The Advocacy Programs’ student participants are trained by an extraordinarily talented array of volunteer attorneys, judges, practitioners, and members of the Law Center faculty, who give generously of their time to coach their teams in the art of advocacy. These exceptional individuals are profiled below.
Karen Blakemore is an environmental regulatory consultant at CK Associates assisting industrial clients with regulatory interpretations and compliance assessments. Ms. Blakemore is a 2007 graduate of the LSU Law Center, where she was the 2005 recipient of the Wex S. Malone American Inns of Court Scholarship and a member of the championship team at the 2006 National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition. She practiced environmental law for nine years with Phelps Dunbar, LLP.
She has a M.S. in Environmental Science from LSU (1992) and B.S. in Merchandising from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, now University of Louisiana at Lafayette (1987). Prior to entering law school, Ms. Blakemore served as an Air Quality Specialist for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and URS Corporation. Ms. Blakemore is a member of the LSU Law School Chancellor’s Council, serves on the Board of Directors of the Air & Waste Management Association, and is an active volunteer and supporter of Adult Literacy Advocates of Greater Baton Rouge, where she was awarded the 2014 Board Member of the Year.
Dani Borel is an Associate at the law firm of Breazeale, Sachse, & Wilson, LLP, practicing in the areas of Commercial and Healthcare Litigation. She graduated magna cum laude from the Louisiana State University Law Center in 2014. Dani is a member of the Louisiana bar.
As a student, she served on the Louisiana Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif, Moot Court Board, and Trial Advocacy Board. Dani was also highly active in the Law Center’s Advocacy Programs; she won the Ira. S. Flory Mock Trial competition, the LSU Arbitration Competition, the Opening Statement Competition, and the Chancellor’s Cup Senior Appellate Challenge. Further, Dani was named Best Advocate and was a member of the championship team at the 2014 National Pretrial Advocacy Competition.
Jude D. Bourque is an Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice in Louisiana who specializes in Medical Malpractice Defense. He graduated with honors from Tulane Law School [Class of 1987] served on the Tulane Maritime Law Review, Tulane Moot Court Board and won the Appellate Moot Court competition. He is also an honor graduate of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (Outstanding Graduate-1983).
The National Institute for Trial Advocacy [NITA] awarded Mr. Bourque the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2010 for volunteering over 100 hours at NITA Public Service and Public Programs in 2010. He has taught NITA trial advocacy and deposition programs and given numerous CLE presentations from coast to coast and overseas since 1989.
He has worked with many civic organizations including the Baton Rouge Kiwanis Club (Distinguished President, Distinguished Lt. Governor, chair Youth Service Committee), Big Buddy Board of Directors (co-chair, “Dancing with the Stars” fundraiser 2007), LSU’s International Hospitality Foundation (President, 2006-07), the Baton Rouge Bar Association, Public Law Committee and the Baton Rouge Leadership Alumni Board (President, 2011). He has also worked with the Capital Area United Way 2008 “50 for the Future” campaign and on the Community Fund for the Arts cabinet (2009). Mr. Bourque has completed over 25 triathlons, the 2002 Marine Corp Marathon in D.C., the 1998 New York City Marathon and four half marathons.
Dr. Carver, a 1989 graduate of the LSU Law Center, established The Carver Law Firm to provide timely, high quality legal services to his clients. In addition to being an attorney, Jim is a Ph.D. chemist, who has been able to effectively blend these disciplines. He concentrates his practice in the areas of science-based matters, environmental law, regulatory matters, patent law, trademark law, and copyright law. Jim has practiced law for about a quarter of a century. Prior to establishing The Carver Law Firm, Jim was the managing partner of the Oats & Hudson Baton Rouge Office, and prior to that he was a partner at Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips. Before pursing his career in law, Jim was a practicing chemist. After receiving his Ph.D. in chemistry, Jim worked as a staff chemist at EXXON Research and Development Laboratories for Exxon for approximately 7 years. Prior to that, he served on the chemistry faculties of Texas A&M University and the University of Georgia for about 4 years. Jim understands the science aspects of law both from a legal perspective and from the perspective of a practicing scientist.
Dr. Carver was the 2012 recipient of the Law Center’s Susan Kalinka Coach of the Year Award for his work with the Advocacy Programs.
Professor John Devlin is the William Hawk Daniels Professor of Law and Robert & Pamela Martin Professor of Law at the LSU Law Center. Professor Devlin was born and raised in upstate New York. Before law school, he worked as a biomedical laboratory assistant, in summer stock theatre, and in national political campaigns, among other jobs. After law school, he clerked for Hon. Eugene Nickerson (E.D.N.Y) and was an associate with the NYC law firm of Kornstein, Veisz & Wexler — a small firm, specializing in commercial litigation.
Professor Devlin joined the LSU faculty in 1986. At the LSU Law Center, he has taught primarily in the fields of constitutional law (federal, state, and comparative); federal civil procedure, administrative law, and employment law. He devotes a significant amount of time working with student organizations (e.g., as advisor to the Law Review, the Moot Court Board and, most recently, the new Public Interest Law Society).
Doran L. Drummond is an associate at the Baton Rouge law firm of Keogh Cox & Wilson LTD. Doran received his Juris Doctor and Graduate Diploma in Civil Law from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Southeastern Louisiana University, where he was a member of the varsity baseball team. As a law student, Doran was a member of the Trial Advocacy Executive Board, where he served as President. Doran also participated in multiple internal and external competitions in Trial Advocacy and Moot Court, including the National Pretrial Competition where his team finished first in the nation in 2013. Doran is a licensed member of the Louisiana bar.
Chad Ikerd is the First Assistant Public Defender in the 15th Judicial District in Lafayette, Louisiana. Chad handles several felony criminal dockets for the public defender office, as well as other special projects which have included staff training, intern supervisor, and appellate work. In 2013, Chad successfully briefed and argued to the Louisiana Supreme Court the unconstitutionality of a state statute which criminalized driving a vehicle without documentation of the driver’s lawful presence in the United States.
Chad is a 2011 graduate of the LSU Law Center. During law school, he was a member of traveling teams that represented LSU in a number of trial and appellate competitions, including the ABA National Appellate Advocacy, ABA Arbitration, and National Pretrial Competitions. He also competed in all of the available internal advocacy competitions at LSU Law; winning the Flory Trial competition and placing as a finalist in both the Tullis Moot Court competition and the Opening Statement competition. As a third year law student, Chad was a member of both the Moot Court and Trial Advocacy Boards, and was the Treasurer of the Moot Court Board. Chad is a 2003 graduate of LSU A&M, where he majored in Political Science.
LaToya D. Jordan is an associate at Long Law Firm. LaToya’s primary areas of focus include Construction Litigation, Professional Liability, Insurance Defense, and Business Litigation. LaToya’s construction litigation, professional liability, and insurance defense practice primarily revolves around the defense of architects and engineers against claims resulting from major building projects. Her practice also includes construction contract disputes, the defense of certified public accountants and CPA firms, and the defense of State of Louisiana agencies in civil litigation based on tort claims.
LaToya is a 2010 graduate of the Louisiana State University Law Center, where she earned her Juris Doctor, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Dillard University. LaToya was and is highly active in the Law Center’s Advocacy Programs while in law school; she was named Best Advocate and was a member of the championship team at the 2008 National Pretrial Advocacy Competition, she was named Best Attorney at the 2008 Louisiana State Bar Association Mock Trial Competition, and she received the 2011 Susan Kalinka Coach of the Year Award for her work with the Advocacy Programs. LaToya is a member of the Louisiana bar, and is a member of the Law Center’s Young Alumni Leadership Council.
Prof. Simino graduated from the LSU Law Center in 1987, where she served as Chairman of the Moot Court Board. After graduation, she served as a law clerk for the Hon. L.J. Hymel in the 19th Judicial District Court. Thereafter, Simino was a public defender in the 19th Judicial District Court for five years where, in addition to handling matters in the courtroom, she prepared all of the briefs and writ applications for the office. In 1992, Simino went to clerk for the Hon. Freddie Pitcher, Jr. at the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal. After Judge Pitcher’s retirement, Simino clerked for several other judges before going into private practice, with a focus on appellate practice. Professor Simino was an adjunct professor at the Law Center teaching advanced appellate advocacy for several years before joining the Professional Practice and Legal Writing Department at the Law Center. Prof. Simino was the 2014 recipient of the LSU Law Center’s Kalinka Award for Advocacy Programs Coach of the Year.
Dean A. Sutherland received his J.D. degree from the LSU Hebert Law Center in 1975. He is currently Of Counsel at Jeansonne & Remondet in the firm’s New Orleans Office, and his legal practice involves admiralty and maritime law, insurance coverage disputes, insurance bad faith claims, and construction and civil litigation. Dean has maintained an “AV” peer review rating in Martindale-Hubbell for more than thirty years. He was nominated by his peers and selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers of America, in the fields of admiralty law and insurance law, and in the Louisiana Super Lawyers in insurance coverage. His article on Louisiana insurance “bad faith” law received the 2007 Stephen T. Victory Award for the best feature article by the Louisiana State Bar Association.
Mr. Sutherland is also an adjunct professor at the LSU Hebert Law Center. He has taught admiralty law, maritime personal injury law and the advanced tort litigation seminar. Dean formerly was an adjunct professor at the Loyola University School of Law, where he taught maritime law and insurance law courses. For thirty years, Dean has taught in trial advocacy programs for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, LSU Hebert Law Center, and Loyola Law School. He received awards from NITA and LSU for excellence in trial advocacy teaching. In 1985, Dean co-founded the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy. He is a member of the faculty and Board of Directors and serves as Program Director of that program. Dean served on the LSU Law School Board of Trustees. He was the Chair of the LSU Law Center Chancellor’s Counsel from 2007-2009. He is a Master, Co-Founder and Executive Committee Member of the Judge John C. Boutall American Inn of Court. In 2010, he was awarded the inaugural Susan C. Kalinka “Coach of the Year Award” by the LSU Advocacy Programs.
Ms. Vaughan graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1998 with a B.A. in Latin and a minor in German. She also earned her M.Ed. in Educational Administration from William and Mary in 2003. She taught high school Latin for a decade in Virginia and Georgia prior to entering law school. While teaching, Ms. Vaughan served as the school United Way team leader, the SAT/ACT coordinator, and sponsor of the Junior Classical League, Student Government Association and dance team. She also organized and led multiple student trips to Italy, Greece and Spain.
In 2012, Ms. Vaughan earned her J.D. from Louisiana State University, and was admitted to the bar that same year. While in law school, she was a member of both the Moot Court and Trial Advocacy Boards. She also competed on several moot court and mock trial teams, which placed regionally or nationally in competitions. Ms. Vaughan also served as the Treasurer and Vice-President of LSU’s Black Law Student’s Association and President of the Legal Association of Women.
Ms. Vaughan joined Hammonds, Sills, Adkins and Guice in March of 2013, and primarily handles workers’ compensation, personal injury and liability for school districts. She is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, the Baton Rouge Bar Association, the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel, the National Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Ms. Vaughan is located in the Baton Rouge office.
Jeffrey C. Brooks joined the LSU Law Center faculty in 2010. As the Preis PLC Director of Advocacy and Professional Practice, Brooks directs the Law Center’s highly competitive Advocacy Programs and coordinates the Law Center’s rapidly expanding externship programs. Professor Brooks also teaches courses in appellate advocacy, and coaches a number of the Advocacy Programs’ trial and appellate teams.
Prior to joining the Law Center faculty, Brooks practiced law as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Special Federal Litigation Division of the New York City Law Department, where he was a trial attorney representing the City of New York and the New York City Police Department in federal civil rights cases, including the complex litigation arising out of the mass arrests made at protests during the 2004 Republican National Convention. He previously worked in the chambers of Associate Justice Stephen G. Crane of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.
Brooks received his J.D. from Tulane University Law School, and his B.A. in Geography-Anthropology from Vassar College. Professor Brooks is a licensed member of the New York State Bar and an active member of the Federal Bar Association.