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  • “Your Practice, Our Profession: Touching the Lives of Children and Families Every Day.”


2012 Annual Meeting - Bench and Bar Conference




Thomas Lyons Thomas W. Lyons practices products liability and toxic tort defense, business and commercial litigation, personal injury–defense, employment litigation, and constitutional law with Strauss, Factor, Laing & Lyons in Providence, Rhode Island. He attended Colgate University, Hamilton, New York (A.B., History, 1979) and Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland, Ohio, (J.D.,1983). He publishes extensively in the Rhode Island Bar Journal and frequently presents at classes, seminars, conferences, and institutes across the country. He was recognized as the Civil Libertarian of the Year (2007) and Civil Libertarian of the Decade (2009) by the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Active in the bar community, Lyons was the Rhode Island chair of the American Bar Foundation, 2010 to present; a member of the Executive Council of National Conference of Bar Presidents, 2007–2009 ; a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association Executive Committee, 1998 – 2008; president of the Rhode Island Bar Association, 2006–2007; and a member of numerous state committees over the past decade
Frederic Ury Frederic S. Ury, a founding member of Ury & Moskow LLC, has been practicing law for 34 years. He is a prominent trial lawyer in banking and commercial law, personal injury, medical malpractice, real estate, and criminal law. He frequently serves as an arbitrator and mediator for other law firms in commercial and personal injury matters and also represents other attorneys accused of ethical violations. Ury attended Babson College (B.S., with the highest distinction, 1974) and Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts (J.D., 1977). A frequent lecturer throughout the country, Ury speaks on such diverse topics as civil procedure, trial techniques and ethics, as well as the future of the legal profession. Active in the bar community, Ury served as president of the Connecticut Bar Association and the prestigious National Conference of Bar Presidents. He is a court-appointed fact finder/arbitrator and special public defender for the Connecticut Superior Court. Ury has also devoted much personal and professional time to pro bono and philanthropic activities. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Ury and the firm donated hundreds of hours of free legal representation to World Trade Center victims and their families in hearings before the Victims' Compensation Board.
Barbara Bergman Barbara Bergman joined the UNM law faculty in 1987, bringing years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C. Her teaching remains focused on criminal law. On leave in 2000-2001 and the spring of 2004, Bergman put her teaching into practice when she worked on the defense team in the State of Oklahoma v. Terry Nichols, a state death penalty case. Nichols was prosecuted for conspiracy and murder in connection with the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. Bergman has lectured and published extensively, including serving as editor of the 5th edition of the D.C. Criminal Jury Instructions. She also is the co-author of Wharton's Criminal Evidence., 15th edition, Wharton’s Criminal Procedure, 14th edition, and The Everytrial Criminal Defense Resource Book. Bergman is a past president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 2001, she received the Robert C. Heeney Award, the highest honor given by that organization. The Roscoe Pound Foundation also honored her with the Richard S. Jacobson Award for excellence in the teaching of trial advocacy.
Professor Sarah M. Buel Professor Sarah M. Buel has spent the past 35 years working on domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, and juvenile justice matters within the legal system. Buel is a clinical professor of law and faculty director of the Diane Halle Center for Family Justice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where she teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Family Violence and the Law. She attended Harvard Law School (cum laude, 1990), where she founded the Harvard Battered Women’s Advocacy Project, the Harvard Women in Prison Project, and the Harvard Children and Family Rights Project. She came to Arizona after 14 years as a clinical professor at the University of Texas School of Law where she was co-founder of the U.T. Voices Against Violence program and the U.T. Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault that focuses on research, pedagogy, and direct services. Buel has served as special counsel for the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, providing domestic violence training, technical, and case assistance to prosecutors throughout Texas. For six years she was a prosecutor, most of that time in Boston and Quincy, Massachusetts, helping to establish award-winning domestic violence and juvenile programs. Buel has published more than 35 articles and book chapters as well as amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She narrated the Academy Award-winning documentary, Defending Our Lives and is actively involved in human rights and anti-trafficking projects in Cambodia, China, Kenya, and the U.S. She is currently writing a book for NYU Press on a positive rights approach for abuse victims.
Courthouse Dogs LLC Courthouse Dogs LLC promotes the use of high standards for courthouse dogs; trains legal professionals to the standards advocated by the National District Attorneys Association; educates service dog organizations and staff about the courthouse environment and the type of training needed for these dogs to be successful in high-stress situations; publicizes the concept of courthouse dogs helping victims, witnesses, and others in the criminal justice system; and advocates for the appropriate use of courthouse dogs within necessary legal constraints
Ellen O’Neill-Stephens, J.D., served as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Seattle, Washington, for 26 years, retiring in November 2011. She is a pioneer in the use of dogs to provide emotional support in the criminal justice system and is the founder of Courthouse Dogs (, a program inspired by son Sean and his service dog Jeeter. Since 2003, she has promoted the use of highly trained assistance dogs to provide comfort to children and adults who are victims or witnesses of crimes and to support juveniles and adults in mental health and drug courts.
Celeste Walsen, DVM, works with criminal justice facilities to teach staff members the practicalities of using highly trained dogs in victim/witness support programs and is currently working to develop nationally recognized guidelines that will equip victim advocates, forensic interviewers, prosecuting attorneys, and other legal professionals to effectively employ dogs to provide support for vulnerable people of all ages.
Matthew Homann LexThink founder Matthew Homann is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur and recovering lawyer who has built an international reputation as an innovative and passionate thinker about changing the practice of law in ways that benefit both lawyers and clients. Described as an "innovational speaker,” Homann speaks about innovative billing strategies, creative marketing techniques, proven customer-service principles and cutting-edge ideas from other industries and professions. He also facilitates unique conferences, retreats and workshops, and has worked with law firms of all sizes as well as with organizations including McDonald’s, Microsoft, HP, British Petroleum, Sungard and the U.S. Marine Corps. He shares his outside-the-box ideas on legal innovation in his award-winning blog,, and was recently named one of 50 “Legal Rebels” by the American Bar Association Journal. Homann lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife Jessica. He has a nine-year-old daughter, Grace
Max Minzner A native New Mexican, Max Minzner is an associate professor of law at the University of New Mexico School of Law and teaches and writes in the areas of civil procedure, criminal law, and criminal procedure. He frequently presents annual updates on civil procedure to the New Mexico Judicial Conclave. Minzner attended Brown University (Sc.B., 1996) and Yale Law School (J.D., 1999). He clerked for Judge Pamela Ann Rymer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, California, and was an assistant United States attorney in the Eastern District of New York with assignments in the General Crimes, Narcotics and Public Integrity sections. Before joining the UNM School of Law faculty in 2011, he was a member of the faculty at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. During the 2009-10 academic year he was on leave, serving as special counsel to the director of the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. Minzner was born and raised in Albuquerque.




Highlights from 2011 Annual Meeting

Highlights from 2010 Annual Meeting

Highlights from 2009 Annual Meeting