Speaker Bios



Charles A. Bird, AAAL Fellow
Dentons US, LLP
San Diego, California

Charles A. Bird is a fellow and past president of the Academy and also a member and past president of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers. In the Supreme Court, he argued one case and wrote several merits amicus briefs, including for the Academy. He practiced primarily in the Ninth Circuit and the appellate courts of California. Mr. Bird also had contact with Supreme Court issues and cases through volunteer board service with the ACLU and indigent criminal defense providers. At the end of 2019, Mr. Bird fully retired from Dentons US, LLP.


Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., AAAL Fellow
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Los Angeles, California

Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, is global co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Group and previously led the firm’s appellate, crisis management, transnational litigation, and media groups. He also is a member of the firm’s Executive and Management Committees.

As both a crisis management strategist and a seasoned appellate and media lawyer, Mr. Boutrous has extensive experience handling high-profile litigation, media relations, and media legal issues. He routinely advises clients on how to respond, to crises and other especially significant legal problems that attract the media spotlight. According to The National Law Journal, which in 2013 named him one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” he “is known for his wise, strategic advice to clients in crisis and is a media law star.”

Mr. Boutrous is a member of the American Law Institute. and a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He has been named a California “Litigation Star” in Benchmark Litigation, as well as a “National Practice Area Star” and a “Labor & Employment Star.” He is a frequent commentator on legal issues. His articles include “Spare the ‘Dreamers’ a Nightmare by According Them Due Process,” Wall Street Journal (May 2, 2017); “Why I’ll Defend Anyone Trump Sues for Speaking Freely,” Politico.com (October 31, 2016); “Poor Children Need a New Brown v. Board of Education,” Wall Street Journal (August 28, 2016); “A First Amendment Blind Spot,” Wall Street Journal (May 27, 2014); “California Kids Go to Court to Demand a Good Education,” Wall Street Journal (January 28, 2014); “A Radical Departure on Press Freedom,” Wall Street Journal (May 23, 2013); “A Killer’s Notebook, a Reporter’s Rights,” New York Times (April 9, 2013); and “Broadcast ‘Indecency’ on Trial,” Wall Street Journal (January 17, 2012).

Mr. Boutrous is a member of the advisory board of the International Women’s Media Foundation and its 2015 Leadership Honoree. He serves on the Business Advisory Council of ProPublica. He is also a sustaining member of the Product Liability Advisory Council.


Marcia Coyle
Chief Washington Correspondent, The National Law Journal
Washington, D.C.

Marcia Coyle is the chief Washington correspondent for The National Law Journal (NLJ), a national weekly newspaper that covers law and litigation. Ms. Coyle, a lawyer as well as a journalist, has covered the Supreme Court for 33 years. She is also a regular contributor of Supreme Court analysis to PBS’ The NewsHour. Before joining the NLJ, she covered state and national government and politics for a Pennsylvania Times-Mirror daily newspaper for more than a decade. Besides her work for NLJ, she has written about the Supreme Court and other legal issues for such publications as Vogue, Ms. magazine, and The New York Times Book Review, and she is author of the book, The Roberts Court: The Struggle for the Constitution (Simon & Schuster.) She earned her B.A. from Hood College.; her M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University; and her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Her reporting has garnered such national journalism awards as the George Polk Award for legal reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for outstanding investigative reporting, the American Judicature Society’s Toni House Journalism Award for a career body of work involving coverage of the nation’s courts and justice system, and the Scripps-Howard Foundation Award for environmental journalism, among others.


Miguel A. Estrada, AAAL Fellow
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Washington, D.C.

Miguel A. Estrada is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He has represented clients before federal and state courts throughout the country in a broad range of matters. Mr. Estrada has argued 23 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and briefed many others. He has also argued dozens of appeals in the lower federal courts.

Best Lawyers® recognized Mr. Estrada as a “2020 Lawyer of the Year in Intellectual Property Litigation” and a “2019 Lawyer of the Year in Appellate Practice.” He has been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “2019 U.S. Appellate Litigation Star.” In 2014, The American Lawyer named Mr. Estrada a “Litigator of the Year,” praising his “brains and tenacity” and noting that he is the lawyer to call for “a tough, potentially unwinnable case.” From 2014 to 2019, Chambers & Partners named him as one of a handful of attorneys that it ranked in the top tier among the nation’s leading appellate lawyers. 

Mr. Estrada was selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2018 and 2019 editions of The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of appellate law, in addition to previous recognition by the publication in the specialties of bet-the-company litigation; commercial litigation; and criminal defense: white collar; intellectual property litigation; and regulatory enforcement litigation in the areas of SEC, telecom, and energy. In 2017, he was elected as a member of the American Law Institute. In 2015 and 2016, Mr. Estrada was named among the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. 

Mr. Estrada is a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society.  He was formerly a member of the Board of Visitors of Harvard Law School.

Mr. Estrada served as a law clerk to the Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy in the U.S. Supreme Court from 1988 to 1989 and to the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1986 to 1987. He received a J.D. degree, magna cum laude, in 1986 from Harvard Law School, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. Mr. Estrada graduated with an A.B. degree, magna cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa in 1983 from Columbia College, New York.


Professor Jeffrey L. Fisher
Stanford University Law School
Stanford, California

A leading authority on U.S. Supreme Court practice and a nationally recognized expert on criminal procedure, Jeffrey L. Fisher’s work at Stanford University’s law school revolves around handling cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. He has argued over three dozen cases in the Court, on issues ranging from criminal procedure to maritime law to civil and human rights.

Professor Fisher’s successes include the landmark cases of Crawford v. Washington and Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, in which he persuaded the Court to adopt a new approach to the Constitution’s Confrontation Clause; Riley v. California, in which the Court for the first time applied the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches to digital information on smart phones; Blakely v. Washington, in which the Court held that the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial applies to sentencing guidelines; and Kennedy v. Louisiana, in which the Court held that the Eighth Amendment prohibits states from imposing capital punishment for crimes against individuals that do not result in death. Professor Fisher was also co-counsel for the plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees same-sex couples a right to marry.

In addition to his teaching and practice concerning the Supreme Court, Professor Fisher has published numerous articles on various criminal and constitutional issues, and he currently is writing a treatise on the Confrontation Clause. He also serves as special counsel to the Supreme Court and Appellate Practice group of O’Melveny & Myers. Before joining the Stanford faculty, he clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


David C. Frederick, AAAL Fellow
Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C.
Washington, D.C.

David C. Frederick, of Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick, has argued more than 50 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and in courts throughout the United States. Before the Supreme Court he has represented a wide variety of clients, from individuals to state, national, and foreign governments. Most recently, he successfully represented iPhone owners in upholding their right to sue Apple for its monopoly control over iPhone applications.  


Thomas C. Goldstein, AAAL Fellow
Goldstein & Russell, P.C.
Bethesda, Maryland

Thomas C. Goldstein is partner at Goldstein & Russell, P.C. He is an appellate advocate, best known as one of the nation’s most experienced Supreme Court practitioners. He has served as counsel to a party in roughly 125 merits cases at the Court. This spring, he will argue his 44th—Google v. Oracle (on behalf of Google), which has been described as the "copyright case of the century." Only three lawyers in the Court's modern history have argued more cases in private practice.  He has been counsel on more successful petitions for certiorari over the past decade than any other lawyer in private practice.

In addition to practicing law, Mr. Goldstein has taught Supreme Court Litigation at Harvard Law School since 2004 and previously taught the same subject at Stanford Law School for nearly a decade. He is also the co-founder and publisher of SCOTUSblog—a website devoted to comprehensive coverage of the Court—which is the only blog ever to receive the Peabody Award.

Mr. Goldstein has received a variety of recognitions for his practice before the Supreme Court and for his appellate advocacy generally. In 2010, the National Law Journal named him one of the nation’s 40 most influential lawyers of the decade. The same publication included him in both of its most recent lists of the nation’s 100 most influential attorneys. Legal Times named him one of the “90 Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Last 30 Years.” GQ named him (erroneously) one of the 50 most powerful people in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Goldstein is involved in a variety of professional organizations. Among other things, he is a member of the American Law Institute, secretary-elect of the ABA Labor and Employment Section, vice chair of the Amicus Committee of the ABA Intellectual Property Section, and an elected fellow of the Academy of Appellate Lawyers.


Deepak Gupta
Gupta Wessler PLLC
Washington, D.C.

Deepak Gupta is the founding principal of Gupta Wessler PLLC, where he focuses on Supreme Court, appellate, and complex litigation with an emphasis on consumers’ and workers’ rights, class actions, and constitutional law. He is also a lecturer at Harvard Law School and has previously taught at Georgetown and American Universities.

Mr. Gupta regularly appears before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2019, he presented argument at the invitation of the justices in support of a judgment left undefended by the solicitor general. He is the first Asian-American to receive such an appointment from the Supreme Court. In the term ending in 2017, Mr. Gupta’s firm was counsel of record for parties in three argued merits cases (on the First Amendment, preemption, and qualified immunity). Mr. Gupta was lead counsel in two of those cases, prevailing in both. In 2010, he argued AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, a landmark arbitration case, and has since played a leading role in the debate over forced arbitration clauses.

Beyond the U.S. Supreme Court, Mr. Gupta has handled appeals in every federal circuit and 11 state supreme courts and has testified multiple times before Congress. He is frequently sought out by trial lawyers to defend major victories or resurrect worthy claims on appeal—often after years of hard-fought litigation. He also works with co-counsel to design cases from the ground up—focusing on class actions and administrative and constitutional challenges.

An elected member of the American Law Institute, Mr. Gupta sits on the boards of directors of the National Consumer Law Center, the Alliance for Justice, and Stable, an organization dedicated to strengthening Washington’s contemporary art community. He is also on the legal affairs committee of the American Association for Justice and the advisory boards of the People’s Parity Project and the University of California’s Civil Justice Research Initiative.


Sarah Harrington
Goldstein & Russell, P.C.
Bethesda, Maryland

Sarah Harrington is partner at Goldstein & Russel. She is among the most experienced Supreme Court specialists practicing today. She has argued 21 cases in the Supreme Court and has served as counsel or co-counsel in dozens of others. She has also argued dozens of cases in the federal courts of appeals. Ms. Harrington is a Chambers USA-ranked appellate litigator, known for her skill at oral argument and her tremendous judgment as an advocate. She has handled a wide range of topics before the Supreme Court, including bankruptcy, constitutional law, criminal law, tax law, preemption, trademark, civil procedure, environmental law, and federal statutory questions. Ms. Harrington’s court of appeals experience is similarly broad, covering topics such as criminal law, civil RICO, antitrust, constitutional law, employment discrimination, sovereign immunity, and civil procedure. She has also been a valuable resource to trial teams, providing expert support on strategy and briefing. She is an instructor in the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Harvard Law School and frequently speaks at conferences and with national news outlets about the Supreme Court.

Before joining Goldstein & Russell, Ms. Harrington worked for eight years as an assistant to the U.S. solicitor general. Earlier in her career, she worked as an appellate attorney in the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she received numerous awards. A graduate of Harvard Law School and Yale College, Ms. Harrington clerked for the Honorable Rosemary Barkett of the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Ms. Harrington serves on the board of advisors of the Institute of Judicial Administration at NYU and is a master in the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court. She was previously recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” rising stars in the Washington, D.C., region.


Professor Richard L. Hasen
University of California
Irvine, California

Richard L. Hasen is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. Professor Hasen is a nationally recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation, writing, legislation and statutory interpretation, remedies, and torts. He is co-author of leading casebooks in election law and remedies.

From 2001 to 2010, he served as founding co-editor of the quarterly peer-reviewed publication, Election Law Journal. He is the author of over 100 articles on election law issues, published in numerous journals, including the Harvard Law ReviewStanford Law Review, and Supreme Court Review. He was elected to The American Law Institute in 2009 and serves as reporter on the ALI’s law reform project: Restatement (Third) of Torts: Remedies. He also is an adviser on the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Concluding Provisions.

Professor Hasen was named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by The National Law Journal in 2013, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California in 2005 and 2016 by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal.

His op-eds and commentaries have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, and Slate. Professor Hasen also writes the often-quoted Election Law Blog, which the ABA Journal named to its “Blawg 100 Hall of Fame” in 2015. The Green Bag recognized his 2018 book, The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption, for exemplary legal writing, and his 2016 book, Plutocrats United, received a Scribes Book Award Honorable Mention. His newest book, Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy, will be published by Yale University Press in 2020.


Kirk C. Jenkins, AAAL Fellow
Horvitz & Levy LLP
San Francisco, California

Kirk C. Jenkins is a partner at Horvitz & Levy and prior to opening the firm’s San Francisco office, Mr. Jenkins was the chair of Sedgwick’s Appellate Task Force. Mr. Jenkins has served as appellate counsel in approximately 200 appeals and petitions for interlocutory review in state and federal courts across the country. Mr. Jenkins has briefed and argued many post-trial motions in the trial courts, reducing adverse judgments and improving the record for appeal before the appeal ever begins. He has also appeared before higher courts as amicus in cases presenting related issues, helping to move the law in a more beneficial direction before the client’s case was decided.


Professor Pamela S. Karlan, AAAL Fellow
Stanford University Law School
Stanford, California

Pamela S. Karlan is the Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and a founder and co-director of the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School.  Since its founding, the clinic has represented parties in more than 60 merits cases, including several election law-related matters (Abbott v. Perez, 138 S. Ct. 2305 [2018]; Riley v. Kennedy, 553 U.S. 406 [2008]; Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 [2008]). The clinic also represented the bipartisan leadership of the House Judiciary Committee in both Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529 (2013), and Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, 557 U.S. 193 (2009). Prior to founding the clinic, Professor Karlan participated regularly in voting-rights-related cases at the Court. She argued, and won, Morse v. Republican Party of Virginia, 517 U.S. 186 (1996), and Chisom v. Roemer, 501 U.S. 380 (1991).

Professor Karlan’s primary scholarship involves constitutional litigation, particularly with respect to voting rights and antidiscrimination law. She has published dozens of articles and is the co-author of three leading casebooks (one being The Law of Democracy: Legal Structure of the Political Process, now in its fifth edition). She has received numerous teaching awards.

Before entering the academy, Professor Karlan clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Abraham Sofaer and Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, and she practiced law at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Her public service includes a term as a commissioner on the California Fair Political Practices Commission and 20 months as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, where she was responsible, among other things, for reviewing the work of the Voting Section.

In 2016, she was named one of the Politico 50—a group of “thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics.” Earlier in her career, the American Lawyer named her to its Public Sector 45—a group of lawyers “actively using their law degrees to change lives.


Sharon M. McGowan
Lambda Legal
Washington, D.C.

Sharon M. McGowan is the chief strategy officer and legal director of Lambda Legal, the country’s largest and oldest legal organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and individuals living with HIV. Relying on her litigation expertise and her experience in the Obama administration, Ms. McGowan leads the legal department’s talented team of over 30 attorneys and paraprofessionals who advocate for the LGBT community in courtrooms, statehouses, and other venues throughout the country. As legal director, Ms. McGowan oversees Lambda Legal’s efforts to resist any attempt by the Trump administration—or any other opponent of LGBTQ equality—to thwart or roll back the LGBT community’s progress toward full formal and lived equality. Ms. McGowan joined Lambda Legal in February 2017 as its director of strategy and established Lambda Legal’s Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. McGowan was repeatedly recognized by the attorney general for her efforts on LGBT issues, receiving awards for her role in convincing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to stop defending the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), in developing the arguments advanced by the United States in support of nationwide marriage equality, and in guiding the DOJ to its position that discrimination on the basis of sex encompasses discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

As a political appointee in the Obama administration, Ms. McGowan served as acting general counsel and as deputy general counsel for policy at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). As acting general counsel, Ms. McGowan ensured OPM's rapid and robust implementation of United States v. Windsor, resulting in married federal employees receiving health care and retirement benefits within days of the Supreme Court's decision, regardless of whether they lived in a state that recognized their marriage at the time. She also worked within the agency to lift the blanket ban on transition-related health care within the federal employee health insurance program.

In 2010, she published Working With Clients to Develop Compatible Visions of What It Means to “Win” a Case: Reflections on Schroer v. Billington (45 Harv. Civ. R.- Civ. L. L. Rev. 205), which was recognized for outstanding legal scholarship on sexual orientation and gender identity issues as the 2011 winner of the Dukeminier Award from the Williams Institute of UCLA School of Law.


Professor Michael Meltsner
Northeastern University School of Law
Boston, Massachusetts

Michael Meltsner is Matthews Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern Law school. As first assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) in the 1960s, he argued numerous constitutional cases before the Supreme Court and the courts of appeals. He has taught at Columbia and Harvard Law Schools and served as dean of Northeastern University from 1979 until 1984. He is the author of Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment, the definitive history of LDF’s anti-capital-punishment campaign that led to Furman v. Georgia; his latest book is With Passion: An Activist Lawyer’s Life.


Hon. Carlos R. Moreno (Ret.)
Justice, California Supreme Court (Ret.); JAMS
Los Angeles, California

Hon. Carlos R. Moreno (Ret.) joined JAMS after a distinguished 25-year career on the judiciary, including 10 years on the California Supreme Court. During his tenure, Justice Moreno authored over 140 majority opinions on a wide range of precedent-setting cases, including significant opinions implicating LGBT rights, arbitration, and insurance policy coverage. Previously, he served 15 years as a trial judge in state and federal courts, presiding over hundreds of trials covering the full spectrum of criminal and civil litigation. Most recently, Justice Moreno served as U.S. Ambassador to Belize, where he made great strides in advancing citizen security within Belize and the region, focusing on citizen protection, economic development, and governance.

Justice Moreno is a first-generation Mexican-American and fluent Spanish speaker. He was the third Latino to serve on the Supreme Court of California. Justice Moreno has been honored with numerous accolades for his work on and off the bench, recognizing his commitment to equality and justice, his pioneering accomplishments as a Mexican-American, and his work in child advocacy. He has served on numerous community-based organization boards.


Jim Newton
Author
Pasadena, California

Jim Newton is an author, editor, and teacher. A 25-year veteran of the Los Angeles Times, he moved to UCLA in 2015 to teach and to found and edit Blueprint, a public policy magazine at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs. He is the author of three major works of American history and biography; a fourth, Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown, is being released on May 12, 2020, by Little Brown. 


Marc J. Poster, AAAL Fellow
Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland LLP
Los Angeles, California

Marc J. Poster is a partner at the appellate law firm of Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland LLP in Los Angeles. He has litigated hundreds of appeals and writ petitions in state and federal courts nationwide. Mr. Poster was educated at Stanford University and UCLA School of Law, served as a senior research attorney for the California Court of Appeal, and is a certified specialist in appellate law, State Bar of California Board. He is a member and past president of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a past chair of various Los Angeles County Bar Association appellate practice committees. Mr. Poster also chaired the Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Amicus Briefs Committee and is a former president of that Association. He lectures and publishes extensively on appellate law and practice.


Mark Rosenbaum
Public Counsel
Los Angeles, California

Mark Rosenbaum is director of Public Counsel Opportunity Under Law, a project that aims to eliminate economic injustice.

He has argued four times before the U.S. Supreme Court, more than 25 times before the federal courts of appeals, and three times before the California Supreme Court. He has been principal counsel in landmark cases in the areas of K-12 public and higher education; voting rights; poverty law and homelessness; racial, gender, class and sexual orientation discrimination; health care, immigrants’ rights; foster care; and criminal defendants’ rights. His victories include securing over $1 billion for underserved schools in the form of textbooks, qualified teachers, and safe and sanitary school facilities (Williams v. California); redistricting Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors district lines to discrimination against Latinos (Garza v. County of Los Angeles); invalidating Proposition 187 (Gregorio T. v. Wilson); and obtaining relief on behalf of severely disabled homeless veterans (Valentini v. Shinseki). 

Mr. Rosenbaum currently teaches law at the UC Irvine Law School and has also taught at UCLA, USC, Loyola, and Michigan law schools. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan and from Harvard Law School.

Prior to joining Public Counsel, he served for over four decades with the ACLU of Southern California, most recently as chief counsel. 


Jaime A. Santos
Co-Host, Strict Scrutiny and Partner, Goodwin Procter LLP
Washington, D.C.

Jaime A. Santos co-hosts the podcast Strict Scrutiny, which focuses on the Supreme Court and the legal culture that surrounds it. Ms. Santos is also a partner in Goodwin Proctor LLP’s appellate litigation practice, where she focuses on appellate matters and complex civil litigation in federal courts, including ERISA litigation, patent litigation, constitutional law, and product and litigation. Ms. Santos maintains an active pro bono practice. She has been counsel of record in numerous criminal, immigration, and civil rights appeals in the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits. In addition to her pro bono practice, Ms. Santos has been a thought leader in preventing and addressing bias and harassment in the legal profession. She speaks at conferences across the country and has published several articles on the topic. Since January 2018, she has advised numerous state and federal courts on improving the policies and processes governing inappropriate conduct in the workplace, and she has testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Judicial Conference of the United States on this topic.

Ms. Santos serves on the MacArthur Justice Center Supreme Court & Appellate Advisory Board, and on the National Women’s Law Center’s Leadership Advisory Council.


Hon. Therese M. Stewart
Justice, California First District Court of Appeal
San Francisco, California

Hon. Therese M. Stewart was appointed to the California Court of Appeal in 2014.  Before joining the court, she was the chief deputy city attorney for San Francisco for 12 years. While at the city attorney’s office, she litigated many groundbreaking cases, including In re Marriage Cases, which established the same-sex marriage right under the California Constitution. 

Justice Stewart began her career at the Howard, Rice firm, where she became a partner in 1988. She has also served on the board and as president of the Bar Association of San Francisco, co-founding the School-To-College program, which helps San Francisco youth obtain a college education. In addition, she was a board member of the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, and was a Northern District of California delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. Since joining the court, Justice Stewart has helped the governor’s appointments secretary in identifying and vetting LGBT candidates for judicial office. 

Justice Stewart received her B.A. with distinction from Cornell University in 1978 and graduated Order of the Coif at UC Berkeley School of Law in 1981. She clerked for Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch on the Eleventh Circuit from 1981 to 1982. Justice Stewart lives with her wife, Carole Scagnetti, in San Francisco.


Peter K. Stris, AAAL Fellow
Stris & Maher LLP
Los Angeles, California

Peter K. Stris is one of the most prominent business litigators of his generation, handling trials and appeals in forums nationwide. Chambers USA has described him as “a tactical genius and a great leveler.” And the National Law Journal has highlighted his ability “to win even when conventional wisdom held that he barely had a shot.”

Identified by Reuters as one of the nation’s most influential U.S. Supreme Court lawyers, Mr. Stris is currently preparing to argue his ninth case before the Supreme Court. He has also represented parties in high-stakes business appeals in federal and state appellate courts throughout the nation.

An accomplished trial lawyer, Mr. Stris has successfully first-chaired several high-stakes business cases to verdict or judgment. He is often retained in cases where an effective public communications strategy is critical. Mr. Stris and his work are covered by national newspapers, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. He  has appeared on numerous broadcast outlets, including morning talk shows (Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, The Today Show), cable news (Anderson Cooper 360, The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, The Beat with Ari Melber), and public radio and television (All Things Considered, Nightly Business Report).

Mr. Stris received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He earned his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where, together with Elizabeth Brannen, he won the National Debating Championship.


Prof. Stephen I. Vladeck
University of Texas School of Law
Austin, Texas

Stephen I. Vladeck is the A. Dalton Cross Professor at the University of Texas School of Law and a nationally recognized expert on federal jurisdiction, constitutional law, national security law, and military justice. Professor Vladeck has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, serves as CNN’s Supreme Court analyst, and co-hosts the popular National Security Law podcast.