Biography




JoAnne Epps has been Dean of the Temple University Beasley School of Law since 2008. She has been a frequent speaker on Evidence and Advocacy both domestically and internationally, and is frequently consulted on issues involving legal education.

In 2007 and 2008, Dean Epps traveled to London as the only academic member of a nine-person American team which provided training to Sudanese lawyers representing victims of the Darfur crisis. The training included substantive International Criminal Law, with special focus on practice before the International Criminal Court, as well as Evidence and Advocacy. In 2005 and 2006, along with Temple Law School Professor Edward Ohlbaum, Dean Epps taught Jury Trial Advocacy to 20,000+ members of the Japanese Bar Association. These programs were offered in anticipation of the 2009 re-institution of jury trials in criminal cases in Japan.

In 2003, Dean Epps joined other international faculty to teach advocacy skills to prosecutors at the United Nation's ICTR (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda) in Arusha, Tanzania. Dean Epps has also taught courses in advocacy in Beijing, China to Chinese lawyers enrolled in Temple's LL.M. program and to lawyers from the Beijing Supreme People's Procuratorate (the Chinese Prosecutor's Office). Domestically, she was a presenter at "Trial Evidence in the Federal Courts" in New York in 2007 and "Witness Preparation" in Los Angeles, CA in 2006, and moderated panels on "Public Speaking" (Hawaii, 2006) and "Prosecutorial Discretion" (Philadelphia, 2007). Along with colleague David Sonenshein, Dean Epps has annually offered "Evidence for Lawyers," a six-hour review of current issues in trial evidence. She is also a long-time member of the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and ALI-ABA.

In October of 2009, Dean Epps served as honorary co-chair of a national summit on lawyer education, “Equipping Our Lawyers: Law School Education, Continuing Legal Education, and Legal Practice in the 21st Century,” sponsored by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association) and ACLEA (Association for Continuing Legal Education). She was also a planner and participant in a June 2009 national caucus on the Impact of the Recession on the Legal Profession, sponsored by the American Bar Association.

Dean Epps is the author or co-author of a number of academic publications, including THE WINNING ARGUMENT and THE TWELVE SECRETS OF PERSUASIVE ARGUMENT, both written with Paul Mark Sandler and Ronald J. Waicukauski.

Dean Epps is a member of the American Law Institute and is active in several professional organizations. She is an officer of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, and has completed terms as a member of both the ABA Nominating Committee and the Steering Committee of the Nominating Committee. She is currently a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Constitution and Bylaws and the ABA Presidential Commission on the Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Legal Profession and Legal Needs. She has been a member of the Advisory Committee to the ALI-ABA Program Committee since 1996 and was appointed in 2006 to ALI-ABA's Litigation Advisory Panel. Dean Epps also serves on the Planning Committee for the AALS Section for the Law School Dean Program at the 2010 Annual Meeting. In 2009, Dean Epps became a member of the Advisory Council for the Pennsylvania Prison Society; she also sits on the Advisory Board of the Public Interest Law Center. In July 2009, Dean Epps represented the National Association of Women Lawyers by offering testimony at the Senate confirmation hearing of United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Dean Epps is also active in women's and minority organizations. She is a former Vice Chair of the Pennsylvania Gender Task Force and has served as a member of the Third Circuit Task Force on Equal Treatment in the Courts, a member of the Task Force's Commission on Race and Ethnicity, and as Co-Chair of the Commission's Committee on Special Issues in Criminal Justice. From 2002 to 2005 Dean Epps was a member of the Board of Directors of Women's Way. At Temple, Dean Epps served as a member of the Women's Studies Program Steering Committee and remains an affiliated member of the Women's Studies Department. She also served as a member of the University’s 125th Anniversary Steering Committee. Prior to her appointment as Dean, Dean Epps was an advisor to both the Women's Law Caucus and the Black Law Students' Association.

In 2001, Dean Epps was asked by Philadelphia Mayor John Street to serve as Chair of the Mayor's Task Force on Police Discipline, an assignment she accepted and which concluded with the timely submission of the Report with recommendations, as requested. She has served as a member of the Pennsylvania Judicial Independence Commission, a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Committee to Promote Fairness in the Judiciary, and as a member of the Pennsylvania Commission for Justice Initiatives. She has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Defender Association of Philadelphia since 1991, and from 1999 to 2006 served as Board President. Always the sports enthusiast, from 1994 to 2006 Dean Epps served as Temple University's Faculty Representative to the NCAA (and in 2003 was named the 2003 Outstanding Faculty Athletic Representative by the All-American Football Foundation.)

Before her appointment as Dean, Dean Epps was a member of the Temple Law Faculty for twenty-three years and served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for nineteen of those years. Before joining the Temple faculty in 1985, she was a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Dean Epps’ primary teaching areas include Criminal Procedure, Evidence and Trial Advocacy. She has also taught Criminal Law and Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiation.

Dean Epps has been honored by several institutions. In November, 2009, Dean Epps was one of three alumni honored by Trinity College for their Career Achievements in Law. In June 2009 Dean Epps was awarded the Sandra Day O’Connor Award by the Philadelphia Bar Association and in October 2009 she was awarded the Wiley A. Branton Award by the National Bar Association. In March 2009, Dean Epps was awarded the Take the Lead Award by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. In 2008, Dean Epps was the recipient of a “Women in the Profession Woman of the Year Award” presented by The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly. In 2006, she received Temple University's F. Eugene Dixon, Jr. Inspiration Award. In 2005, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy presented Dean Epps with the 2004 Honorable Robert E. Keeton Faculty Award. In 2003, Dean Epps received the Gideon Award, given by Temple Law School to acknowledge dedication to the cause of Justice. In 2002, she was selected by the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners as one of three winners of the 2002 Women Making History Award. In 2002, in conjunction with the celebration of the Martin Luther King holiday, Dean Epps was named by the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia (an affiliate of the National Bar Association) as one of four Women of Distinction. In 2001, she was named by the Philadelphia Business Journal and the National Association of Women Business Owners as one of 25 Women of Distinction. In 2001, Dean Epps was named by the Philadelphia Legal Intelligencer as one of 50 Pennsylvania Women of Influence. In 1999, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Cheltenham High School, her alma mater. In 1998, Dean Epps received the Doris May Harris Image Award from the National Bar Association's Women Lawyers Division. That same year, she received the Alumni Service Award from her alma mater, Trinity College.

Dean Epps is also sought after as a speaker. Selected recent presentations include the following. In November, 2009, she delivered the keynote address at Trinity College’s John Hope Franklin Symposium. In September, 2009, she delivered the keynote speech at the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Conference. In June, 2009, she delivered the A. Leon Higginbotham Lecture at the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Quarterly Luncheon. In March, 2009, she delivered the keynote speech at the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Conference for the Minority Lawyer. And in October of 2008, she delivered the keynote at the White & Williams Virginia Barton Wallace conference. In 2008, she also addressed the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution’s National Task Force on Diversity in ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution).

Dean Epps received her B.A. degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. in 1973 and her J.D. degree from Yale Law School in 1976.



JoAnne A. Epps

JoAnne A. Epps

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