Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

June 14, 2012
New Visiting Faculty Appointed

Two Visiting Associate Professors of Law have been appointed to Southwestern's full-time faculty for the 2012-13 academic year. Professor Jessica Berch will teach in the first-year curriculum, and Professor Jay W. Gendron will teach courses in entertainment law. They both bring outstanding academic and professional credentials that will enhance Southwestern's curriculum.

Professor Jessica BerchProfessor Jessica Berch

Professor Berch, who will teach Civil Procedure, gained experience in constitutional law, class action defense, administrative law, and corporate governance as an associate in the Litigation and Appellate practices at the firm of Perkins Coie LLP. As a member for the firm's Investigations and White Collar Defense subgroup, she has also represented clients in connection with investigations by federal and state authorities regarding tax, securities, and environmental issues. She has briefed cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Arizona Supreme Court, and has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

Active in pro bono practice as well, Professor Berch has handled immigration actions, constitutional impact litigation, and family law matters. She was part of the team in Doe v. Reed, in which the United States Supreme Court held that the disclosure of the names of referendum petition signers does not violate the First Amendment, and she won an appeal in an immigration case before the Ninth Circuit.

Professor Berch is the co-author of a book and teacher's manual on Introduction to Legal Method and Process (West Publishing, 2010). Her articles have been published in Temple Law Review and the Minnesota Journal of International Law. Her professional activities include serving as a member of the board of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association, and as Report Chair and Recorder for Arizona Town Hall. She has presented CLE courses on "The Uniform Contribution Among Tortfeasers Act and Non-Parties at Fault."

Professor Berch earned her B.A., summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in Humanities, emphasis in Classics, in 2004 at Arizona State University, Barrett Honors College. She completed her J.D. in 2008 at Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar her first year and a James Kent Scholar her second and third years. She served as Articles Editor of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law and was a competitor, coach and editor on the Environmental Law Moot Court Team. She also served as a Teaching Fellow in Legal Methods. Following law school, she clerked for the Hon. Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is a member of the Arizona State Bar.

Professor Jay GendronProfessor Jay W. Gendron

As a former executive in business affairs and legal affairs at Warner Bros. and consultant to Showtime and other media companies for more than two decades, Professor Gendron brings an insider's perspective on every facet of television production to the law classroom. His expertise will be a tremendous asset for teaching Entertainment Business Affairs Negotiation, the Entertainment Law Capstone and the Entertainment Production Practicum at Southwestern, and playing a key role in developing an entertainment law clinic at the law school.

Professor Gendron spent more than 20 years at Warner Bros. Television, most recently as Vice President of Business Affairs, where he served as the primary point person for negotiations for writers, producers, directors and actors for the world's largest supplier of primetime scripted television. In this position, he handled all aspects of television business affairs including network license agreements, rights acquisitions and A-Level overall writer/producer agreements. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Legal Affairs, where he oversaw all legal aspects of production, rights acquisitions, co-production agreements, distribution agreements, negotiation/drafting of contracts, and garnered court approval of minors' contracts. He also drafted seminal development, license and termination agreements for The WB network.

Before he joined Warner Bros in 1991, Professor Gendron was the Director of Legal Affairs at Lorimar Television for several years. There, he served as production counsel, primarily handling network license agreements and clearance matters. Earlier in his career, he was an attorney with the firms of Leopold, Petrich & Smith and McCutchen, Black, Verleger & Shea.

Professor Gendron completed his B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, in Government/International Studies in 1979 at the University of Notre Dame. He earned his J.D. in 1984 at Duke University School of Law, where he was editor of the Duke Legal Research Program, participated in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Oral Advocacy Project and served on the Moot Court Board. Professor Gendron is a member of the California State Bar.