October 30, 2013

Location : Kozolchyk National Law Center, Tucson AZ

Over the last two years, the Kozolchyk National Law Center  has been involved in the training of over 3,200 judges, lawyers, and other members of the legal community in Oral Trial Procedure.  This month join NatLaw and the University of Arizona, College of Law for a discussion on the current challenges and opportunities within Mexico in light of the recent Commercial and Criminal Trial Reforms and an overview of NatLaw’s prior trainings.  The Panel Discussion will include insights from a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Guanajuato, Mexico and first-hand perspectives from U.S. judges and attorneys from both the criminal and commercial fields and public and private practice.  Panelist Bios are included below.

Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013, Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Panel will run from 6:00 pm – 7:00pm with an Informal Reception and Cocktails on either end

*This event may qualify for 1 hour of CLE credit

For any questions please email Elizabeth Pocock at epocock@natlaw.com

Our Panelists:

 Lawyer and Instructor Jesus Romero


Jesus Romero is one of NatLaw’s key instructors on oral trial skill trainings.  Mr. Romero has litigated oral trials since 1990 in the Superior Court of the State of California and is admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court and the Federal Courts of the United States. Currently, he works as a public defender in San Diego, California where he litigates criminal cases, including homicides, drug retail, gangs and other complex criminal defense cases. Mr. Romero also serves as an instructor of advanced skills in oral proceedings for civil, commercial and criminal trials in Mexico, Central America and the U.S. As such he has worked with a number of U.S. and foreign institutions such as NatLaw, INACIPE (Mexico), NITA, INECIP (Argentina), CWAG, and ABA ROLI, among others.

Mr. Romero has trained approximately 15,000 prosecutors, public defenders, private lawyers, professors, police officers, experts, law students, trial and appellate-level judges in Latin America.  Mr. Romero is a law graduate from the University of San Diego and has a degree in political science. His article “Advertencia Miranda” was published in Nexo Jurídico (a law journal in Mexico) in November 2011.

 Judge Raquel Barajas


Hon. María Raquel Barajas Monjarás is a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Justice of the State of Guanajuato, Mexico. Justice Barajas has participated in training programs on oral trials conducted by NatLaw in Guanajuato in 2012.  These trainings were made possible because of the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID-Mexico) as well as the support of the Supreme Court of Justice of the State of Guanajuato.  She has a long-standing career with the State Court in Guanajuato and has served as a trial and appellate-level judge in civil and criminal matters, as is currently a Justice to the Supreme Court for appeals on civil matters.Hon. Justice Barajas is a professor at the University of Guanajuato on civil and commercial procedure.  She has published various articles on topics related to civil and criminal procedure.  She obtained her law degree from the University of Guanajuato and has 2 Master degrees on civil and criminal procedure from local universities as well as Master degree focused on civil liability and damages from the University of Salamanca.

 Lawyer, Instructor and Moderator Michael Mandig


Moderator: D. Michael Mandig is a Board Member and key instructor on oral trial skill trainings at NatLaw. He has been a trial lawyer since 1978, appearing before federal and state courts. His professional experience extends to both the United States and Mexico and includes corporate and commercial disputes, civil liability lawsuits, embezzlement and money laundering, and border disputes, among others. Since 2000, he has participated in trainings on oral trials skills and oral advocacy for trial and appellate-level judges, magistrates, prosecutors, public defenders and private attorneys in Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador and other countries of Latin America.

Mr. Mandig has been selected as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” ​​(2009-2012) and as one of the “Southwest Superlawyers” (2008-2012) for his practice in commercial and international litigation. Mr. Mandig is a J.D. graduate from the University of Arizona, and has been an adjunct professor of international litigation at the University of Arizona.

 Judge and Instructor Maria Elena Cruz


Judge Maria Elena Cruz is one of NatLaw’s invaluable instructors for oral trial trainings.  Judge Cruz participated in NatLaw’s recent Criminal Law training in Mexico City and has assisted in NatLaw trainings in San Diego.

Judge Cruz graduated from the University of Arizona, College of Law and returned to her home community of Yuma to practice law as a prosecutor in the Yuma County Attorney’s Office.  In order to gain a more balanced perspective, Judge Cruz eventually left the County Attorney’s Office and became a criminal defense attorney for the Yuma County Legal Defender’s Office.  Success in this area soon led her to open her own private firm.  While in private practice, Judge Cruz was appointed by the Cocopah Indian Tribe as a Judge Pro Tem and in 2008, Judge Cruz became the first woman elected to the Superior Court bench in Yuma County.

Currently Judge Cruz serves as a Yuma County Superior Court Judge and is assigned to the Criminal and Civil bench.  She also presides over specialized courts such as Drug Court and Project SAFE.  Judge Cruz has also been an Executive Officer for the Arizona Judges Association for the past four years.


NatLaw would like to thank all attendees and panelists for their participation in this event.