Jason Aldrich is Judicial Watch’s longest standing employee having joined the organization in November of 1997. Since 2001 he has served as a staff attorney. Jason has extensive experience litigating Freedom of Information Act cases in federal court as well as Freedom of Information Law cases in New York State. Jason has been involved in several significant Judicial Watchcases, including the FOIA lawsuit that uncovered a scheme in President Clinton’s CommerceDepartment to offer seats on government trade missions in exchange for campaign contributions. Jason received his law degree from the Marshall- Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary in 1997, where he was an article editor for the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal. He received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Bates College in 1993. He is a member of the bars of New York, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Julie B. Axelrod is a staff attorney at Judicial Watch, Inc. Julie joined Judicial Watch in July 2010 and has litigated federal Freedom of Information Act cases in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia and state open records act cases in California. Julie has contributed to Judicial Watch’s fight to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, assisting in representation against Houston Police Department’s sanctuary policy for illegal immigrants and Montgomery College’s policy of granting in-state and in-county tuition to illegal immigrants. Before joining Judicial Watch, Julie was an associate at Mayer Brown, LLP in Palo Alto, California. In 2006-2007, she clerked for the Honorable James Lawrence King in the Southern’ District of Florida. She received her law degree from the UCLA School of Law where she was the Senior Articles Editor of the Journal of Law and Technology. Julie received her undergraduate degree in Classics from Dartmouth College in 2001. Julie is a member of board of the DC Young Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society. She is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, California, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Michael Bekesha serves as a staff attorney with Judicial Watch. Since joining Judicial Watch in August 2009, Michael has litigated federal Freedom of Information Act cases in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia and state open records act cases in the Arizona and Colorado courts. He most recently argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Michael has played a key role in Judicial Watch’s ongoing effort to compel enforcement of the nation’s immigration law. Michael assists in the representation of the Arizona State Legislature in its legal defense of Arizona’s “S.B. 1070” immigration enforcement law. He also has twice testified before the State Government Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives concerning Voter ID legislation and a series of Immigration Enforcement bills.
Michael received his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Law in 2009, where he was a member of the Journal of Dispute Resolution. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Northwestern University in 2004 and is currently the president of the Northwestern University Alumni Club of Washington, D.C.
Michael has been published three times, most recently in the Administrative and Regulatory Law News in an article entitled James Madison Would Not Litigate FOIA Disputes: Fixing FOIA through ADR, and is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Chris Fedeli joined Judicial Watch, Inc. in 2012 as a senior attorney. Prior to joining Judicial Watch, Chris was a senior associate at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Washington D.C., where he represented clients before state and federal courts and regulatory agencies. Chris has litigated commercial disputes as well as constitutional issues, and has been on the briefs of several federal appeals. In 2009, the ABA’s Communications Lawyer journal published Chris’s article criticizing the FCC for imposing heavy-handed government regulations on the Internet (the order was vacated on appeal in 2010).
Chris received his law degree from Georgetown University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Chris is a member of the bars of Maryland, the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He is active in the Federal Communications Bar Association and the Republican National Lawyers Association.
Paul Orfanedes heads Judicial Watch’s Litigation Department and has been with Judicial Watch since its inception. Paul is a distinguished civil litigator who has argued in front of the Supreme Court and in the federal appeal courts on behalf of Judicial Watch and its clients.
As Director of Litigation, he has been a spokesperson for Judicial Watch with his legal commentary appearing in major radio and print media outlets. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the Legal Department, Paul is Corporate Secretary and Treasurer of Judicial Watch. He is also member of the Board of Directors.
Paul is a native of Illinois. He graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986. He received his Juris Doctorate from American University in 1990.
James F. Peterson, an attorney with broad experience in complex litigation, is a senior member of Judicial Watch’s legal team. His breadth of knowledge and experience have contributed greatly to Judicial Watch’s success as he has played a key role in some of Judicial Watch’s most significant cases. These include Judicial Watch’s case before the Supreme Court concerning Vice President Cheney Energy Task Force documents (Judicial Watch v. Nat’l Energy Policy Dev. Group) and many of Judicial Watch’s groundbreaking lawsuits seeking to compel the enforcement of the nation’s immigration law. Most recently, Mr. Peterson has worked closely with the Arizona State Legislature in its legal defense of Arizona’s “S.B. 1070” immigration enforcement law.
Prior to joining Judicial Watch in 2002, Mr. Peterson was a member of the litigation practice of a large national law firm in Washington, D.C., representing business clients in federal and state courts and administrative proceedings. He also was in the litigation department of a major national trade association, representing the industry in complex tax and administrative litigation.
Mr. Peterson is a graduate of the George Mason University School of Law, where he was the Articles Editor of the school’s Civil Rights Law Journal. He received his undergraduate degree from Kent State University in Ohio. Mr. Peterson is an active member of the Federalist Society and other conservative organizations. He is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, Virginia, and numerous federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.
Cristina joined Judicial Watch as a legal assistant in 2002. She holds a BA and a Master’s degree in English from the University of Bucharest, Romania. She also has completed coursework toward a PhD in English at the University of Maryland, where she taught writing and composition for ten years.
David F. Rothstein is a paralegal with Judicial Watch’s legal team. He has worked for Judicial Watch since 2003. David’s prior legal experience included working with both a small law firm and a large legal contractor. David has worked with courts in many different jurisdictions. David has utilized the broad-based knowledge that he has attained to assist Judicial Watch in its many legal victories in both state and federal courts. David is a graduate of the College of William and Mary, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. David also has a law degree from the Columbus School of Law of Catholic University and is a member of both the District of Columbia Bar and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Bar. David has litigated Freedom of Information Act cases in addition to his paralegal duties.
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