An Atlanta native, Aimee R. Maxwell graduated from Georgia State University College of Law in 1987. After a brief stint in private practice, Maxwell joined the Georgia Indigent Defense Council. During her 12-year tenure there, Maxwell spearheaded several statewide legal initiatives including the Battered Partner Defense Project and 1000 Lawyers for Justice. She also developed the statewide defense lawyer training program.
In 2002 Maxwell was named the inaugural Executive Director of the Georgia Innocence Project (GIP). GIP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit. The Project works to secure post-conviction DNA testing for Georgia inmates where DNA analysis could prove guilt or innocence and adequate DNA testing was not available at trial. To date, GIP has received more than 4200 requests for assistance. GIP's successes include Clarence Harrison, exonerated in 2004; Robert Clark, exonerated in 2005; Pete Williams, exonerated in 2007; John Jerome White, exonerated in 2007; and Michel Marshall, exonerated in 2009.
The conversation of this panel will cover the importance of incorporating pro bono work into every career, including those in the private sector. In years past, WIPI panels have concentrated on individuals whose careers center around the public interest. This year, we hope to extend our reach to students primarily interested in private sector law who still want to make a contribution to the community in which they live and work. We hope this panel will be a great way to get students with diverse interests excited about making pro bono a part of their long-term career goals and meet people in the field who will inspire them to make that commitment.
Emmet Bondurant is a Partner at the Bondurant, Mixson, & Elmore firm in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a nationally recognized trial lawyer with more than 50 years of experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants. He is widely known as one of the top attorneys in the United States in antitrust law, and has secured favorable results for his clients in a wide variety of other areas including patent, securities, trade secret, professional malpractice, and complex corporate disputes in both federal and state trial and appellate courts. His career has included a strong commitment to community service and pro bono litigation, including death penalty, habeas corpus, reapportionment, and other civil rights and constitutional cases. He has served as President and a Director of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Chairman and a member of the National Board of Common Cause, and Chairman of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council (2003-2007).
Andrew Vail is a Partner at the Jenner & Block law firm in Chicago, Illinois. He has significant litigation experience in both federal and state courts, representing individuals, privately held entities and Fortune 500 companies as both plaintiff and defense counsel. He counsels clients on complex business litigation matters and also has extensive experience representing clients in internal corporate and government investigations. He has been recognized for his commitment to the Chicago community, pro bono legal representation and the organized bar. He represented pro bono Juan Rivera, who was exonerated and released after spending 19 years incarcerated wrongfully and obtained a jury verdict of not guilty for Hyungseok Koh, a client wrongfully charged with first degree murder. Among other awards and recognitions, in 2008 he received the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Pro Bono Award in recognition of his active and wide-ranging pro bono practice. He also is a member of the board of directors for the Public Interest Law Institute and Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago.
Mary Benton serves as the Pro Bono Partner at Alston & Bird, leading the firm’s pro bono and community service efforts across all offices. She has served on the A&B Pro Bono Committee since its inception in 1997 and has been involved in numerous pro bono efforts within the firm. Mary currently serves as the Board Chair for the Truancy Intervention Project (“TIP”) and has been a TIP volunteer for over 15 years, representing numerous clients in their truancy hearings in Fulton County Juvenile Court. TIP views truancy as a symptom of a bigger issue at work in a child’s life and volunteers work with the child and his or her family within the context of the truancy action to determine what is affecting the child’s presence at school and implement a plan to create a stable environment and increase school attendance. She also serves on the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Policy Board of Directors, the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity Advisory Council (having served six years on the HFHA Board of Directors), the Atlanta Legal Aid Society Advisory Board. Her billable practice is primarily focused on multistate tax controversy and litigation involving all tax types. She also maintains a multistate transactional practice, helping clients navigate through complexities in acquisitions, dispositions and reorganizations. Mary is based in the Atlanta office of Alston & Bird.
Cynthia F. Adcock is the Director of Experiential Learning and Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at the Charlotte School of Law. She has overseen the development and implementation of the schools "hands-on" learning curriculum, including a mandatory Pro Bono program, Externship program, Cooperative Education program and numerous clinics and clinical labs. Adcock also co-founded the Neighborhood Advocacy Center, a non-profit legal office that holistically supports, advances, and defends the basic human rights of low-income and vulnerable families who are at risk of criminal convictions or termination of parental rights. Her previous experience includes serving as the Pro Bono Director for the Association of American Law Schools and a Senior Program Manager for Leadership and Research for Equal Justice Works. She also ran the pro bono program and a death penalty clinic at Duke Law School. Adcock has represented death penalty inmates since 1983. In 2003, she co-created the Capital Restorative Justice Project, located in Durham, NC.
Lonnie T. Brown Jr. is the A. Gus Cleveland Distinguished Chair of Legal Ethics and Professionalism at the University of Georgia School of Law, and he specializes in civil procedure, the law and ethics of lawyering, ethics in litigation, and conflict of laws. His research concentrates primarily on legal ethics in the adversary system and he currently serves on the Drafting Committee for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam and on the State Bar of Georgia’s Formal Advisory Opinion Board. He was also recently selected by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia as the Principal Substantive Consultant for the Court’s Local Rules Revision Project. Prior to joining UGA, he served as a judicial clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. From 1991 to 1999, he practiced law as an associate and a partner at Alston & Bird in Atlanta. He earned his bachelor's degree from Emory University and his Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University where he was editor-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law.
The conversation of this panel will cover the complex subjects of homelessness and poverty and the widespread effect these conditions have on individuals in the South. We hope to bring together individuals from across the country with unique experiences working with homeless individuals in the legal system. We strive to provoke a thoughtful discussion touching on both the legal and practical aspects of experiencing homelessness, including eviction, family issues, veterans’ issues, domestic violence, mental and physical health, addiction, and recidivism.
Ian Lisman currently works to implement efforts to end homelessness among veterans as the Program and Policy Analyst on Veteran’s Homelessness at the National Alliance to End Homelessness. In the past, Mr. Lisman worked as the Program Coordinator for the Denver Department of Human Services and served in the army during Desert Storm. He received his bachelor of sciences degree in Human Services, concentrating in Mental Health and Counseling from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Kristen David Adams is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a Professor of Law at Stetson Law School in Gulfport, Florida. Dean Adams graduated from Emory Law School with honors in 1995 and received the degree of masters of law from Yale Law School in 2000. Between her two law degrees, she practiced law for four years in Atlanta, first with Alston & Bird, L.L.C., and later with Altman, Kritzer & Levick, P.C. While in private practice, Dean Adams' pro bono projects included representing truants before the Fulton County Juvenile Court, co-chairing the Atlanta Legal Aid Society's annual Associate Fundraising Campaign, and serving as an Atlanta legal aid litigation fellow. Dean Adams has co-authored many books including The Practice of Law School: Getting in and Making the Most of Your Legal Education, Commercial Transactions: A Survey of United States Law with International Perspective, Uniform Commercial Code in a Nutshell, and Global Issues in Commercial Law. Dean Adams has also written more than a dozen law review articles.
David Whisnant has served as the Legal Director at Georgia Law Center for the Homeless (GLCH) since 2008. His practice focuses on family law, housing, and income related law. Mr. Whisnant was in private practice prior to joining GLCH, first at McCurdy and Candler in Decatur where he worked in the litigation section and real property section, and then with his own civil law practice. He has owned, renovated and sold numerous low income properties, and lectured nationally on real estate investing and asset protection. Mr. Whisnant graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1990 and the University of Georgia School Of Law in 1993. Prior to joining GLCH, David spent a substantial amount of his time doing volunteer work with the homeless, and advising low income clients free of charge.
Alexander W. Scherr is an Associate Professor and Director of Civil Clinics at the University of Georgia School of Law. He created the Civil Externship program and helped to establish the Family Violence Clinic. In addition, he teaches and manages the Public Interest Practicum. He provides clinical instruction in these programs, and also teaches Dispute Resolution and Evidence and co-teaches in the Etowah Practicum and the Land Use Clinic. He earned a B.A. cum laude from Yale University and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan. He spent two years in private practice in Vermont, then 11 years at Vermont Legal Aid, where he directed both its general program and the Mental Health Law Project. He practiced actively in state and federal appellate courts, in both individual and class action suits, and advocated in both legislative and administrative fora. Scherr also practiced as a mediator in family, small claims and community disputes and participated actively in the Vermont Mediators Association and in various government commissions and committees on dispute resolution.
The panel is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon. The panel will feature other prominent academics and experts on affirmative action and will be moderated by a professor from UGA Law. The conversation may focus on the lasting impact of the Fisher case.
Eric Segall graduated from Emory University and from Vanderbilt Law School where he was the Research Editor for the Law Review and member of Order of the Coif. He clerked for the Honorable Charles Moye, Jr., Chief Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, and Albert J. Henderson of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. After his clerkships, he worked for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and the United States Department of Justice, before joining the Georgia State University Law faculty in 1991. Professor Segall is the author of the new book Supreme Myths: Why the Supreme Court is not a Court and its Justices are not Judges. He has published multiple articles on constitutional law appearing in over 8 legal journals.
Sarah M. Shalf joined the faculty in April 2011 as administrative professor for field placement and co-director of the Professionalism Program. A native of Virginia, she is a graduate of both the College and the Law School at the University of Virginia, where she was elected to Order of the Coif. She also holds a MS in mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduation from law school in 2001, she clerked for Judge Frank M. Hull on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and then joined the Atlanta litigation boutique of Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore LLP, where she practiced commercial litigation. In addition to her commercial cases, she litigated a number of public interest cases, as pro bono service or otherwise. She has co-written two papers on juvenile justice policy and served as a writing consultant in an Institute of Medicine report on ethical regulations for the protection of prisoners involved in medical research.
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg is President Emeritus and University Professor of Public Service. He served as the 15th president of The George Washington University for nearly two decades, from 1988 to 2007. He came to GW from the University of Hartford (CT), where he had been president for 11 years. Before assuming the presidency of Hartford, Trachtenberg served for eight years at Boston University as vice president for academic services and academic dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Earlier, in Washington, D.C., he was a special assistant for two years to the U.S. Education Commissioner, Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He has been an attorney with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and a legislative aide to former Indiana Congressman John Brademas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1959, a Juris Doctor from Yale University in 1962, and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University in 1966. He has written five books and received 15 honorary degrees in recognition of his contributions to higher education.
Andrea L. Dennis is an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, and she specializes in criminal law and procedure, evidence, and lawyering for children. Previously, she served as an assistant federal public defender in the District of Maryland. She also worked for the Office of the Corporation Counsel prosecuting child abuse and neglect cases on behalf of the District of Columbia. At Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., Dennis practiced corporate and patent litigation and antitrust law as an associate. She has also served as a judicial clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. In addition to her legal experience, Dennis was a senior associate in the National Office of Job Corps for the U.S. Department of Labor, where she engaged in strategic analysis and planning for national vocational training programs for at-risk youth. Dennis earned her B.S. in engineering with a psychology concentration from the University of Maryland and her J.D. from New York University, where she served on the Annual Survey of American Law.
We hope to bring more attention to the issues faced by the LGBTQ community, with a focus on the importance of local laws and ordinances as opposed to the national or state level. With many levels of government involved in making critical decisions about legislation affecting the LGBTQ community, it can be easy to focus on the national debate and forget the very real effects of local laws.
Jeff Graham is the Executive Director of Georgia Equality, an organization that works to advocate for justice, equality, and opportunity for LGBTQ communities in Georgia. Much of his work has focused on HIV/AIDS-related issues, and he has also participated in a variety of grassroots and legislation-focused initiatives on behalf of the LGBTQ community. In the past, he has served as either an executive director or board member for a number of organizations that focus on issues such as civil rights, access to healthcare, and community empowerment, and he currently serves as a board member for Georgians for a Healthy Future and the National Equality Foundation.
Beth Littrell is a Staff Attorney in the Southern Regional Office of Lambda Legal, an organization that is committed to achieving civil rights for members of the LGBTQ community. Prior to joining Lambda Legal in 2007, she was the associate legal director for the ACLU of Georgia. She is on the board of directors of the Stonewall Bar Association, and in 2002 she received that organization’s Outstanding Service to the Stonewall Community award for her work developing a public education campaign to reduce hate-based harassment in schools. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Georgia State University cum laude, and her law degree from the Georgia State University College of Law.
Anthony Kreis is a doctoral candidate at the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, and is currently serving as a Visiting Scholar in Residence at Emory Law School. He also currently serves on the Atlanta Steering Committee for the Human Rights Campaign. He has assisted in drafting legislation for various states’ marriage equality initiatives, including the 2011 New York Marriage Equality Act, and he has both written and spoken extensively on issues concerning the LGBTQ community. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008, and his law degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law in 2011.
Sonja West is an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, and she specializes in constitutional law, media law, and the United States Supreme Court. She served as a judicial clerk for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as for Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Her professional experience includes working as an associate attorney at a law firm in Los Angeles, where she represented media clients on a variety of First Amendment and intellectual property issues. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa, and her law degree from the University of Chicago, where she served as executive editor of the University of Chicago Law Review.
The panel conversation will cover the rationale behind the growing use of alternative court programs in the United States and the common methods applied in these programs. The conversation will also cover the pros and cons of the system in an effort to encourage critical thinking about the system and potential changes that might be made.
Lindsay LaSalle is a Law Fellow in the Office of Legal Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance in Berkeley, California. Ms. LaSalle graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor's degree in Social Welfare & African-American Studies in 2004. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2009. As a part of the Legal Affairs team at the Drug Policy Alliance, she focuses on three areas: (1) legislative and initiative drafting at the state level on a range of drug policy reform issues; (2) litigation and legal consulting to protect rights threatened by the drug war; and (3) legal training at the local, state, national, and international levels. In March 2011, the Drug Policy Alliance published a report entitled “Drug Courts Are Not the Answer: Toward a Health-Centered Approach to Drug Use.”
Courtney Bryan is the project director of the Midtown Community Court, a demonstration project of the Center for Court Innovation. She has held several positions at the Center both before and after receiving her law degree, including in the domestic violence and community court technical assistance teams, and at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. Before returning to the Center in 2008, she was a criminal defense attorney with The Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, New York. Previously, she was a staff attorney at the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, an organization that provides technical assistance to criminal defense attorneys representing battered women defendants. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Temple University School of Law.
Larry Spottsville serves as the Director of Juvenile Services with the 9th Judicial District Court in Alexandria, Louisiana and has held this job since 1995. He coordinated the efforts to establish the Juvenile Delinquency Deterrent Program because of his desire to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth. He is also the Site Coordinator for the Models for Change DMC Project. The MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, Illinois gave Rapides Parish a 5 year grant to establish this program which serves as a pilot project to monitor arrest records among minority youth. Spottsville also serves as the President for the National Juvenile Court Services Association. He is described as “someone who has remained committed, good natured and has been a respected manager with an open door policy."
Judge Charles E. Auslander, III was appointed to the State Court of Athens-Clarke County by Gov. Nathan Deal in December 2011. From October 2002 to December 2011, he served as a Judge in the Magistrate Court of Athens-Clarke County. In April 2005, Judge Auslander joined the Athens-Clarke County State Court DUI / Drug Court to serve both as a team member and assistant judge to State Court Judge Kent Lawrence. Upon the retirement of Judge Lawrence in 2011, Judge Auslander took over management of the DUI/Drug Court team. Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Auslander practiced with the law firm of McArthur and McArthur, P.A. in Athens, Georgia. Judge Auslander graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Economics and from the University of Georgia School of Law.
The panel is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon. The panel will feature other prominent academics and experts on gun control and will be moderated by Lori Ringhand, Constitutional Law Professor. The conversation may focus on the lasting impact of the Heller case.
Jerry Henry is the Executive Director of GeorgiaCarry.org, a nonprofit corporation whose stated mission is to ensure that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms applies everywhere and to all of us without qualification.” GeorgiaCarry.org was founded in 2007, and has worked with Georgia legislators in efforts to expand the number of places in which concealed carry permit holders may carry their firearms. These efforts led to the passage the Common Sense Lawful Carry Act in 2010. GeorgiaCarry.org also filed an amicus brief in Heller v. District of Columbia “documenting the racist origins and intent of gun control.”
Senator Donzella James represents Metropolitan Atlanta’s 35th District of Georgia which includes portions of Fulton and Douglas Counties. Senator James earned a Bachelor degree in criminal justice and political science from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia and she received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Macon’s Emmanuel Bible College and studied additionally at Georgia State University. Senator James is a member of the Education and Youth, Special Judiciary, State Institutions and Property, and State and Local Governmental Operations committees. She has worked to bring progressive change in the area of crime reduction, a safe and clean environment, stronger drunk driving laws and drug trafficking laws, economic development, increased access to affordable healthcare and quality education.
Lori Ringhand is the J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law at the University of Georgia school of law, where she teaches courses in Constitutional Law, Election Law, and State & Local Government Law. Her research primarily focuses on voting patterns on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court confirmation process, and she recently coauthored a textbook on Constitutional Law. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, and her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Wisconsin, where she served on the Wisconsin Law Review.
Saturday, March 2, 2013
University of Georgia School of Law
225 Herty Drive, Athens, Georgia 30602