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. Robert E. McBeth (Ret.) Chair
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. Kristi L. Harrington Chair Elect
Moncks Corner, SC
On June 30, 2018, Judge Harrington retired from the bench after serving two terms. She is a certified mediator and a certified arbitrator, owning her own Alternative Dispute Resolution practice. She is honored to be on the American Arbitration Association Judicial Panel. She is the Judicial and Legal Content Specialist at Darkness To Light, a non-profit organization that educates adults on how to identify and prevent child sexual abuse.
During her tenure on the bench, she tried to verdict over 250 jury trials and completed numerous non-jury criminal and civil matters. She was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Violence Against Women as the sole circuit judge, working to reduce the number of assaults and deaths of women in the state. She also served on the Common Pleas Docket Reform Committee and was part of the McArthur Foundation grant to reduce incarceration rates.
Judge Harrington has also taught locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. She has presented statewide on such topics as child sexual assault prevention and prosecution. Judge Harrington is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Charleston School of Law where she teaches a variety of classes, such as Advanced Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Trial Advocacy, and Alternatives to Incarceration. At Strayer University, she teaches a Business Law class to MBA students.
In 2012, Judge Harrington was honored to be selected as Adjunct Faculty for the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. She currently teaches Select Issues in Evidence and has designed a class specifically to train new judges as they transition to the bench. She has presented on topics such as child witnesses and special victim consideration. She is currently serving on the Faculty Council of the NJC. After working towards her Master’s Degree in Judicial Studies, she received her Certificate in Judicial Development in General Jurisdiction Trial Skills.
Hon. Ilona M. Holmes Secretary
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. 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. Toni T. Boone (Ret.)
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. 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. Jennifer Gee
San Francisco, CA
Judge Jennifer Gee served as the district chief judge with the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges in San Francisco, CA. from 2007 to 2019. In this position, she presided over formal hearings under 84 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. She was awarded the NJC Robert Payant award for Teaching Excellence in 2018.
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. Phyllis Williams Kotey (Ret.)
Phyllis Williams Kotey, senior judge, came to FIU College of Law in 2004 with a distinguished record of service to the bench and bar. She is a clinical professor of law and director of externships and pro bono programs. As director of the legal externship program, she has assisted students in judicial, civil and criminal placements at the local, state and national levels. She has facilitated student initiated pro bono service in Columbia, South America and around the country including New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In 2012, she was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for the 2012 – 2013 academic year in Accra Ghana. Prior to 2012, she served as Interim Director of the Office of Career Placement and Planning. As director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic, she developed the delinquency, educational advocacy and dependency clinics. She has taught Criminal Procedure, Children and the Law, the American Caribbean Law Initiative Seminar and Community Law Teaching (Street Law in the Miami-Dade Juvenile Detention Center). She also teaches bar preparation courses in the areas of Florida Constitutional Law and Florida Criminal Procedure. She is a member of numerous bar associations and has served as president of the T J Reddick Bar Association in Broward County and the Josiah T. Walls Bar Association in Alachua County. She is the coauthor of “Selected Issues” in the Florida Prosecutor’s Manual (1984). She is author of “Public Financing for Non-Partisan Judicial Campaigns: Protecting Judicial Independence While Ensuring Judicial Impartiality,” 38 Akron Law Review 597 (2005) and “The Real Costs of Judicial Misconduct: Florida Taking a Step Ahead in the Regulation of Judicial Speech and Conduct to Ensure Independence, Integrity and Impartiality,” 31 Nova Law Review 645 (2007). She wrote a chapter entitled “Judging Under Disaster: The Effect of Hurricane Katrina on the Criminal Justice System” for the book Hurricane Katrina: America's Unnatural Disaster for the University of Nebraska Press (2009). She also authored the 2009 and 2011 updates on “Adjudicatory Hearings in Delinquency Cases” in Florida Juvenile Law and Practice. In Alachua County, she served as chair and vice chair of the Children Services Council was on the Board of Directors of PACE Center for Girls, Pleasant Place Home for Homeless Teen Mothers and ACORN Clinic. In Broward County, she was a volunteer with STARS Academy (a foster care mentoring program) and serves on the Board of Directors of HANDY. She is vice president of the Broward County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She holds a B.A., M.A., and J.D. from the University of Florida. She is an alumna of The National Judicial College, joined the College’s faculty in 2001, and is currently serving her first term on the NJC Faculty Council representing Special Courts.
Hon. Thomas A. Zonay
Judge Thomas A. Zonay is a judge of the Vermont Superior Court. He was appointed to the bench by Governor James Douglas in 2007. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was an attorney in private practice and before that he was a police officer in Woodstock, VT. Judge Zonay received a bachelor’s degree in food industry from Delaware Valley College and a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School. He is currently a member, and past president of, the Vermont Trial Judge’s Association. He is the current chair of the Vermont Judicial Education Committee, current chair of the Vermont Criminal Rules Committee, the current Chair of the Vermont Sentencing Commission, and a member of the Vermont Judicial Conduct Board. He is the past-chair of the Vermont Public Access to Court Records Committee, and served as a member of the Vermont Judiciary Advisory Council (chair of budget committee). He has served on the Vermont Bar Association Board of Managers (President, 2005); was a director of the Vermont Bar Foundation; and is past president of the New England Bar Association. At the time of his appointment to the bench, Judge Zonay was chairman of the Vermont Human Rights Commission and had previously served on other judicial and community boards and committees. He is also a U.S.C.G. licensed Master Captain. Judge Zonay is an alumnus of the National Judicial College, joined its faculty in 2012, and is currently serving his first term on the NJC Faculty Council representing General Jurisdiction.