Judge Don R. Ash
Judge Don R. Ash served the 16th
Judicial District Court including Rutherford and Cannon County, from 1994 to
2012. While Circuit Judge, he also served as presiding judge over the 16th
Judicial District Drug Court and DUI Court. In September of 2012, he was
appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to serve as one of four Senior Judges
for the State of Tennessee. He has authored over thirty-five appellate opinions
while sitting as a Substitute Judge for the Tennessee Court of Appeals. Beginning
in 2009, he taught Civil Procedure at the Nashville School of Law. Judge Ash
received his bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University, his law
degree from the University of Memphis and a Master of Judicial Studies degree
from the University of Nevada, Reno. He and his wife, Rita, have been married
for over 25 years. They have four children, Taylor, Julia, Hugh, and Joy, and three
grandchildren, Harper, Quinn, and Hayes.
He has received
numerous awards which include the Leadership Rutherford/Chamber of Commerce
Pinnacle Award for Outstanding Community Service, Tennessee Association for
Marriage and Family Therapy Distinguished Service To Families Award, and the
Rutherford County Community Service Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2006, he
was designated as a Distinguished Alumnus of Middle Tennessee State University
and was recently inducted into the Tennessee Boys and Girls Club Hall of
Fame. Judge Ash is the author of “A
Bridge over Troubled Water: Changing the Custody Law in Tennessee,” University
of Memphis Law Review, and Children
of Divorce: A Practical Guide for Parents, Therapists, Attorneys, and Judges,
Bernet and Ash, Kreiger Publishing, 2007.
He is a past
president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference. In 1998, Judge Ash was
appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to the Tennessee Court of the
Judiciary which oversees judicial conduct for all Tennessee judges. He was elected presiding judge of the Court
of the Judiciary in 2007 and served in that role through August 2011. He is an
alumnus of the National Judicial College and joined its faculty in 2001.
Judge Jason E. Ashford
Jason E. Ashford is the State Court Judge for Houston County, Georgia, where he was elected in November, 2010. As State Court Judge, he presides over civil and criminal jury trials and is a vocal advocate for mediation, court technology and docket efficiency. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Ashford was a prosecutor for over a decade. He was the District Attorney and Chief Assistant District Attorney in Houston County, where he was responsible for prosecuting serious violent felonies and homicides. He is an adjunct professor for almost 15 years for Macon State College specializing in Computer Law and taught Government Contracting for several years at Georgia College and State University. He is the author of many articles in academic and practitioner publications, and travels regularly to speak on issues of prosecution ethics and technology.
Prior to becoming a prosecutor, Judge Ashford was an active duty officer in the U.S. Air Force, and served as Comptroller and Support Flight Commander for the 5th Combat Communications Group at Robins Air Force Base. While in the 5th, he was responsible for group logistics, civil engineering, supply, equipment issue, and transportation. After serving as an active duty officer, he then joined the Georgia Air National Guard, where he was the Commander of the 116st Security Forces Squadron for the 116th Air Control Wing, heading a 60-person unit.
Judge Ashford holds a Bachelor of Science in economics and a Juris Doctorate, both from Florida State University. He is a former President of the Warner Robins Optimist Club and the Houston County Bar Association, and is active in community and philanthropic organizations. He and his wife, Tina, occasionally write a computer column, TechnoFiles. They enjoy horseback riding, tennis, and outdoor activities. Together they have one son, Ryan.
Justice Cornelia A. Clark
Justice Cornelia A. Clark is the second woman in Tennessee history to serve as Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court. She was sworn in as Chief Justice on September 1, 2010. She was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court in September, 2005.
From May 1999 to September 2005, she was as the Director of the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts, where she served as the chief administrative officer of the state court system. From 1989 to 1999, she served as Circuit Judge the 21st Judicial District, where she heard both civil and criminal cases. From 1979 to 1989, she practiced law in Nashville. She also taught high school history and government for four years.
Justice Clark received her B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University, her M.A.T. degree from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review Editorial Board.
Justice Clark currently chairs the Tennessee Judicial Council. She previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of Conference of State Court Administrators. In 2004, she was named one of the 21 members of the ABA Commission on the American Jury, which is dedicated to educating the public about and reinvigorating the nation's commitment to jury service. Clark also currently serves as a faculty member for the National Judicial College. She served for ten yars as an adjunct professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Law. As a trial judge she served as Vice-President of the Tennessee Judicial Conference and Dean of the Tennessee Judicial Academy. She also chaired the Judicial Evaluation Commission, and was a member of the Supreme Court Commissions on the Rules of Civil Procedure and Technology.
In May 2005, Clark was the recipient of the Liberty Bell Award given for the first time by the Williamson County, Tennessee Bar Association. This award recognizes persons who have: promoted better understanding of the rule of law; encouraged a greater respect for the law and the courts; stimulated a sense of civic responsibility; and contributed to good government in the community.
Judge Cassandra Collier-Williams
Judge Cassandra Collier-Williams sits
on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
She was elected by the people of Cuyahoga County
in November of 2012. Judge
Collier-Williams is the fourth (4th) African American female to be
elected to the Court of Common Pleas in the history of the court. She handles felony crimes and large civil
Judge Collier-Williams was born in Springfield, Ohio,
the youngest of six (6) children. She graduated
from Miami University and Cleveland Marshall
College of Law. After graduation from
law school, Judge Collier-Williams worked as an Associate in a mid-size law
firm. In 1999, she opened her own law
firm. Judge Collier-Williams has a
wealth of experience in both civil and criminal law. She was a leader with regards to the
improving and amending the Criminal Rules regarding discovery and was
recognized by the Ohio Supreme Court for her involvement. Her areas of practice included contracts,
personal injury, nursing home malpractice, civil protection orders, real estate
disputes, construction, small business cases, church law, domestic relations,
probate, and criminal. Additionally,
Judge Collier-Williams was an arbitrator for the Court of Common Pleas. Judge Collier-Williams maintained her law
firm, where she employed attorneys and support staff until she was elected
judge in 2012.
Judge Collier-Williams is known for
her calm demeanor and her ability to move her docket efficiently. In addition to her regular responsibilities
as a judge, Judge Collier-Williams is one of five (5) judges on the Cuyahoga
County Common Pleas Court that maintain a Mental Health and Developmental
Disabilities docket. Judge
Collier-Williams is also a member of the court’s Access to Justice Committee,
tasked with the responsibility of producing user friendly documents for the pro
se litigant. Judge Collier-Williams is a
highly sought after speaker and instructor for Continuing Education Classes for
lawyers and judges.
Judge Joseph J. Farah
Joseph J. Farah was born and raised in Flint,
Michigan. He graduated from Michigan State
University in 1975 and Thomas M.
School in 1979. He was a private practitioner 1980 until 1998
and his major areas of practice were appellate work, criminal law and domestic
relations. Judge Farah was appointed to
the Genesee County Circuit Court in March 1998, replacing Hon. Thomas C.
Yeotis, and has run unopposed since. He
was originally assigned to the Family Division and handled domestic and juvenile
cases until 2005, and he is currently assigned to the Civil/Criminal Division.
Farah is a member of the Genesee County and Michigan Bar Associations, and West
Flint Optimist Club. He is a board
member of the Centennial Inns of Court, Michigan Judges Association, Metro Community
Development, and Michigan Board of Law Examiners. Judge Farah wrote and directed a short film
entitled, "Jury Duty: It Isn't Fair
If You're Not There", which was distributed statewide. He is a frequent lecturer on evidence to
students, lawyers, and judges.
Judge Leslie G. Johnson
Judge Leslie G. Johnson is retired as the Director of the Mississippi Judicial College, a position which he has held from July 1992 until July 2006. Prior to assuming directorship of the college, Honorable Leslie G. Johnson served as Administrative Director of Courts for the State of Alabama. He served the State of Alabama as Circuit Judge for fourteen years and prior to that he served as deputy district attorney for six years. He received his B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University, his M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama, his Juris Doctor from Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, and his LL.M. from the University of Mississippi. Judge Johnson also served as the Director of the American Academy of Judicial Education from April 1997 to February 2003 and served as Director of Off-Campus Programming for the National Judicial College from February 2003 to October 2005. He currently has a private law practice in North Alabama.
Judge Robert Lopez Cepero
Judge Robert Lopez Cepero is a full-circuit judge in Cook County, Illinois. He is currently hearing tax, workers compensation and unemployment appeals. Judge Lopez Cepero is currently in his 18th year on the bench and has fourteen years of civil experience plus four years criminal court experience. He graduated from Harvard University in 1979 and the University of Michigan Law School in 1983. Judge Lopez Cepero is married to Elizabeth Lopez Cepero and they have 4 children, including triplets. He is a member of the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Illinois Hispanic Lawyers Association. He is lecturer and author of the “The Art of Drafting Orders”- Parts I & II for the Chicago Bar Association. He has also lectured at IICLE, the Decalogue Society and the Illinois Defense Council. Judge Lopez Cepero’s legal writings include a chapter in the IDC handbook on post judgment proceedings, Chicago Bar Association seminar materials on post judgment law and Chicago Bar Association seminar materials on drafting orders.
Judge Jack F. Nevin
Jack F. Nevin is a Superior Court Judge in Tacoma
Washington. Judge Nevin is retired from the Army Reserve where he holds the
rank of Brigadier General. In his last duty position, he served as Chief Judge
of the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals and Commander, US Army Reserve Legal
Command (Provisional). His Army career has included duty in Asia, Europe,
Central America, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. In 2009 he was
awarded the Army's Distinguished Service Medal.
A 1996 graduate of the Air War College and 1998 graduate of the Army War
College, Judge Nevin currently serves on the board of advisors of the National
Institute of Military Justice through which he provides guidance and assistance
to both the legislative and executive branches of government on a host of
military law issues. In this capacity, he also serves as a trial observer at
the Office of Military Commissions, Military Tribunals in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Judge Nevin has experience on several continents, working in civilian and military
roles on issues related to post-conflict governance. Such activities have
included the development of ethnically neutral bar examinations in Kosovo,
judicial training in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the former Soviet Union, and the
reconstruction of the Iraqi Court System.. He has lectured in Argentina
on the development of public disclosure legislation and in several African
nations on the successful prosecution of government corruption.
Judge Nevin has lectured throughout the United States on a host of subjects
focusing primarily on trial practice and the rules of evidence. He serves as
faculty for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and the Washington State
Judicial College. Judge Nevin has taught on the undergraduate and graduate
level for approximately thirty years. Currently, he serves as an Adjunct
Professor of Trial Advocacy and Military Law at the Seattle University School
of Law, Adjunct Professor Kessler Edison Trial Advocacy Program at Emory
University School of Law and Lecturer Humanitarian Law Catholic University of
Judge Nevin's scholarly work includes Montana's Real Property Forfeiture
Statute: Will it Pass Constitutional Muster? Volume 54 Mont. L. Rev. 69 (1993),
Tellevik v. Real Property: Washington's Constitutional Dilemma 29 Gonz. L. Rev.
303 (1993/94), Conviction, Confrontation and Crawford; Gang Expert Testimony as
Testimonial Hearsay 34 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 857 (2011) and Neither A Model of
Clarity Nor A Model Statute: An Analysis of The History, Challenges, and Suggested
Changes To the "New" Article 67 A.F. L. Rev. 269 (2011).
Judge Nevin holds a BA from Washington State University and an MBAJ.D. from
Kay S. Palmer
For 21 years, Ms. Palmer was the director of judicial branch education for the Administrative Office of the Courts of the Arkansas Supreme Court. In that position she was responsible for activities involving the continuing education of appellate judges, circuit judges, district judges, appellate staff, case coordinators, official court reporters, district court clerks, city court clerks, and district court probation officers. She is currently employed by the Arkansas District Judges Council as their executive director. Ms. Palmer has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech and Drama from Henderson State University and a Masters of Arts in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has taught at the secondary and college level and is currently an adjunct instructor of Public Speaking at National Park Community College in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Ms. Palmer has worked on numerous national projects involving the design of curriculum and development of programs on topics including domestic violence, privatization of court records, court futures, driving while intoxicated, improving access to courts, customer service, mediation, and judicial ethics. She is a member of the faculty of the National Judicial College and has taught officials and employees of the judicial branch at both state and national programs. She is currently completing her requirements to be a certified mediator. Ms. Palmer has served as president of the National Association of State Judicial Educators. She currently resides in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.
Judge Robert P. Ruehlman
Judge Robert P. Ruehlman is presently serving as the Presiding Judge of the Hamilton County Common Plea Court in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has held this position since 1996. Before becoming a presiding judge, Judge Ruehlman served the Common Pleas Court as a judge since 1987. Prior to sitting on the bench, Judge Ruehlman served Hamilton County, Ohio in serveral different position dating back to 1977. He was a Hamilton County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for 1 year in the Juvenile Divison. He later served in the Criminal Division of the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office fro six years. He later became the chief assistant prosecuting attorney in 1984 and served Hamilton County for 3 years in that capacity. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Cincinnati and his Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati - College of Law. Judge Ruehlman has served an instructor for the University of Cincinnati, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and for the National Judicial College.
Roy L. Brun
Judge Roy Brun is a Judge for the First Judicial District Court in Caddo Parish, Louisiana. He graduated from Fair Park High School and received his Bachelor of Arts Degree and Law Degree from LSU in Baton Rouge. He began practicing law in 1975. He was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1988-1997 where he became Chairman of the House Education Committee. He was a Louisiana Member of the Electoral College in the 1984 Presidential Election. He also served six years as Republican National Committeeman for Louisiana. He was elected Judge of the First Judicial District Court in 1997 and has served there continuously since that time, trying civil and criminal cases. He and his family are members of Holy Cross Episcopal Church.