The Legal Advocate

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NITA Welcomes Its Class of 2015 Next Generation Faculty

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The four Next Generation Faculty (NGF) Class of 2015 has been chosen from a dozen candidates.  This year’s outstanding class of young, up-and-coming NITA faculty members consists of:

ShareemaAbelShareema Abel

Shareema Abel is a litigation attorney with the General Counsel’s Office of the New York City Department of Education.  She serves as a legal representative of the Chancellor, handling disciplinary hearings under the Children First reforms and providing training and counsel to school administrators.

Prior to her work at the Department of Education, Ms. Abel was an Assistant District Attorney for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.  During her ten-year career at the District Attorney’s Office, she served in the many bureaus, including the Gang/Major Case/Homicide Bureau. She served as lead trial counsel on violent felony cases including homicides, robberies, burglaries, and gang assaults.

Ms. Abel has been an instructor for NITA since 2004 and currently teaches Building Trial Skills in San Francisco, California, as well as Deposition Skills in Berkeley and San Diego, California. Ms. Abel also served as an adjunct professor at Hofstra University School of Law in the field of trial advocacy.

Ms. Abel is a proud member of the largest public service sorority in the world, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and serves as chapter co-chair of the Social Action Committee. She is also a member of the National Black Prosecutors Association, where she serves as the New York State Representative.

After graduating from Binghamton University (SUNY) in 1996, Ms. Abel went on to receive her JD from Hofstra University School of Law in 1999, where she was a member of the Labor and Employment Law Journal and several award-winning trial teams.

AlexanderBarneyAlexander Barney

Alex Barney is a 2008 graduate of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. He received his BA in Political Science from Swarthmore College. Since 2008, he has taught in trial advocacy skills programs through Emory University School of Law, both in the United States and internationally.

During law school, Alex took a year off to teach civics and human rights to the Armed Forces of Liberia, as part of a State Department-funded project. He completed his last year of law school as a visiting student at Emory University School of Law, where he then held a two-year graduate fellowship at the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution. As part of the fellowship, Alex co-wrote a successful grant to USAID to create a partnership between Emory University School of Law and Universidad Panamericana School of Law in Mexico City. He helped to develop a trial advocacy skills program at Universidad Panamericana, where he was a visiting professor during the fall semester of 2009. As part of the grant, he also taught in three week-long trial skills programs at Universidad Panamericana.

Since 2008, Alex has served as an instructor in Emory’s yearly Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques. In 2013, he was an instructor in a week-long trial advocacy skills program for Chinese judges, lawyers, and law students at Emory University. He has also taught in trial skills programs in Liberia and Russia.

Alex has been an associate with the Karmel Law Firm, a Chicago union-side labor and employment law firm, since 2010. He represents unions and employees in state and federal courts, in labor arbitrations, and before administrative agencies.

AmandaHerndonBarton K. Amanda (Mandy) Herndon Barton

Mandy Herndon Barton graduated law school from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and earned her BS in accounting from Springhill College in Mobile, Alabama.  She started her law practice in 2003 at a medium-size firm in Jackson, Mississippi, where her practice consisted mostly of insurance defense litigation and various bankruptcy matters. In 2006, she moved to Mobile to practice with a large, full-service firm, where her practice consisted mostly of insurance defense and construction litigation matters. In 2009, Mandy joined the small firm of Holston Vaughan, LLC.  She has maintained a civil litigation practice focusing on complex commercial, contract, and construction matters, as well as creditor’s rights and currently represents several corporate clients as their outside general counsel. Mandy’s practice involves matters in state and federal courts all over Mississippi and Alabama.  During the last five years, her firm has been heavily involved in defective Chinese drywall state and multi-district litigation.  She has received favorable verdicts for her corporate and individual clients in bench and jury cases tried in Mississippi and Alabama.  This is Mandy’s fifth year serving as a faculty member for NITA. During these five years, Mandy has taught at LSU’s NITA Trial Advocacy Class and NITA’s Deposition Skills and Trial Advocacy Classes held in New Orleans. Mandy was a student of NITA before becoming a faculty member and was recently elected to serve as a part of the 2015 NITA Next Generation Faculty Development Program.

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Mississippi, 2004
Alabama, 2006

Professional & Bar Association Memberships
Alabama Bar Association
Mississippi Bar Association
American Bar Association
Mobile County Bar Association
Mobile Bar Association Women Lawyers, Annual Professional Women’s Networking          Event Chair
National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Faculty Member

Non-Legal Activities
Advisory Board for the Women’s Business Center of South Alabama
March of Dimes, 2014 Chair and 2015 Committee Member of Annual Chef Auction Fundraiser

KyleBogdanKyle Bogdan

Partner Kyle Bogdan wins cases. As an AV-rated litigator, he spends all his time competing in state and federal trial courts and arbitrations on matters critical to his clients’ businesses. He has successfully prosecuted and/or defended matters where millions of dollars, and often the viability of the client, are on the line. These have included major construction disputes, gas explosions, product liability suits, trade secret claims, lease and contract cases, and class action defense.

In 2012, Kyle achieved a complete dismissal of a major property damage a case in New York where his client paid nothing. In 2011, he spent his time getting several clients out of messy condominium-defect cases throughout Southern California without paying a cent in damages. That same year, he used the often overlooked remedy of replevin and tried the matter before a federal judge to recover critical pieces of equipment holding up a major penitentiary project in southern Mexico.

Prior to that, he and other Warden Grier lawyers won significant pretrial decisions that led to a confidential resolution for their client in a major trade secret action in federal court. Before that, Kyle and his partners, after a multi-week hearing, won an arbitration award of in excess of $7 million for their client, a general contractor, against a developer arising out of a luxury hotel and condominium project in Minneapolis.

In 2009, he and his partners, after months of hearings before a seasoned arbitration panel, obtained an arbitration award in excess of $15 million for a general contractor on a highly publicized construction case involving a hotel, office, and retail project in Kansas City. During that same year, Kyle also obtained a complete dismissal in federal court of a class action lawsuit asserted against a leading manufacturer, thus saving his client several million dollars.

Kyle was honored by inclusion in Ingram’s Magazine (Kansas City’s premier business publication) “40 under Forty” Class of 2010, in recognition of professional and personal leadership.

Additional Information
Kyle is a long-time Kansas City resident. A 1997 cum laude graduate of Missouri’s Truman State University, Kyle played college football and baseball, and spent his post-graduation summer playing Independent A ball in Massachusetts. Following that, he entered law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. While at UMKC, Kyle was a member of the UMKC law review and The Urban Lawyer. During law school, he clerked with Blackwell Sanders Matheny Weary and Lombardi (now Husch Blackwell Sanders). He joined that firm as an associate in 2000.

From the beginning of Kyle’s career, he worked on significant “bet-the-company” litigation matters, those which generally had between $10 million and $500 million at stake. He quickly compiled subject-matter expertise in areas ranging from the design and construction of complex power facilities and landmark bridges to catastrophic explosions. Mentored by some of Kansas City’s premier litigators, Kyle was entrusted to take key depositions and make arguments before the courts in his first year, something quite unusual for first-year, big-firm lawyers. In addition to working on the bet-the-company cases, he also took selective smaller cases and first-chaired them. These early experiences honed Kyle’s litigation skills and developed in him a very strong client services mentality.

In March 2002, Warden Grier, comprised of several former mentors, was formed. Kyle was offered the first and, at the time, only, associate position. From the early days of the firm, Kyle was asked to take on leadership positions and increased responsibility, including head of recruiting and of associate development. He was elected partner after his fifth year of practice.

Publications and Presentations:
Author, “Sometimes, there is no way to avoid arbitration,” Ingram’s Magazine, November 2009.
Co-Author, Kansas, Chapter 19, Cumulative Update to State-by-State Guide to Architect, Engineer and Contractor Licensing, Aspen Publishing, 2003 to 2005.
Co-Author, Kansas, Chapter 18, 2006 Cumulative Update to State-by-State Guide to Construction Contracts and Claims, Aspen Publishing, 2006 to 2007.
Faculty Member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Washington DC Advanced Advocates Program 2010 to 2013
Missouri Bar CLE Practical Evidence for Civil Litigators, May 3, 2012 (Kansas City).
Presenter, Ethical Issues in Joint Representation of Multiple Parties on a Construction Project, Session E31, 2012 Construction SuperConference (San Francisco)
Presenter, Ethical Issues Associated with Limited (or Assuming that You are Limiting) Your Scope of Representation, Session E31, 2013 Construction SuperConference (San Francisco)

Bar admissions
Missouri, 2000
Kansas, 2001

Truman State University, BA, 1997, cum laude

Law School
University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2000 (Top 15% of Class)
Member of UMKC law review

As members of the NGF Class of 2015, Shareema, Alexander, Kyle will be trained and invited to teach at the geographically diverse NITA trial and deposition programs between January 1 and December 31, 2015, to gain more experience to NITA learning-by-doing teaching.

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NITA’s team of practicing lawyers, professors and judges from around the nation dedicates its efforts to the training and development of skilled and ethical legal advocates to improve the adversarial justice system.

NITA’s Goals are to:

  • Promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy.
  • Train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice.
  • Develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice.
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