Officers

Officers serve a one-year term and are elected at the annual conventions.

AAJ 2014-2015 Executive Officers

President: Lisa Blue Baron of Baron & Blue Law Firm in Dallas, TX
President-Elect: Larry A. Tawwater of the Tawwater Law Firm, P.L.L.C. in Oklahoma City, OK
Vice-President: Julie Braman Kane of Colson Hicks Eidson in Coral Gables, FL
Secretary: Kathleen Lenehan Nastri of Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder, PC in Bridgeport, CT
Treasurer: Elise Sanguinetti of Sanguinetti Law in Oakland, CA
Parliamentarian: Bruce H. Stern of Stark & Stark in Princeton, NJ

 

PRESIDENT


Lisa Blue Baron

“I will continue Burton LeBlanc’s excellent work to ensure America has a strong civil justice system. I have traveled throughout the country to speak with lawyers and lead education programs, and I look forward to more visits,” says Ms. Blue Baron.

Ms. Blue Baron, a founder of the Dallas firm Baron and Blue, served as AAJ president-elect in 2013-14, vice president in 2012-13, and secretary in 2011-12. She is a member of the Executive, Membership Oversight, Public Affairs, and Public Education committees, and she has chaired the Public Affairs and Affinities committees and the National Finance Council. Ms. Blue Baron has served on the Board of Governors and the Robert L. Habush Endowment Board of Directors, as well as the Justice List and Key Person committees. She has been a member of the Leaders Forum Founder’s Circle and is a diplomate of the National College of Advocacy. She received the Nancy Pelosi Know Your Power Award in 2008.

Ms. Blue Baron received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia in 1973, graduate degrees from the University of Virginia in 1974 and 1975, a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from North Texas State University in 1978, and her J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 1980.

PRESIDENT-ELECT


Larry A. Tawwater

“I became a leader in this organization because I strongly believe in the civil justice system, and I recognized that AAJ is the greatest protector of that system,” says Mr. Tawwater. He believes “AAJ’s strength starts with its members,” who are dedicated to their clients and undeterred by the challenges they face.

A partner at the Tawwater Law Firm in Oklahoma City, Mr. Tawwater served as AAJ vice president in 2013-14, secretary in 2012-13, treasurer in 2011-12, and parliamentarian in 2010-11. He has served on the Board of Governors since 1988. He has chaired the Audit, Budget, and Legal Affairs committees, the ABA Task Force, and the National Finance Council, and he is a Pound Civil Justice Institute Fellow. He has also served as a member of the Executive Committee, Enfranchisement Task Force, and Center for Constitutional Litigation Advisory Committee, as well as a president of the Oklahoma Association for Justice. He has received the Wiedemann and Wysocki Award four times and the Distinguished Service Award twice, and he was a 2014 finalist for Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year.

Mr. Tawwater earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1969 and his J.D. from the school's College of Law in 1972.

VICE PRESIDENT


Julie Braman Kane

Noting that AAJ has made significant accomplishments in the past year, Ms. Kane says, “The organization functions cohesively and works every single day to protect that which is right and just and protected by the Constitution. Time and again, AAJ has impacted American society for the greater good.”

A partner with Colson Hicks Eidson in Coral Gables, Fla., Ms. Kane served as secretary in 2013-14, treasurer in 2012-13, and parliamentarian in 2011-12. She has served on the Board of Governors since 2001 and has chaired the Election Task Force, National College of Advocacy Board of Trustees, Women Trial Lawyers Caucus, National Finance Council, and the Membership Oversight and Voter Protection Action committees. She has also served as vice chair of the AAJ PAC Task Force/AAJ PAC and a member of the Diversity Task Force, Leaders Forum/Seventh Amendment Task Force, Litigation Group Leaders Council, as well as the Executive, Budget, Election, and Legal Affairs committees.

Ms. Kane has received the Wiedemann and Wysocki Award multiple times, the Distinguished Service Award twice, the Joe Tonahill Award, the Marie Lambert Award, and the Howard Twiggs Award. She has also served on the Florida Elections Commission and as president of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Miami-Dade Chapter.

Ms. Kane graduated from the University of Miami in 1990 and earned her J.D. from the university’s School of Law in 1993.

SECRETARY


Kathleen Lenehan Nastri

In her role as treasurer of the association, Ms. Nastri says, she “has had the opportunity to see firsthand how hard AAJ leaders work, and how dedicated AAJ’s staff is to protecting the civil justice system.”

A partner with Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder in Bridgeport, Conn., Ms. Nastri served as treasurer in 2013-14. She is cochair of the CLE Committee and a member of the Diversity Committee. She has served on the Board of Governors and as a member of the Women Trial Lawyers Caucus, AAJ PAC Board of Trustees/AAJ PAC, National Finance Council, Enfranchisement Task Force, Diversity Task Force, and State Delegates. She has also been a member of the Executive, Public Affairs, and Publications committees. She is a past president of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association.

Ms. Nastri earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 1983 and her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1986.

TREASURER


Elise R. Sanguinetti

“I have had the honor of learning from and working with stalwarts of our association, and I have worked hard to pass that knowledge on to a rising new generation of members,” says Ms. Sanguinetti.

Founder of Sanguinetti Law in Oakland, Calif., Ms. Sanguinetti served as parliamentarian in 2013-14 and is a member of the Exchange Advisory Committee.  She has served on the Board of Governors and has chaired the National College of Advocacy Board of Trustees, Membership Task Force, National Finance Council, Membership Oversight Committee, and New Lawyers Division. She has served as vice chair of the Public Affairs Committee and a member of the AAJ PAC Board of Trustees and the Executive, Budget, and Justice List committees. She has received the Joe Tonahill Award, the Wiedemann and Wysocki Award three times, the Distinguished Service Award twice, and the Trial Lawyers Care Outstanding Service Award.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University in 1993 and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco in 1997.

PARLIAMENTARIAN


Bruce H. Stern

“I have been honored to serve as one of your elected representatives on the Executive Committee for the last three years,” says Mr. Stern. “I am a simple trial attorney like so many of our fellow members, who every day represent clients injured in auto wrecks, premises falls, and construction incidents.”

A shareholder in Stark & Stark in Princeton, N.J., Mr. Stern is a member of the Board of Governors, National Finance Council, Executive Committee, and Public Affairs Committee. He has chaired the Audit Committee and has served as a State Delegate and a member of the National College of Advocacy Board of Trustees and the Publications Committee. He has chaired the Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway, and Premises Liability Section and the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group. He has received the Wiedemann and Wysocki Award.

Mr. Stern earned his bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1977 and his J.D. from the Rutgers School of Law in 1981.