Board Members

John R. Cuti
Bruce Green
James B. Kobak, Chair
Omari L. R. Mason
Rohan Pavuluri
Ellen J. Rosenthal
William T. Russell, Jr.
Lauren Shy
David C. Singer
Amanda Smith
Julie Chi-hye Suk
Peter W. Tomlinson, Treasurer
Julie A. Turner
David Udell, Executive Director

Emeriti Directors

Brenna DeVaney
Faith E. Gay
Toby Golick, Secretary (2011-17)
Judy Mogul
Burt Neuborne
Hon. George Bundy Smith, Founding Chair (2011-12)
Stephen Zack, Former Chair (2013-14)

Biographies

John R. Cuti

John R. Cuti is a partner at Cuti Hecker Wang LLP, a litigation firm that handles a wide variety of commercial litigation, criminal matters, and civil rights cases, including those involvinmg employment discrimination and retaliation, election law, housing, labor, First Amendment, and children's rights, religious liberties, police misconduct, and prisoners' rights. Prior to helping to found the firm, John was a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine and Emery Cuti Brinckerhoff & Abady.  He also served as the General Counsel to two public companies, including Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.; was a long-time trustee of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (a community-based public defender); and has been honored by Common Cause for his efforts to improve access to the ballot, and by Legal Information for Families Today for his efforts to improve access to the courts.

Bruce A. Green

Bruce A. Green, the Louis Stein Chair at Fordham Law School, directs the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics. He teaches and writes primarily in the areas of legal ethics and criminal law, and is involved in various bar association activities. Currently, Professor Green chairs the NYC Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics and the ABA Criminal Justice Standards Committee, serves on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination drafting committee, and is a member and past chair of the NY State Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics. He previously chaired the ABA Criminal Justice Section, served on the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, was the Reporter to both the ABA Task Force on Attorney-Client Privilege and the ABA Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice, and co-chaired the ethics committee of the ABA Litigation Section and Criminal Justice Section. Since joining the Fordham faculty in 1987, Professor Green has engaged in various part-time public service, including as a member of the NYC Conflicts of Interest Board, as a member of the attorney disciplinary committee in Manhattan, as Associate Counsel in the office of the Iran/Contra prosecutor, and as a consultant and special investigator for the NYS Commission on Government Integrity. Previously, Professor Green was a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, where he served as Chief Appellate Attorney, and he was a judicial law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall and Circuit Judge James L. Oakes. In May 2018, Professor Green received the Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award, given by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility.

James B. Kobak [Chair]

James B. Kobak, Jr, a Hughes Hubbard & Reed partner for 35 years, has had a long and varied career. He currently serves as lead counsel to the trustee for the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) liquidations of Lehman Brothers Inc. and MF Global Inc., and has served in similar roles for other liquidations almost from the inception of the SIPA statute. Jim litigates in many forums at every level, including state and federal courts, from Bankruptcy Court to the Supreme Court of the United States, as well as arbitral bodies. He has lectured and written widely, particularly on antitrust and intellectual property matters, has taught substantive antitrust and intellectual property courses at leading law schools for nearly two decades, and is a former president of the New York County Lawyers' Association.

Omari L. R. Mason

Omari Mason is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.  Mr. Mason serves as one of JPMorgan’s in-house attorneys working across several of JPMorgan’s lines of business to handle complex civil litigations and arbitrations pending across the United States.  Prior to joining JPMorgan, Mr. Mason was a litigation associate in the New York office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where he primarily focused on antitrust litigation, securities litigation, insurance litigation, and merger and acquisition litigation.  Mr. Mason was involved in various pro bono and diversity initiatives while at Simpson Thacher.  He continues his commitment to these efforts in his new role at JPMorgan.  Mr. Mason also previously sat on the Legal Services NYC’s Advisory Board and the Puerto Rican Family Institute Board.  Mr. Mason is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York and is admitted to practice before the Southern and Eastern District Courts of New York.  He received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 2009, where he was a Note Editor of the Cornell Law Review and recipient of various CALI Excellence for the Future Awards.

Rohan Pavuluri

Rohan Pavuluri is the CEO and co-founder of Upsolve, a nonprofit that helps low-income families file Chapter 7 bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Upsolve has relieved over $200 million in debt and is America's largest consumer bankruptcy nonprofit. In 2020, Fast Company named Upsolve one of the top 10 most innovative nonprofits of the year and Pavuluri has been named Forbes 30 under 30. Pavuluri is also a member of the Emerging Leaders Council of the Legal Services Corporation, which gives out $400 million each year to legal services nonprofits, and a committee member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Making Justice Accessible project. He has an AB from Harvard College, where he studied statistics.

Ellen J. Rosenthal 

Ellen Rosenthal is an attorney with varied legal experience including healthcare law, criminal law, and corporate legal operations. Ellen is Counsel to MediSys Health Network, the parent of several hospitals and a network of related healthcare entities. Before that, Ellen was Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Strategy and Operations at Pfizer and Chief Counsel of the Pfizer Legal Alliance, the company’s industry-leading alternative-fee model. At Pfizer, Ellen led a signature project to increase access to justice. Before joining Pfizer, Ellen worked in the General Counsel’s office of Mount Sinai Medical Center and also worked as a prosecutor responsible for sex crimes and racketeering cases. Ms. Rosenthal also spent time in private practice. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University with Highest Honors and earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School where she was a Charles Evans Hughes Scholar. She currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University, the New York City Bar Justice Center, and the New Perimeter global pro bono program. Ellen was named a Woman of Power and Influence by NOW in 2013.

William T. Russell, Jr.

William T. Russell, Jr., partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in the firm’s Litigation Department, is co-chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, a member of the American Law Institute, former Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Pro Bono and Legal Services, a member of the Association’s delegation to the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates and chair of the Association’s Committee on Legal Services Awards, Chairman of the Board of Manhattan Legal Services, a member of the Advisory Board of Legal Outreach, Inc., a member of the New York State Bar Association’s President’s Committee on Access to Justice and a member of Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's Attorney Emeritus Council.  He also currently serves on the Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department and was selected as a David Rockefeller Fellow for 2000-2001.  He represented the Campaign for Fiscal Equity in its successful constitutional challenge to the public education funding system in New York State.  He is a graduate of Princeton University and New York University School of Law and is admitted to practice before the Southern, Eastern and Northern District Courts of New York, the United States District of Arizona, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the United States Supreme Court.

Lauren Shy

Lauren Shy is a Senior Director and the Global Head, Legal Operations at PepsiCo, Inc. where she supports the General Counsel in the strategic planning and execution of key capability, operational and communication initiatives related to the global Law and Compliance & Ethics functions.  Prior to assuming her current role, Lauren was the primary lawyer for the company’s Global eCommerce function. In previous roles she served as PepsiCo’s first Chief Privacy Officer as well as a member of the Global Compliance and Ethics team. Before joining PepsiCo, Lauren spent over 11 years with Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP, most recently as the firm’s Assistant (Deputy) General Counsel. In this role she helped establish the firm's Office of General Counsel and supported various corporate, compliance and regulatory matters including data privacy. Lauren is a past member of the NYC Bar Association Standing Committees on Information Technology Law, Consumer Affairs and Professional Responsibility, and the IAPP’s Women Leading Privacy Advisory Board. Lauren received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

David C. Singer

David Singer, of SingerADR Neutral Services, is a arbitrator and mediator, who for 37 years, practiced law as a civil trial attorney and advisor to large and small businesses and individuals, specializing in commercial, business, employment, real estate and international matters before federal and state courts, government agencies, arbitration tribunals and mediation forums. David's commercial litigation has included serving as lead trial counsel for (a) major manufacturer and distributor defending breach of contract and unfair trade practices claims in Massachusetts federal court (jury verdict for client and award of counterclaims); (b) national tax services provider defending fraud and breach of contract claims in New Jersey State Court (jury verdict for client); (c) Liquidator of financial assets in Hong Kong defending breach of ISDA Master Agreement in New York federal court (favorably settled); (d) investment consultant defending breach of commodities contract, fiduciary duty, securities and commodities-related claims (partial summary judgment granted, affirmed on appeal, successful bench trial of remaining claims). David's employment litigation has included serving as lead trial counsel for major electronics manufacturer and distributor defending (a) employment discrimination, whistleblower, retaliation and unlawful termination claims in Michigan federal court (summary judgment in favor of client); (b) age discrimination claims before NYS Division of Human Rights (decision in favor of client); (c) employment discrimination cases involving age, race, national origin, gender, disability, sexual harassment, sexual orientation. David's international experience has included serving as lead arbitration counsel for (a) Brazilian technology company in Stockholm Chamber of Commerce arbitration, defending claims brought by Chinese entity of failure to produce high-tech sensors that conformed to specifications and asserting counterclaims for theft of computer software and related technology (following evidentiary hearing in London, favorable defense of claims and award of counterclaims); (b) British pension fund in ICC arbitration, defending claims of breach of stock purchase agreement.

Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith is Associate Talent & Pro Bono Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. In this role, Amanda is responsible for recruiting, retention and professional development of the law firm’s associates and oversees Morgan Lewis’s extensive, award-winning pro bono practice, working to advance the quality of pro bono opportunities for the firm’s lawyers and the effectiveness and impact of the firm's pro bono representations. Amanda leads the Morgan Lewis Associate Talent Team, which includes the firm’s senior pro bono counsel and the directors of attorney recruiting, professional development, and diversity. Amanda joined Morgan Lewis in 2003 with a practice focused on appellate litigation. In 2004, she was selected to serve as Morgan Lewis’s first pro bono counsel, and in 2008, she was named pro bono partner. Complementing her advanced degree in international human rights law, Amanda’s pro bono practice has historically focused on human rights litigation under the Alien Tort Statute. Amanda also leads the firm’s veterans law pro bono practice—which is recognized throughout the United States—providing legal assistance and strategic advice on veterans legal rights to many nonprofit organizations. In addition to serving on NCAJ's board, Amanda is a board member for the National Veterans Legal Services Program and she serves on the Emeritus Council of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, a national organization she co-founded in 2006. She is a frequent panelist at the Pro Bono Institute and Equal Justice Conferences. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Cardozo Law School where she has taught a course on the private bar response to the access to justice crisis.

Julie Chi-hye Suk

Julie Chi-hye Suk is dean for master’s programs and professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Suk is a scholar of comparative law and society, with a focus on women in comparative constitutional law. She is most known for her recent work on renewed efforts to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, in light of the theory and practice of gender equality provisions in constitutions around the world. Her dozens of articles and book chapters address the potential and limits of antidiscrimination law as a tool for eradicating social inequality. Representative publications include "Feminist Constitutionalism and the Entrenchment of Motherhood" (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society 2018); "An Equal Rights Amendment for the Twenty-First Century: Bringing Global Constitutionalism Home" (Yale Journal of Law & Feminism 2017); and "Are Gender Stereotypes Bad for Women? Rethinking Antidiscrimination Law and Work-Family Conflict” (Columbia Law Review 2010). Prior to joining The Graduate Center, Dr. Suk was a law professor for 13 years at Cardozo Law School in New York, with visiting professorships at Harvard University, Columbia University, University of Chicago, and UCLA. She has lectured widely in the United States and Europe, and has been a visiting fellow at the European University Institute in Florence and LUISS-Guido Carli in Rome. In addition to master’s and doctoral degrees in politics from Oxford University, she holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and an A.B. in English and French Literature from Harvard University. She has brought her interdisciplinary background and professional school experience to strengthen master’s education at The Graduate Center.

Peter W. Tomlinson [Treasurer]

Peter W. Tomlinson, partner at the law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, is a member of the litigation department and concentrates his practice in complex financial litigation, law firm defense, and internal investigations.  Mr. Tomlinson is one of two partners at the firm in charge of the VOLS Metropolitan Hospital Children's Project, which provides pro bono legal services to pediatric patients facing legal challenges that affect their health.  He is also a member of the firm's Pro Bono Committee, which plays an important role in overseeing the firm's significant pro bono work.  The firm has received numerous awards for its outstanding pro bono contributions to New York's neediest.  In addition, Mr. Tomlinson served as the secretary of the International Human Rights Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York from 2001 to 2004, and in that role, he participated in a fact-finding mission in Indonesia to investigate the killings of human rights defenders from the Aceh region and co-authored a report detailing the mission's findings, which was published in The Record.  Euromoney / Institutional Investor's Benchmark: America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys lists Mr. Tomlinson as a "Litigation Star" for New York.  Mr. Tomlinson served as a law clerk to both the Hon. Raymond J. Dearie, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and the Hon. Will Garwood, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Julie A. Turner

Julie Turner, Firm Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Skadden Arps, focuses on handling professional responsibility and risk management matters for the firm. Ms. Turner advises the firm’s lawyers and personnel on issues involving ethics, firm policies, conflicts, hiring, internal controls and compliance. Prior to serving in this role, Ms. Turner practiced in Skadden’s Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime Group, where she conducted internal corporate investigations, advised corporate clients on compliance issues, and represented individual and corporate clients in federal and state criminal and regulatory matters, including those brought by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and state attorneys general. Ms. Turner serves on the board of The Legal Aid Society’s New Leadership Program and she received the 2009 Commitment to Justice Award from inMotion for her pro bono work. Additionally, she is a member of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the New York City Bar Association. Ms. Turner is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law.

David Udell [Executive Director]

David Udell is the Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Access to Justice at Fordham Law School, a research and policy advocacy organization that works with data to expand justice in the United States. David leads all of NCAJ’s justice system reform initiatives, including the Justice Index, promoting adoption of best polices for access to justice, including best policies for controlling governmental reliance on fines and fees; the A2J Initiative and A2J Summit Collection, publishing articles from leading reformers on the civil justice reform movement; the Outcomes Guide, endorsing best practices in tracking outcomes data for civil legal aid providers and funders; and a National Science Foundation Workshop on Access to Justice, engaging social scientists from diverse disciplines to expand the field of civil justice research. David is a co-director of the school-wide A2J Initiative at Fordham Law School, where he also teaches the Access to Justice Seminar. He is a member of advisory boards of, respectively, the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, Voices for Civil Justice, and the Justice Center of the New York County Lawyers’ Association. He is a former member of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Committee on Pro Bono and Legal Services. He was the Founder and Executive Director of the Justice Program of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, a Senior Attorney at Legal Services for the Elderly (NYC); and a Managing Attorney at Mobilization for Justice (NYC). He is a graduate of NYU Law School.

 

Board Emeriti

Brenna DeVaney

Brenna DeVaney, pro bono Counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, coordinates the firm’s pro bono efforts in the New York office. Her practice focuses on representing low-income individuals, including women in family law matters who have been the victims of domestic violence. She also is involved with the Skadden Honors Program in Legal Studies at The City College of New York, part of the firm’s effort to increase diversity in law schools and the legal profession.  In 2011, Ms. DeVaney was honored by Sanctuary for Families with its Above and Beyond Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Advocacy. She also was recognized by The Legal Aid Society as one of the recipients of the 2011 Pro Bono Publico Awards for her outstanding service and leadership to develop pro bono best practices and to expand access to justice for low-income New Yorkers. She also has been the recipient of the New York Family Court Volunteer Attorney Program Pro Bono Service Award on multiple occasions.  Prior to the her role as the firm’s first pro bono associate, Ms. DeVaney was a member of the Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime Group, where she represented individual and corporate clients in federal and state criminal and regulatory matters and conducted internal corporate investigations.

Faith E. Gay

Faith E. Gay, partner at Quinn Emmanuel Urquehart & Sullivan, is Co-Chair of the Firm's National Trial Practice Group. She has been repeatedly recognized as one of the leading trial and appellate lawyers in the United States by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Corporate Counsel and Super Lawyers. Prior to entering private practice, she was Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Unit and the Civil Rights Division while serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. She was twice awarded the Director's Award for Special Achievement in Trial Litigation by the Attorney General of the United States. Ms. Gay has broad courtroom experience with more than 25 trials and 30 appellate arguments to her credit. Her practice is focused upon complex civil litigation and corporate governance/white collar matters. Ms. Gay's principal clients include Coca-Cola, Colgate, Home Depot, McDonald's, Morgan Stanley, Motorola, Nuance, Pfizer, Schwab and Wyeth. In recent years, Ms. Gay's civil matters - in which she has an undefeated record at trial - have focused in the areas of securities litigation, complex contractual and financing disputes, products liability, intellectual property and Alien Tort Statute claims. In the white collar arena, she has represented corporations and individuals in investigations by the SEC, FINRA, DOJ, FDA, IRS, EPA, DOD and numerous attorneys general. Ms. Gay's SEC/FINRA experience includes OFAC and FCPA compliance and investigations; reporting and accounting issues involving registration, exemptions, proxy statements, private offerings, and related books and records requirements; options backdating; and investment-related distribution and advertising issues. She has also led internal investigations at the request of corporations, boards of directors, and special committees. No corporation or individual that Ms. Gay has represented while under investigation has ever been indicted. Ms. Gay has also devoted significant time and energy to public interest litigation. By way of example, she successfully defended a constitutional amendment establishing a state minimum wage before the Florida Supreme Court. She also recently represented New York Governor David Patterson in a victory the New York Times called "stunning" in upholding the appointment of Richard Ravitch as Lieutenant Governor. More generally, she has litigated numerous white collar, immigration and housing court matters on a pro bono basis during her 20+ year career.

Toby Golick [Former Secretary 2011 - 2017]

Toby Golick, Clinical Professor of Law, Director of Clinical Legal Education, and Founding Director, Bet Tzedek Legal Services Clinic, is a nationally prominent legal services leader and a member of the faculty of Cardozo School of Law.  Through the Bet Zedek Legal Services Clinic she directs the representation of elderly and disabled New York residents in a range of civil legal matters.  As a senior attorney for 10 years at Legal Services for the Elderly in New York City, she litigated nationally significant cases involving the rights of the elderly and disabled. She is a frequent lecturer on public benefits issues and on health law issues concerning the poor, and is the author of Justice Scalia, Poverty and the Good Society, 12 Cardozo Law Review 1817 (1990-1991).

Burt Neuborne

Burt Neuborne, nationally renowned scholar, Inez Milholland Professor of Civil Liberties at NYU School of Law (where he has taught since 1974) and Legal Director of the Brennan Center for Justice, has litigated a wide range of landmark cases in the U. S. Supreme Court and other federal and state courts. He has authored or co-authored four books, including The Rights of Candidates and Voters and two volumes of Political and Civil Rights in the United States, as well as seventeen law review articles that touch on a wide range of topics including free speech, legal theory, separation of powers, legal procedure, and comparative law.  He presented plaintiffs’ constitutional claims in Legal Services Corporation v. Velazquez to the U.S. Supreme Court, successfully overturning a funding restriction that had barred legal services lawyers from challenging welfare reform laws when representing people seeking welfare benefits.

Hon. George Bundy Smith [Founding Chair 2011 - 2012]

Hon. George Bundy Smith, served on the New York Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court), served for 14 years, from 1992 until his retirement in September 2006.  From 1987 until 1992, he was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, and, from 1980 to 1986, was a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.  His judicial service began in May 1975 when he was named to the Civil Court of New York City.  Judge Smith has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University Law School since 1981 and served at New York Law School in 2001. Earlier in his career, Judge Smith worked as an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. He later became a judicial law secretary in the New York state courts, and from 1974 to 1975 was the administrator of New York City’s Model Cities Program.  He has also been involved in a variety of community and professional activities, including service as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Grace Congregational Church and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Harlem Dowling – Westside Center for Children and Family Services.  Judge Smith is Chair of the Justice Advisory Board of the New York County Lawyers Association and is also a member of the board of directors of the Fund for Modern Courts.

Stephen Zack [Former Chair 2013 - 2014]

Stephen Zack, Administrative Partner for Boies Schiller & Flexner's Miami office,  is a former President of the American Bar Association and was the first Hispanic American to assume the ABA Presidency. Mr. Zack was the first Hispanic American and youngest President of the Florida Bar. He has also served as President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents and as the Chair of the ABA's House of Delegates - one of the nation's most influential positions on matters relating to the legal profession. He is a member of the ABA International Law Section and has served on the ABA Board of Governors. Mr. Zack's main practice area is complex commercial litigation, emphasizing class actions, products liability cases and federal multi-district litigation. He is a specialist in civil trial law, as well as eminent domain, corporate and international law.  Mr. Zack has represented: Florida's former Governor and U.S. Senator, Bob Graham as General Counsel; the Florida Senate; the Florida Department of Professional Regulation; the Cities of Hollywood, Hialeah, Miami Beach, Miami and numerous other national clients such as Philip Morris and National Geographic Society. In 2000, he represented former Vice President Al Gore in the trial of Bush v. Gore.

Among many other accomplishments, Mr. Zack is the current chair of the board of the ABA's Rule of Law Initiative. He has served as Chair of the Florida Ethics Committee and was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles to re-write the Florida Constitution as a member of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission. In November 2009, Mr. Zack was selected by the University of Florida to receive the distinguished Alumnus Award, an award given to those who have excelled in their chosen field. Mr. Zack has also served as a member of the following organizations: the Miami Beach Charter Revision Commission (Chair), the Environmental Review Board of the City of Miami (Chair), the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission for the Southern District of Florida as well as the 11th Circuit (Miami-Dade County) Judicial Nominating Commission, the American Bar Association, the American Judicature Society, Florida Bar Foundation, and Cuban American National Council. The Board of Trustees of the Public Health Trust for Jackson Memorial Hospital and Dade County and is on the Board of Directors of the Florida Children's Coalition and the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida.