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 matters.
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
Hon. Joseph J. Farah was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1975 and Thomas M. Cooley Law 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.
Judge 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 held a “dual hatted” position, serving as Chief Judge of the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals and Commander US Army Reserve Legal Command (Provisional). His Army career included duty in Asia, Europe, Central America, South America, Africa, and the Balkan Peninsula. In 2009 he was awarded the Army’s Distinguished Service Medal.
In 2001 Judge Nevin served as Presiding Judge for the Detention Review Commission, United Nations Command, Kosovo. In 2002 he assisted the government of El Salvador in establishing its first victim witness assistance program. Most recently, Judge Nevin has focused his effort in the areas of post conflict governance, where in both civilian and military roles he has worked in areas ranging from the development of ethnically neutral bar examinations in Kosovo, to judicial training in Bosnia-Herzegovina and former Soviet Union. In 2005 he assisted the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in development of a new criminal code. He has lectured in Argentina on the development of Public Disclosure legislation and in Africa on the successful prosecution of government corruption. His most recent endeavors have included contributing to a long term project on reconstruction of the Iraqi Court System. In 2009-2011 he lectured on issues of public corruption in Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Chad.
Judge Nevin is a 1996 graduate of the Air War College and 1998 graduate of the Army War College. He 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 Guantanamo Bay Cuba.
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 Lublin, Poland. Judge Nevin has lectured and published extensively in subjects ranging from military retirement benefits as community property to post conflict governance and the international law implications of military tribunals. He has written Montana’s Real Property Forfeiture Statute: Will it Pass Constitutional Muster? Volume 54 No. 1 Montana Law Review, Winter 1993, Tellevik v. Real Property: Washington’s Constitutional Dilemma Volume 29 No. 2 of the Gonzaga Law Review, Spring 1994, Conviction, Confrontation and Crawford; Gang Expert Testimony as Testimonial Hearsay Vol. 34 Seattle University Law Review Spring 2011 and Neither A Model of Clarity Nor A Model Statute: An Analysis of The History, Challenges, and Suggested Changes To the “New” Article 120 Volume 67 Air Force Law Review 2011.
Judge Nevin holds a BA from Washington State University and an MBA\J.D. from Gonzaga University.
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.