Legal Advisory Committee

Ben Clements, Partner, Clements & Pineault, LLP, Chair of the Board; Chair of the Board’s Legal Committee

Ben Clements serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Free Speech For People, as well as Chair of the Board’s Legal Committee and a member of the Legal Advisory Committee.  Mr. Clements is a former federal prosecutor and a former Chief Legal Counsel to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.  He is a founding partner of the Boston law firm, Clements & Pineault, LLP, representing persons and entities in white collar criminal proceedings, state and federal enforcement proceedings, complex business litigation, and appeals, and providing advice in connection with political campaigns, government ethics, and related areas.  His clients have included business executives and professionals, senior government officials, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, non-profit institutions, and state and federal governments.  Mr. Clements is a member of the board and a legal advisor to the anti-gun violence organization, Stop Handgun Violence, and a member of the advisory committee to the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the American Constitution Society.  He has also worked closely and collaborated with a variety of other legal and advocacy organizations, including Common Cause of Massachusetts and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.  Mr. Clements previously served as the Chair of the Massachusetts Governor’s Task Force on Public Integrity, a bi-partisan committee that led to landmark legislation overhauling the state ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance laws.  Mr. Clements graduated from Dartmouth College (cum laude) and Cornell Law School (summa cum laude). Back to top.

Albert Alschuler, Professor Emeritus of Law and Criminology, University of Chicago Law School

Albert Alschuler graduated magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School and was Case Editor of the Harvard Law Review. He has been a law clerk to Justice Walter V. Schaefer of the Illinois Supreme Court; a special assistant to the assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division of the U.S. Justice Department; a professor of law at the University of Texas, the University of Colorado, the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University; a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, the University of California at Berkeley, the Brooklyn Law School, Columbia University, NYU, and the University of San Diego; and a visiting scholar at the National Institute of Justice and the American Bar Foundation. Back to top.

Lawrence Anderson, Montana trial attorney and member of the Board of Governors of the American Association of Justice

Lawrence Anderson practices law in Great Falls, Montana, concentrating in the areas of complex torts, insurance claims practices and class litigation. Mr. Anderson is an advocate member of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association (MTLA) and a member of the Leader’s Forum of the American Association of Justice (AAJ). He represents Montana on AAJ’s Board of Governors. Mr. Anderson has served on MTLA’s Board of Directors since 1997 and has served as its President. He has chaired MTLA’s Amicus Committee since 2000. Mr. Anderson wrote and filed amicus briefs in the Montana Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States in Montana’s challenge to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling. He earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1974. Back to top. 

David Ciepley, Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow, Princeton University, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Denver

Professor David Ciepley came to the University of Denver in 2007. He was a Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars during the 2011-2012 academic year and will be a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow in the Center for Human Values at Princeton University during the 2013-2014 academic year. Professor Ciepley is the author of “Beyond Public or Private: Toward A Political Theory of the Corporation” (American Political Science Review, February 2013) and “Neither Persons nor Associations: Against Constitutional Rights for Corporations” (The Journal of Law and Courts, September 2013). Professor Ciepley was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis from 2002-2004, a postdoctoral fellow at The Center on Religion and Democracy at the University of Virginia from 2004-2005, and a postdoctoral fellow in political philosophy, policy, and law, also at the University of Virginia, from 2005-2007. He graduated cum laude with a BA from Princeton University in 1989, received an MSc from Edinburgh University in 1991, an MA with distinction from the University of Chicago in 1992, and a PhD from the University of Chicago in 2002. Back to top. 

John Coates, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

John Coates, IV is the John F. Cogan, Jr. Professor of Law and Economics and research director at the Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. He joined the faculty in 1997 after private practice at the New York law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he was a partner specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate and securities law, and the regulation of financial institutions. His current research at Harvard includes empirical studies of the purchasing of legal services by S&P 500 companies, the causes and consequences of the completion or failure of M&A transactions, mutual funds and the effects of their regulation, and the causes and consequences of CEO and CLO turnover. He teaches courses on Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Institutions Regulation, Contracts, Corporations, and the History of Capitalist Institutions. Professor Coates is a frequent panelist and speaker on M&A, and a consultant to the SEC, law firms, mutual funds, hedge funds, and other participants in the M&A and capital markets. He also is a member of the Legal Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange and is a past director of the American Law and Economics Association. He is the author of numerous articles on corporate, securities, and financial institution law, and for seven years co-authored the leading annual survey of developments in financial institution M&A. Following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, Professor Coates authored: “Corporate Politics, Governance, and Value Before and After Citizens United,” 9 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 696 (2012). Professor Coates received his B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1986 and his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1989. Back to top. 

Lisa Danetz, Legal Director, Demos

Lisa Danetz is a voting rights and campaign finance lawyer who addresses issues of inequality and fairness in elections. She is an expert on implementation of Section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act, has worked cooperatively with and also litigated against states regarding implementation of the National Voter Registration Act, and has engaged in advocacy before Congress and federal executive offices on the issue. Ms. Danetz also has expertise in constitutional litigation and FEC enforcement work to promote and defend campaign finance reforms. In 2003, Ms. Danetz authored a Supreme Court amicus curiae brief in Nike v. Kasky that questioned the expanding doctrine of corporate speech rights under the First Amendment. Prior to joining Demos, Ms. Danetz spent five years at the National Voting Rights Institute, several years in the private sector doing civil litigation, and held judicial clerkships with United States Circuit Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert, Jr., and United States District Judge Stanley R. Chesler. She received her B.S. from Yale University and her J.D. cum laude from New York University School of Law. Back to top. 

James Exum, Jr., former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court

James G. Exum, Jr. is the Distinguished Professor of the Judicial Process at Elon University School of Law. He served on the North Carolina Supreme Court from 1975-1994, and was Chief Justice from 1986-1994. In 1996 he returned to the practice of law at Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP where he led the appellate practice group, supervising and assisting lawyers with appeals in state and federal courts. Justice Exum was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1967 and that same year began service as Resident Superior Court Judge in Guilford County, NC, holding that position until being elected to the state Supreme Court in 1974. During his service with the North Carolina Supreme Court, Justice Exum wrote 402 opinions for the court and 208 concurring or dissenting opinions. As a lawyer, he has helped brief and argued more than 40 appeals in state and federal appellate courts. Justice Exum is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He has served in the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association as Chairperson of the ABA Criminal Justice Standards Committee, and as State Chair of the ABA Foundation. He has been active in the North Carolina Bar Association, serving in the 1980s as co-chair of its Commission on Alternate Dispute Resolution and most recently as co-chair of its Committee on Judicial Independence. Justice Exum is a founding member of the Elon University Law School Advisory Board and served as Distinguished Jurist-in-Residence at Elon Law from 2006 to 2012. He is the recipient of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Judge John J. Parker Award for conspicuous service to the cause of jurisprudence; the North Carolina ACLU’s Frank Porter Graham Civil Liberties Award and the American Judicature Society’s Herbert Harley Award for contributing to the improvement of the administration of justice in North Carolina. He earned a B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a J.D. at New York University. Back to top. 

Caroline Fredrickson, President, American Constitution Society

Caroline Fredrickson joined the American Constitution Society in 2009 and serves as president. During her tenure, Ms. Fredrickson has helped to expand ACS, which now has more than 40 lawyer chapters across the country, student chapters in nearly every law school in the United States, and thousands of members throughout the nation. She has been widely published on a wide range of legal and constitutional issues. Before joining ACS, Ms. Fredrickson served as the director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office and as general counsel and legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. In addition, Ms. Fredrickson was chief of staff to Sen. Maria Cantwell and deputy chief of staff to then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. During the Clinton administration, she served as Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. Ms. Fredrickson graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and East European Studies in 1986, and from Columbia University School of Law with a J.D. in 1992. Following law school, she clerked for Judge James L. Oakes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In 2013, Ms. Fredrickson was named a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), which includes 50 government and 40 public members. Back to top. 

Ellen P. Goodman, Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law

Professor Goodman specializes in information policy law. Her research interests include media policy, spectrum policy, the use of information as a policy tool, advertising law, and the informational aspects of sustainability policy. She is an animal law expert and pioneered the teaching of animal law at the law school. She is Co-Director and co-founder of the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law (RIIPL). Professor Goodman recently served as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics. She was also Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the FCC and helped in the production of a pathbreaking report on the Information Needs of Communities. Back to top. 

Lisa Graves, Executive Director, Center for Media and Democracy

Lisa Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, the publisher of PR Watch.org, ALECexposed.org, SourceWatch.org, and BanksterUSA.org. She joined CMD in mid-2009. She previously served as a senior advisor in all three branches of the federal government, as a leading strategist on civil liberties advocacy, and as an adjunct law professor at George Washington University School of Law. Her former leadership posts include: Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy/Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice; Chief Counsel for Nominations for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for the Chairman/Ranking Member; Senior Legislative Strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union; Deputy Director of the Center for National Security Studies; Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division of the U.S. Courts (including oversight of the Financial Disclosure Office for judicial ethics). Ms. Graves has testified as an expert witness on national security/homeland security and transparency issues before both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. She earned her J.D., cum laude, from Cornell Law School, and a B.S., with highest honors, from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Back to top. 

Daniel Greenwood, Professor of Law, Hofstra Law School

Professor Daniel J. H. Greenwood came to Hofstra Law School in 2007 from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, where he held the position of S.J. Quinney Professor of Law. Professor Greenwood’s research interests lie in the structure and rights of business organizations and other artificial and natural groups; the intersection of democratic theory and corporate law; and problems of group rights in an individualist democracy. He has published numerous law review articles, book chapters and popular opinion pieces on corporate law, corporate speech rights, and the role of corporations in politics, as well as on minority religious rights and related topics. His pro bono and litigation work has included authoring a Supreme Court brief in the Vermont campaign reform case, and working with the Free Speech For People team on the 2012 Montana challenge to Citizens United in the Supreme Court. Professor Greenwood received his A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1979 and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1984. After graduating, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Richard Owen in New York and then joined the litigation section of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York City. Back to top. 

Thomas Joo, Professor of Law, University of California, Davis, School of Law

Thomas Joo is a Professor of Law at the University of California, Davis, School of Law, specializing in corporate governance, contract law, white collar crime, and critical race theory. Prior to joining the UC Davis faculty, Professor Joo was a clerk in the chambers of the Honorable Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York. He is a member of the American Law Institute and is the former chair of the Section on Contracts of the Association of American Law Schools. Professor Joo is the author of numerous works on corporate governance and corporate law, including the book, Corporate Governance: Law, Theory, and Policy, published in 2004 by Carolina Academic Press with a second edition published in 2010. He received his B.A. from Harvard College and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Back to top. 

Seth Kaplan, Vice President for Policy and Climate Advocacy, Conservation Law Foundation

Seth Kaplan has over 15 years of experience as a public interest advocate, most recently as Vice President for Policy and Climate Advocacy at the Conservation Law Foundation.  His work has included transportation infrastructure spending, transit, energy and climate advocacy at the state, regional and federal level.  A co-founder and board member of a regional renewable energy association, he has long experience working with private industry as well as government officials to shape energy and climate policy.  Mr. Kaplan’s work has included complex multi-stakeholder negotiations, litigation before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and deep engagement of print and electronic media including appearances on radio, television and authoring op-ed pieces and blog posts as part of complex media strategies supporting advocacy campaigns.  Mr. Kaplan earned a B.A. in History and Theater from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law. Back to top. 

Liz Kennedy, Director of Democracy and Government Reform at the Center for American Progress

Liz Kennedy is the Director of Democracy and Government Reform at American Progress. Previously, she served as counsel and campaign strategist at Demos, working on voting rights, money in politics, and corporate accountability. She worked to expand political participation by eliminating barriers to voting and empowering voters; to increase transparency and accountability for money in politics to fight corruption of democratic government; and to fulfill America’s promise of political equality. Kennedy has authored or co-authored numerous papers, such as “Automatic Voter Registration: Finding American’s Missing Voters,” “Top 5 Ways Citizens United Harms Democracy & Top 5 Ways We’re Fighting to Take Democracy Back,” “Millions to the Polls: Practical Policies to Fulfill the Freedom to Vote for All Americans,” “The Racial Equity Impact of Secret Corporate Political Spending by Government Contractors,” “Bullies at the Ballot Box: Protecting the Freedom to Vote Against Wrongful Challenges and Intimidation,” “Stop the Next Citizens United: McCutcheon v. FEC and the Crisis of Confidence in American Democracy,” “Democracy at Stake: Protecting Democracy in the Super PAC Era,” and “Citizens Actually United: The Bi-Partisan Opposition to Corporate Political Spending and Support for Common Sense Reform.”

Prior to joining Demos, Kennedy was an attorney in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, working on issues of money in politics and democratic accountability. Kennedy was deputy director of voter protection for President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign in Ohio; has represented unions in industrial bankruptcy cases; and was a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Before law school, she spent several years running campaigns as a student organizer and canvass director with the Public Interest Research Group. Back to top. 

Robert Kerr, Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor, University of Oklahoma

Robert Kerr is a professor at The University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Professor Kerr’s First Amendment research focuses on legal and public-policy issues involved in maintaining a truly free marketplace of ideas for all citizens in the face of corporations claiming free speech rights. He was the most honored participant over the past decade in national research competitions of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, a 2010 Musambira and Nesta study documented. In 2008, students for the second time voted him the recipient of the Gaylord College Teaching Award. That year, he was also named a Presidential Professor by The University of Oklahoma and the winner of the National Communication Association’s Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression. Professor Kerr is a respected scholar on the fabricated doctrine of corporate speech rights. His latest book – The Corporate Free-Speech Movement: Cognitive Feudalism and the Endangered Marketplace of Ideas – foreshadowed the recent economic crisis in global markets, as well as the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. His many other publications include the 2005 book, The Rights of Corporate Speech: Mobil Oil and the Legal Development of the Voice of Big Business (LFB Scholarly: New York, N.Y., 2005), and the 2010 article, “Naturalizing the Artificial Citizen: Repeating Lochner’s Error in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission,” Communication Law and Policy 15:4 (Fall 2010) 1-53. Professor Kerr received his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his M.A. from the University of Oklahoma, and his B.A. from Southern Arkansas University. Back to top. 

Cyrus Mehri, Founding Partner, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC.

Cyrus Mehri has served as co-lead class counsel in some of the largest and most significant race and gender cases in U.S. history, including, Roberts v. Texaco Inc., Ingram v. The Coca-Cola Company, Robinson v. Ford Motor Company and many others. Trial Lawyers for Public Justice named Mr. Mehri a finalist for “Trial Lawyer of the Year” in 1997 and 2001 for his work on the Texaco and Coca-Cola matters, respectively. In 2010, Mr. Mehri co-founded Voices for Corporate Responsibility, a project designed to create a home for senior executives and professionals concerned about corporate wrongdoing and who seek to rectify those wrongs before Congress, regulators, and the Courts. The Securities and Exchange Commission relied in significant part on a written submission by Voices in finalizing its whistleblower rules in the landmark Dodd-Frank legislation. Mr. Mehri graduated from Cornell Law School in 1988. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable John T. Nixon, U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Tennessee. Back to top. 

Robert A.G. Monks, Author, Founder, Lens Governance Advisors

Robert A.G. Monks is the author of  Citizens Dis-United: Passive Investors, Drone CEOs And The Corporate Capture Of The American Dream. His current work is focused on the assembly and dissemination of information and opinion about global issues of corporate governance and government capture.  Mr. Monks is a substantial shareholder in, and advisor to, Trucost, the environmental research company. He is also the founder of Lens Governance Advisors, a law firm that advises on corporate governance in the settlement of shareholder litigation. His principal occupation is the development of ideas harmonizing corporate energies with the long-term interests of global society. Mr. Monks was the founder of Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc., and served as its president from 1985-1990. ISS is now the leading corporate governance consulting firm, advising shareholders with assets in excess of $1 trillion on how to vote their proxies. In January 2007, ISS was sold to Riskmetrics. He founded the investment fund known as LENS, which since 1992 has developed the “institutional activist” mode of investment. The fund has achieved returns in excess of the S&P average throughout its life. In 1998, in partnership with British Telephone Pension Scheme to promote the same investment principles in the United Kingdom, he founded Hermes LENS Asset Management Company of which he served as Joint Deputy Chairman. This fund also exceeded its index performance standard. Mr. Monks served as the President of Henley Management College’s Center for Board Effectiveness from 2000 to October 2003. Mr. Monks is a graduate of Harvard College, Cambridge University and Harvard Law School. He was a partner in a Boston law firm and served as vice president of Gardner Associates, an investment management company. He was president and chief executive officer of C.H.Sprague & Son Company, a coal and oil concern and served as a board member and chairman of the Board of The Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Company and the Boston Company. He served as director of the United States Synthetic Fuels Corporation through appointment by President Ronald Reagan who also appointed him one of the founding Trustees of the Federal Employees’ Retirement System. He served in the Department of Labor as Administrator of the Office of Pension and Welfare Benefit Programs having jurisdiction over the entire U.S. pension system. Mr. Monks has served as a member of the board of directors of ten publicly held companies. Mr Monks has spoken, written and testified widely on corporate governance matters over the past twenty years. Back to top. 

James Nelson, former Justice of the Montana Supreme Court

Jim Nelson served as a Justice on the Montana Supreme Court from May 1993 until January 2013.  He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in business (cum laude) from the University of Idaho in 1966 and his Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from George Washington University in 1974.  Prior to serving on the Court, Jim engaged in the general practice of law in Cut Bank, Montana for nearly 20 years, representing individuals, small businesses, ranchers and farmers in domestic relations, real estate, litigation, contract, wills probate, estate and oil and gas matters.  Additionally, he served as the Glacier County Attorney for 14 of those years.  Jim was active in numerous community affairs and organizations and served the State of Montana in various capacities including as a member and chairman of the State Board of Oil and Gas Conservation and as a member of the State Gaming Advisory Council and the Governor’s Advisory Council on Corrections and Criminal Justice Policy.

While on the Supreme Court Jim served on a number of Commissions including chairing the Court’s Commission on Technology and acting as liaison to the Commission on Courts of Limited Jurisdiction.  Jim was a member of the State Bar of Montana CLE Institute and one of Montana’s Commissioners on the Uniform Laws Commission. He presently serves as a member of the legal advisory committee of Free Speech for People.org. Jim taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Montana School of Law (Alexander Blewett III School of Law) in 2000 and in 2013.

Jim has always been an outspoken advocate for civil rights and for a fair, impartial and independent judiciary. He is the recipient of the Montana Trial Lawyers Public Service Award, 2013; the Montana American Civil Liberties Janette Rankin Award, 2013; and the American Bar Association Stonewall Award, 2014. Back to top. 

Eva Paterson, Co-Founder and President, Equal Justice Society

Civil rights attorney Eva Jefferson Paterson is Co-Founder and President of the Equal Justice Society, a national strategy group focused on reclaiming the 14th Amendment and its Constitutional safeguards against discrimination. She previously served 13 years as Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. At the Lawyers’ Committee, she was part of a broad coalition that filed the groundbreaking anti-discrimination suit against race and gender discrimination by the San Francisco Fire Department. That lawsuit successfully desegregated the department, winning new opportunities for women and firefighters of color. Ms. Paterson is co-chair of the California Civil Rights Coalition (CCRC), which she co-founded and previously chaired for 18 years. She also served as Vice President of the ACLU National Board for eight years, and chaired the boards of Equal Rights Advocates and the San Francisco Bar Association Foundation. Ms. Paterson has received numerous awards, including the Fay Stender Award from the California Women Lawyers; Woman of the Year from the Black Leadership Forum; the Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award from the ACLU of Northern California; and the Alumni Award of Merit from Northwestern University. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she received her B.A. in political science and was elected the first African American student body president, and U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. Back to top. 

Peter Pease, Founder, Law Offices of Peter Pease

Peter A. Pease conducts a litigation practice from offices in Lincoln, MA. Mr. Pease was a founding partner of Berman DeValerio & Pease in Boston, MA in 1982. He has spent more than 30 years litigating cases for violations of the federal securities and antitrust laws, and state unfair trade practices claims. His effective advocacy has elicited favorable judicial comment in courts throughout the nation. He has served as lead counsel in many securities fraud class actions, prevailing in claims against companies in the automotive, biotech, banking, energy, high tech, internet, medical equipment and devices, software, telecommunications and other industries. He has led many successful prosecutions of accounting firms and investment bankers. Mr. Pease is a director of Bay Cove Human Services, Inc., and served as board chair in the years 2006 through 2010. Bay Cove serves more than 12,000 individuals and their families each year at more than 80 different program sites, providing treatment for mental illness, developmental disabilities, addiction disorders, homelessness, early intervention learning programs and services for seniors. Mr. Pease received his J.D. from Suffolk University Law School. Back to top. 

Tamara Piety, Professor of Law, University of Tulsa College of Law

Tamara Piety is a Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law. She is an internationally recognized scholar on the legal treatment of commercial and corporate speech. She is the author, among other works, of Brandishing the First Amendment (2012 University of Michigan Press), and a number of articles, including, Why Personhood Matters in Constitutional Commentary, The First Amendment and the Corporate Civil Rights Movement, Citizens United and the Threat to the Regulatory State,  Against Freedom of Commercial Expression,  Market Failure in the Marketplace of Ideas and many others. She has been an invited speaker to symposia at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Northwestern Law School and many others. In 2009, she was an invited panelist in a conference sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission concerning the regulation of marketing junk food to children. Professor Piety earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Florida International University in 1985; her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law in 1991; and her LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2000. She served as judicial clerk for the Honorable Peter T. Fay on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and as an interim clerk for the Honorable Irving L. Goldberg on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In 2014 Professor Piety was named an inaugural fellow in the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities an in 2015 was a Senior Research Scholar in Law at Yale Law School and a Visiting Scholar in Residence at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Back to top.  

Katie Redford, Co-Founder and Director, EarthRights International

Katie Redford is a human rights lawyer and activist who is credited with spearheading a movement to hold international companies accountable in their home court jurisdictions in the Western world for overseas human rights abuses, and by doing so, opening up new possibilities in human rights law. She is the Co-Founder and Director of EarthRights International (ERI), a non-profit organization of activists, organizers, and lawyers with expertise in human rights, the environment, and corporate and government accountability. Ms. Redford served as co-counsel to plaintiffs in ERI’s landmark case, Doe v. Unocal, in which Burmese villagers sued the Unocal company alleging serious human rights abuses in connection with the construction of the Yadana gas pipeline project in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Following nearly a decade of litigation in the United States (including federal and state court rulings which had allowed the case to go forward), the parties ultimately settled the case for an undisclosed sum. Ms. Redford received an Echoing Green Fellowship in 1995 to establish ERI, and, since then, has divided her time between ERI’s Thailand and US offices. In addition to working on ERI’s litigation and teaching at the EarthRights Schools run by ERI, Ms. Redford serves as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Virginia School of Law and the Washington College of Law at American University, and also on the Boards of the Bank Information Center (BIC), the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), and Oil Change International. She has published on various issues associated with human rights and corporate accountability. In 2006, she was selected as an Ashoka Global Fellow. Ms. Redford has been profiled in the books Be Bold  and Your America: Democracy’s Local Heroes, and the award-winning documentary film Total Denial. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where she received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Human Rights and Public Service. Back to top. 

Bertrall Ross, Assistant Professor of Law, University of California at Berkeley School of Law

Bertrall Ross is Assistant Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice at the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). Prior to joining the Boalt Hall community, Bertrall was a Kellis Parker Academic Fellow at Columbia Law School. He clerked for the Honorable Dorothy Nelson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Honorable Myron Thompson of the Middle District of Alabama. He received his J.D. from Yale Law School and has an M.Sc in the Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics, a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a B.A. in International Affairs and History from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He teaches Legislation, Election Law, and Constitutional Law. Back to top. 

Catherine Ross, Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School

Catherine J. Ross specializes in constitutional law (with particular emphasis on the First Amendment), family law, and legal and policy issues concerning children. Her most recent book, Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students’ First Amendment Rights (Harvard University Press, 2015) was named the Best Book on the First Amendment of 2015 by Concurring Opinions’ First Amendment News.  She is currently working on a book on lies and the First Amendment. Professor Ross has been a co-author of Contemporary Family Law (Thomson/West 4th ed. 2015) since the First Edition.

Professor Ross was a Member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton from 2008-2009. In 2015-2016, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard School of Education. Professor Ross has taught as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Boston College (where she held joint appointments in the School of Education and the History Department) and St. John’s School of Law in New York.

An elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Professor Ross is former chair of the ABA’s Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children, former chair of the Section on Law and Communitarianism of the Association of American Law Schools, and has served on a wide variety of ABA committees. Prior to entering legal academia, Professor Ross was a litigator at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York, where she won major impact litigation on behalf of the city’s homeless population. Before attending Yale Law School, Professor Ross, who earned a Ph.D. in History from Yale, was on the faculty of the Yale School of Medicine’s Child Study Center, and the Bush Center on Child Development and Social Policy at Yale with a joint appointment in History. Back to top. 

Dale Rubin, Professor of Law, Appalachian School of Law

Dale Rubin is a Professor of Law at Appalachian School of Law. Prior to joining ASL, Professor Rubin taught for seven years at the Willamette College of Law in Salem, Oregon. His primary research interest is the constitutionality of public subsidies to private corporations. Professor Rubin was in private practice for eighteen years, serving at Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe in San Francisco and with the office of Carl B. Metoyer in Oakland, California. He was an International Legal Center Fellow in Barbados, West Indies, where he drafted a model corporations code and published an article on the development of an anti-trust law framework in the English-speaking Caribbean territories. He has published articles in the Journal of World Trade Law, the Anglo-American Law Review, the St. Louis University Public Law Review, the University of Richmond Law Review, the University of Toledo Law Review, the Idaho Law Review, Northern Kentucky Law Review, the Urban Lawyer, the American Bar Association’s State and Local Government Section Newsletter and the Oregon State Bar Business Law Digest. Professor Rubin has also authored numerous state-based think-tank papers that have been published by the James Madison Institute (Florida), Cascade Policy Institute (Oregon), Calvert Institute for Policy Research (Maryland), Independence Institute (Colorado), Washington Institute for Policy Studies (Washington), and Sutherland Institute (Utah). He has been editor of the Charles Houston Bar Association Newsletter in Oakland, California, the Oregon State Bar Business Law Digest, the American Bar Association Public Transportation Newsletter, and is presently the editor of the ABA State and Local Government Section Newsletter. Professor Rubin’s publications include: “Corporate Personhood: How The Courts Have Employed Bogus Jurisprudence To Grant Corporations Constitutional Rights Intended For Individuals,” 28 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 523 (2010). Professor Rubin received a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in psychology from Stanford University. He was a world record holder in the 440-yard relay and an All-Coast football player at Stanford. He was also the founder of the Stanford Black Alumni Association. Back to top. 

Steven Shiffrin, Professor of Law, Cornell University Law School

Steven H. Shiffrin is the Charles Frank Reavis Sr., Professor of Law Emeritus at Cornell Law School. He began his law school teaching career at UCLA in 1977, receiving tenure in 1981. He has been a visiting professor of law at Boston University, Harvard University, Seattle University, and the University of Michigan. He joined the Cornell faculty in 1987. Professor Shiffrin is the author of What’s Wrong with the First Amendment (Cambridge University Press, 2016);The Religious Left and Church-State Relations (Princeton University Press, 2009); Dissent, Injustice, and the Meanings of America (Princeton University Press, 1999); and The First Amendment, Democracy, and Romance (Harvard Press, 1990), winner of the Thomas J. Wilson Award. His writings have appeared in many publications, including the Cornell Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Northwestern Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, Commonweal, the New York Times Book Review, and the Washington Monthly. He is a coauthor of Constitutional Law, 12th ed., 2015, and The First Amendment, 6th ed., 2015, both of which are widely used casebooks in the field. Professor Shiffrin received his B.A. from Loyola University of Los Angeles in 1963, M.A. from San Fernando Valley State College in 1964, and J.D. from Loyola University Los Angeles in 1975. Back to top. 

James Gustave Speth, Senior Fellow, Vermont Law School

James Gustave Speth joined the faculty of the Vermont Law School as Professor of Law in 2010. Professor Speth serves also as Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos and Associate Fellow at the Tellus Institute. In 2009 Professor Speth completed his decade-long tenure as Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. From 1993 to 1999, Professor Speth was Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality (Carter Administration); and senior attorney and cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council. Throughout his career, Professor Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation and promote sustainable development. Among Professor Speth’s awards are the National Wildlife Federation’s Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America’s Barbara Swain Award of Honor, a 1997 Special Recognition Award from the Society for International Development, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Environmental Law Institute and the League of Conservation Voters, and the Blue Planet Prize. Professor Speth is the author, co-author or editor of seven books. His latest book is America the Possible: Manifesto for a New Economy, published by Yale Press in September 2012. Professor Speth currently serves on the boards of the New Economy Coalition, Center for a New American Dream, Climate Reality Project, and the Institute for Sustainable Communities. He is an honorary director of the World Resources Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council and is an advisory board member or associate for the Democracy Collaborative, United Republic, 350.org, EcoAmerica, Labor Network for Sustainability, New Economy Working Group, SC Coastal Conservation League, Environmental Law Institute, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Southern Environmental Law Center, Heinz Center, Free Speech For People, and Vermont Institute for Natural Science. Professor Speth graduated summa cum laude from Yale University in 1964 with a BA in Political Science, and subsequently earned an M.Litt. in Economics from Oxford University in 1966 as a Rhodes Scholar and his JD from the Yale Law School in 1969. After law school, he served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black. Back to top. 

Jennifer Taub, Associate Professor of Law, Vermont Law School

Jennifer Taub is professor at Vermont Law School, where she teaches courses in Contracts, Corporations, Securities Regulation, and White Collar Crime. Formerly an associate general counsel at Fidelity Investments, she is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. Her research focuses on corporate governance and financial market regulation. Taub is the author of the book Other People’s Houses (Yale Press 2014) which suggests that the 2008 crisis was a repeat performance of the S&L debacle of the 1980s. In 2016, she testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs concerning bank capital and liquidity requirements and before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services concerning capital formation, transparency, and regulatory accountability.  She is also the co-author of Corporate and White Collar Crime, Cases and Materials6th ed. (Wolters Kluwer 2017). In addition to scholarly publications in journals and peer-reviewed books, her writing has been featured on a variety of blogs including the New York Times’ Dealbook and the Baseline Scenario. She has been interviewed for print, radio and video media including by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Bloomberg, NBC, ABC, CBSMoneyWatch, MarketPlace Radio, WNYC, New England Public Radio, and Vermont Public Radio. Back to top. 

Gerald Torres, Jane M.G. Foster Professor, Cornell University Law School

Professor Torres is former President of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). A leading figure in critical race theory, Torres is also an expert in agricultural and environmental law. He joined the Cornell faculty after teaching at the University of Texas where he served as Associate Dean. He also served as Vice-Provost of the University of Texas at Austin. Torres has served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and as Counsel to then U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. He was her principal advisor on Indian issues while at the Department of Justice and helped found the Office of Tribal Justice. He also had primary responsibility for drafting the Executive Order on Environmental Justice. Torres was honored with the 2004 Legal Service Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) for his work to advance the legal rights of Latinos. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford law schools and was the  Oneida Nations Visiting Professor of Law at the Harvard Law School. In 2011-2012, he taught at the Yale Law School. Back to top. 

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