COVID-19 and the Courts Virtual Symposium

Participant Bios

Welcome and Introductions

Erwin Chemerinsky

Erwin Chemerinsky became the 13th Dean of Berkeley Law on July 1, 2017, when he joined the faculty as the Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law.

Prior to assuming this position, from 2008-2017, he was the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at University of California, Irvine School of Law, with a joint appointment in Political Science. Before that, he was the Alston and Bird Professor of Law and Political Science at Duke University from 2004-2008, and from 1983-2004 was a professor at the University of Southern California Law School, including as the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science. He also has taught at DePaul College of Law and UCLA Law School.

He is the author of 11 books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction. His most recent books are, We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century (Picador Macmillan) published in November 2018, and two books published by Yale University Press in 2017, Closing the Courthouse Doors: How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable and Free Speech on Campus (with Howard Gillman).

He also is the author of more than 200 law review articles. He writes a regular column for the Sacramento Bee, monthly columns for the ABA Journal and the Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court.

In 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017, National Jurist magazine again named Dean Chemerinsky as the most influential person in legal education in the United States.

James Anderson

James Anderson is director of the Institute for Civil Justice and the Justice Policy Program at RAND. He conducts empirical research on a wide variety of policy issues and has served as principal investigator on a variety of projects, ranging from the policy implications of autonomous vehicle technology to understanding the effects of indigent defense systems. He has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, the National Institutes of Health, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the State of Pennsylvania, the Institute for Civil Justice, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation. His work has appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Journal of Law and Economics, the Oxford University Press, and in numerous RAND publications.

In addition to leading research, he has served as a member of RAND’s Institutional Review Board to review research for human subjects protection issues. He is also a member of the American Law Institute. Before joining RAND, he clerked for the Honorable Morton Greenberg of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and practiced law for 10 years as an assistant federal public defender representing death-sentenced prisoners. He received a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale University.

M.C. Sungaila

M.C. Sungaila is the current Chair of the Board of Advisors for the RAND Institute for Civil Justice and the leader of the Buchalter’s Appellate practice group and a Shareholder in the Firm’s Orange County office. Ms. Sungaila is a highly regarded appellate attorney who has briefed and argued appeals raising cutting-edge and fundamental business issues for over two decades. Her work has helped shape undeveloped areas of the law in constitutional law, employment, franchisor liability, product liability, class actions, probate, immigration, Holocaust art recovery, and human rights. She crafts creative approaches to clients’ emerging legal issues and provides pretrial consultations in cases where an appeal by either side appears inevitable.

Chambers USA reports that clients describe her as “a phenomenal writer,” “an excellent strategist,” and a “gifted appellate lawyer who consistently delivers bottom line results.” Clients praise her “great practical sense,” “laser” focus on key issues, “excellence in creative thinking,” “deep local knowledge of the California Supreme Court, as well as other appellate venues,” and her ability to “advise on the business side just as well as she does on the legal side.” She has been recognized for over a decade by the Daily Journal as one of California’s 100 Leading Women Lawyers, and as one of the state’s Top Labor & Employment Lawyers. She is a recipient of two back-to-back California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) awards, including one in 2015 from California Lawyer magazine, Daily Journal Corporation, for the precedent-setting franchisor vicarious liability case she argued before the California Supreme Court, Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza.

In addition to her appellate practice, Ms. Sungaila is also frequently recognized for her sustained commitment to community service and pro bono work. In 2017, she was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, whose recipients include seven U.S. Presidents, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, leaders of industry, artists, and others whose work has made a lasting impact on humanity, for her combined professional achievements and humanitarian and pro bono work. She has also been recognized by groups such as California Women Lawyers, Alpha Phi International Fraternity, Orange County Women Lawyers, the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and Coastline Community College Foundation.

Ms. Sungaila is regularly published and quoted in top industry publications, and her articles relating to effective amicus briefing, appellate brief writing, and gender issues are cited frequently and are required reading in law schools throughout North America. She has taught appellate law at University of California, Irvine, Loyola, and Whitter Law Schools.

Panel: Implications for Civil Juries


Richard Lorren Jolly

Richard Lorren Jolly is an associate at Susman Godfrey in Los Angeles where he represents plaintiffs and defendants in all types of commercial litigation in federal courts, state courts, and arbitrations. He also serves as a fellow for the Civil Justice Research Initiative of the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to this, Richard worked as a research fellow for the Civil Jury Project of NYU School of Law, and he clerked for Judge Deborah Cook of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Richard received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and is a graduate of the London School of Economics and the University of California, Berkeley.


Robert A. Clifford

Robert A. Clifford is the founder of Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, an internationally-recognized trial firm that concentrates in aviation, transportation, personal injury, medical negligence, product liability law, mass torts and class actions. The National Law Journal named Clifford Law Offices one of the Top 10 Litigation Boutiques in the country for 2012 and awarded Mr. Clifford the Elite Trial Lawyers’ Award in 2014. Mr. Clifford has the distinction of being selected by Super Lawyers, a peer-review organization, as the number one lawyer in Illinois from 2009-2016 and has always been in the top three. He was named by Chicago Magazine as one of the 100 Most Powerful Chicagoans and was named the 2012 Chicago Lawyer Person of the Year, based upon his trial accomplishments, his contributions to the legal community and to the Chicago area. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals gave him its Professionalism Award in 2014. The Chicago Bar Association gave him the Justice John Paul Stevens Award in 2017. Also that year he received the Unity Award by the Diversity Scholarship Foundation. The National Trial Lawyers named Bob Clifford the Class Action Trial Lawyer of 2018.

In 2019, the Illinois Trial Lawyers’ Association honored Mr. Clifford with the Leonard Ring Lifetime Achievement Award and he was also among those honored last year by Public Justice’s prestigious Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. This year, the American Association of Justice honored Mr. Clifford with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mr. Clifford has represented those injured or killed in every major commercial airline crash in the U.S. in the last three decades. This includes the American Airlines crash at O’Hare in 1979; the United Airlines DC-10 crash in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1989; the Comair runway crash in Lexington, Kentucky of 2006; the Continental Colgan crash of 2009; and, internationally, the Turkish Airlines crash in Amsterdam of 2009 as well as the tragic Boeing crash of a 737 MAX-8 in Ethiopia in 2019. Mr. Clifford served as the liaison counsel for the subrogation and business property damage claims that resulted from our nation’s tragedy on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York. He served as lead counsel in the negotiation and settlement of those claims that settled for $1.2 billion. Mr. Clifford’s most recent trial involved a client who suffered permanent injuries after being dragged by a semi. The jury returned a record $35 million verdict for the young woman.

In addition to practicing law, Mr. Clifford is dedicated to the furtherance of the legal profession and has been actively involved in and held leadership roles with the American Bar Association (Chair of the Section of Litigation and Chair of the ABA’s charitable arm, the Fund for Justice and Education), Chicago Bar Association (President), Chicago Inn of Court (President), American College of Trial Lawyers and Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (President). He is also a member of the American Law Institute and the Inner Circle of Advocates. For more than 25 years, he has sponsored the Annual Clifford Tort Symposium on Tort Law and Civil Justice at DePaul University College of Law. Mr. Clifford also served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Naples Children & Education Foundation, a charitable organization and host of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, which benefits over 200,000 at-risk and underprivileged children in Southwest Florida.

Arturo J. González

Arturo J. González, Partner, at Morrison Foerster is one of the nation’s top trial lawyers. One federal judge said his “trial advocacy skills were superior,” while a federal magistrate described his trial skills as “phenomenal.” He is sought after by America’s largest companies, in part because of his ability to communicate with increasingly diverse juries.

Arturo has had great success representing both plaintiffs and defendants. He may be the only lawyer in the country to obtain defense victories for clients in multiple billion dollar matters and also four jury verdicts in excess of $10 million, including verdicts of $39.3 and $13.8 million in trade secrets cases.

Arturo is a Fellow with the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and an associate with the American Board of Trial Advocates. As chair of our Commercial Litigation & Trial Practice Group, he has served as MoFo’s lead trial counsel in a number of significant matters, including:

  • Waymo v. Uber: Won a favorable settlement after four days of jury trial. Defeated motion for preliminary injunction that sought to bar Uber’s autonomous vehicle program.
  • Phoenix Technologies Ltd. v. VMWare, Inc.: Won a defense verdict in copyrights case seeking over $100 million and future royalties.
  • Phaedrus v. Kaiser Permanente: Won a defense verdict for Kaiser in a $125 million trade secrets misappropriation and breach of contract case.
  • Hansen Medical v. Luna Innovations Inc.: Won a $36.3 million verdict in a trial involving medical robotics. Jury found that defendant willfully misappropriated trade secrets and breached two contracts.

Arturo has obtained a number of record jury verdicts, including $12.5 million for the unlawful shooting of a farmworker, $1.45 million for unlawful strip searches, and $63 million in a wrongful death suit.

Arturo has earned a wealth of recognition from his peers. In 2019, Arturo was honored by the American Bar Association for his dedication to providing free legal services to the poor. He was named to Legal 500’s Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame in 2017, has nine consecutive selections to the Daily Journal’s Top 100 Lawyers in California, is recommended by Chambers USA as a top commercial litigator, and has been selected annually since 2010 as one of the country’s top 30 trial lawyers by Legal 500 US. In 2009, The National Law Journal recognized him as one of the top 10 trial lawyers in the country in their “Winning” Special Report. Earlier in his career, he was selected by The National Law Journal as one of the nation’s top 40 lawyers under the age of 40 and one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America.”

Arturo served as the 2010 President of the Bar Association of San Francisco.

Balerie P. Hans

Valerie P. Hans, Charles F. Rechlin Professor of Law at Cornell Law conducts empirical studies of law and the courts, and is one of the nation's leading authorities on the jury system. Trained as a social scientist, she has carried out extensive research and lectured around the globe on juries and jury reforms as well as the uses of social science in law.

She is the author or editor of 9 books and over 150 research articles. Current projects on the American jury include developing a new theory of damage awards, analyzing how jury service promotes civic engagement, and examining the impact of race in tort decisions. Professor Hans is also studying the diverse forms of citizen participation in legal decision making in other countries.

Her research and that of others are summarized in a forthcoming co-edited book, Juries, Lay Judges, and Mixed Courts: A Global Perspective. Other books include: The Psychology of Tort Law (2016); American Juries: The Verdict (2007); The Jury System: Contemporary Scholarship (2006); Business on Trial: The Civil Jury and Corporate Responsibility (2000); and Judging the Jury (1986).

Professor Hans is coeditor of the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Associate Editor of the Annual Review of Law and Social Science, and past president of the Law and Society Association.

Carolyn B. Kuhl

Carolyn B. Kuhl has served on the Superior Court of the State of California since 1995. She has served in the Court’s Complex Civil Litigation Program, for more than 10 years. She served from 2013 through 2016 as Presiding and Assistant Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Before holding those positions, she served as the Supervising Judge of the Civil Departments of the Los Angeles Superior Court, a position she also held from 2003 through 2004.

Judge Kuhl was a member of the Judicial Council from 2006 through 2009. She was a member of the statewide Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions from 2001 through 2003. She has served on the Judicial Council Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee and on the Commission on the Future of California’s Court System, appointed by the Chief Justice of California.

Judge Kuhl has a part-time appointment as a Lecturer in Law at UCLA Law School. She teaches frequently in judicial education programs, including in the Bolch Judicial Studies Institute Master’s Program. She has developed a curriculum to train judges in complex litigation case management.

Judge Kuhl is a member of the American Law Institute and serves on the Executive Committee and on the Council of the Institute. She was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court to serve on the federal Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. She serves on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Civil Justice of the RAND Corporation and on the Council of American Bar Association Center for Innovation.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Kuhl was a partner in the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson. From 1981 through 1986, she served in the United States Department of Justice as Special Assistant to the Attorney General, Deputy Assistant Attorney General (Civil Division), and Principal Deputy Solicitor General, preparing and arguing cases before the United States Supreme Court. She was a law clerk to the Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy when he sat as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Kuhl graduated with distinction from Duke Law School, was an editor of the Duke Law Journal, and received an A.B. degree, cum laude, from Princeton University.

Panel: Implications for Pre-Trial Case Management


Judge Jeremy Fogel

On September 17, 2018, Judge Jeremy Fogel became the first Executive Director of the Berkeley Judicial Institute, a center at Berkeley Law School whose mission is to build bridges between judges and academics and to promote an ethical, resilient and independent judiciary. Prior to his appointment at Berkeley, he served as Director of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, DC (2011-2018), as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of California (1998-2011), and as a judge of the Santa Clara County Superior (1986-1998) and Municipal (1981-1986) Courts. He was the founding Directing Attorney of the Mental Health Advocacy Project from 1978 to 1981.

Judge Fogel has served as a faculty member for the Federal Judicial Center since 2002 and was a lecturer at Stanford Law School from 2003 until his relocation to Washington. He taught for the California Continuing Judicial Studies Program and California Judicial College from 1987 to 2010 and has served as a faculty member for legal exchanges in more than a dozen foreign countries. He received his B.A. from Stanford University in 1971 and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1974.

Judge Fogel has received numerous accolades, including the President’s Award for Outstanding Service to the California Judiciary from the California Judges Association and the Vanguard Award for notable contributions to intellectual property law from the State Bar of California. In 2002, he received special recognition from the Santa Clara County Bar Association for exemplifying the highest standards of professionalism in the judiciary.


Janet Gilligan Abaray

Janet Gilligan Abaray acts as managing shareholder for the Cincinnati office of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Cincinnati, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude. She graduated Order of the Coif from the University of Cincinnati School of Law where she was Business Manager of the Law Review. She is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, Supreme Court of Ohio, United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth, Tenth and Eleventh Circuits and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio and the Southern District of Illinois.

Ms. Abaray has litigated extensively in the area of pharmaceutical products liability, beginning her career as defense counsel for Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the Bendectin products liability class action and multidistrict litigation (MDL), where she acted as third-chair trial counsel for claims alleging birth defects from exposure to Bendectin during pregnancy. Since 1987 she has represented plaintiffs in many over-the-counter and prescription drug cases, including the L-Tryptophan MDL, the Copley Albuterol class action litigation, where she acted as co-lead trial counsel, and the Fen-Phen/Redux diet pill class action and MDL, where she acted as lead trial counsel for plaintiffs at the Interneuron class action fairness hearing. Ms. Abaray was appointed as Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel and a member of the Plaintiffs’ Coordinating Committee for the Ephedra Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation in the Southern District of New York and acted as Co-Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs in the Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch Multidistrict Litigation in the Northern District of Ohio. She has served as a member of the Plaintiffs Executive Committee in the Heparin Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation in the Northern District of Ohio, and as co-chair of the Yasmin Multi-district Litigation Science Committee in the Southern District of Illinois. In 2016, she was appointed Co-Lead Counsel in the Depakote Products Liability Litigation in the Southern District of Illinois. She currently participates on a trial team representing the Commonwealth of Kentucky in consumer litigation involving a pharmaceutical product.

Ms. Abaray also represents plaintiffs in many insurance and contract disputes. She was the co-lead trial counsel on behalf of 8000 farmers in the Chubb drought insurance class action litigation, participated as trial counsel on behalf of 2000 Cincinnati-area physicians in the ChoiceCare HMO litigation, and represented Cincinnati-area newspaper carriers in consolidated actions against the Cincinnati Enquirer. She represented 40,000 season-ticket holders of the Cincinnati Bengals football team in a successful class action concerning their seat licenses in Paul Brown Stadium, and represented the Club Seat Holders in a second successful class action against the Cincinnati Bengals. Ms. Abaray has established a national precedent in the area of employment discrimination, successfully arguing in litigation against Ernst & Young to broaden the scope of persons protected by the federal age discrimination statute to include those with the title of partner. She also represents corporate executives in contract negotiations and severance matters, and recently won a verdict on behalf of a hospital-executive accused of violating federal health care compliance laws. In addition to obtaining multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements in class actions and individual matters, she has successfully conducted Daubert hearings in many multi-district litigation proceedings, and has briefed and argued numerous cases on appeal.

From 2012 through 2018, Ms. Abaray served as a member of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission, which was established by the Ohio legislature to review and recommend changes to the Ohio Constitution and chaired the committee on the Judicial Branch and Administration of Justice. Ms. Abaray was also appointed in 2018 to the Legal Affairs Committee of the American Association of Justice.

Janet Abaray has served as a faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and lectures frequently in the areas of products liability litigation, trial techniques, and epidemiology. She has published articles in journals of the American Bar Association, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, American Association for Justice, University of Cincinnati Law Review, and the University of Dayton Law Review. Ms. Abaray has achieved the highest rating from her peers for the quality of legal work, professionalism, and ethics by receiving an “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Cincinnati Magazine has recognized her as one of the Cincinnati Area’s Top 25 Women Lawyers and top Cincinnati attorneys. She has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer, 2005-2021, and was the featured attorney in Ohio and Kentucky Super Lawyers for 2017. Ms. Abaray has also met the standard of excellence for selection as one of The National Trial Lawyer’s Top 100 Lawyers.

Ms. Abaray has been selected by members of the national legal community as one of the Best Lawyers in America for Mass Tort Litigation since 2011. Best Lawyers publishes a book each year listing those individuals who are recognized as professionals who continue their education in an effort to stay current in their chosen profession and continue to distinguish themselves among their peers. The book is considered to be, professionally, the definitive guide to legal excellence in the United States. Ms. Abaray was chosen as a member of this distinguished group because she has displayed an exemplary commitment to her profession, her community and to her clients.

In 2014, Ms. Abaray received recognition as the Judge Carl B. Rubin Legal Society Lawyer of the Year. In 2018, she received a Top 15 Business Woman in Ohio award by the National Diversity Council. The University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences recognized Ms. Abaray as its Distinguished Alumni for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Scott Dodson

Scott Dodson is the James Edgar Hervey Chair in Litigation and Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of the Law. As an expert in civil procedure and federal courts, Professor Scott Dodson has published seven book titles, including The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Cambridge 2015) and New Pleading in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford 2013). He has written around 100 shorter works appearing in such journals as Stanford Law Review, New York University Law Review, Michigan Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, California Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Northwestern University Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Vanderbilt Law Review, and in leading peer-reviewed journals, including American Journal of Comparative Law, American Journal of International Law, and Law & Society Review.

His scholarly writings have been cited in more than 25 court opinions, including by the Alabama, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin Supreme Courts, and the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits. His works have been downloaded more than 45,000 times, and he was listed as the 9th (tied) most-cited civil-procedure scholar in 2010-2014. Professor Dodson is a frequent commentator in the news, including appearances on the 10:00 Nightly News, NPR Radio, and CNN Radio; quotes in various print media; and blogging stints at SCOTUSblog, SCOCAblog, Civil Procedure & Federal Courts Blog, and PrawfsBlawg.

Charles C. Lifland

Charles C. Lifland, a partner in O’Melveny & Myers’ Los Angeles office, focuses on class action and appellate work in the fields of mass torts, antitrust and unfair business practices, securities and consumer fraud, and punitive damages. Over more than 30 years of practice, he has litigated complex business cases in trial and appellate courts across the country. In 2008, the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals named Mr. Lifland one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in California,” and the Los Angeles Daily Journal ran a front-page profile of him entitled “Appellate Specialist Hits Vioxx Daily Double” after he won pharmaceutical product liability appeals in New Jersey and Texas on the same day. In 2009, California Lawyer Magazine named him a “California Lawyer Attorney of the Year” in the field of appellate law for his work on the Exxon Valdez punitive damages litigation.

In 2011, Mr. Lifland helped secure a defense victory in a six-month antitrust trial the San Francisco Daily Journal hailed as one of the Top Defense Verdicts of 2011. In 2012, Law360 named him a national “MVP” in the field of products liability law.

Mr. Lifland is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s State Appellate Justice Evaluation Committee, and he was 2003-2004 Chair of LACBA’s Antitrust and Unfair Business Practices Section. From 2008-2014, Mr. Lifland was an Adjunct Professor at UCLA Law School, where he taught a pro bono federal appellate practice clinic. Mr. Lifland is also a longtime board member, and 2014-2015 President, of the Western Justice Center Foundation. Mr. Lifland earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard University, and his B.A., magna cum laude with Distinction in Economics, from Yale University.

Judge Sandra Perlman

Judge Sandra Perlman has been a Circuit Judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida since January 2011. Judge Perlman is presently assigned to the Civil Division where she presides over a General Circuit Civil Division. She has previously served in the Criminal Division and the Foreclosure Division.

Prior to being elected a Circuit Court Judge, Perlman served in the Broward County Public Defender’s Office from 1985-1988. She then practiced law in San Francisco, California with the law firm of Topel and Goodman, specializing in white-collar crimes and complex civil litigation, in both the state courts and federal courts. After Topel and Goodman, Perlman spent four years prosecuting in the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office and then returned to the Broward County Public Defender’s Office in 1994, where she ultimately became Death Qualified and specialized in death penalty litigation.

A native of South Florida, she received both her Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcasting and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida College of Law where she was an editor on the University of Florida Law Review. During college she worked as a news reporter for ABC’s Weekend Edition of “DATELINE NEWS” in Gainesville, Florida. During law school, Judge Perlman served as a law clerk to Commissioner Mimi W. Dawson at the Federal Communication Commission in Washington, D.C. and she interned as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Daniel S. Pearson of Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal.

Perlman is admitted to practice in Florida (1985) and is a member of the Federal Bar, admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of State Florida (1985). She is also admitted in California (1988). Ms. Perlman has tried cases in State and Federal Courts.

Panel: Implications for Federal and State Civil Rules


Jocelyn D. Larkin

Jocelyn D. Larkin is the Executive Director of the Impact Fund, a legal foundation in Berkeley, California that provides funding, training and representation in support of social justice impact litigation. Her practice focuses on complex employment discrimination and class action practice on behalf of plaintiffs.

Ms. Larkin has served as class counsel in many major class actions, including Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Ellis v. Costco Wholesale Corp., Parra v. Bashas’ Inc, Williams v. City of Antioch, Vandell v. Chevron Corporation, and Stender v. Lucky Stores. She co-represented the California respondents in Amchem Products v. Windsor, before the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Larkin has twice received the California Lawyer magazine Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award for her work in employment law. She was named a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in November 2013.

She is a frequent speaker on class actions, employment law, ethics, and civil rights issues and has published many articles on employment and class action practice. She is the co-editor of Class Action Strategy and Practice Guide, published by the ABA.

Ms. Larkin is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego and the UCLA School of Law. Following law school, Ms. Larkin had a one-year fellowship with the Los Angeles-based Center for Law in the Public Interest, before joining San Francisco’s Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe. In 1987, Ms. Larkin became associated with Farnsworth, Saperstein and Seligman, and was elevated to named shareholder in 1990. She served as the firm’s managing director from 1991 to 1992, until she left to found the Oakland-based law firm, Ryu, Dickey & Larkin. Ms. Larkin joined the Impact Fund in 2000. For many years, Ms. Larkin spearheaded the Impact Fund’s complex litigation training program, including the development of its Class Action Training Institute and its annual Class Action Conference. She was elevated to Executive Director of the Impact Fund in 2010.

Ms. Larkin is the past co-chair of the ABA Litigation Section’s Class Actions and Derivative Suits Committee and currently serves on the ABA Federal Practice Task Force. Ms. Larkin served as a Lawyer Representative for the Northern District of California and the Ninth Circuit from 2012-15. In addition, Ms. Larkin formerly served as a member of the National Governing Board of Common Cause, a grassroots citizens’ lobby committed to open democracy, and as the chair of California Common Cause.


Andrew Bradt

Andrew Bradt is a Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law. His primary scholarly interests are in the areas of civil procedure, conflict of laws, and remedies. His current research focuses on the adaptation of procedural and choice-of-law systems to large-scale multijurisdictional litigation, with a particular interest in federal multidistrict litigation. In 2019, he received Berkeley Law’s Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction.

Bradt’s scholarship has been published in numerous law journals and has been cited by both courts and prominent legal treatises. He is a co-author, with Geoffrey C. Hazard, William A. Fletcher, and Stephen McG. Bundy, of Pleading and Procedure—Cases and Materials (12th ed., Foundation Press, 2020), and a co-author, with Edward Sherman, Richard Marcus, and Howard Erichson, of the forthcoming Complex Litigation—Cases and Materials on Advanced Civil Procedure (7th ed., West Academic).

In 2018, Bradt was appointed by the Counselor to the Chief Justice of the United States to the Supreme Court Fellows Program’s Academic Advisory Board. In 2019, he was elected to the membership of the American Law Institute, and he serves on the Members Consultative Groups for the Restatement (Third), Conflict of Laws, and the Restatement (Third), Torts: Remedies.

Immediately prior to joining the Berkeley Law faculty, Bradt was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. Before entering academia, Bradt worked as a litigator in the Issues & Appeals Group at Jones Day in New York City, and at Ropes & Gray in Boston. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert A. Katzmann of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Patti B. Saris of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He is a member of the state bars of Massachusetts and New York. Bradt graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he received the Joseph H. Beale Prize for Conflict of Laws, and summa cum laude from Harvard College, where he concentrated in Social Studies.

Robert Guiffra

Robert Giuffra, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, serves on the firm’s Management Committee, with overall responsibility for its litigation practice. A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Bob currently represents Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler in their diesel emissions cases and Goldman Sachs and UBS in financial crisis litigation.

A graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, he has served in all three branches of the U.S. government. He was a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Judge Ralph Winter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. From 1995 to 1996, he was chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. Previously, he served in the White House under President Ronald Reagan. In 2017, Chief Justice Roberts appointed him to the Standing Committee on Rules and Practice and Procedure of the U.S. Courts.

A native New Yorker, he has served on New York’s Permanent Commission on Access to Justice, the State Commission on Public Integrity, the State Ethics Commission, the State-Federal Judicial Council, the Commercial Division Advisory Council, the Southern District Magistrate Judge Selection Panel, and the Commission on Attorney Discipline. He has also served as president of the Federal Bar Council.

Bob lives in New York City, with his wife Joyce and their three children, Elizabeth, Caroline, and Robert III.

Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus holds the Coil Chair in Litigation at UC Hastings College of the Law, where he has taught since 1988. He is lead author of leading casebooks on Civil Procedure and Complex Litigation, and the author of four volumes of the Federal Practice & Procedure treatise (“Wright & Miller”), including all the discovery volumes. Since 1996, he has served as Associate Reporter of the U.S. Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, in which capacity he has worked on all amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure over the last quarter century regarding discovery and class actions. This year he has also spent considerable energy on the Advisory Committee’s consideration (pursuant to directions from Congress) of adopting a special emergency rule to cope with emergency conditions. That study has also begun to focus on the possibility that the pandemic lockdown may produce long-term changes in practice that could call for revision of some rules without regard to emergency conditions.

Tara Sutton

Tara Sutton, Partner at Robins Kaplan, has repeatedly achieved victories that create a path to recovery for thousands injured by drugs and medical devices. Chair of the firm’s Mass Tort Group and a member of the executive board, Sutton has assumed the role of lead trial counsel in a number of nine- and ten-figure mass tort cases. She currently serves as co-lead counsel on behalf of the State of Minnesota in its suit against JUUL Labs. Sutton also serves in leadership on behalf of hundreds of Tribal Governments in the Opioid multi-district litigation. In recent years, she has served as lead trial counsel in bellwether cases concerning the drugs Abilify, Chantix, and Mirapex, and spearheaded the negotiation of a $1.4 billion global settlement program resolving Stryker Rejuvenate/ABGII modular hip implant litigation and a $358 million settlement of the Benicar hypertension litigation. She is a past president of the public interest law firm Public Justice.

Panel: Implications for Civil Litigation and the Courts in a Post-Pandemic World


Nicholas Pace

Nicholas M. Pace (J.D.) is a senior social scientist at the RAND Corporation. He has contributed his expertise in justice system organization-related research methodologies to numerous projects involving the law, the courts, and judicial decisionmaking, often involving large scale, groundbreaking qualitative and quantitative data collections. He recently led studies that have included an examination of the process by which petitions for Presidential pardons are evaluated by the Department of Justice, the setting of maximum caseload limits for publicly-funded defense counsel in state courts, an analysis of attorney time expenditures for Federal public defenders, and an examination of issues related to the use of alternative compensation systems following a catastrophe.

Other work has included exploring ways to reduce costs associated with pretrial discovery of digital information, helping to conduct a national survey of organizations providing services to victims of crime, describing the dynamics of class action litigation, describing transparency issues related to class action settlements, examining the impact of statutory reforms on costs and outcomes in medical malpractice cases, and leading a comprehensive study of the workers’ compensation courts in California. He has also helped to accomplish an in-depth evaluation of the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 and its effects on judicial case management, cost, and delay in Federal district courts; analyzed jury verdict outcomes; and helped develop national standards related to the electronic filing of pleadings and other legal documents in courts of law. Currently he is leading work related to setting caseload limits for public defenders in additional state courts, a national survey of corporate counsel regarding the use of business-to-business arbitration agreements, and a major survey of adult Americans to better understand how the civil justice system is utilized in the immediate aftermath of injuries and illnesses.


Paula L. Hannaford_Agor

Paula L. Hannaford-Agor, a staff attorney and Principal Court Research Consultant with the Research Division of the NCSC, joined the National Center in May 1993. Her areas of expertise include civil litigation including civil caseflow management and complex litigation; access to justice; jury system management and trial procedure; management of complex litigation; legal and judicial ethics and discipline; state-federal jurisdiction; and probate and guardianship procedure. She directs the NCSC Civil Justice Initiative and is the author of numerous evaluations of the impact of civil justice reform efforts. Ms. Hannaford-Agor received her law degree from William & Mary Law School, and a master’s degree in public policy from the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy of the College of William and Mary.

Steve Herman

Steve Herman, Partner with Herman, Herman & Katz practices in New Orleans, Louisiana. The author of America and the Law: Challenges for the 21st Century, Herman teaches an advanced torts seminar on class actions at Loyola Law School and an advanced civil procedure course in complex litigation at Tulane. He is the current president of the Pound Civil Justice Institute, a past president of the Louisiana Association for Justice, and a fellow of both the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Litigation Counsel of America. Herman served for six years as a Lawyer Chair for one of the Louisiana Disciplinary Board Hearing Committees and currently serves on the LSBA’s standing Rules of Professional Conduct Committee. For the past 10 years, he has served as Co-Liaison / Co-Lead Class Counsel for Plaintiffs in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Litigation.

Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack

Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2013, and became the Chief Justice in January 2019.

An NYU Law graduate, Chief Justice McCormack started her legal career in New York City. In 1996 she joined the Yale Law School faculty. She then joined the University of Michigan Law School faculty in 1998, where she taught criminal law, legal ethics, and various clinics. She was named Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs in 2002.

Chief Justice McCormack was elected to The American Law Institute in 2013. The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology appointed her to the National Commission on Forensic Science in 2014.

She serves as an editor on the ABA’s preeminent journal, Litigation. In 2019, Governor Whitmer appointed her as Co-Chair of the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration. In 2020, she was appointed as Board Member of the Kids Kicking Cancer non-profit organization, and Board Member of the American Bar Association Legal Education Council. Chief Justice McCormack continues to teach at the University of Michigan each year as well as publish in professional journals and law media.

Chief Justice McCormack is married to Steven Croley, a partner at Latham and Watkins. They have four children.

Donna Melby

Donna Melby, Partner at Paul Hastings, is one of the nation’s premier business trial attorneys. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the International Society of Barristers, the Litigation Counsel of America and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, she has successfully tried multiple cases to jury verdict in state and federal courts across the country, international and domestic arbitrations, and court trials across a broad range of complex civil and employment-related cases. Her practice includes class and individual actions, employee mobility, whistleblower, race discrimination and all discrimination matters, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, contract, conspiracy, Equal Pay Act and complex business litigation of all types.

Listed annually in Best Lawyers in America and every year since 2002 by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal as one of the “Top Women Lawyers in California,” Donna excels at “bet the company” litigation. She is regularly included in the “Top 100 Lawyers in California” and “Top Labor and Employment Lawyers” in California by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal. The National Law Journal featured Donna as one of the “Most Influential Lawyers in the United States”; Lawdragon included her among its list of “500 Leading Lawyers in America.”

A member of Paul Hastings Employment Law and Litigation Departments, her nationwide trial and litigation practice reflects a pattern of significant, repeated client victories, year after year, in the federal and state courts across the United States. As lead trial counsel, she has served in the defense of 23 nationwide cases in seven different federal judicial districts, opposite no less than 10 law firms in seven different states; these cases involved claims of race discrimination, hostile work environment, conspiracy, contract and other claims. Her clients have overwhelmingly prevailed on summary judgments, and were awarded fees and sanctions, including on anti-SLAPP motions. These victories followed on the heels of wins on motions to dismiss, on motions to sever and on motions to transfer venue, which effectively split 23 misjoined cases into 23 individual cases; many of these were transferred to district courts across the United States. In many of these cases, Donna’s clients also received dismissals with prejudice—virtual walkaways after years of litigation—without monetary payments.

Donna counts CEOs, general counsels, law firms, Fortune 50 corporations and boards of directors and executives among her clients. The depth and breadth of her trial and counseling experience, including her notable success in expeditiously and creatively solving the most difficult problems companies face—often preventing full-blown litigation—, make her uniquely suited to step into problem cases, frequently on the eve of trial. Her caseload includes “me too”-threatened litigation involving CEOs, general counsels, executives and law firm partners. Donna is a regular and trusted advisor to boards of directors and senior executive leaders on leadership, organizational change and “bet the company” problems.

For 10 years Donna served as co-chair of the Paul Hastings Employment Law practice in Los Angeles, as chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative and as chair of Global Diversity. Paul Hastings’ Employment Law practice has been named Labor & Employment Litigation Firm of the Year by The American Lawyer.

Ms. Melby recently completed a three-year term as a member of the California Judicial Council, the policy-making body of the California Judiciary, the largest in the United States. She served as the only lawyer on the California Judicial Council’s Executive and Planning Committee, Litigation Management Committee, PCLC and other committees. Immediately prior to service on the California Judicial Council, Donna served as a member of the board of directors of the National Center for State Courts for six years, followed by three years as co-chair of the National Lawyers Committee for the National Center.

Donna is the sole California lawyer to serve by appointment of the conference of chief justices on the Civil Justice Initiative Project (CJI), a national initiative focused on improving the delivery of justice in the civil courts across the United States. The CJI authored “A Call to Action,” a white paper approved by the Conference of Chief Justices in 2016.

In addition to her early invitation to fellowship with the nation’s premier trial lawyer organizations, which limits membership to the top 1% to 5% of trial lawyers, Donna is former national president, national vice president and national president-elect of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the first woman elected to serve. She is a past trustee of the ABOTA Foundation and the first female president, vice president, and president-elect of the Los Angeles Chapter of ABOTA.

Donna is the recipient of the Warren Burger Award, the highest honor bestowed by the National Center for State Courts in recognition of individuals who have volunteered their time, talent and support to the improvement of the administration of justice in the state courts of the United States through extraordinary contributions of service and support to the National Center for State Courts. In 2018 Paul Hastings honored Donna with the Leonard Janofsky award for legal excellence in employment law.