NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY

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Norma Aguilar

Federal Defenders of San Diego

Norma Aguilar is a Supervisory Attorney at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. She began working at Federal Defenders after graduating from Berkeley Law School in 2000. In her capacity as a Supervisory Attorney, Norma helps guide and mentor newer attorneys while litigating her own cases. She has tried various types of federal offenses from immigration, drug, sex-trafficking, fraud and others.…Read More
Work 225 Broadway, Suite 900 San Diego CA 92101 TPI Attendance: July, 2010
Biography

Norma Aguilar is a Supervisory Attorney at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. She began working at Federal Defenders after graduating from Berkeley Law School in 2000. In her capacity as a Supervisory Attorney, Norma helps guide and mentor newer attorneys while litigating her own cases. She has tried various types of federal offenses from immigration, drug, sex-trafficking, fraud and others. She has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seven times. Norma has taught at national conferences on a variety of substantive federal law issues. Besides being a faculty member with the National Criminal Defense College, she is a faculty member at the Trial Skills Academy program offered by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Norma is a fluent-Spanish speaker and has taught at various Spanish-language trial skills programs in the United States, Mexico and Argentina.

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Jenny Andrews

Director of Training; Indigent Defense Improvement Division; Office of the State Public Defender CA

A child of counterculture, raised off the grid by back-to-the-land hippies on the Lost Coast in Northern California, Jenny Andrews is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. She started her career as a public defender in Oakland, California in 1996, but left after seven years, after experiencing burnout and moral injury, and didn’t practice law for three years.…Read More
Work 1100 Anacapa Street Santa Barbara CA 93101
Biography

A child of counterculture, raised off the grid by back-to-the-land hippies on the Lost Coast in Northern California, Jenny Andrews is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. She started her career as a public defender in Oakland, California in 1996, but left after seven years, after experiencing burnout and moral injury, and didn’t practice law for three years. She returned to public defense work in 2007, and continued working as a public defender in Sonoma County and Santa Barbara County, in a wide variety of positions, including: Forensic Resource Counsel, Felony Team Leader, Director of Training, and Senior Deputy.

For 23 years, she consistently and aggressively litigated cases, including misdemeanor, felony, juvenile, civil commitment (mentally disordered offender and sexually violent predator), mental competency, homicide and multi-jurisdiction (and multi-jury) trials. She has carried specialized caseloads requiring complex, forensic and capital litigation. In 2022, she became California’s first Director of Training at the new Indigent Defense Improvement Division of the Office of the State Public Defender.

She teaches on the faculties of Gideon’s Promise, the National Association for Public Defense, the National Criminal Defense College, the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School, and the California Public Defenders Association. She has taught in public defense training programs in New York, New Jersey, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Georgia, and in public defense offices throughout California. She has designed and presented training programming for public defenders working at all levels, from intern through capital litigation, and in specialized areas such as challenging forensic evidence, discovery litigation, mentorship, and sustaining well-being. She conceptualized and launched a Felony Team Unit, a Pre-Arraignment Unit, and Be Well Wednesday, a weekly wellness meet-up with experiential practices for public defenders. She created and teaches a series of online course for the NAPD Academy on Sustaining Well-Being in Public Defense, created BeSustained.org to support the well-being of defenders, and presents frequently on supporting and sustaining well-being.

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Recent Teaching History

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Marilyn Bednarski

Partner, McLane, Bednarski, & Litt, LLP

Marilyn Bednarski is a partner at MBL Law. Marilyn began her career as a criminal defense lawyer in 1983 working with a death penalty defense lawyer in Los Angeles and joined the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles in 1984.  Her career has spanned public service and private practice. Marilyn is a graduate of Loyola Law School and earned her undergraduate degree in history and classical languages at UCLA.…Read More
Work 975 E. Green Street Pasadena CA 91106
Biography

Marilyn Bednarski is a partner at MBL Law. Marilyn began her career as a criminal defense lawyer in 1983 working with a death penalty defense lawyer in Los Angeles and joined the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles in 1984.  Her career has spanned public service and private practice. Marilyn is a graduate of Loyola Law School and earned her undergraduate degree in history and classical languages at UCLA.

Marilyn tries cases in state and federal courts and has tried over a hundred jury trials in federal court. She has been very successful, once winning six acquittals in a row from juries. Marilyn has also been very effective in negotiations of dismissals and reduction of charges and obtaining short sentences in all kinds of cases, including very complicated prosecutions for fraud, securities, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, money laundering, tax evasion, exportation of defense technology as well as other types of serious cases such as those involving the RICO act, guns and drugs.

She is nationally known and enjoys a stellar reputation among attorneys, judges and clients for her creativity, tireless work ethic and dogged commitment to her clients. Among other passions besides work and family, Marilyn enjoys the outdoors, especially the mountains, and has traveled the world.

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TPI Graduate

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Juanita Brooks

Attorney, Fish & Richardson

Juanita R. Brooks is a nationally recognized trial and appellate attorney who focuses on complex intellectual property, products liability, and mass tort litigation. She is an innovative, formidable litigator with a demonstrated, near-perfect winning record in complex, high-stakes lawsuits that few trial attorneys can match. A master storyteller, Juanita paints pictures with words to explain the complex technologies at the center of her matters to judges and juries in a way that is both understandable and compelling and will be remembered throughout the trial. Read More
Work 12860 El Camino Real, Ste. 400 San Diego CA 92130
Biography

Juanita R. Brooks is a nationally recognized trial and appellate attorney who focuses on complex intellectual property, products liability, and mass tort litigation. She is an innovative, formidable litigator with a demonstrated, near-perfect winning record in complex, high-stakes lawsuits that few trial attorneys can match.

A master storyteller, Juanita paints pictures with words to explain the complex technologies at the center of her matters to judges and juries in a way that is both understandable and compelling and will be remembered throughout the trial. Law360 named her an “Icon of IP” for her “skill at trying complicated patent cases without getting bogged down in the technical weeds” and said that she is a “jury whisperer.” She has also been heralded by The American Lawyer as “a titan of the patent bar” upon receiving its “Litigator of the Year” honors. 

Her skill at connecting with courtroom audiences has made her a go-to litigator when the stakes are high for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 10 corporations. Juanita’s successes in patent litigation have protected billions of dollars in sales for clients and have helped define the ever-evolving landscape of IP law. Clients come to her from a cross-section of cutting-edge industries, including software, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and electronics. 

Having handled more than 150 trials during her career, Juanita is highly skilled at cases that rest, in large part, on expert analysis, testing, and testimony. Utilizing Fish & Richardson’s science- and technology-intensive expertise, she crafts novel, outside-the-box legal strategies. Her ability to present and challenge expert testimony in court has been a decisive factor in courtroom victories. In one case, the trial judge noted that the opposing expert’s “credibility was eviscerated on cross-examination” by Juanita. 

Throughout her 44-year career, Juanita’s numerous trials have resulted in notable wins. In 2018, the Federal Circuit unanimously affirmed a decision for client Gilead Sciences in which she successfully wiped out a $200 million damages award by convincing the court that opposing party Merck was guilty of unclean hands. In defense of client Microsoft, Juanita scored a huge jury win in 2017, in which the plaintiff originally demanded $63 million in damages. The jury returned a noninfringement verdict on every claim, awarding nothing to the plaintiff. Also in 2017, Juanita represented GlaxoSmithKline in a patent infringement lawsuit involving GSK’s highly-successful drug Coreg®. By utilizing a novel patent infringement theory, she convinced a jury that the defendant had willfully infringed and GSK was awarded $235 million in damages. In 2016, she led a team that successfully defended one of the largest mass tort/wrongful death cases in the United States, which included 12,000 cases (some of them class actions representing hundreds of individual plaintiffs). 

As a Latina, Juanita has shattered ethnic and gender barriers to become one of the U.S.’s top IP litigators, having received numerous honors for her courtroom successes and her devotion to the practice of law. She has been named Hatch-Waxman Litigator of the Year by LMG Life Sciences, received The American Lawyer’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement award, and been honored with Corporate Counsel’s National Women in Law Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, Juanita was inducted into the California Bar Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, becoming the first Latina honoree and only the third inductee from San Diego to receive this honor. 

While she tries cases nationally, she is also active in her local community and played a significant role in drafting the original and the subsequent amendments to local patent rules for the Southern District of California.

As an elected member of the firm’s management committee, Juanita has championed policies that have changed the culture and diversity of Fish and become blueprints for similar policies at other firms. 

After graduating from Yale Law School, Juanita returned to San Diego and worked for Federal Defenders, Inc. She eventually opened her own practice, the first Latina to become a criminal defense solo practitioner in the community. She went on to be a partner in a preeminent international law firm before joining Fish in 2000. 

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TPI Graduate

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Yasmin Cader

Attorney, Cader / Adams Trial Lawyers

As a former federal defender, Yasmin Cader has tried more than thirty criminal cases to resolution before juries and judges in state and federal courts in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. At the Offices of the Federal Public Defender in the Southern District of New York and Los Angeles, Yasmin represented witnesses and individuals facing a variety of federal criminal charges, including complex white-collar criminal and regulatory matters.…Read More
Work Los Angeles CA
Biography

As a former federal defender, Yasmin Cader has tried more than thirty criminal cases to resolution before juries and judges in state and federal courts in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. At the Offices of the Federal Public Defender in the Southern District of New York and Los Angeles, Yasmin represented witnesses and individuals facing a variety of federal criminal charges, including complex white-collar criminal and regulatory matters. Yasmin also served as the Chief of Training in Los Angeles, a position in which she developed and executed substantive legal and trial skills training programs for attorneys in Los Angeles and across the country. While representing individuals in Washington D.C. with the Public Defender Service, she defended juveniles and adults facing the most serious felony charges in Superior Court.

Yasmin is also an experienced civil litigator. She began her career as an Honors Program Trial Lawyer with the Employment Litigation Section of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where she litigated individual and class-action claims of sexual and racial harassment and discrimination. Prior to that, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Damon J. Keith of the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In private practice, Yasmin continues to teach trial skills to practicing lawyers and law students alike. She is a member of the faculty at Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop and the National Criminal Defense College. She has served as a guest lecturer at local and national bar associations across the country, as well as at Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law, UCLA School of Law and Loyola Law School. She currently serves on the Yale Law School Executive Committee and is also on the board of a national non-profit dedicated to effective messaging for social justice issues.

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John Ellis

Law Offices of John C. Ellis, Jr.

John C. Ellis, Jr. is a National Coordinating Discovery Attorney for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Defender Services Office. In this capacity, he provides litigation support and e-discovery assistance on complex criminal cases to defense teams around the country. Before entering private practice, Mr. Ellis spent 13 years as a trial attorney and supervisory attorney with Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.…Read More
Work 2495 Truxtun Road, 206 San Diego CA 92106 TPI Attendance: June, 2008
Biography

John C. Ellis, Jr. is a National Coordinating Discovery Attorney for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Defender Services Office. In this capacity, he provides litigation support and e-discovery assistance on complex criminal cases to defense teams around the country. Before entering private practice, Mr. Ellis spent 13 years as a trial attorney and supervisory attorney with Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. He also serves as a digital forensic consultant and expert.

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Recent Teaching History

2022 NCDC Trial Practice Institute (June Session)
2022 Winter Online Cross (January/​February 2022)
2021 Online Cross (February/​March 2021)

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David Feige

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Work 16 30th Ave Venice CA 90291

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Steve Harmon

Riverside County Public Defender

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Law Offices of the Public Defender Work 475 Main St., Ste. 100 Riverside CA 92501
Notes

TPI Graduate

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Michael Pancer

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Work San Diego CA
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Grover Porter

Attorney

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Work 355 N. Sierra Way San Bernandino CA 92410
Notes

TPI Graduate

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Song Richardson

Dean, University of California Irvine

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Work 401 E. Peltason Dr., EDU 1000 Irvine CA 92697
Notes

TPI Graduate

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Heather Rogers

Santa Cruz County Public Defender

Heather Rogers has been a public defender for nearly 20 years in the state and federal courts. Heather has handled cases at every stage of litigation, from arraignment through trial and appeal. She has represented clients accused of offenses from delinquency to homicide, defended detainees incarcerated at Guantánamo Naval Base in Guantánamo, Cuba, and argued cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.…Read More
Home 2103 North Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz CA 95060
Biography

Heather Rogers has been a public defender for nearly 20 years in the state and federal courts. Heather has handled cases at every stage of litigation, from arraignment through trial and appeal. She has represented clients accused of offenses from delinquency to homicide, defended detainees incarcerated at Guantánamo Naval Base in Guantánamo, Cuba, and argued cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Heather is honored to serve as the first Public Defender of Santa Cruz County, her birthplace and home. Before her appointment, Heather served as a public defender at Biggam, Christensen & Minsloff, the defense firm that previously provided public defense services for Santa Cruz County.

Heather is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College, lecturer in Legal Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and frequent trainer at regional and national trial skills programs. She has also taught at California Western School of Law and Monterey College of Law and volunteers annually to assist with trial advocacy training at Stanford Law School. Heather serves on the Board of Directors of Santa Cruz County’s Housing for Health Partnership Policy Board, Community Corrections Partnership, Criminal Justice Council, Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and Trial Lawyers Association. Heather is also a member of the National Association of Public Defense’s (NAPD) Well Being Summit and served as one of 33 criminal defense experts on a Delphi panel convened by the RAND Corporation in 2022 to advise researchers conducting a National Public Defense Workload Study.

Heather clerked for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before starting her career in public defense at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. She also served as a public defender in Monterey County and at the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of California before coming home to Santa Cruz. Heather has an A.B. in English Language & Literature from the University of Chicago, with honors, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School, with distinction. In her free time, Heather enjoys snowboarding, surfing, and hiking with her husband and two daughters.

Notes

Recent Teaching History

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Martín Sabelli

Attorney, Law Offices of Martín Antonio Sabelli

Martín has represented individuals and tried many cases in state and federal courts since 1993 in a wide range of civil and criminal matters including complex federal white-collar criminal prosecutions, multi-defendant federal conspiracy cases, federal and state gang-related prosecutions, federal and state death-penalty homicides, civil trials and arbitrations, and capital habeas corpus matters. He focuses his practice on federal gang/RICO capital defense.…Read More
Home 740 Noe Street San Francisco CA 94114 TPI Attendance: July, 1994
Biography

Martín has represented individuals and tried many cases in state and federal courts since 1993 in
a wide range of civil and criminal matters including complex federal white-collar criminal
prosecutions, multi-defendant federal conspiracy cases, federal and state gang-related
prosecutions, federal and state death-penalty homicides, civil trials and arbitrations, and capital
habeas corpus matters. He focuses his practice on federal gang/RICO capital defense.

Martín served as a federal public defender in the Northern District of California (San Francisco),
as the Director of Training for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, and as a law clerk to
the late Honorable Robert F. Peckham, United States District Judge. He taught Latin American
History at Yale College as a Lecturer (1990-1991).

I am immediate Past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and have chaired many NACDL committees and task forces including NACDL’s Anti-Racist Lawyering Committee, Lawyer’s Assistance Strike Force, Trial Penalty Task Force, Strategic Litigation Committee, and Full Disclosure (Police) Accountability Committee. I also serve on numerous NACDL committees including its Executive, Budget, Conflicts, Diversity, Ethics Advisory, Investment, and Public Defense Committees.

Martín is a Member of the Board of Regents of the National Criminal Defense College and has
taught at the College without interruption since 2001. Martín has also taught for the Trial
Advocacy Workshop for Harvard Law School, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and
NACDL as well as numerous other criminal defense and public defense programs around the
country and abroad.

Martín has participated in legal reform efforts in Argentina since 2008 in numerous provinces
and the federal system. He lectures often on comparative criminal justice issues and has trained
public defenders, judges, prosecutors, and lawyers in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile,
Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and numerous other countries. Martín established a school
for public defenders in Buenos Aires which, to date, has trained approximately 500 defenders
from twelve Central and South American countries. He has also trained judges, prosecutors, and
lawyers in numerous other countries including Nicaragua, Tunisia, and Egypt.

Martín served as Director of the Mexico Program for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy from 2005 to 2007.
He is a graduate of Harvard College, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and
Yale Law School.

Notes

Recent Teaching History

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Bart Sheela

Attorney

I have been a practicing criminal defense attorney for over 40 years. I retired from the San Diego Public defender office in August 2021. I’m still actively involved in training younger lawyers. I have served on the board of the California Public Defenders Association for over 20 years and was president in 2007.Read More
Work 7514 Girard Ave., Ste.1-204 La Jolla CA 92037 TPI Attendance: July, 1981
Biography

I have been a practicing criminal defense attorney for over 40 years. I retired from the San Diego Public defender office in August 2021. I’m still actively involved in training younger lawyers. I have served on the board of the California Public Defenders Association for over 20 years and was president in 2007.

Notes

Recent Teaching History

2022 NCDC Trial Practice Institute (June Session)
2022 Winter Online Cross (January/​February 2022)
2021 Online Cross (February/​March 2021)
2020 Online Cross (June Session)
2020 Online Cross (July Session)
2019 Trial Practice Institute in Bristol (June Session)
2018 Trial Practice institute in Macon (June Session)
2017 Trial Practice Institute (June Session)
2016 Trial Practice Institute (June Session)
2015 Trial Practice Institute (June Session)

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Ronald Tyler

Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic

Ron Tyler is a Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at Stanford Law School. The Clinic represents clients in the Superior Courts of California. Prof. Tyler’s scholarly agenda focuses on self-care skills for lawyers and criminal practice and procedure. His article: The First Thing We Do, Let’s Heal All the Law Students: Incorporating Self-Care Into A Criminal Defense Clinic, 21 Berkeley J.…Read More
Stanford Law School Work 559 Nathan Abbott Way Stanford CA 94305-8610
Biography

Ron Tyler is a Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at Stanford Law School. The Clinic represents clients in the Superior Courts of California. Prof. Tyler’s scholarly agenda focuses on self-care skills for lawyers and criminal practice and procedure. His article: The First Thing We Do, Let’s Heal All the Law Students: Incorporating Self-Care Into A Criminal Defense Clinic, 21 Berkeley J. Crim. L. 1 (2016) is available at: http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/bjcl/vol21/iss2/1

Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty, Professor Tyler was an Assistant Federal Public Defender for 22 years in the Northern District of California. A dedicated defense attorney and nationally recognized expert, he has litigated at trial and appellate courts covering the full gamut of federal criminal cases. He teaches regularly at seminars for criminal defense attorneys, investigators and paralegals. He is also active in several nonprofits, serving on the Executive Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Board of Regents of the National Criminal Defense College and the Guiding Rage Into Power Institute (providing mindfulness based programs to prisoners).

Professor Tyler received his BS in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981 and had a brief career in high tech before changing his focus to public interest advocacy. He began law school as a Tony Patiño Fellow at Hastings College of the Law and earned his JD from UC Berkeley School of Law in 1989, where he served as notes and comments editor on the Ecology Law Quarterly. After law school, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel.

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Heather Williams

Federal Defender – California Eastern

Ms. Williams has worked in the Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Arizona since 1994. Prior to her appointment as FPD in 2013, she had served as first assistant federal public defender since 2006. She led the Tucson Criminal Defense Unit and assisted in supervision of staff in district offices in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Yuma, and an out-of-district office in Salt Lake City, Utah.…Read More
Home 801 I Street, 3rd floor Sacramento CA
Biography

Ms. Williams has worked in the Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Arizona since 1994. Prior to her appointment as FPD in 2013, she had served as first assistant federal public defender since 2006. She led the Tucson Criminal Defense Unit and assisted in supervision of staff in district offices in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Yuma, and an out-of-district office in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ms. Williams also helped manage the district’s Capital Habeas Unit. The Office of the Federal Defender for the Eastern District of California, which opened 1,966 new cases in fiscal year 2016, is headquartered in Sacramento and maintains a fully-staffed branch office in Fresno.

Ms. Williams began her career in public service in 1988 as an assistant public defender for Pima County Office of the Public Defender in Tucson, Arizona, where she handled felony cases including death penalty homicides, drugs, sex crimes, and child abuse. Prior to that, she worked as an associate attorney in San Diego, California, from 1986 to 1988. A Tucson native, Ms. Williams received her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Pittsburgh State University in 1982 and her J.D. from the University of San Diego Law School in 1985.”