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Cristina C. Arguedas - Berkeley, CA
Cris is a partner in the law firm of Arguedas, Cassman, and Headley. In 2011, she was inducted into the Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame organized by the California State Bar. She is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, has been listed in every edition of Best Lawyers in America since 1983, and was recently named as one of the top five trial lawyers in San Francisco by the SF Chronicle. Her recent high profile case was the defense of Barry Bonds in the perjury case in San Francisco. Cris’ practice includes the defense of every kind of crime, from white collar to no collar, but she has a particular emphasis defending individuals caught up in white collar investigations or indictments: FCPA, anti-trust, tax, major fraud, - ---whatever the government investigates, Cris defends. She is a “go-to” person when larger firms represent companies under investigation and they need a lawyer for an individual.
James J. Brosnahan - San Francisco, CA
A “lion of the trial bar,” James J. Brosnahan is one of the most respected and recognized trial lawyers in the United States. Mr. Brosnahan has more than 50 years of expertise in both civil and criminal trial work. He has tried more than 140 cases to verdict, including many renowned cases involving bet-the-company commercial litigation and white-collar defense, patent, money laundering, libel, murder, mail fraud, insurance bad faith, environmental property damage, divorce, child custody, tax evasion, bank embezzlement, theft of government property, real estate fraud, narcotics, obstruction of justice, perjury, conspiracy, interstate transportation of wagering information, antitrust, including monopolization and price fixing, securities, contract actions, wrongful death actions, maritime, personal injury, product liability, negligence, life insurance, savings and loan fraud, interstate transportation of explosive materials, professional misconduct, immigration and other miscellaneous civil and criminal cases. Mr. Brosnahan has argued both civil and criminal appeals in state and federal court, including two cases in the United States Supreme Court: United States v. Caceres, 440 U.S. 741 (1979), and Eu v. San Francisco County Democratic Central Committee, 109 S. Ct. 1013 (1989). Mr. Brosnahan has received numerous honors and awards throughout his distinguished career. In 1996, he was inducted into the State Bar of California’s “Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame” and was awarded the Samuel E. Gates Award by the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2000 for his “significant, exceptional, lasting contribution to the improvement of the litigation process.” In 2001, he was named “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the following year, the San Francisco Lawyers’ Club honored Mr. Brosnahan with its inaugural “Legend of the Law” award. In 2006, he was named one of America’s most influential trial lawyers by the National Law Journal. In 2007, he received the American Inns of Court Lewis F. Powell Award for Professionalism and Ethics to recognize a “lifetime devoted to the highest standards of ethical practice, competence, and professionalism.” In 2011, he received the Judge Learned Hand Award from the American Jewish Committee. He was recently recognized as a 2012 Lifetime Achiever by The American Lawyer which recognizes outstanding professional success and a devotion to public service. Mr. Brosnahan is a past president of the Bar Association of San Francisco, whose Volunteer Legal Service Program he founded. He was also a National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Teacher of the Year. Mr. Brosnahan has served as special counsel to the California Legislature’s Joint Subcommittee on Crude Oil Pricing, the lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and Chairman of the Delegation. Mr. Brosnahan also serves as Master Advocate on the faculty and member of the Board of Trustees of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. His lecture series, “Great Trials and Great Lawyers,” was featured with The Teaching Company’s America’s SuperStar Teachers. Mr. Brosnahan wrote the Trial Handbook for California Lawyers, 543 pp., Bancroft-Whitney. Mr. Brosnahan is regularly engaged in teaching continuing legal education programs at law schools and to professional legal organizations on various topics. His expertise includes overall trial strategies in planning, discovery, witness preparation and jury selection as well as evidence, first amendment, criminal, antitrust, the Supreme Court, constitutional law, appellate, legal argument, civil procedure, torts, and legal ethics. He is also a frequent keynote speaker at legal conferences and bar association programs.
Hon. Nancy Gertner (ret.) - Cambridge, MA
Judge Nancy Gertner is a graduate of Barnard College (B.A. 1967) and Yale Law School (J.D. 1971) where she was an editor on The Yale Law Journal. She also received her M.A. in Political Science at Yale University. She has been teaching at Yale Law School for nearly a decade ‐‐ teaching Sentencing and Comparative Sentencing Institutions. After more than two decades as an acclaimed criminal defense lawyer and civil rights activist, in April of l994 she was appointed by President William J. Clinton to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Both careers, as a lawyer and as a judge, have been honored by numerous organizations. In August 2008, Judge Gertner received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities. She is the second woman to receive this honor; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the first. In September 2008, Judge Gertner became a Leadership Council Member of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). She has been profiled on a number of occasions both as a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer and as a judge in the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the ABA Journal, Boston Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. Judge Gertner has written widely on various legal issues including constitutional and criminal law, criminal procedure, sex discrimination law, and the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. Her book, The Law of Juries, co‐authored with attorney Judith Mizner, was published in 1997 (Glasser Legalworks). An updated version was published by West Publishing in 2009. She has written countless articles and book chapters, as well as given numerous lectures on sentencing and the American guideline system. Since becoming a judge, Judge Gertner has traveled widely teaching women’s rights and human rights. She has been on the faculty of the American Bar Association ‐ Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (ABA‐CEELI) and is now on its advisory board. She has taught judges from the former Soviet Union and in October of 1999 was part of a delegation of lawyers and judges from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to Turkey, exploring human rights issues and issues concerning judicial independence. In July of 2001 and again in 2002, she participated in programs co‐sponsored by the Ministry of Justice in Israel and Fordham University Law School. She has also worked with Yale Law School’s China Project and Wellesley Centers for Women traveling to China and Viet Nam to participate in seminars co‐organized with the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and The All China Women’s Federation. In 2005 she traveled to Cambodia to train lawyers who were to appear before the War Crimes Tribunal dealing with the Khmer Rouge. In 2008, she was part of a delegation to Liberia to address the reconstruction of their legal system after 14 years of civil war. Recently, she has been working with Chinese judges and scholars on sentencing reform.
Hon. Joseph D. Johnson - Topeka, KS
Judge Joseph D. Johnson is a native of Dunnellon, Florida. He was educated in Florida’s Public Schools and attended Winston-Salem State University (1973, B.A.)and the University of Kansas Law School(J.D., 1975). Prior to his appointment to the Shawnee County District Court, he served as Assistant Public Defender for Topeka’s 3rd Judicial District. In 1978 Judge Johnson established the Law offices of Joseph D. Johnson, Chartered. His practice handled medical malpractice, business law, probate, domestic relations and criminal cases. During his 27year career in private practice he represented indigent defendants in state and federal Courts. In the landmark case, Brown v. Topeka Board of Education , Judge Johnson filed a motion to intervene, in 1979. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the local school board had not fulfilled the directives if the Brown decision, and as a result, numerous positive changes were made in the local school district. Judge Johnson is a member of the program faculty at Yeshiva University School of Law, Intensive trial Advocacy Program, (New York, New York); University of Wyoming School of Law, Western Trial Advocacy Institute,(Laramie, Wyoming), Mercer University School of Law, National Criminal Defense College (Macon, Ga.). In addition to being a life member of the N.A.A.C.P., Judge Johnson is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, American College of Trial Lawyers, American Board of Criminal Lawyers, Board of Governors at University of Kansas School of Law, Board of Visitors-Winston Salem State University Board of Directors-National Criminal defense College and Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Judge Joseph D. Johnson was appointed to the 3rd Judicial District Court Bench by Governor Kathleen Sebelius in December, 2005.
Jennifer L. Keller - Irvine, CA
Jennifer L. Keller has long been known as one of Orange County’s top criminal defense lawyers, with over 150 jury trials to verdict and a Rolodex of high-profile clients. But she also handles select civil litigation, winning all four of her complex civil trials. In 2011 she was lead trial counsel in the retrial of Mattel v. MGA, aka “Barbie v. Bratz.” During the first trial (in which Keller did not participate) the jury had found Mattel owned the Bratz copyrights and awarded Mattel $100 million. The trial judge then imposed a constructive trust giving Mattel the rights to the entire Bratz line of toys. The 9th Circuit reversed the judgment. Keller came on board two weeks before the four-month re-trial began in the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana. This time the jury rejected all of Mattel’s claims and awarded MGA $88.4 million for misappropriation of its trade secrets by Mattel. The jury also found Mattel had willfully and maliciously misappropriated the trade secrets, permitting a punitive damage award by the trial court. The trial judge reduced the verdict by $3.4 million (to $85 million) and added another $85 million in punitive damages, along with $139 million in attorneys’ fees and costs, for a total award of $310 million. The Los Angeles Times called it “a stunning reversal of litigation fortune.” Keller is no stranger to huge verdicts. In 2009 she was lead counsel for the plaintiff in a fraud and tortious interference case involving the theft from her venture-capitalist client of an opportunity to buy a company. After a four-and-a-half month trial, Keller won California’s largest business jury verdict of the year for her client: $350 million, of which $50 million was punitive damages. That case, Auerbach v. Daily, established her versatility as a trial lawyer. (In between those two civil trials she gained an acquittal for a client facing a life sentence in a so-called “shaken baby case.”) A former deputy public defender and Court of Appeal research attorney, Jennifer is listed in “The Best Lawyers In America” and is its 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” in criminal defense; appears in Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America;” has been chosen repeatedly for the L.A. & San Francisco Daily Journals’ “Top 100 Lawyers in California” and “California’s Top Women Litigators”; and is routinely selected by Los Angeles Magazine as a “Superlawyer.” She was among California Lawyer Magazine’s CLAY Award winners (California Attorneys of the Year) for litigation in 2012, and was selected by the Orange County Trial Lawyers as both its Business Litigation Attorney of the Year (2010) and Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year (2000). She was the 1996 President of the Orange County Bar Association. Jennifer is a Trustee of Chapman University and of the UC Hastings Foundation. She is a past member of the Board of Governors of the Hastings Alumni Association and serves on the Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League of Orange County and Long Beach. Jennifer is a member of the International Women’s Forum through its Southern California chapter. A founding fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, she is a past winner of the State Bar President’s Wiley Manuel Award for Pro Bono Service. Jennifer also served as an attorney representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council. Jennifer graduated from UC Berkeley in 1975, from UC Hastings in 1978 and was admitted to the California Bar that year. She has been a State Bar certified specialist in criminal defense since 1985. Her firm Keller Rackauckas LLP is among the premier criminal defense and complex litigation boutiques in Southern California.
Abbe David Lowell - Washington, DC
Abbe Lowell’s practice focuses on the investigation, trial and appeal of complex and often high-profile criminal and civil cases throughout the United States and counseling clients with respect to their dealings with legislative and government agencies. A partner at Chadbourne & Parke, he heads the Litigation Department and chairs the firm's White Collar Defense, Regulatory Investigations and Litigation Practice Group. Lowell has successfully tried criminal and civil cases ranging from public corruption, securities fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy and even the Espionage Act before juries in more than fifteen different federal and state courts and has argued appeals in various circuits, the highest courts of four different states and before the United States Supreme Court. He has also represented clients in numerous congressional oversight and other hearings as well as enforcement actions brought by various federal agencies and state attorneys general. In addition to his private practice, he has served as Chief Minority Counsel to Congress during the impeachment proceedings of President Clinton and as Special Counsellor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. Lowell has authored numerous articles on the law and teaches criminal procedure, evidence and trial practice at Georgetown Law Center and Columbia Law School. Numerous legal and non-legal newspapers and various attorney rating organizations have recognized Lowell as one of the best criminal defense and trial attorneys and one of the most influential attorneys in the United States. He serves on the Board of Trustees (Chair of the Development Committee) of the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Vice President and General Counsel of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, General Counsel of Congregation B'nai Tzedek in Potomac, Columbia College Advisory Admissions Committee and other community organizations.
Andrea Lyon - Chicago, IL
Andrea D. Lyon is a clinical professor of law, associate dean of Clinical Programs, and director of the Center for Justice in Capital Cases. Lyon received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and her law degree from Antioch School of Law. After graduating, she worked for the Cook County Public Defenders' Office in the felony trial division, post-conviction/habeas corpus unit, preliminary hearing/first municipal (misdemeanor) unit and the appeals division. Her last position there was chief of the Homicide Task Force, a 22-lawyer unit representing persons accused of homicides. She has tried over 130 homicide cases, both while in the Public Defender's Office and since. She has defended more than 30 potential capital cases at the trial level and has taken 19 through penalty phase; she won all 19. In 1990, she founded the Illinois Capital Resource Center and served as its director until joining the University of Michigan Law School faculty as an assistant clinical professor in 1995. A winner of the prestigious National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Reginald Heber Smith Award for best advocate for the poor in the country, she is a nationally recognized expert in the field of death penalty defense and a frequent continuing legal education teacher throughout the country. In 1998, she was awarded the Justice for All Award at the National Conference on Wrongful Convictions and the Death Penalty. In 2003, she received the lifetime achievement award from the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 2005, she received the president’s commendation from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for her death penalty work. In 2011 she was awarded the Outstanding Legal Service Award from the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Hon. William H. “Billy” Murphy, Jr. - Baltimore, MD
Judge William H. “Billy” Murphy, Jr. is the founder and a senior partner of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy in Baltimore. In addition to his active trial work and ongoing caseload, Judge Murphy also serves as the informal elder statesman of the firm. With more than 42 years of practice in state courts, Judge Murphy has been successful in over 90% of his state court cases and over 40% of his federal cases–four times higher than the national average of 9%. His 1998 victory for boxing promoter Don King became a legendary case in sports history and garnered wide-spread attention throughout the nation. In a case of wire fraud charges brought on by UK-based bank, Lloyd’s of London, Judge Murphy defended Mr. King’s participation in fraudulently claiming $350,000 of refunds from a cancelled boxing match. Through his extensive knowledge on the case and fearless cross-examination of Mr. King’s former accountant, all nine counts were ultimately dismissed. In 2008, Judge Murphy and his team at Murphy, Falcon & Murphy reached a $54 million settlement with Constellation Energy on behalf of homeowners in the Baltimore area whose private drinking wells were contaminated by coal ash. In August 2010, he and his team of attorneys represented 23 plaintiffs who were awarded $34.33 million in damages after a Baltimore City jury found that they had been permanently injured in a carbon monoxide release at an Inner Harbor restaurant. After ten years of building a thriving practice as a superstar attorney, he successfully ran for judge of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City in 1980. In 1983 he resigned and returned to his true passion: litigation. He has been perfecting this craft ever since. In 2004, Judge Murphy received the Charles Hamilton Houston Award for Lifetime Achievement in Litigation. The Baltimore Sun has profiled him as one of the top five lawyers in the state and wrote that he is recognized by his peers as “extraordinarily gifted” and “one of the best defense attorneys of his time.” Judge Murphy graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1965 and attained his J.D from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1969.
Christopher Ritter - Oakland, CA
Chris Ritter currently holds the positions of Member and of Chief of Visual Trial Strategy for The Focal Point. In 1998, he joined The Focal Point after several years as a partner and trial lawyer at a major San Francisco law firm. His experience trying cases in both state and federal courts gives Chris the insight and perspective to help clients zero in on key issues and uncover powerful and persuasive visual strategies. As a former faculty member at University of California Hastings College of the Law, where he taught trial practice, evidence, and legal writing, Chris is a master at clarifying the complex and making esoteric themes understandable and compelling. His courtroom experience is also instrumental in creating strategically sound, clearly delineated, and creatively convincing presentations and storylines designed to win. He has worked on highly publicized cases such as Microsoft v. Google, Colorado v. Kobe Bean Bryant, and Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Bayer Corp. In addition to his work at The Focal Point, Chris has taught for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and remains an active member of the State Bar of California. An accomplished author, he collaborated with The Focal Point’s founder, Andy Spingler, on Packaging and Presenting Your Case to Win, published by the CEB, and wrote Creating Winning Trial Strategies and Graphics and Powerful Deliberations: Putting It All Together For the Jury, as well as co-authoring The Trial War Room Handbook: Effective Strategies From the Trenches, all published by the American Bar Association, and lauded as definitive works in the field. Chris has been a featured presenter at programs including those sponsored by the State Bar of California, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, the Texas State Bar, the National Association of Criminal Defense Counsel, the California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), the American Bar Association, and Law Seminars International. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and also serves as The Focal Point’s General Counsel.
Jeffery P. Robinson - Seattle, WA
Jeffery Robinson is a shareholder at Schroeter, Goldmark & Bender (SGB) and a graduate of Harvard Law School. After graduating in 1981 and before joining SGB in 1988, he was a King County Public Defender and Assistant Federal Public Defender. He teaches and speaks nationally about trial advocacy, including as a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia. Mr. Robinson is listed in the Best Lawyers in America and, in 2003, was chosen as King County Bar Association’s “Lawyer of the Year” and selected by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the “Top 100 Black Lawyers in America”. A member and past president of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (WACDL), he received WACDL’s 2004 William O. Douglas Award. Mr. Robinson is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the John Adams Project, a small group of lawyers chosen by the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers to help in the representation of the “High Value Detainees” held at Guantanamo Bay and charged with capital murder for alleged assistance in the 9-11 attacks. Mr. Robinson is the co-winner of the 2009 Washington State ACLU Civil Libertarian Award.
J.T. "Tony" Serra- San Francisco, CA
After earning a Philosophy degree from Stanford University, Serra went on to graduate from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law in the 1960s, an era he calls “the golden age of law.” In his more than 45 years of practice, Serra has helmed a number of noteworthy cases, including Huey Newton, Bear Lincoln, Chol Soo Lee, the Hell’s Angels, Hooty Croy, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the White Panthers, Bari & Cherney v. FBI, and more. Serra has been honored with awards from, among others, NORML, ACLU, American Lawyer Magazine, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. He has been admitted to practice in 45 separate federal and state jurisdictions in 28 different states and calls San Francisco home.
Dr. SunWolf - Santa Clara, CA
Dr. SunWolf was a trial and appellate attorney, later Training Director for Colorado's Public Defenders, when she left to get her M.A. & Ph.D. at the University of California, studying juries. Now a professor at Santa Clara University, she has spoken at CLE programs in more than thirty states, is on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College, and is an award-winning researcher. Translating social science studies into strategies for trial lawyers, her book, Practical Jury Dynamics2, examines a juror’s mental tools, juror stress, juror misconduct, and the darkside of deliberations [winner of the Ernest Bormann Book Award]. She is the originator of Decisional Regret Theory, which explains how jurors cope with the anxiety of anticipated verdict-regret by telling one another counterfactual stories about the case. Her upcoming book, God-Thinking: Every Juror’s Moral Brain, offers new ways to appeal to a juror’s moral code. In 2008 she was given her university's Achievement in Scholarship award for scholarly work that represents a major contribution to a field of knowledge. As a social scientist, she teaches courses in persuasion, friendships & romances, group dynamics, storytelling, and the science of happiness; as a Visiting Professor at her law school, she teaches "Jury Law & Strategies." Her twitter identity @TheSocialBrain is followed by more than 10,000 psychologists, neuroscientists, professors, lawyers, and real people interested in human behavior, from countries all over the world [she was named by the Huffington post one of the nation’s top 30 neuroscientists on Twitter].
Jeffrey Weiner - Miami, FL
Jeff Weiner is the Managing Partner of Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., in Miami, Florida. Jeff has been a practicing criminal defense attorney since 1974. Jeff is a nationally Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification. He represents United States citizens and foreign nationals in international criminal law matters, and members of various professions before regulatory agencies. Many of his cases are “high profile” in which he represents fellow attorneys, professional athletes, politicians and business executives. Jeff has argued trials and appeals throughout the country including appeals before the United States Supreme Court, the Florida Supreme Court, and numerous Florida and Federal courts of appeal. Jeff had the distinction of arguing Florida v. Jimeno, 500 U.S. 248 (1991) before the United States Supreme Court. Jeff’s distinguished legal career includes terms as president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), president of the Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. He is also a former Regent and faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College. Jeff was voted by fellow lawyers as one of the 2012 Best Lawyers in America®, as a “Florida Super Lawyer” ®, is named in Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” ®, which singles out less than 2% of the nearly 63,000 Florida Bar members practicing in Florida, in the 2012 South Florida Legal Guide’s “Top Lawyers” and enjoys an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Jeff received the Robert C. Heeney Award, NACDL’s highest honor, awarded annually “to the one criminal defense attorney who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association, and the legal profession.”