruitment in local bar journals, The Writ, and the State Bar of Arizona’s journal on their annual convention (Summer 1992). Judge Bernal rec participated in a national forum on behalf of the National Association of Women Judges on expert testimony in cases of battering. She was chair of the 1999 Annual Judges Conference for Arizona Judges.
In 1998 she served as faculty for the National Center for State Courts U.S./Mexico Judges Conference. Judge Bernal has received numerous county bar awards in 1992 and 1996. In 2003 Judge Bernal received “Trainer of the Year” from the Arizona Supreme Court and was recognized by the Pima County Sheriff for her work in alleviating jail overcrowding through improved court processing of in-custody defendants. She is a recipient of numerous grants for her work with juvenile offenders and was co-founder of a summer youth program called “Courts Are Us” for at risk children. In 2005, Judge Bernal was elected as Secretary of the American Bar Association Special Courts Conference. She served as Chairperson of the Special Courts Conference of the Judicial Division in 2008-2009. She is an alumna of The National Judicial College and she joined its faculty in 1992-2017.
Judge Bernal retired in December 2011 and now practices criminal defense litigation in the United States District Court of Arizona and the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Edward R. Blumberg, Esq.
Edward R. Blumberg is a graduate of the University of Georgia and earned his law degree from the College of William and Mary. He has practiced continuously in Florida since 1975. He has served as President of the Florida Bar, as a member of the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar and as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. He has chaired and served on countless professional committees and groups and provides continuing legal education lectures to lawyers.
Mr. Blumberg is an active trial lawyer as demonstrated by his current board certifications in civil trial law from the National Board of Trial Advocacy as well as the Florida Bar. He is also a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and numerous other professional associations.
He is a member of the Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida as well as the United States 5th and 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Blumberg is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America publication.
Mr. Blumberg is likewise active in the community and serves on various community-based boards of directors.
Richard H. Bryan, Esq.
Las Vegas, NV
Currently Senator Bryan is a director at Fennemore Craig, a business law firm in Las Vegas where he practices in the area of government relations at the federal, state and local levels, particularly in the area of public land use issues. He earned his LL.B. from the University of California Hastings College of Law and his B.A. from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Senator Bryan began his legal career in 1964 as a Deputy District Attorney in Clark County, Nevada. Two years later, he was named Clark County’s first Public Defender. In 1968, he was elected to the Nevada State Assembly and re-elected in 1970.
He was elected to the State Senate in 1972 and re-elected in 1976. The former prosecutor won his first statewide election as Nevada’s Attorney General where he played a major role in successfully defending Nevada’s gaming regulatory structure in Federal Courts.
In 1982, he was elected to his first of two terms as Governor of Nevada. Under his leadership as Governor, economic diversification and the attraction of new businesses to Nevada became a priority. In 1988, he was elected to the first of two terms in the U.S. Senate.
Douglas A. Cannon, Esq.
Las Vegas, NV
Doug Cannon serves as president of NV Energy where he leads the company’s daily operations and oversees NV Energy’s commitment to deliver low‐cost energy, expand its renewable energy portfolio and maintain industry‐leading reliability for its customers.
NV Energy delivers electricity to nearly 1.3 million customers and over 43 million tourists annually throughout its nearly 46,000‐mile service territory in the state of Nevada. The company also provides natural gas to more than 165,000 customers in the Reno‐Sparks, Nevada area.
Cannon left private law practice in Nevada and joined the Berkshire Hathaway Energy family of businesses in 2011, working as an attorney for PacifiCorp Energy in Salt Lake City. In 2013, Cannon was the lead attorney in obtaining the regulatory approvals necessary for NV Energy to join Berkshire Hathaway Energy. At the end of 2013, with the closing of the NV Energy merger, Cannon joined NV Energy as senior vice president general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer and, since then, has served in various management roles with the company. In these roles Cannon has set and executed on the strategic direction of the company, and managed all legal, regulatory, compliance, legislative and public relations functions for the company and its subsidiaries.
Cannon earned a juris doctor from the University of Colorado School of Law and a master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental geoscience from Weber State University.
Cannon volunteers as the vice president of finance and serves on the board of directors for the Las Vegas Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He also serves as a member of The National Judicial College’s Board of Trustees.
Hon. Toni E. Clarke
Upper Marlboro, MD
Judge Toni E. Clarke was appointed to the Seventh Judicial Circuit sitting in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, Maryland on January 8, 1998, and presides over many types of cases including, but not limited to, Civil, Criminal, Foreclosure, Family and Juvenile. Judge Clarke received her J.D. from the University of Maryland Frances Carey Law School and her B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University, where she played on the Women’s Varsity Basketball team. Prior to her appointment, Judge Clarke practiced law in both the public and private sector.
She was the first African-American female to serve as State’s Attorney for Prince George’s County, Maryland, and the State of Maryland. Judge Clarke is very active in the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association and the Maryland State Bar Association, is a former President of the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association, and was the first African-American to serve as President of both the Women’s Bar Association of Maryland and the Prince George’s County Bar Association.
Currently, Judge Clarke is on several committees of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, where she is Chair of the Standing Committee on Diversity in the Judiciary, and is Chair-Elect of the National Conference of State Trial Judges of the Judicial Division of the American Bar Association. Judge Clarke has been recognized by numerous organizations for her hard work, community involvement, and mentoring. Among other awards, she has received the Women’s Bar Association of Maryland’s Rita C. Davidson Award, the Maryland Daily Record’s 2004 Leadership in the Law Award, and the 2001 and 1999 Maryland’s Top 100 Women.
Hon. Leslie A. Hayashi (Ret.)
Judge Leslie A. Hayashi served for over 25 years as a district court judge for the First Circuit in Honolulu, Hawai`i. While on the bench she was involved in several major projects to improve judicial administration. She spearheaded the creation of a statewide civil traffic system; led the implementation phase of the new technology system for the courts; developed a restorative justice pilot project and implemented a driver’s license renewal program.
Judge Hayashi’s name appears on the Hall of Fame at the NJC, which recognizes those who have taught for 20 years. She continues to train judges and hearing officers in Hawai`i and recently taught in China.
She currently serves as the secretary for the Olelo Board of Directors (public access TV); is on the Advisory Committee of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Public Education and the President’s Commission on Education. She served as Vice-Chair and Secretary of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Hawai`i and recently completed her term as President of the National Council of Lawyer Disciplinary Boards.
Judge Hayashi has received numerous awards including the Hawaii Women Lawyers’ Judicial Achievement Award in 2013; the inaugural Judicial Innovation Award from the Hawaii Friends of Justice and Civic Education in 2011; the Hawaii State Bar Association’s inaugural Award for Outstanding Leadership for Diversity in the Legal Profession in 2005; and the ABA’s Franklin Flaschner Award in 2003, recognizing the nation’s job jurist in courts of special jurisdictions.
She is married to attorney Alan Van Etten and they have two adult sons. Justin is in-house counsel with a start up in San Francisco and Taylor is a software developer with Amazon in Seattle.
Robert Hunter, Esq.
After graduating number one in his class in Mechanical Engineering at Mississippi State, Rob Hunter received his Doctor of Law degree from Cornell University. In 1976 he came to Birmingham and the law firm of Lange, Simpson, Robinson & Somerville, where he used both his engineering and legal backgrounds to defend manufacturers in product liability litigation around the country. Rob practiced at Lange Simpson for 23 years before accepting the position of General Counsel for Altec, Inc., and its subsidiaries. For 6 years immediately prior to his joining Altec in 1999, Rob served as Chair of his firm’s Executive Committee.
In addition to successful defenses of manufacturers in trials around the country, Rob’s career in private practice was marked by other notable achievements including representing 5 of the last 6 Governors of Alabama; the drafting and passage of Alabama’s 1987 Tort Reform legislation and 1992 Workers’ Compensation Reform; successfully defending Alabama’s franchise tax against Constitutional challenge before the Alabama and United States Supreme Courts in 1989 and 1990 and successfully defended its property tax against Constitutional attack in federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, between 2004 and 2007; and while in private practice, Rob was lead counsel for the State of Alabama in its long running Higher Education Desegregation Case, Knight v. State of Alabama, and, after going in-house, resumed that position at the request of the Governor, on a pro bono basis.
Rob served as President of the International Association of Defense Counsel (2008-09) and on its Board of Directors (2004-10), as President of Lawyers for Civil Justice (2014-15) and on its Board (2007-10 and 2012-), as Corporate Vice President of the Product Liability Advisory Council (2016-) and on its Board (2013-), and on the Board of the Defense Research Institute (2007-10). He also has served on the Advisory Boards for the Corporate Counsel College, (2004-2015), the International Corporate Counsel College (2010, 2014), the Southwestern Institute for International and Comparative Law (2011- ), and the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies (2014- ). In 2014 Rob served as Dean of the Corporate Counsel College. Rob is actively involved with The Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers.
In serving his profession, Rob has broken new ground for in-house counsel. Rob was the first in-house counsel in 76 years to be elected President of IADC. In 2014 he became the first in-house counsel to serve as President of LCJ and the first in-house counsel to serve as Dean of the Corporate Counsel College. In part because of these milestones, in 2013 Rob was named to the inaugural Corporate 100, a list of the top 100 in-house counsel in the US, and was named Outstanding Corporate Counsel by the Birmingham Business Journal. Under Rob’s leadership, in 2014 Altec’s legal team was named best in the United States in Technology, by Legal 500.
Outside of his professional endeavors, Rob sits on the Advisory Boards of the Mississippi State University College of Engineering and the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Palliative Care and on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. In 2008 he was named “Distinguished Fellow” by the College of Engineering and in 2014 an “Alumni Fellow” at MSU.
Peter J. Neeson, Esq.
Mr. Neeson, a practicing attorney for over 34 years, is a senior partner and Chair of Rawle & Henderson’s Environmental, Toxic and Mass Torts Department, where he concentrates his practice in those areas. Mr. Neeson is a frequent writer and speaker on litigation issues and is the author or co-editor of a number of publications in his field. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Aerospace Mechanical Engineering in 1970 and from the University of Miami (cum laude with a J.D. in 1978). He was selected by his peers in an extensive nomination and polling process conducted by Law and Politics as one of Pennsylvania’s Super Lawyers in 2004 through 2009. In August of 2006, Mr. Neeson became Chair of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association, one of the ABA’s largest sections. He is the founder of the National Trial Academy held since 1999 at The National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. He is also the founder of and is currently finishing the 6th year of the ABA TIPS Leadership Academy, which is a diversity program specifically designed to develop and train future community and bar leaders. It is the first such national bar association program of its kind. Among his many pro bono activities, Mr. Neeson was Vice Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee for Eastern Pennsylvania for thirteen years, a member of the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Sports Congress, the past President of the Philadelphia Amateur Sports Corporation which in 1987 was the first corporation of its kind to have as its principal purpose the procurement of the summer Olympic Games to the City of Philadelphia, a member of the Executive Committee for Philadelphia Women’s Basketball 2000, an Executive Committee member of the 2003 USGA Women’s Amateur Golf Championship, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Biotech Foundation, and general counsel and a member of the Board of Directors of Philadelphia 2016, Philadelphia’s effort to bid for the summer Olympics in 2016.
Robert L. Parks, Esq.
Robert L. Parks was admitted to the Florida Bar in June of 1964, and has engaged in extensive plaintiff product liability and aviation practice since that time. He served a two-year term as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Air & Space Law, and in 1995, Mr. Parks was appointed Chair of the Aviation Law Certification Committee by the President of the Florida Bar Association. In October, 1996, he was one of seven lawyers appointed by the Florida Bar to membership on the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.
He is a past President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocacy, a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, and a member of the American Law Institute. He is a member of the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, and has authored two chapters in Kreindler’s Aviation Accident Law for Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., on “Military Accidents” and “Air Traffic Control Negligence”. He has extensive MDL and class action experience, most recently being local counsel in a 203 million dollar settlement in Miami.
Marianne D. Short, Esq.
Marianne D. Short is Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and member of Office of the Chief Executive at UnitedHealth Group. She is responsible for overseeing legal, regulatory and compliance matters across the enterprise. Ms. Short has over 35 years of courtroom and management experiences. From 2000-2012, she was a partner in the trial department of Dorsey & Whitney LLP and from 2007-2012, she was the Managing Partner with responsibility for over 600 attorneys in 19 offices world-wide. From 1988-2000, Ms. Short served as a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals and authored more than 900 opinions in virtually every area of civil and criminal law. Prior to 1988, Ms. Short was an attorney at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Dorsey firm.
Walter L. Sutton, Jr., Esq.
Walter L. Sutton, Jr., served as Associate General Counsel – Legal Administration and External Relations at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. until September 2015. In this position, Sutton was an internal advocate for the Legal Department’s diversity initiatives. He also collaborated with external stakeholders to promote diversity within the legal profession and the pipeline for future attorneys. Prior to joining Wal-Mart in 2005, Sutton practiced law for 35 years in Detroit; Houston; Washington, D.C.; and Dallas.
Sutton currently serves as Chair of the National Bar Institute Board of Directors. He also serves on the ABA Diversity Center Board and on the Board of Advisors of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. In addition, he serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Wiley College (“Home of the Great Debaters”), a historically Black college in Marshall, TX.
Sutton earned his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Denver, his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, his MBA from the University of Dallas, and his Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Matt Sweeney, Esq.
A former Davidson County, Tennessee Circuit Court Judge and Presiding Judge of the district’s Trial Courts, and a current shareholder of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C. He is a 1987 graduate of the NJC General Jurisdiction program. Mr. Sweeney is a business trial and appellate lawyer, mediator and arbitrator. He also counsels attorneys on questions of legal ethics and professional responsibility and is listed in Best Lawyers in America.
Mr. Sweeney was Chair of the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee (1995-1997), and Chair of the Merit Selection Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee (2007). He is a member of the Nashville Bar Association (Board of Directors, 1993-1995) and of the Tennessee Bar Association (Professional Standards Study Committee and Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, 1995-1999; Vice Chair, Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, 2000-2006). Mr. Sweeney is a member of the American Bar Association (Litigation, Antitrust Sections and Forum Committee on Franchising).
He is a Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation and the Tennessee Bar Foundation. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of Harry Phillips American Inns of Court. Mr. Sweeney has taught trial practice as an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University Law School and civil procedure as a lecturer at the Nashville School of Law. He is a regular speaker and panelist in continuing legal education programs on trial practice, ADR, and ethics and professionalism.
Ann Thornton Field, Esq.
Member Gordon & Rees LLP. Vice Chair, General Litigation Department of Cozen O’Connor. Graduate, University of Houston Law Center, 1984. Member, American Bar Association Aviation Litigation Committee. Vice Chair, ABA Tort Insurance Practice Aviation & Space Law Committee. Former Chair, Philadelphia Bar Association Aviation Section, member, Pennsylvania Bar Association Aviation Section, former Board member Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Arts & Business Council, former Board member Literacy Action Project and the Freedom Valley Girl Scout Council and Chair of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors.
Angelina Tsu, Esq.
Salt Lake City, UT
Formerly vice president and legal counsel, Angelina Tsu recently became community affairs administrator for Zions Bancorporation in Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a past president (2015-16) of the Utah State Bar. From 2004–2008 she was an associate with Ray Quinney & Nebeker P.C., where she specialized n creditors’ rights litigation and complex commercial litigation. Before that she served as a clerk to Judge Dee Benson of the United States District Court for the District of Utah. She holds a law degree from the University of Utah College of Law and a bachelor’s in psychology/communications from Brigham Young University. She has been recognized as a member of Utah Business Magazine’s Legal Elite from 2008 to the present, and she made the magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2016.