Lindsay Runnels joined UMKC School of Law in August 2016 as an Associate Clinical Professor. Lindsay will be teaching Wrongful Convictions and overseeing the Innocence Project Clinic. Runnels comes to us from Morgan Pilate, a criminal and civil rights litigation firm. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a J.D. from University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
With the help of our students, she and the Midwest Innocence Project will partner to litigate innocence cases within the region. Lindsay is a lifetime Royals fan and spends much of her free time reading Dr. Seuss’ books – over and over and over again.
Irma Russell joined the faculty at UMKC in the fall of 2015 as the Edward A. Smith/ Missouri Chair in Law, the Constitution, and Society. Prior to coming to UMKC, she served as Dean of The University of Montana School of Law (from 2009 to 2014) and as the NELPI Professor and Director of the National Energy-Environment Law & Policy Institute at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Professor Russell is a former chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, the AALS Section of Natural Resources and Energy Law, and ABA Section of Professional Responsibility. She currently serves as the Liaison of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources to the Center for Professional Responsibility and the Publications Board of ABA Section on Dispute Resolution. She has served as the chair of the Professionalism Committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar and as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism and the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. She has also served as chair of the AALS Section on Socio-Economics, and as a member of the Publications Board of the Center for Professional Responsibility.
In practice, Russell represented potentially responsible parties, government entities, lenders, and others on issues arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), wetlands designation, site mitigation, and other environmental issues. She was founding Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Memphis Bar Association and as Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association Environmental Section. Professor Russell is an elected member of the American Law Institute, the Judicial Conference for the Tenth Judicial Circuit, and the American College of Environmental Lawyers.
Professor Russell earned her J.D. from the University of Kansas. She clerked for The Honorable James K. Logan, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and engaged in private practice in Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee.
Areas of Expertise
Professor Russell teaches administrative law, contract law, environmental law, and professional responsibility.
The Nov-Dec 2018 edition of The Environmental Forum featured Professor Russel’s article, “A Safe Environment is a Constitutional Right.” See Page 29.
In spring 2018, Professor Russell joined a discussion on Juliana vs. United States alongside Erin Ryan, Mary Wood, Jim Huffman and Rick Frank. You can see Juliana vs. United States: Debating the Fundamentals of a Fundamental Right to a Sustainable Climate, 46 Fla. St. U. L. Rev. Online *1 (2018), at the Florida State University Law Review online.
Ellen Suni served as the dean of UMKC School of Law for thirteen years, from 2004 – January 2017. She received her bachelor of arts from City College of New York in 1970 and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law, both magna cum laude. While at Boston University, she was active in the Moot Court program and did pro bono work on a Title VII race discrimination case. After graduation, Suni worked for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court as law clerk to the chief justice and as deputy legal assistant to the justices. She then directed the legal writing program at Boston University School of Law and served as assistant dean until she joined the UMKC faculty in 1980.
Suni has argued appeals, mostly in criminal cases, in the Massachusetts state and federal courts as well as in the Missouri Supreme Court, the Kansas Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit. She was on leave from UMKC during the 1987-88 academic year to serve as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri. She has authored several articles and book chapters in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure, and professional responsibility of attorneys.
Suni continues to teach courses in Appellate Advocacy, co-advise the Moot Court program and serve as an instructor in the Law School’s innovative solo and small firm courses. She previously taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Ethics in Criminal Advocacy and Wrongful Convictions and worked with the academic enrichment program.
Areas of expertise
Appellate practice, criminal law and procedure, professional responsibility.
Wanda Temm received her bachelor of arts in 1977, graduating summa cum laude from Ottawa University. After receiving her master of science from Purdue University in 1979, Professor Temm was a social worker for six years until she entered the University of Kansas School of Law. She received her J.D. in 1988 after serving as note and comment editor of the Kansas Law Review.
Professor Temm was admitted to the Kansas Bar in 1988 and the Missouri Bar in 1989. Prior to joining the faculty in 1991, she practiced with the firm of Shook, Hardy and Bacon specializing in business litigation and appellate practice.
Professor Temm received the 2017 Daniel L. Brenner Faculty Publishing Award for her book, Clearing the Last Hurdle: Mapping Success on the Bar Exam, the leading textbook on bar preparation. Temm received the 2013 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching–UMKC’s highest honor for excellence in teaching for clinical faculty. She also received the 2012 Women’s Justice Legal Scholar Award from Missouri Publishers Media, which recognizes women faculty members who demonstrate leadership, integrity, service, sacrifice and accomplishment in improving the quality of justice and exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession. Temm received the 2006 Tiera Farrow Faculty Award for her leadership, dedication, and commitment to improving the position of women in the law.
Professor Temm is the founder of the UMKC Bar Pass Program and is the former director of the Legal Writing Program. She teaches the courses Lawyering Skills, Legal Analysis and Methods, Lawyering Skills Teaching Assistant Methods, Advanced Legal Writing: Litigation Drafting, Advanced Legal Writing: Practical Skills, Family Law, and Civil Procedure.
Areas of expertise
Legal analysis, research, and writing; bar preparation and the bar exam; family law, civil procedure
Associate Dean Thomas joined the UMKC Law Faculty in 1993. His research focuses on insurance law and on the intersection between law and culture. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition, co-author of the three-volume treatise Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance, and an Adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance. His work on law and culture includes Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics: An Empirical Cultural Perspective on China, Hong Kong and Singapore, 22 Asia Pacific Law Review 115 (2014), Cultural Imaginary, the Rule of Law and (Post-) Colonialism in Indonesia: Perspectives from Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s “This Earth of Mankind,” and The Law an Harry Potter (Carolina Academic Press, J. Thomas and F. Snyder, eds., 2010). His student comment, Statement of Fact, Statements of Opinion, and the First Amendment, 74 California Law Review 1001 (1986), has been cited by the United States Supreme Court.
Dean Thomas attended the BerkeleyLaw of the University of California, Berkeley, where he was an executive editor on the California Law Review. As an undergraduate, Dean Thomas studied political science at Loyola Marymount University, but spent much of his time engaged in competitive intercollegiate debate. He and his partner, Doug Cotton, were ranked in the top ten debate teams in the country by the National Debate Tournament at-large bidding process for his junior and senior years of college.
Before joining the faculty, Thomas was a Bigelow Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School. He also spent five years practicing law in Southern California with the law firm Irell and Manella, working on civil litigation and insurance coverage matters. Prior to practicing law, he was a law clerk to the Honorable M. Joseph Blumenfeld of the United State District Court, District of Connecticut.
He teaches Torts, Civil Procedure and Introduction to American Law and Culture. He has been a visiting professor at University of Connecticut, Nankai University in Tianjin, China (as a Fulbright Fellow), and Immanuel Kant State University inn Kaliningrad, Russia (also as a Fulbright Fellow), and an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School (Los Angeles). As Associate Dean, he has responsibility for oversight of international programs, including study abroad and the LL.M. in Lawyering. In his free time, Dean Thomas enjoys travel, books, popular culture, and chocolate. He is an amateur chocolatier.
Areas of expertise
Insurance law, torts, civil procedure, economics
Tom Thomas joined the Kansas City Tax Clinic in August 2016 as the Assistant Director.
Tom received his bachelor of arts in English from the University of Mississippi in 1971; he received his juris doctorate with honors from the University of Mississippi in 1973. Tom joined the Office of Chief Counsel, IRS, in 1974 as a trial attorney. He held positions of increased responsibility in Counsel’s office until his retirement in 2015, as Division Counsel, Small Business/Self-Employed. Tom received the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 2005. He is admitted to practice in the States of Mississippi and Missouri, the United States Tax Court, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Mikah K. Thompson re-joined the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in 2018, where she had been a full-time faculty member from 2005 to 2011. She teaches the following courses: Civil Procedure I, Evidence, Race and the Law, and Employment Law. Professor Thompson’s research centers on the intersection of evidentiary law and critical race theory. Recently, she has written on juror bias, describing the impact racial stereotypes have on the way in which jurors assess trial evidence. She has also published articles on the cultural meanings of silence, advocating for a revocation of the tacit admission rule. Professor Thompson’s publications can be found here.
Prior to re-joining the faculty, Professor Thompson was the Director of Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator for the UMKC campus. In that role, she coordinated the university’s response to internal complaints of discrimination, harassment and gender-based violence. She also handled the university’s response to complaints of discrimination investigated by local, state and federal administrative agencies and served as the campus’ ADA Accommodations Coordinator.
Professor Thompson is a certified mediator in the states of Kansas and Missouri and frequently provides continuing legal education in the areas of employment law, professional responsibility, and implicit bias. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in communications from Missouri State University and her J.D. from Washington University.
L. Michaelle Tobin received her B.A. and her J.D. from the University of Missouri – Columbia. She was a member of several competition teams including moot court, trial advocacy, negotiations, and client counseling. She was awarded the National Moot Court Prize and the Allen H. Parke Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. She was a member of the Board of Advocates and Order of Barristers. She is currently working on her L.L.M. with an Advocacy emphasis.
Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Tobin was a practicing attorney with nine years at the Missouri State Public Defender’s Office and seven years in private practice. During her career, she has first chaired many jury trials ranging from misdemeanors to murders. She is a graduate of the Trial Lawyers College.
Professor Tobin works with Professor Foreman in the Advocacy Department and coaches mock trial teams.
Areas of expertise
Trial advocacy, criminal practice, family law practice
Daniel Weddle joined the UMKC Law School in 1996, and serves as director of academic support. A former high school teacher and administrator, Weddle has focused his research on issues in educational law, especially those concerning violence and bullying in schools. In 1999, Professor Weddle took a leave from the law school to serve as interim dean of operations for the UMKC School of Education. While there, he worked closely with the Kansas City, Missouri School District (KCMSD) in a pilot project placing seniors from the School of Education in the KCMSD schools as full-time teachers with KCMSD faculty mentors.
Professor Weddle graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1995, serving as the editor-in-chief of the Law Review’s Criminal Procedure Review. Prior to joining the law school, he practiced with the Wirken Group, P.C., in Kansas City, Mo., where he specialized in business, family law and tort litigation. Prior to beginning his legal career, Weddle served as academic dean and English instructor at Maranatha Academy in Kansas City for 12 years.
He teaches the courses Governmental and Legal Aspects of Education, Legal Aspects of Higher Education, Scholarly Writing, Litigation Drafting, Practical Skills and Introduction to Lawyering Processes.
Areas of expertise