Hon. Benes Z. Aldana, J.D.

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The National Judicial College

President, The National Judicial College

Benes Z. Aldana became the ninth president of The National Judicial College on May 1, 2017. Before joining the NJC, he was on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard for over 22 years, retiring in the rank of captain and serving as chief trial judge during his last tour of duty. Prior to this assignment, he served as the chief legal officer for the 8th Coast Guard District in New Orleans, Louisiana, overseeing legal advice to Coast Guard operations spanning 26 states and the Gulf of Mexico. He was first appointed a military trial judge in 2005 and as an appellate judge in 2015.

Other notable assignments as a Coast Guard judge advocate included: chief counsel, Legal Engagements Division, U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany; deputy staff judge advocate, 13th Coast Guard District; special assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington; trial attorney at the Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division; legal advisor to the Department of Defense Criminal Investigation Task Force, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; deputy chief, Office of Environmental Law, U.S. Coast Guard; and appellate and trial counsel.  He also served as the commanding officer, personnel services and support unit, Seattle, and executive officer for Coast Guard Base Seattle. 

He is also a dedicated bar association leader and served as 2009 president of the Asian Bar Association of Washington. Although he grew up in the Seattle area, graduating from Seattle University and University of Washington School of Law, his career has taken him around the world.  Among his many other achievements and accomplishments, he served as 2012-2013 chair of the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm, and General Practice Division, which has approximately 20,000 members and is one of the largest entities in the ABA. He also served in the ABA House of Delegates and on the ABA Rule of Law Initiative Board, ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence, ABA Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360, and as the assembly speaker of the ABA Young Lawyers Division. He recently concluded his service as a member of the ABA Law and National Security Advisory Committee. 

His military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medals, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, and two Commandant’s Letters of Commendation, as well as various team and unit awards.  Non-military awards include the DHS General Counsel’s Award of Excellence, the NAPABA Daniel Inouye Trailblazer Award, ABAW Judge of the Year, ABA Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award, NAPABA's "Best Lawyer Under 40,” and the American Bar Foundation Fellows Outstanding Chair Award.

President Aldana and his wife, Rowena, have a son, Ehrik, who is a senior at Yale University.  

Justice Mary E. Fairhurst, J.D.

  Justice Mary E. Fairhurst, photo b  y Seattle Photography Inc.   

Justice Mary E. Fairhurst, photo by Seattle Photography Inc. 

Chief Justice, Washington State Supreme Court

Elected in 2002, Mary Fairhurst began serving as a justice on the Washington Supreme Court in 2003.  She felt she had come home because she started her legal career in the Supreme Court as a judicial clerk, working first with Chief Justice William H. Williams in 1984 and then with Justice William C. Goodloe until 1986.

In 2016, her colleagues elected her Chief Justice. As Chief Justice, she is the court’s chief spokesperson, presides over Supreme Court hearings and conferences, and co-chairs the State’s Board for Judicial Administration. She also chairs the Judicial Information System Committee and serves on the court’s Administrative Committee, Budget Committee and various other workgroups.  As Chief Justice she represents the court at the Conference of Chief Justices and Bench-Bar-Press Committee. 

Before returning to the Temple of Justice, Justice Fairhurst served the citizens of the state of Washington in the Washington Attorney General’s Office for the preceding 16 years.  She worked with Attorneys General Christine Gregoire and Ken Eikenberry.  She specialized in the areas of criminal justice, transportation, revenue, and labor.  When she left, she was serving as the Division Chief of the Revenue, Bankruptcy and Collections Division.  In 1998, Attorney General Gregoire gave her Steward of Justice Award to Justice Fairhurst.

Justice Fairhurst also did work not related to her cases that made a difference to Washington citizens.  She worked on the constitutional amendment to increase the rights of crime victims while still honoring the constitutional rights of the accused. She organized the first statewide conferences on domestic violence.  She planned and facilitated a youth violence summit and organized and moderated conferences dealing with sex offenders in the community.

Justice Fairhurst is and has been a leader in the legal profession.  She served as President of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA).  She was the second woman and first public sector attorney to hold this position.  She also served on the WSBA Board of Governors representing the Third Congressional District. She has served on many WSBA committees. The WSBA gave her its highest honor, the Award of Merit, in 2011.

Throughout her career, Justice Fairhurst has worked to enhance the opportunities for women and minorities in the profession and to ensure access to justice for low-income individuals and families.  She was president of Washington Women Lawyers (WWL) and served on its state board. She has served on the Supreme Court’s Gender and Justice Commission and Access to Justice Board committees.  WWL has awarded her its President’s Award, the Betty B. Fletcher Judge of the Year Award, and Passing the Torch Award. LEGALS, P.S. gave her its Allies for Justice Award.

Justice Fairhurst is committed to public legal education and is active working for children and youth. She is an ambassador of the iCivics program and is active with the YMCA Youth and Government Program and We the People.  She served two years on the Girl Scouts Board of the Pacific Peaks Council. Justice Fairhurst speaks regularly to individuals and groups about the judiciary.  The Council for Public Legal Education awarded her its Flame of Democracy Award and the Washington Judges’ Foundation awarded her the 2011 Judge William Nevins Award for distinguished service in public legal education.

Justice Fairhurst earned her law degree magna cum laude from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1984.  She earned her undergraduate degree in political science cum laude from Gonzaga University in 1979.  She also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Gonzaga University in 2006.  She received the Distinguished Judicial Service Award and Myra Bradwell Award from Gonzaga Law School.  She was a member and served as president of the Gonzaga Law School Board of Advisors and served as president of the Gonzaga Law School Alumni Association.

Seattle University School of Law honored her at the 2011 Red Mass and established a Public Interest Law Association grant in her name.

Timothy Jaasko-Fisher, M.A., J.D.

 Timothy Jaasko-Fisher

Senior Director of Curriculum and Program Development, Civility Center for the Law

Mr. Jaasko-Fisher works with people and organizations to explore how individuals exercising leadership can promote a more civil workplace, community, and society. He engages people through interactive workshops designed to promote wellbeing within the individual, enhance productivity, and improve outcomes. In his role as the Senior Director of Curriculum and Program Development at Robert’s Fund, Tim not only works on programing, but also gives presentations, and works individually with organizations of legal professionals.

As a private consultant, Mr. Jaasko-Fisher also serves as the Director of Internal Capacity Building for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau’s Center for Capacity Building for Courts where he is part of a team of national experts focused on building capacity for positive change in court improvement programs across the United States.

Mr. Jaasko-Fisher was the founding director of the Court Improvement Training Academy (CITA) at the University of Washington School of Law, where he developed a unique intervention model to help courts improve their response to child abuse and neglect. Using a systems-based approach, he helped court communities engage in meaningful conversations across disciplines to improve their process, relationships, and outcomes. In 2010, he was awarded the Lee Ann Miller Individual Award for outstanding leadership in furthering the goals of the Washington State Children’s Justice Act and led the Court Improvement Training Academy to receive the Lee Ann Miller Team award in 2014.

Mr. Jaasko-Fisher worked as an Assistant Attorney General for 11 years. He has litigated at all levels of the justice system in Washington State, including administrative tribunals, the Superior Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. He presents and consults nationally and internationally on issues relating to leadership, civility, and engaging groups in complex problem-solving. He resides in Tacoma with his two daughters.

Paula Lustbader, J.D.

 Paula Lustbader

President, Civility Center for the Law; Professor of Law Emerita and Past Director, Academic Resource Center at Seattle University School of Law

Professor Paula Lustbader is highly respected internationally in the legal-education academy and locally in the Seattle legal community for the passion and energy she brought to her work as co-founder and director of the Academic Resource Center and its Access Admissions program at Seattle University School of Law. For 28 years, she provided instruction, support, and mentorship to law students from under-represented groups and, in the process, has been instrumental in increasing the diversity of the legal profession. She has touched the lives of more than 1,000 law students who, on graduation, have gone on to impact the lives of literally thousands of clients and fellow citizens in Washington and across the country.

Professor Lustbader’s contribution to the academy was acknowledged in 2015, when she was given the Association of American Law Schools Section on Academic Support Award for Excellence in Legal Education. The Washington State Bar Association recognized Professor Lustbader’s outstanding contributions by naming her co-recipient of the organization’s Award for Excellence in Diversity (2006). In 2010, she received the Loren Miller Bar Association President’s Award for her role in increasing the diversity in the legal profession.

Professor Lustbader is an internationally recognized leader, scholar, and speaker on law school academic support programs, learning theory, teaching methods, and diversity. She has also lectured in England, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy. In addition to using her vision to help found two national organization sections on Law School Academic Support and the Center for Teaching and Learning at Seattle University, she has assumed numerous leadership roles with the legal academy’s national organizations.

She retired from Seattle University School of Law in 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, Professor Lustbader began phased retirement from the Law School in order to enable her to shift her focus to her work as president of Robert’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering civility in the legal profession. In that role, she has undertaken a variety of initiatives. In addition to writing articles about civility, she is developing curriculum, programs, and seminars to promote civility; she is facilitating conversations on civility with focus groups; and she is making multiple presentations and providing consulting to law firms and other legal professional organizations.

In 2014, Professor Lustbader became the president of Alfie’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to help change a life. She is currently spearheading the foundation’s first initiative, Alfie Scholars at Seattle University, whose mission is to make the dream of a bachelor’s degree achievable for diverse transfer students who are committed to fostering civility.

Marcello Marinari

 Marcello Marinari

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ADR Center (in Italian)

JAMS International

Retired Judge, and current Mediator and Trainer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Center, Rome

Judge Marinari, now retired, has served as a judge for over 30 years in Italy. From 1978 to 1993, he presided over both criminal and civil cases in several courts. After serving as a judge on the Pisa High Court (1996-1999 and 2001-2004), he became a judge on the Court of Appeal of Milan (2004-2008); and from 2008-2010, he was president of the Montepulciano Court. He also worked in a variety of capacities with the Department of International Relations in the Ministry of Justice, including serving as Chief of Cabinet for the Undersecretary of State. Judge Marinari co-founded and is former president of the steering committee of the first Italian court-based mediation system in Milan.

He has taught several courses on criminal procedure, administrative law, comparative law, and mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for judges, lawyers, and university students. He teaches not only in university settings, but also in programs for judges and lawyers, including those managed by the Italian High Council of Judiciary; and he also has been an official speaker in many conferences on the same issues. He has written or edited more than 50 juridical articles and books on various subjects, including ADR.

Antonio Mondini

 Antonio Mondini

Judge, Tribunale di Lucca

After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Pisa, Faculty of Law, in 1997, Judge Mondini won the competitive public examination for the appointment as judge. He started his career as a civil judge in the Tribunale diNuoro and, since 2001, has been serving in the Tribunale di Lucca. His vast experience in civil and civil procedure law includes the areas of contracts, torts, and company and family matters. He is a member of the special section of the Tribunale di Lucca for bankruptcy procedures. He is a member of the Superior School of the Judiciary and since 2009 has been in charge of the continual training of the magistrates of the Court of Appeal of Florence. He teaches Civil Procedure Law at the post-graduate School for Legal Professions within the University of Pisa and has taught several courses on civil and civil procedure law for lawyers and university students. He has written books and numerous articles on civil law, civil procedure law, and tax law, published in the most important Italian juridical journals.

Craig Sims, J.D.

 Craig Sims

Trial Lawyer

Craig Sims joined Bergman Draper Oslund in 2015 after more than 15 years serving the public of Seattle and Washington State as a Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney then as Criminal Division Chief for the Seattle City Attorney’s Office.

Sims has a wealth of trial experience and understands the true nature of courtroom work. This makes him a perfect addition to the Bergman Draper Oslund team to handle mesothelioma cases that cannot be settled and must proceed to trial.

In addition to his public service work, Sims has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Washington Law School.

He has also served in leadership roles in the Loren Miller Bar Association, Washington State Bar Association, King County Bar Association and the University of Washington Leadership Institute.

United States District Court, Western District of Washington

Juris Doctorate, Seattle University

Washington State Bar Association
King County Bar Association
Loren Miller Bar Association
University of Washington Leadership Institute

Excellence in Practice, Loren Miller Bar Association
Mentor of the Year, King County Bar Association
Professionalism Award, Washington State Bar Association
Vanguard Leadership Award, Seattle University School of Law

Sergio Tamassia

 Sergio Tamassia

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Artist in Residence

Sergio Tamassia received his degree from the State Institute of Art, Florence, in 1966. Since 1978, he has resided in Sorano, Italy. He is an accomplished photographer and visual artist, having shown his work in Austria, Germany, Holland, and throughout his home country.

In addition to teaching seminars in traditional art such as drawing, painting, frescos, and mural painting, Sergio created and teaches art programs designed to help students find their creative flow. He believes that through the process of making art, we can discover our emotions, learn to see from different perspectives, and find ways to express ourselves. To him, art is self-expression.

He also directs and teaches Socializing Through Visual Art, a program for regional schools in Tuscany.