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TJSL Board of Trustees Elects Three New Members

June 10, 2013

The Board of Trustees of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law has elected three new board members. They are San Diego Superior Court Judge Browder Willis, who is a 1983 graduate of the law school; Fred Gerson, a certified public accountant who recently retired after 12 years as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the San Diego Padres; and UC Irvine School of Law Professor Bryant Garth, who previously served as Dean of Southwestern Law School from 2005 to 2012 and as Dean of the Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law from 1986 to 1990.

“The Board is extremely pleased to announce the additions of Bryant Garth, Fred Gerson and Browder Willis as Trustees. Each is highly skilled and regarded as leaders in their respective fields,” announced Randy M. Grossman, a San Diego attorney and 1994 graduate of Thomas Jefferson, who serves as Chair of the Governance and Long Range Planning Committee of the TJSL Board of Trustees.

According to Grossman, “Professor Garth brings a wealth of knowledge from his background in legal academia, which spans more than 30 years. He is also a native San Diegan. Mr. Gerson has 40 years of experience in the area of finance, which is crucial in today’s climate. He has served as CFO and chaired audit committees for companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ. Judge Willis has a sterling reputation and will provide excellent advice and sound judgment to the Board. He is an alumnus of Thomas Jefferson School of Law.”

Judge Willis has been a San Diego Superior Court Judge for the last 12 years, since working in the District Attorney’s Office. Before law school, Judge Willis served as an officer in the U.S. Army. He has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, was Vice President of the Deputy District Attorneys Association, and has served on the Public Lawyers Committee of the San Diego County Bar, the Inns of Court and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Judge Willis’ recognitions include the 2008 Judicial Officer of the Year awarded by Chief Probation Officers of California, the 2008 Thomas Jefferson School of Law Alumnus of the Year, the 2010 STAR Award and the San Diego County Juvenile Justice Commission Outstanding Jurist Award in 2011.

Before joining the Padres, Fred Gerson had 22 years of experience as a CFO for various high technology companies, including four publicly traded companies and several closely held entities. He began his career as an audit manager for Ernst & Young in their San Jose office. Gerson recently served on the board of directors of Major League Baseball’s captive insurance entity and worked closely with other senior baseball financial executives in shaping insurance products for the needs of teams.

A noted international legal scholar, Bryant Garth is currently a Professor of Law at the UC Irvine School of Law. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale and earned his J.D. from Stanford in 1975 and a Ph.D. (European Doctorate of Law) from the European University Institute in Florence. He was previously the Director of the American Bar Foundation from 1990-2004. His scholarship focuses on the legal profession, the sociology of law and globalization. He is on the Executive Coordinating Committee of the “After the J.D.” project, the first longitudinal study of the legal profession; co-edits the Journal of Legal Education; and chairs the advisory committee of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE).

“The Board of Trustees will benefit greatly from these excellent additions to an already strong Board that is comprised of Trustees that are experts in their field and genuinely care about the future of Thomas Jefferson School of Law and its students,” said Grossman, who also announced that current Chair Randy K. Jones, and Trustees Richard D. Prochazka and J. Dennis Burks were elected to new terms of service.

Other members of the TJSL Board of Trustees include: Charles Abdelnour, a 1974 TJSL graduate; Kendall DeMatteo Berkey, a 1994 TJSL graduate; the Hon. Lilliam Y. Lim (Ret.), a 1977 TJSL graduate; the Hon. William McCurine, Jr.; and Mark C. Zebrowski.

More information about the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Board of Trustees can be viewed at