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Adjunct Faculty

In addition to our full-time faculty, we are privileged to have a number of our courses taught by our own emeritus law professors, visitors who may be professors from other law schools or distinguished practitioners in residence, and adjunct professors--full-time practitioners who teach a course in their area of expertise.

Matthew Ahn joined the CSU|LAW faculty for the 2021-22 school year as a Visiting Professor of Law. His research focuses on the ways in which judicial discretion is embedded in procedural rules and the manner in which those rules affect judges’ usage of that discretion. Most recently, he worked at the Federal Public Defender’s Office, representing defendants charged with a wide range of federal crimes. As an appellate specialist, he brought a series of appeals in front of the Sixth Circuit during the COVID-19 pandemic that expanded the scope of federal compassionate release motions within the circuit. Following a stint at a state appellate public defender’s office in New York City after law school, he clerked for Judge Lawrence E. Kahn of the Northern District of New York and Judge Jane R. Roth of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He also worked at a plaintiffs’ side special education nonprofit in New York City, litigating and trying tuition and placement actions under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

Susan M. Audey teaches Advanced Brief Writing. She is Counsel in the Cleveland office of Tucker Ellis & West LLP. She practices in the area of general litigation, and primarily focuses on appellate matters. She is one of only 17 attorneys in Ohio certified as an appellate specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association. Ms. Audey received her B.A., M.A. and J.D. degrees from Cleveland State University. After graduating from CSU College of Law in 1993, Ms. Audey clerked for the Honorable Timothy E. McMonagle and the Honorable John T. Patton, both of the Ohio Court of Appeals, Eighth District. She also served as a magistrate in the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division. She is admitted to practice in Ohio state and federal courts, and the United States Supreme Court.

I assist clients in understanding federal and state laws and regulations relating to health care matters. In particular, I assist clients navigate data privacy, cybersecurity, health information management, drugs and medical device, FDA, clinical trials, Medicare, Medicaid, fraud, waste and abuse regulations. In doing so, I provide guidance and legal analysis in order to comply with the laws and to implement reasonable business practices. I also guide clients through the creation, implementation and maintenance of the critical elements of an effective compliance program, coupled with risk assessments and risk management. In addition, I assist clients by drafting and negotiating critical agreements. I am Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance.

Mark Bennett teaches Advanced Brief Writing. He is an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the N.D. of Ohio.He earned his B.A. at Baldwin Wallace College and his J.D. at Cleveland State University.

Jeff Biller is an Associate Professor of Cyber Law and Policy with CyberWorx, a division of the Office of Research at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Through partnerships with government, academia, and industry, CyberWorx develops innovative solutions to the Department of the Air Force’s most complex problems. He is also the deputy director of USAFA's Law, Technology, and Warfare Research Cell. Jeff teaches in USAFA's Departments of Law and Political Science, focusing on military uses of cyber, space, and emerging technologies.

Jeff is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, where he served over twenty years as a SERE Instructor, Intelligence Officer, and Judge Advocate. He finished his active-duty service as the Director for the Law of Armed Conflict at the Stockton Center for International Law, part of the US Naval War College. He also served as an advisor to the Air Force's operational cyberspace wings and its component to the Intelligence Community. 

An accomplished writer, Jeff has published several peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters in the U.S. and internationally. Additionally, he has organized and presented at conferences and workshops globally.

Elizabeth Bonham teaches Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Law as an adjunct at the law school. Elizabeth is a civil rights litigator at the Ohio law firm Friedman, Gilbert, + Gerhardstein. She works for people who were wrongfully incarcerated and who were otherwise abused or killed at the hands of police and other state actors. Prior to joining FG+G, Elizabeth was a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. There, she litigated complex civil rights cases to advance voting rights, LGBTQ equality, race and gender equality, abortion access, First Amendment rights, disability justice, and criminal justice reform, including in police misconduct and immigrant detention. Elizabeth has also served as a judicial law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in Columbus. Elizabeth has written and spoken about fighting abuses of political protestors and incarcerated people to national and international audiences. She has served on the boards of local service and advocacy groups including LegalWorks and the Fair Housing Center. She currently manages an urban farm on the west side of

Jason R. Bristol teaches a course on the Fair Labor Standards Act and taught Advanced Brief Writing/Appellate Advocacy for many years. Mr. Bristol is a Partner in the Cleveland law firm of Cohen Rosenthal & Kramer LLP. His broad experience as a litigator includes numerous state and national class actions involving employee benefits, consumer fraud, subprime mortgage devastation, and environmental contamination. In addition, Mr. Bristol devotes a significant portion of his practice to federal and state wage and hour litigation. In this capacity he has represented thousands of employees in class, collective, and hybrid actions. In 2007, he was named Plaintiff’s Complex Litigation and Class Action Counsel to the State of Ohio. He received his B.A. from Bowling Green University and his J.D. from Cleveland State.

Peter A. Carfagna teaches a variety of courses in the area of Sports & the Law, including development and participation in the Summer Sports & Entertainment Law Academy. He is Chairman/CEO of Magis, LLC, a privately owned sports marketing, management, and investment company, and is current majority owner of the Lake County Captains. He is the former IMG chief legal officer / general counsel who led the company’s 20-plus attorney worldwide legal department while reporting directly to IMG founder Mark McCormack. Carfagna is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, and Rhodes Scholar who formerly served as Elected Director of the Harvard Alumni Association and Association of American Rhodes Scholars. He has served the HAA as a Member of the Nominating Committee for the Harvard University Board of Overseers. Carfagna was previously a senior partner at Jones Day, during which time he worked as outside counsel to the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers’ ownership groups.

Luis Carrion is an attorney with the IP firm Renner, Otto, Boiselle & Sklar. A licensed engineer, he has handled patent matters in the fields of telecommunication systems, uninterruptible (data center and telco) power supplies, fluorescent lighting and ballasts, digital signal processing, audio signal processing, welding equipment, audience response systems, computer programs, software-based control systems, electrical circuits, optical devices, computer hardware, remote monitoring, and mechanical assemblies. A graduate of The Ohio State University and Cleveland State College of Law, he teaches Legal Drafting: Patent Prepartion at CSU College of Law.

Terence Check teaches Introduction to Homeland Security Law as part of the College's cybersecurity-related course offerings. Terence is Senior Counsel for Infrastructure Security at the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In his role as Senior Counsel, Terence advises senior career and political leadership of CISA and the Department of Homeland Security on a range of constitutional, national security, and administrative law issues. His practice includes advising the Federal School Safety Clearinghouse (, the Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII) Program, and CISA's International Affairs office. Prior to working at CISA, Terence was an attorney in the Department of Homeland Security's Office of General Counsel where he advised on operational law issues. Terence graduated in 2015 from the American University Washington College of Law with his LL.M in Law & Government, specializing in national security law and policy. Terence is also a proud alumnus of Cleveland State University earning his J.D. magna cum laude (2014) and his B.A. in History, where he was recognized as a University Scholar (2011). Terence was also Editor-in-Chief of the Cleveland State Law Review (2013-2014) and currently sits on the National Advisory Board for CSU's Center for Cybersecurity and Privacy Protection.

Jed Chedid co-teaches the Trial Advocacy courses with Julian Emerson, Partner at Reminger Co., LPA. Mr. Chedid is a litigation associate at Reminger Co., LPA, and focuses his practice on the defense of attorneys, accountants, broker-dealers, individual stock brokers, investment advisors, and insurance agents in Ohio courts and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Jed Chedid graduated from Cleveland State University in 2018 and from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2021. 

Erika Cunliffe has taught two “pop-up practicum” courses at the College of Law. The classes were aimed at providing students a broad range of practical experience within the criminal justice system from the defense prospective. Her most recent class focused on the parole process, where the students actively and successfully assisted in representing an inmate before the Ohio Parole Board. A 17-year veteran and supervisor of the Cuyahoga County Public Defenders Office’s Appellate/Post-Conviction Unit, she has practiced largely criminal law for more than 30 years in Ohio and Illinois. 

Professor Paul B. Daiker grew up in Oxford, Ohio and is a 1990 Graduate of Vanderbilt University and a 1993 Graduate of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where he was an Associate Editor of the Law Review.  Paul’s sister Pamela Daiker-Middaugh is a long-time Professor here.  In 2019, Paul founded his own law practice, Paul Daiker Law, LLC.  Paul previously was a Partner at the law firm, Zukerman, Daiker & Lear Co., L.P.A., for more than 25 years.  During his time in the legal profession, Paul has concentrated primarily upon Criminal Defense, although he was the prosecutor from 1996 to 2000 for the Village of Moreland Hills, which feeds into the Bedford Municipal Court.  Paul also handles a large amount of Domestic Relations cases, handling many domestic violence allegations and protection order cases from both sides.  Paul was named by Best Lawyers as Lawyer of the Year for Cleveland in the area of Criminal Defense: White Collar for 2019 and has consistently recognized by Best Lawyers in the areas of Criminal Defense: White Collar and Family Law.  Paul has also been recognized as a Super Lawyer for thirteen (13) straight years.  Paul is also an Adjunct Professor here at our law school.   Paul has taught 9 semesters here, as he taught Criminal Procedure I in the spring of 2017 and has taught Criminal Procedure II for eight semesters—having paired the past five Springs with Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John J. Russo. 

Marilena DiSilvio became a partner at Elk + Elk in 2014, bringing with her a wealth of experience as a former registered nurse and seasoned trial attorney. Her primary areas of focus include birth injuries, medical negligence, wrongful death, and personal injury. DiSilvio exceptional legal expertise and professionalism have garnered recognition from Super Lawyers Magazine. She has been included in various prestigious lists, such as the Top 50 Women Ohio Super Lawyers from 2010 to 2023, Top 25 Women Cleveland Super Lawyers from 2012 to 2023, Top 50 lawyers in Cleveland from 2012 to 2019, 2021, and 2023 and Top 100 lawyers in Ohio from 2011 to 2019, 2021, and 2023. In addition, she has been acknowledged in the Marquis "Who's Who of American Women." Notably, DiSilvio holds an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, signifying the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. DiSilvio’s dedication to the legal profession extends beyond her practice. In 2013, she was appointed as President of the Ohio Women's Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Ohio Women's Bar Association. Additionally, she served as the Co-Chair of the 2014-15 Leadership Institute. 

Julian Emerson co-teaches the Trial Team Competition course with Jed Chedid. A Partner at Reminger Co., LPA, Julian serves as Chair of Reminger’s Construction Liability practice group.  Julian further handles a very diverse range of matters, including General Casualty and Trucking/Commercial Transportation. Additionally, Julian sits on Reminger’s Management Committee, Law Clerk Hiring Committee, Diversity Committee, Mentoring Committee, and the Reminger Foundation Board. He is a graduate of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law and earned his B.A. at Villanova University. 

Matthew T. Fitzsimmons co-teaches Mediation with Honorable Dan A. Polster. Mr. Fitzsimmons is a partner at Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper, LLC in Cleveland. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1975 with an A.B. in Government, and the University of Dayton School of Law in 1980. From 1980 through 1982 he served as Law Clerk to Chief Justice Frank D. Celebrezze of the Supreme Court of Ohio. Since 1982, he has been engaged in the private practice of law, with a focus in general civil and business/commercial litigation at the trial and appellate levels. His principal practice areas include business, commercial, employment and product liability litigation; health care law; ad valorem property tax litigation; and non-profit organizations. He is admitted to the bars of the Supreme Court of Ohio, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of Ohio, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. 

Gordon Friedman teaches Criminal Procedure I, Felony Sentencing, as well as Capitol Punishment Litigation. He is the founding partner in the law firm of Friedman and Gilbert, where he practices criminal defense in the areas of drug crimes, homicide/murder, white collar crimes, sex crimes, DUI, federal criminal practice and sentencing, tax crimes, fraud, and more. He is presently of counsel to Friedman Gilbert and Gherhardstine. Early in his career, he served as an assistant public defender in Cuyahoga County, and was the founding executive director of the Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland. He received his B.A. at Miami University and his J.D. from George Washington University. 

Ian N. Friedman teaches Cybercrime and has been teaching at CSU College of Law since 2007. Mr. Friedman is the founding partner of Friedman & Nemecek, LLC. His firm specializes in criminal defense matters at the municipal, state, and federal levels. He has been lead counsel in hundreds of jury trials and has represented clients internationally and in various jurisdictions throughout the United States. He is a nationally recognized expert on electronic evidence and lectures across the country on various matters relating to criminal law. He has written several articles and publications on current criminal topics. He graduated from Ohio University and received his J.D. from CSU College of Law in 1997. He has served as President of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the CSU College of Law Alumni Association.

Alex Frondorf teaches Scholarly Writing at CSU College of Law. He received his JD and MPA degrees from Saint Louis University’s School of Law and College of Public Service in 2007 after which he clerked for the Honorable Ann Aldrich and the Honorable Kathleen M. O’Malley, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, before joining Littler Mendelson, where he represents clients on employment law matters. He received his undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University.

David Fusco teaches ERISA. A partner at Schwarzwald McNair & Fusco, a union side labor law firm representing local and international unions, union officers, ERISA governed health and welfare plans and pension plans, VEBAs, and the trustees of such plans, all in a wide variety of fields. He earned his B.A. at George Washington University and his J.D. at Cleveland State University.

Zachariah Germaniuk co-teaches the Community Advocacy Law Clinic alongside Professor Pamela Daiker-Middaugh and has over ten years’ experience in providing legal services to assist urban revitalization efforts throughout Northeast Ohio. Centering urban development as a distinct practice area, Germaniuk works both in and outside the courtroom to improve the quality of life in low-to-moderate income communities. As the Director of Neighborhood Stabilization for Slavic Village Development, Germaniuk helped lead a dramatic stabilization of the Broadway-Slavic Village community. Outside of active practice and teaching, Germaniuk also serves as the co-chair of the Vacant and Abandoned Properties’ Action Council (VAPAC) subcommittee on Investor Activity. Through VAPAC, Germaniuk helped co-author the 2022 research paper “Real Estate Investor Activity in Cuyahoga County, 2004-2020” which has been credited with helping further investment property reform efforts in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County more broadly. In 2022 Germaniuk was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland-Marshall Alumni Association, where he chairs the Association’s Social Justice Committee. Germaniuk graduated from Ohio State University cum laude and received his J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of law in 2012. 

Madelyn J. Grant co-teaches the Cybercrime course with Ian N. Friedman. Ms. Grant is an associate attorney with the law firm of Friedman & Nemecek, LLC where she practices criminal defense with a focus on sexually related offenses and cybercrimes. She has litigated criminal matters throughout the United States and abroad. Her acute knowledge of technology and passion for the criminal justice system provides her clients with a unique and effective approach to combating the most difficult cases. Ms. Grant graduated from the Ohio State University and received her J.D. from Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2018. While at Cleveland-Marshall, Ms. Grant was the chair of the Moot Court Team where she won a national competition and was awarded best oralist overall. She has volunteered as a coach for the Cleveland-Marshall Moot Court Team for the last three years. Ms. Grant is the current Vice President of the Cuyahoga County Defense Lawyers Association and is actively involved with the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

Suzanne K. Hanselman teaches Securities Regulation. She is a Partner at the law firm of Baker Hostetler, a member of the Securities and Corporate Governance Practice Team and is the Business Group Coordinator for the firm’s Cleveland office. Ms. Hanselman represents issuers, investors and underwriters in a variety of financings, including IPOs and other SEC-registered offerings, private placements of debt and equity and venture capital investments.

She earned her B.A. at Miami University and her J.D. at The Ohio State University.

Kenneth “Ken” James teaches Legal Drafting - Special Topics. The course introduces students to principals of complex commercial contract drafting. Prior to his recent retirement, he was General Counsel at GE Lighting, a Savant Company. He has practiced as in-house counsel for over 30 years in several industries including food, lighting products, beverage alcohol, building products and consumer electronics. He has extensive experience working with business partners to structure, negotiate, and successfully complete business transactions with well-drafted documentation. Mr. James graduated from Rutgers University and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He is member of the bars of District of Columbia, New Jersey and Ohio.

Joshua Klarfeld teaches Scholarly Writing and Advanced Brief Writing. Mr. Klarfeld is a partner at Ulmer & Berne in the Product Liability and Complex Business Litigation practice groups. He focuses his practice on product liability litigation and other business disputes, primarily in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Whether in the context of multidistrict or mass tort litigation or in individual cases, he routinely serves as a member of litigation teams in high-profile cases. Mr. Klarfeld manages all stages of litigation proceedings, from pleadings and pre-answer motions to discovery and through appeal. He has briefed and argued dispositive motions and appeals in state and federal courts throughout the country and has conducted mediations in a variety of legal disputes. He also advises clients on recalls in front of federal agencies, including the CPSC and NHTSA.

Mr. Klarfeld received his B.A. in 2002 from Yeshiva University, magna cum laude, and his J.D. from Cleveland State University College of Law in 2005, summa cum laude. He was Editor-in-Chief of the Cleveland State Law Review for 2004-2005. He is the author of several articles, including Chazakah: Judaic Law’s Non-Adverse Possession, 52 Clev. St. L. Rev. 623 (2004-05). Mr. Klarfeld served as a Judicial Extern for Judge Karen Nelson Moore, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. He is admitted to practice in the state of Ohio; the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio; the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; the Eastern District of Michigan; the Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals; and the United States Supreme Court.

Rita Kline is a graduate of Cleveland State University College of Law, where she is now an Adjunct Professor of Law. She teaches Trademark and Unfair Competition Law. While attending law school, she was Managing Editor of the CSU Law Review. She received a B.S. in chemistry from John Carroll University. Rita is a Partner at the intellectual property law firm of Renner Otto. As an experienced trademark attorney, Rita represents a wide range of clients, from start-ups to large international corporations, and counsels clients on all aspects of trademark portfolios, both domestically and abroad. Rita is counsel of record on 100+ U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancellation and opposition proceedings involving the enforcement of trademarks on both the plaintiff and defendant sides. She is admitted to the Ohio Bar, The U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. She is a member and has served in board positions for the Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association and the International Trademark Association.

Glenn Krassen teaches Oil & Gas Law. Mr. Krassen is Of Counsel with BrickerGraydon LLP in its Cleveland office. He has over 40 years of broad oil and gas experience. Mr. Krassen practices in the areas of energy, public utilities, complex energy finance, corporate, and real estate, in addition to oil and gas. He also serves as General Counsel of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, the largest public retail energy aggregation in Ohio, comprised of about 240 Ohio counties, cities and townships.  He earned his B.A. at The George Washington University and his J.D. at The Ohio State University College of Law. Mr. Krassen is or has been listed in Best Lawyers, Chambers USA and Ohio Super Lawyers in the areas of natural resources, energy and utility law.

Pamela D. Kurt is a local attorney and professional women life coach.  She received her Associate Degree at Lakeland Community College before continuing her education at Cleveland State University. There, she received her bachelor's degree in Urban Studies Management, graduating magna cum laude in 2000. She later enrolled in the Cleveland State College of Law's dual degree program, graduating with her master's in Public Administration and Juris Doctorate in December of 2003.  

As a professional, Pam has added several additional certifications and advanced training in the areas of mediation, domestic violence, and guardian ad litem, where she represents children in juvenile delinquency, child abuse, or contested custody cases. As an attorney, her area of practice is in family law and juvenile law. 

Pam is a very active business owner in her community, and as a result, has held multiple leadership roles, including Leader of the Year for Lake County, Leadership Lake County, 2022.  

Through her community involvement and personal passion to empower women, she created a new company Best Version of You, LLC.  This company is to empower and elevate women to their next level and be the best version of themselves.  She is also co authorship to six Best Selling anthologies including Everyday Women Series and Unstoppable Women series.  

Tanya Linetsky is an attorney in private practice focusing exclusively on immigration law. Admitted to practice law in Ohio and New York, Ms. Linetsky represents clients in immigration agencies and federal immigration courts all over the country and in U.S. Consulates overseas. An immigrant herself, Ms. Linetsky passionately represents her clients seeking to change and adjust their statuses while in the U.S., receive visas to enter the U.S., and defends clients in removal (deportation) proceedings. Ms. Linetsky also handles a lot of asylum matters and naturalization applications. She helps families to unite and reside in the United States on a permanent basis. Ms. Linetsky is adjunct clinical professor at the CSU College of Law teaching immigration law. Ms. Linetsky received her BA in Political Science degree from Cleveland State University and her JD degree from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law. 

Tiffany McClaskey teaches Cybersecurity II. Ms. McClaskey is a Cybersecurity Consultant for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and is also an Adjunct Professor for the undergraduate Cyber Forensics program at The University of Akron. As a Cybersecurity Consultant, Tiffany McClaskey has over 5+ years of experience in incident response, tabletop exercises, and cyber-related business continuity. Ms. McClaskey received her B.S. in Computer Information Systems with a specialization in Digital Forensics from The University of Akron and her M.S. in Cybersecurity from Utica University, where she wrote her thesis, titled Tabletop Exercises: Gamification in Cybersecurity.

Stacey L. McKinley teaches Non-Profit Corporations. Director of Planned Giving at Cleveland State University, Ms. McKinley graduated from CSU College of Law in 1997 and was previously Associate Director of Planned Giving at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and an associate at a number of Cleveland law firms. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Northern Ohio Planned Giving Council. Ms. McKinley received a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Michael Montgomery teaches Advanced Brief Writing at CSU College of Law. He is a litigation partner at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, where he serves as both the head of the Firm’s associate training program and a member its hiring committee. Prior to joining Benesch, Mr. Montgomery served as law clerk to both the Honorable James S. Gwin, United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the Honorable Ronald Lee Gilman, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. His practice spans nearly 25 years, during which he has served as both trial and appellate counsel in a broad range of disputes.  Mr. Montgomery has taught advocacy and writing courses at the law-school level for 20 years. He received his B.A. and his J.D. from The Ohio State University. 

As an environmental lawyer for over 30 years, David Nash has negotiated diverse stakeholder interests to achieve real world business and legal solutions. Nash’s legal practice includes environmental issues relating to business and real estate transactions, regulatory matters and legislative matters, environmental litigation, and environmental enforcement actions, advanced energy, emerging technologies, corporate sustainability and climate change. Dave is also a co-founder of Cleveland’s Corporate Sustainability Network. Nash is admitted to practice in the State of Ohio, the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

David Neel teaches Evidence. He received a B.A. from Kenyon College, a J.D. from CSU College of Law and an LL.M from Columbia. He clerked for Honorable Ann Aldrich of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and then went into private practice. He has more than twenty years of experience as a trial attorney: He was at Benesch Friedlander for eight years, Climaco Lefkowitz for a total of eight years, and Duvin Cahn for five years, and now is a solo practitioner.

R. Russell O’Rourke co-teaches the Mediation short course with Mark Young of Roetzel & Andress LPA. Mr. O’Rourke is the principle attorney of Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis and is chair of the Construction Group. His practice focuses on construction and mechanics liens. As legal counsel for The Builders Exchange and Home Builders Association, Russell O’Rourke’s 30+ years of active involvement in construction industry trade associations – understanding both the requirements of the law and the business savvy to successfully operate within the industry—have allowed him to serve in the roles of client and industry advisor, advocate and leader. Mr. O’Rourke graduated from the University of Vermont and received his J.D. from Cleveland State University, CSU College of Law in 1984 and was an editor on the Cleveland State Law Review. He is the author of OHIO Mechanics' Liens and Materialmen's Liens (3d Ed.).

Hon. Dan A. Polster co-teaches a course on Mediation with Matthew Fitzsimmons. Judge Polster earned his B.A. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University. He has served as a trial attorney in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, in the Economic Crimes Unit in the Northern District of Ohio. He was appointed to the federal bench in 1998.

Rhonda Porter currently serves as Chair of the Educational Law Group at Day Ketterer, Ltd., and serves as general legal counsel supporting school districts throughout Ohio. Prior to joining Day Ketterer, Ltd., Rhonda was in-house general counsel for the Akron City School District for eleven years and in-house general counsel to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District for four years.

As general counsel, Rhonda has represented school districts and employees in civil litigation matters involving general tort claims, defamation cases, Section 1983 actions, and cases involving application of Ohio statutory immunity. She litigated labor arbitrations, teacher and administrator termination hearings, student disciplinary suspension and expulsion hearings, special education due process hearings, (recently prevailing in Barney v. Akron Bd. of Education, 6th Cir. No. 17-4116, 2019 WL 919839). She represented districts before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and the Office for Civil Rights. She frequently conducted internal investigations, including allegations of employee misconduct, sexual harassment and discrimination.

As a frequent speaker for the National Business Institute, Rhonda has presented on a multitude of legal issues by examining their specific impact on schools, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Title IX compliance. Her presentations regularly include legal issues involved with teacher terminations, social media, applications and implications of the First Amendment on the free expression of student and employee speech, and examinations of the reasonableness of student and employee searches and student safety.

Rhonda graduated from the CSU College of Law where she was a member of the champion national moot court team and a recipient of the Order of Barristers Award. She received her Master of Education in Music degree from Duquesne University. Prior to law school, she resided and worked in Vienna, Austria as a professional orchestral trumpet player, while also studying at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik and teaching music part-time at the American International School.

Heather Drabek Prendergast is a member of Aljijakli, Kosseff & Prendergast, LLC, a boutique immigration law firm with offices in Cleveland, OH and New York, NY.  Her practice focuses on employment-based immigration for skilled professionals; complex removal defense including trials, appeals, and federal court litigation; family-based immigration; waivers; humanitarian; and naturalization. Ms. Prendergast is one of 21 Directors elected to serve on the Board of Governors for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), a national association of more than 16,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. She is currently a member of AILA’s National Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Liaison Committee, Media Advocacy, Distance Learning, and Governance Committees. Ms. Prendergast previously served as Chair of AILA’s National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Liaison Committee, Vice-Chair of the Department of State (DOS) Liaison Committee, and Chair of AILA University.  She regularly speaks about immigration issues at local, regional, and national conferences, and serves on several conference planning committees. Ms. Prendergast is an Adjunct Professor at Cleveland State University (CSU) College of Law where she teaches Immigration & Nationality Law.  Her remarks have been quoted in Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Washington Post, NPR, Bloomberg Law, the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as other publications.  Ms. Prendergast is a graduate of CSU College of Law in Cleveland, OH and Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, and is admitted to practice in Ohio, New York, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is an avid equestrian, runner, and skier. 

James K. Roosa teaches Corporations, and Agency and Partnership, and has been practicing business and corporate law since graduating from Case Western Reserve Law School in 1987 (where he served as a Law Review Editor). After practicing at Thompson, Hine & Flory and American Greetings Corporation, Mr. Roosa founded Roosa Co., LPA in 2000. This firm focuses on the legal needs of small and emerging businesses and their owners. Mr. Roosa earned a B.A. at Oberlin College, an M.M. at Yale University, and his J.D. at Case Western Reserve University. In addition to his practice and teaching at CSU College of Law, Mr. Roosa also serves on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Alternative Dispute Resolution Federal Court Panel and is a member of the Corporation Law committee of the Ohio Bar Association. 

James K. Roosa teaches Corporations, and Agency and Partnership, and has been practicing business and corporate law since graduating from Case Western Reserve Law School in 1987 (where he served as a Law Review Editor). After practicing at Thompson, Hine & Flory and American Greetings Corporation, Mr. Roosa founded Roosa Co., LPA in 2000. This firm focuses on the legal needs of small and emerging businesses and their owners. Mr. Roosa earned a B.A. at Oberlin College, an M.M. at Yale University, and his J.D. at Case Western Reserve University. In addition to his practice and teaching at CSU College of Law, Mr. Roosa also serves on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio Alternative Dispute Resolution Federal Court Panel and is a member of the Corporation Law committee of the Ohio Bar Association.

Karen E. Rubin teaches the legal ethics course, Legal Profession, at CSU College of Law.  She retired as Counsel from Thompson Hine LLP, where her practice was focused on business litigation, legal ethics and professional responsibility.  She is chair of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism, a past chair of the Certified Grievance Committee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, and a member and past Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Ohio State Bar Association.  Karen was awarded the Judge Richard Markus Adjunct Faculty Award in 2018 and inducted into the CSU Law Hall of Fame in 2019.  A CSU and CSU Law graduate, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Cleveland State Law Review and was the founding co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Law and Health.

THE HONORABLE JOHN J. RUSSO is the immediate Past Administrative and Presiding Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Ohio in Cuyahoga County.  Unanimously elected by his colleagues to lead the Court from 2014-2019, he was responsible for coordinating the development of Court policies and overseeing the administration of the General Division, the highest-level trial court in the state. Judge Russo manages his civil and criminal dockets, as well as, managed from 2018-2022, Cuyahoga County’s Veteran Treatment Court/Specialty Docket.  In addition, he has chaired or participated in numerous justice system boards and committees since beginning his judicial career in 2005 on the Common Pleas Court. He served as president of the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers (NAPCO) from 2015-2016.  In 2019, he was elected to, and currently serves as, NAPCO’s Chair of the Board of Directors.  In addition, he has taught at numerous court conclaves, judges’ conferences, community programs, and bar association CLE programs. Judge Russo is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Bar Association, Westshore Bar Association, and CSU College of Law Alumni Association.  Prior to the bench, Judge Russo was a civil and criminal litigator in his private practice for 12 years.  After earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, he received his Juris Doctor degree at CSU College of Law, where he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor.

Edmund W. Searby teaches Criminal Procedure I. He is founding partner of Searby LLP where he focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense and complex litigation. He previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the criminal division in Florida and a Senior Associate Deputy Independent Counsel with the Office of the Independent Counsel, Washington D.C. His service also includes the Presidential Transition Team, United States Department of Justice Landing Team. He has published a range of articles on criminal issues and a chapter in a book on fraud investigations and prosecutions. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan Law School.

Margaret Sweeney is an Assistant United States Attorney with the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio and has been assigned to the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force for more than ten years.  She is currently the Lead Strike Force Attorney for the Cleveland OCDETF Strike Force and prosecutes large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.  Ms. Sweeney graduated from Miami University and received her J.D. from Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2010 and was an Executive Editor on the Cleveland State Law Review. 

Robert G. Walton is a graduate of Cleveland State University College of Law. He has successfully defended clients in manyjury trials and appeals. He has cross-examined police officers and other witnesses at more than 250 suppression hearingswhile representing clients charged with criminal offenses in courts throughout Ohio. Much of his practice is defendingpersons charged with alcohol and drug related vehicular crimes. Mr. Walton is an adjunct professor at CSU College of Lawwhere he teaches Trial Advocacy. He has been the featured speaker at more than 75 CLE seminars in Ohio on the subjects ofOVI, cross-examination, field sobriety testing, motions to suppress, search and seizure, and driver's license suspension andreinstatement. Since 2015, he  has continued to be named a Super Lawyer by the Ohio Super Lawyers magazine in thepractice area of Criminal Defense: DUI/ DWI. Mr. Walton and Judge Deborah Nicastro co-authored the Ohio Driver'sLicense Suspensions and Reinstatement Handbook. Mr. Walton frequently writes articles for the municipal court blog He and his wife Anne live in University Heights. They have three children and three grandchildren.

David C. Weiner teaches Trial Advocacy with Charles Fleming and Peggy Foley Jones. Currently of counsel in the Litigation Practice Group at Benesch, he is past chair of the ABA Litigation Section and past president of OLAP and the Cleveland Legal Aid Society. He has been recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyer in 2000-2012 and has served in numerous bar and community positions. He earned his B.A. at the University of Cincinnati and his J.D. at the Georgetown University Law Center.

I am a native Clevelander and a proud graduate of John Hay High School (shout out to class of 2003)! I began my career studying Criminal Justice at Bowling Green State University. Shortly thereafter, I was a Probation Officer for five years. During this time, I supported many through the process of probation and found my passion for advocacy. As a Probation Officer, my philosophy was simply to inspire people to do better in life, rather than violate them, which often came with jail time. Discovering the passion of advocacy led me to law school. In law school, I participated on the Trial Advocacy Team. This experience taught me how to present a case and advocate for a client in court. I continue to draw on that experience as a real life attorney. Cleveland Marshall College of Law taught me how to read and interpret law, a skill that I offer clients in hopes of helping them fight through the complex legal system. Although I can’t promise to win every case, I can promise to fight for my clients!

Spence teaches Cybersecurity I and II, bringing a multi-disciplinary, hands-on approach that prepares students to face modern cyber threats. He also serves as Director at 38North Security, a global provider of cloud security and engineering services. Prior to 38North, he was a Vice President at Lunarline, and an early employee of Endeavor Systems, an innovator in malware detection and insider threat response.

E. Mark Young co-teaches the Mediation short course with Russell O’Rourke of of Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis. He s a shareholder in Roetzel & Andress, LPA where he focuses his practice on complex civil litigation matters in federal and state courts. Mr. Young also represented clients in bankruptcy cases and in administrative proceedings before a number of government agencies. He has experience representing parties in commercial real estate transactions and litigation and is seasoned in preparing and negotiating purchases/sales and/or leases of developed real property in conjunction with the purchase and sale of a business. Mr. Young served in an outside general counsel role to a number of companies in multiple industries, including mobile technology, construction supply manufacturing, residential developers of low and moderate-income housing, manufacturers and distributors of alcohol, medical billing and home health care companies, religious institutions, and a number of minority and female-owned businesses. He earned his M.A. at Cleveland State University Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs and J.D. at The University of Toledo College of Law.