Joey Vettiankal is a law student at Vanderbilt Law School as a member of the Class of 2024. He is an ACS Class of 2023 Next Generation Leader. Joey serves on the ACS Board of Directors as a Student Representative. Prior to joining the ACS Board of Directors, Joey served as a 1L Representative and the President of the Vanderbilt Law student chapter of the American Constitution Society. Under his leadership, the Vanderbilt Law chapter was honored as the 2023 ACS Student Chapter of the Year, an ACS Programming Award, and the 2022-2023 Vanderbilt Law Student Organization Overall Performance Award.
Ralph Sutton is an industry pioneer whose strategic and operational experience make him among the most trusted funding professionals in the industry. He co-founded Validity in 2018 with the express goal of providing fair, sustainable, and innovative funding to clients in the U.S.
Ralph’s exceptional wealth of experience includes an 18-year career as a trial attorney, and the co-founding of Credit Suisse’s Litigation Risk Strategies Group, one of the first dispute funding entities in the U.S. Ralph then launched Bentham U.S. (now called Omni Bridgeway), running its operations from 2011-17 as chief investment officer, during which time Bentham expanded to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston from its New York base.
Ralph is a champion of increased access to civil justice, and has lectured on funding and its role in reducing legal inequality at Harvard, Stanford, and other premier law schools. In 2016, he helped establish a new Civil Justice Research Institute at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
Ralph graduated from Columbia University and received his J.D. from the New York University School of Law. He served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge G. Thomas Eisele for two years.
Derek Ho is a partner at Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel, & Frederick, PLLC. His litigation practice focuses on representing plaintiffs in high-stakes commercial cases. His litigation efforts have resulted in recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to individuals and businesses nationwide. Among other awards and recognition, Mr. Ho has been named repeatedly by Lawdragon as a Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer.
Mr. Ho has an active appellate and Supreme Court practice. He has been counsel in numerous Supreme Court cases, including cases involving union dues (Janus v. AFSCME (2018)); the scope of liability under the False Claims Act (Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar (2016)); and the standards for class certification (Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo (2016) and Amgen, Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans, (2013)).
Mr. Ho’s pro bono practice focuses on civil rights litigation. He has authored amicus briefs in numerous Supreme Court civil rights cases, including Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard (defending race conscious admissions in higher education); United States v. Texas, (defending the Obama Administration’s “DAPA Memo” from challenge under the APA); Gloucester County School Bd. v. G.G. (defending the Obama Administration’s policies on transgender students’ rights); and Shelby County v. Holder (defending the constitutionality of § 5 of the Voting Rights Act).
Prior to joining Kellogg Hansen, Mr. Ho clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin, U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, and Associate Justice David H. Souter, U.S. Supreme Court. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and Harvard College.
He serves on the Board of Trustees of The Roxbury Latin School and on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights Under Law.
Joyce White Vance is a Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Law.
She served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 2009 to 2017. She was nominated for that position by President Barack Obama in May of 2009 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate in August of 2009. Professor Vance served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee and was the Co-Chair of its Criminal Practice Subcommittee. As U.S. Attorney, she was responsible for overseeing all federal criminal investigations and prosecutions in north Alabama, including matters involving civil rights, national security, cybercrime, public corruption, health care and corporate fraud, violent crime and drug trafficking. She was also responsible for affirmative and defensive civil litigation on behalf of the government and for all federal criminal and civil appeals.
Joshua Matz is a partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, resident in the DC office.
Joshua’s practice includes complex commercial disputes, constitutional and civil rights law, and Supreme Court and appellate litigation. He litigates a wide array of commercial cases, ranging from contract, fraud, and misappropriation disputes to consumer protection and sex discrimination matters. He advises individuals and companies on their response to congressional and state attorney general inquiries, participates in sensitive internal investigations, and supports clients seeking to navigate complex legal questions. Along with several of his colleagues at Kaplan Hecker, Joshua has represented Brown and Columbia Universities in Title IX litigation.