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Judicial Faculty

Carol Amon

The Honorable Carol Bagley Amon
Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

From 2011-2016, Judge Amon served as Chief Judge of the Eastern District. Judge Amon was a member of the Judicial Committee on Codes of Conduct from 1993 to 2001 and chair from 1998 to 2001. She also served as an advisor to the ABA Joint Commission to Evaluate the Model Code of Judicial Conduct. She is a graduate of Willam and Mary and the University of Virginia School of Law. Prior to her appointment to the district court in 1990, Judge Amonserved as a U.S. magistrate, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Duane Benton

The Honorable Bobby R. Baldock
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

President Ronald Reagan appointed Judge Baldock to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in 1985. Previously, Judge Baldock served on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. During his judicial tenure, Judge Baldock has served the federal courts in numerous administrative capacities. Most recently, he concluded a three-year term as chair of the Committee on Financial Disclosure of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Judge Baldock graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute in 1956 and from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1960. Prior to his appointment to the federal bench, Judge Baldock practiced law for over two decades with Sanders, Bruin & Baldock in Roswell, New Mexico.

André Birotte, Jr.

The Honorable André Birotte Jr.
United States District Court for the Central District of California

In August 2014 Judge André Birotte Jr. was sworn in as a federal district judge for the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Judge Birotte had served as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California since his appointment in 2010 by President Barack Obama. From 2003 to 2010, Judge Birotte served as Inspector General of the Los Angeles Police Department. From 1999 to 2001, he worked as an associate at Quinn Emanuel, where he represented clients in white-collar crime and commercial litigation matters. Prior to joining Quinn Emanuel, Judge Birotte served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California from 1995 to 1999 and as a deputy public defender in Los Angeles County from 1991 to 1995. Judge Birotte holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a JD from Pepperdine University School of Law.

 Virginia Phillips

The Honorable Karon Owen Bowdre
United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama

Chief Judge Bowdre received her bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Samford University and her law degree, cum laude, from Cumberland School of Law. Chief Judge Bowdre served as a law clerk for the Honorable J. Foy Guin, district judge for the Northern District of Alabama. She taught at Cumberland School of Law from 1990 until she took office in November 2001. Chief Judge Bowdre was director of the legal research and writing program at the school and taught courses in insurance law, torts, professional responsibility, and appellate advocacy. Prior to joining the law faculty, Chief Judge Bowdre practiced law with the Birmingham law firm of Rives & Peterson, handling numerous trial and appellate matters in state and federal court.

André Birotte, Jr.

The Honorable Jay S. Bybee
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


Judge Bybee was appointed to the U. S. Court of the Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2003 by President George W. Bush. Prior to joining the court, he served as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. Previously, he was professor of law at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University. Judge Bybee has served as Associate Counsel to the President at the White House, as an attorney at the Department of Justice in the Appellate Section of the Civil Division and in the Office of Legal Policy, and as an associate at Sidley & Austin in Washington, D.C. He clerked for Judge Donald Russell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Judge Bybee did his undergraduate work in economics at Brigham Young University and received his J.D. from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU.

Jennifer Dorsey

The Honorable Jennifer Dorsey
United States District Court for the District of Nevada

Judge Dorsey was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in 2013. Before taking the bench, she was a partner in the civil litigation firm of Kemp, Jones & Coulthard LLP, which she joined immediately after receiving her JD from Pepperdine in 1997. While in private practice, Judge Dorsey was selected to serve on the Nevada Supreme Court's Committee on Professionalism, was listed among the Top Women in Litigation and Nevada's Legal Elite, and held Martindale-Hubbell's highest AV rating for competency and ethics. She is a member of the UNLV Foundation's Advisory Board and the Pepperdine School of Law Board of Visitors. She teaches judicial writing for law clerks and externs as an adjunct professor at UNLV's Boyd School of Law.

Jacqueline H. Nguyen

The Honorable Jennifer Walker Elrod
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Judge Elrod has served as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit since 2007. Prior to serving as a Circuit Judge, Judge Elrod was appointed and then twice elected Judge of the 190th District Court of Harris County, Texas, where she spent over five years presiding over more than 200 jury and non-jury trials. Before serving as a judge, Judge Elrod was in private practice, focusing on civil litigation, antitrust, and employment matters and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Sim Lake on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She currently is a member of the American Law Institute and has previously served as the Board Chair of the Texas Center for Legal Ethics, on the State Bar of Texas Committee on Pattern Jury Charges, and as Board Chair of the Gulf Coast Legal Foundation. Judge Elrod is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Baylor University and graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School.

Phillip S. Gutierrez

The Honorable Andrew P. Gordon
United States District Court for the District of Nevada

Judge Gordon was nominated by President Obama to the United States District Court on September 19, 2012. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 11, 2013, and was sworn in on April 15, 2013. His chambers are in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior to taking the bench, he practiced law for over 25 years, most recently at the McDonald Carano Wilson law firm, where he worked for 19 years. He also served as a private arbitrator and mediator. Judge Gordon graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 1984 and from Harvard Law School in 1987. He was raised in Las Vegas. 

 Gina Marie Groh

The Honorable John B. Owens
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Judge Owens serves on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to becoming a federal judge in 2014, he was a partner at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP and a federal prosecutor for more than 11 years in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and San Diego. He served as the Chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California, and received two Director's Awards for his work there. The television show American Greed featured two of his prosecutions, and he obtained the longest sentence for a white collar defendant in the history of the Southern District of California in United States v. Cao. Judge Owens graduated first in his class from Stanford Law School in 1996, where he was an Executive Editor on the Stanford Law Review. After graduation, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable J. Clifford Wallace of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and for the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States. His written work hs appeared in the California Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, the Northwestern Law Review, and other law reviews.


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Bankruptcy Faculty

Erwin Chemerinsky

Martin R. Barash
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California

The Honorable Martin R. Barash is a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Central District of California in Woodland Hills, sworn in on March 26, 2015. He brings more than 20 years of legal experience to the bench. Prior to his appointment, Judge Barash had served as a partner at Klee, Tuchin, Bogdanoff & Stern LLP in Los Angeles since 2001, where he counseled parties in chapter 11 cases and litigated chapter 7 and chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Procter R. Hug, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1992-93. Judge Barash is a member of ABI's Board of Directors. He also serves as a director of the Judicial Leadership Development Council and is a member of the NCBJ Committee on Judicial Security. He previously was a member of the board of directors for the Los Angeles Bankruptcy Forum. Judge Barash is a frequent panelist on bankruptcy law issues and has been a guest lecturer at the UCLA School of Law. He has also been involved in the local legal community as a pro bono attorney with the Public Counsel Chapter 7 Reaffirmation Hearing Clinic, and has been a volunteer judge for a course on negotiating and confirming chapter 11 plans at the UCLA School of Law and with UCLA's Mock Trial Competition. He currently serves as a director and immediate past president of the Junior Statesmen Foundation, a national, nonpartisan organization sponsoring civics education programs for high school students. Judge Barash received his A.B. magna cum laude in 1989 from Princeton University and his J.D. in 1992 from the UCLA School of Law, where he served as member, editor, business manager and symposium editor of the UCLA Law Review.

Deanell Tacha

Barry Russell
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California

The Honorable Barry Russell is a Bankruptcy Judge with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, appointed in 1974. He served as Chief Judge from January 2003 to December 2006, and served on a Bankruptcy Appellate Panel and from September 1999 to December 2001. He is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and has been a faculty member of the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, D.C., since 1977, lecturing to other bankruptcy judges throughout the U.S. Judge Russell received the American Bar Association's Franklin N. Flaschener Judicial Award as the outstanding judge in the U.S. in a trial court of special jurisdiction in 1987. He was the first American invited by the Supreme People's Court in the People's Republic of China to lecture on the subject of bankruptcy law in September 1988. In 2000, Judge Russell received the Los Angeles County Bar Association Dispute Resolution Services' Emil Gumpert Judicial ADR award, and in 2004 he received the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Outstanding Jurist Award. He was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Advisors (AIRA) in the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Field. On Oct. 13, 2008, the San Fernando Valley Bar Association awarded Judge Russell the Stanley Mosk Legacy of Justice Award on Feb. 19, 2009, and he was awarded the Judge William L. Norton J. Judicial Excellence Award in 2013. Judge Russell received his B.S. in engineering and his J.D. from UCLA.


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Academic Exchange

Erwin Chemerinsky

Erwin Chemerinsky
Dean and Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine, School of Law

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, he was the founding dean and distinguished professor of law at University of California, Irvine School of Law, as well as a professor at Duke University and the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. He is the author of 10 books, including 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 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 January 2017, National Jurist magazine again named Chemerinsky the most influential person in legal education in the United States. 

 Barry McDonald

Barry P. McDonald
Professor of Law

Professor McDonald teaches courses in constitutional law, First Amendment law, comparative constitutional law and copyright law. He is a recognized expert on constitutional law and the U.S. Supreme Court. His current projects include a book on the U.S. Constitution entitled Our Dangerous Written Constitution. Professor McDonald graduated with honors from the Northwestern University School of Law. Upon graduation he clerked for the Honorable James K. Logan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and then served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist during the 1989-1990 term of the Supreme Court of the United States. Prior to joining the faculty, Professor McDonald worked for the U.S. Department of State, the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and as general counsel to two different technology companies. He is currently a member of the State Bar of California, the American Bar Association, and the American Association of Law Schools (AALS). Professor McDonald serves on the Scholarly Research Committee of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS).

Deanell Tacha

Deanell Reece Tacha
Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Professor of Law, Pepperdine School of Law

Dean Emeritus Tacha is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the University of Michigan School of Law. She has been a U.S. circuit judge since 1986 in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and served as chief judge from 2001 to 2007. She became dean of the Pepperdine School of Law in 2011. As dean, she has been actively involved in the Judicial Clerkship Institute. She was also active in the American Inns of Court movement as a spokesperson for enhanced ethics, professionalism, and civility in the legal profession, and served as president for the national board of trustees of the American Inns of Court (2004-2008). She was named recipient of the Devitt Award in 2007 and the John Marshall Award in 2008. In 2012 she was honored by the American Inns of Court with the A. Sherman Christensen Award.