Guest Speaker Series

The UCI Law Guest Speaker Series invites notable and influential scholars, judges, lawyers, and other professionals to the campus for lunchtime discussions geared toward law students. UCI Law students are encouraged to RSVP for events through Slate.

All events are held in EDU 1111 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 

2020-21 Events

Past Events

Spring 2018 Series

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Damon Nagami, Senior Attorney and Director of NRDC's Southern California Ecosystems Project

Damon Nagami is a Senior Attorney and director of NRDC’s Southern California Ecosystems Project, which focuses on wildlife preservation, parkland protection, and sustainable land-use planning. Most recently, he has been fighting to prevent a toll road from paving over California’s San Onofre State Beach and working with communities to evaluate potential routes for a proposed high-speed rail line through downtown Los Angeles. Nagami also codirects NRDC’s Community Fracking Defense Project, which helps local residents and elected officials across the country exercise their democratic voice to protect their communities from the harms of industrial fracking. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law. He works in NRDC’s Santa Monica office. RSVP here by January 14 to guarantee lunch will be ordered for you. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Corynne McSherry, Legal Director of Electronic Frontier Foundation

Corynne McSherry is the Legal Director at EFF, specializing in intellectual property, open access, and free speech issues. Her favorite cases involve defending online fair use, political expression, and the public domain against the assault of copyright maximalists. As a litigator, she has represented Professor Lawrence Lessig, Public.Resource.Orgthe Yes Men, and a dancing baby, among others, and one of her first cases at EFF was In re Sony BMG CD Technologies Litigation (aka the "rootkit" case). Her policy work includes leading EFF’s effort to fix copyright (including the successful effort to shut down the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA), promote net neutrality, and promote best practices for online expression. Prior to joining EFF, Corynne was a civil litigator at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, LLP.  McSherry has a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, a Ph.D from the University of California at San Diego, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Please RSVP here to guarantee lunch will be ordered for you. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Mitch Kamin, Commercial Litigation

Mr. Kamin leads Covington’s Los Angeles Commercial Litigation Practice and is part of the firm’s Music Industry Initiative. He has represented entertainment industry leaders such as 21st Century Fox and Sony Music Entertainment in complex, high profile intellectual property disputes, with a particular expertise in copyright and trademark issues and disputes involving the distribution of intellectual property.  Kamin previously served as President and CEO of Bet Tzedek Legal Services from 2003 to 2010, a leading legal non-profit organization, and has continued this commitment to pro bono work in his capacity as Vice Chair of Covington’s Public Service Committee and as lead counsel on a number of significant pro bono matters.  He served as the chair of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and is currently on the Board of Commissioners of the LA Homeless Services Authority. Kamin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UC Berkeley, and cum laude from Harvard Law School. Please RSVP here to guarantee lunch will be ordered for you. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Professor Elizabeth Loftus

Elizabeth Loftus is Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine. She holds positions in the Departments of Psychology & Social Behavior, and Criminology, Law & Society, and one of the founding faculty members of the School of Law.  Loftus received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Psychology from UCLA, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Since then, she has published 23 books and over 500 scientific articles. Her 4th book, Eyewitness Testimony, won a National Media Award (Distinguished Contribution) from the American Psychological Foundation.  Loftus has been an expert witness or consultant in hundreds of cases, including the McMartin PreSchool Molestation case, the Hillside Strangler, the Abscam cases, the trial of Oliver North, the trial of the officers accused in the Rodney King beating, the Menendez brothers, the Bosnian War trials in the Hague, the Oklahoma Bombing case, and litigation involving Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, and the Duke University Lacrosse players.  Her research focuses on human memory, eyewitness testimony and also on courtroom procedure.  Please RSVP by February 12 to guarantee lunch will be ordered for you.

Thursday, February 22, 2018
Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford

Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford received his BA from UC Berkeley and his JD from UCLA Law, where he was editor of the Law Review. After law school, Mr. Watford clerked for  Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, and then for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Following his clerkships, he served as an associate at Munger, Tolles and Olson for a year before joining the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.   After the US Attorney’ Office, Watford worked for a year at Sidley & Austin’s Los Angeles office.  He returned to Munger, Tolles, where he focused on appellate litigation in areas such as intellectual property, securities, business contracts, antitrust, products liability, and employment law.  While in private practice Watford maintained a large pro-bono practice; he co-authored 20 Supreme Court briefs. He was among the attorneys who represented numerous civil rights groups—including the ACLU, MALDEF, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Asian American Justice Center—in their amicus brief supporting respondents who challenged Arizona S.B. 1070, a controversial law that gave state police officers the right to stop and arrest people believed to be illegal immigrants.  Watford also co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of doctors, clinical ethicists, and other medical professionals in support of death row inmates who challenged Kentucky’s lethal injection protocol. Please RSVP by February 20 to guarantee lunch will be ordered for you. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Derwyn Bunton, Chief District Defender New Orleans

Derwyn Bunton is the Chief District Defender New Orleans, leading the Orleans Public Defenders Office. Prior to becoming Chief Defender, Derwyn was the Executive Director of Juvenile Regional Services, the first stand-alone juvenile defender office in the nation and the first non-profit law office devoted to juvenile justice reform and front-line juvenile representation. Derwyn is also the former Associate Director of the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, a nonprofit juvenile justice reform and advocacy organization. From 2000 to 2005, Derwyn aided in monitoring the settlement agreement between the United States Department of Justice, the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, private plaintiffs and the State of Louisiana regarding Louisiana’s juvenile prisons. Derwyn was part of the litigation team that sued Louisiana over the conditions of its juvenile prisons. During Hurricane Katrina, Derwyn was part of a team of advocates and lawyers assisting the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice and the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections locate and reunite youth and adults evacuated to multiple DOC facilities across the state after being trapped by floodwaters in the Orleans Parish Prison in the wake of Katrina. In 2007, Derwyn was part of a team of lawyers representing the so-called Jena 6 in Jena, Louisiana. Originally charged with attempted murder, Derwyn’s client pled guilty to a misdemeanor and received 7 days probation. His conviction has since been expunged. Derwyn earned his BA in Political Science from San Diego State, and his J.D. from NYU School of Law. Please RSVP by February 26 to guarantee lunch.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 (EDU 1131)
Gail Migdal Title, Esq.

Gail Migdal Title became a mediator after an illustrious career as a litigator handling a broad range of disputes. As a managing partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman she handled a diverse portfolio that included entertainment law (film, television, music and video), technology, fashion, publishing, manufacturing, hospitality, and residential and commercial real estate cases.  In addition to her work with ADR Services, Inc., Ms. Title serves on the mediation panel of the United States District Court, Central District, and previously served on the mediation panel of the Los Angeles Superior Court.  She received her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law. Please RSVP by March 11 to guarantee lunch will be ordered for you. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 
Anne Brafford, Chair of the ABA's Attorney Well-Being Committee

According to the ABA, by graduation a law student is nearly four times more likely to develop depression or other mental health issues than peers not in law school. In conjunction with National Law Student Mental Health Day (March 28), UCI Law’s new Mental Health in Law Society  is co-sponsoring a Speaker Series talk by Anne Brafford, Chair of the ABA’s Attorney Well-Being Committee and a member of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. Ms. Brafford left her job as an equity partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in 2014 after 18 years of practice to focus on thriving in the legal profession.  She earned her Master’s in Applied Positive Psychology from U Penn and is currently earning her PhD in positive organizational psychology at Claremont Graduate University. Ms. Brafford is the author of the ABA’s “The Path to Lawyer Well-Being:  Practical Recommendations for Positive Change.” Please RSVP by March 19 to guarantee lunch will be ordered for you. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Catherine E. Lhamon, Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Catherine E. Lhamon is the Chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. President Obama appointed Lhamon to a six-year term on the Commission on December 15, 2016. Lhamon also litigates civil rights cases at the National Center for Youth Law, where she has been Of Counsel since October 2017. Before coming to the Commission, Lhamon served as the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education until January 2017. Immediately prior to joining the Department of Education, Lhamon was director of impact litigation at Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. Before that, she practiced for a decade at the ACLU of Southern California, ultimately as assistant legal director. Earlier in her career, Lhamon was a teaching fellow and supervising attorney in the Appellate Litigation Program at Georgetown University Law Center, after In 2016, Politico Magazine named Lhamon one of Politico 50 Thinkers Transforming Politics and the National Action Network honored Lhamon with their Action & Authority Award. In 2015, Yale Law School named Lhamon their Gruber Distinguished Lecturer and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities awarded Lhamon their Special Recognition Award. Chronicle of Higher Education named Lhamon to their 2014 Influence List as the Enforcer. The Daily Journal listed her as one of California’s Top Women Litigators in 2010 and 2007, and as one of the Top 20 California Lawyers Under 40 in 2007. In 2004, California Lawyer magazine named Lhamon Attorney of the Year for Civil Rights. Lhamon received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was the Outstanding Woman Law Graduate, and she graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College.  After law school she clerked for 9th Circuit Judge William A. Norris. Please RSVP  by March 27 to guarantee lunch. 

Monday, April 9, 2018
Prof. Richard Hasen - Book Discussion

Prof. Rick Hasen will discuss his new book, The Justice of Contradictions (Yale University Press). The book explores the many contradictions of Justice Antonin Scalia.  Please RSVP here by April 6 to guarantee lunch will be ordered for you. Livestream here >