Board of Directors
Mari Newman, Board President
Mari Newman, Board President
Mari Newman is a Partner at KILLMER, LANE & NEWMAN, LLP, where her practice emphasizes Civil Rights and Employment Law. Mari has dedicated her entire career to advocating on behalf of the underdog and disenfranchised against the entrenched power of government and corporations.
Mari has consistently been voted among the Top 100 Lawyers in Colorado and Top 50 Women Lawyers in Colorado. She has repeatedly been designated as a Colorado Super Lawyer. Mari has been recognized as the Lawyer of the Year in Denver for Employment Law – Individuals for both 2017 and 2014 by The Best Lawyers in America®. Mari is a 2016 recipient of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Foundation’s “Raising the Bar” award honoring women lawyers who have made a difference and raised the bar for other women. In 2015, Mari received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Award celebrating “Content of Character,” the GLBT Bar Association Foundation’s Attorney of the Year award, and the Shorter Community AME Shoes of Justice Award honoring those who have “walked the walk of justice.” In 2014, Mari was named as a Lawyer of the Year by Law Week Colorado, and as a Top Lawyer in the areas of Civil Rights and Labor and Employment Law by 5280 Publishing. She was twice voted Law Week Colorado’s “Barrister’s Best” Plaintiff’s Employment Lawyer, and was recognized as one of 7 Top Women Attorneys in 2013 by Law Week Colorado. Ms. Newman was honored with the Denver Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Entrepreneurial Woman of the year award.
Mari was honored with the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado’s 2010 Carle E. Whitehead Award, celebrating those individuals who “stand on principle to defend our civil liberties.” Mari was also recognized with the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association’s 2010 Access to Justice Award, honoring “perseverance, courage and character shown over and over in cases of extraordinary circumstances.” Mari was a recipient of the Southern Center for Human Rights’ 2007 Frederick Douglass Human Rights Award for her representation of persons detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She was also recognized as the Colorado Legal Initiatives Project’s 2007 Barrister of the Year. Mari received the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association’s 2009 Case of the Year Award for leading her team in a case against the Colorado Department of Corrections on behalf of a female inmate who had been raped by a prison guard. Mari was also named as one of the Denver Business Journal’s 2009 “Forty Under Forty,” recognizing forty outstanding professionals under age 40 for their business success and community contributions. She received the Denver Bar Foundation’s 2008 Richard Marden Davis Award, presented to a Denver lawyer under the age of 40 who combines excellence as a lawyer with creative civic, cultural, educational and charitable leadership. She was recognized as the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association’s 2008 Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer of the Year. Mari has also been honored as a Fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation, a designation bestowed upon no more than five percent of the lawyers in Colorado for “outstanding dedication to the welfare of the community, the traditions of the profession and the maintenance and advancement of the objectives of the Colorado Bar Association.”
Dr. Rabia Belt is an advocate and leading scholar on the history of disability and citizenship. She is an Associate Professor at Stanford Law School, where she teaches courses on Disability Law and the History of Civil Rights Law, among other topics. Her scholarship focuses on the historical (and contemporary) access to democracy for people with disabilities. She was named a Kathryn T. Preyer Scholar in 2015 and her book titled Disabling Democracy in America: Citizenship, Suffrage, and the Law, 1819-1920 is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Rabia has presented her scholarship in workshops, classes, symposia, and conferences, from the White House to Germany.
In 2016, President Obama appointed Rabia to the National Council on Disability, where she advised Congress among other federal agencies on best practices for equal access. She comes to CREEC with past board experience, having served on the Disability Rights Bar Association Board of Directors from 2015 to 2020. Her other professional affiliations include the American Society for Legal History, where she is on the Board of Directors; the Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium, where she sits on the Planning Committee; and the Society for Disability Studies.
As a law student, Rabia worked as a summer associate at Preston, Gates & Ellis, LLP, a parliamentary intern with the South African Human Rights Commission, and a research intern at the Office of the Monitor for Pigford v. Glickman & Brewington v. Glickman. She received her JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 2009, and her PhD in American Studies from the University of Michigan in 2015.
Alan is a lifetime advocate for civil rights. His research includes federal remedies for civil rights violations, free speech doctrine and theory, and lawyering for social change. He is a past chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Civil Rights. In recent years, he has litigated several high-profile, pro bono civil rights cases in the federal courts, including two suits challenging so-called Ag Gag laws that criminalize efforts of activists and journalists to expose misconduct on factory farms, an excessive force case against law enforcement officers who used pepper spray to subdue peaceful environmental protesters, and a successful facial challenge to a Colorado law mandating that all students and teachers recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. Since joining the University of Denver Sturm College of Law faculty in 1992, Alan has received awards for teaching, contributions to the law review and pro bono legal work. Before entering teaching, Alan was a civil liberties litigator with the ACLU’s Chicago office, focusing primarily on cases concerning the First Amendment, police misconduct, and privacy rights. Before that, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marvin E. Aspen, U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Alan received his J.D. from Stanford University in 1985.
Steve is a civil rights leader in the fair housing, mortgage lending and insurance discrimination world. He has litigated a number of significant lending and insurance discrimination cases. Steve was lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the class-action litigation Toledo Fair Housing Center v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. ($5.35 million settlement) and was co-counsel for the plaintiffs in HOME of Richmond v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. ($100.5 million jury verdict). Steve has testified before both houses of Congress on mortgage lending discrimination issues, and is the author of many articles in the field, including Eliminating the Labyrinth: A Proposal to Simplify Federal Mortgage Lending Discrimination Laws, 26 U. Mich. J. L. Ref. 527 (1993); Disparate Impact Analysis in the Mortgage Lending Context, 115 Banking L.J. 900(1998); Application of the Federal Fair Housing Act to Homeowners Insurance, Chapter Two of Insurance Redlining (G. Squires, ed., 1997); and The Exposure of Securitization Trustees to Liability Under the Federal Fair Housing Act for Poorly Maintained Real Estate Owned Properties, Banking L. J. (Feb. 2014).
Steve has also litigated several accessible design and construction cases, such as National Fair Housing Alliance, Inc. v. A.G. Spanos Companies, 542 F. Supp. 2d 1054 (N.D.Cal. 2008), involving 82 multi-family projects constructed around the country since 1991, settlement valued at $15 million; and claims involving local and state governments’ failures to “affirmatively further fair housing” as a condition of their receipt of federal funding. See United States of America ex rel. Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York, Inc. v. Westchester County, New York, 495 F.Supp.2d 375 (S.D.N.Y. 2007); 668 F.Supp.2d 548 (S.D.N.Y. 2009). Steve was also co-lead counsel in a successful fair housing challenge to Alabama’s immigration reform legislation, Central Alabama Fair Housing Center v. Magee, 835 F. Supp. 2d 1165 (M.D. Ala. 2011).
Steve is currently the owner of Dane Law, LLC, a firm dedicated to representing fair housing agencies, non-profits, legal aid organizations, and their clients. He is an honors graduate of The University of Notre Dame (B.S., Mathematics, 1978), and received his law degree from The University of Toledo College of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1981). He is a former law clerk to the Honorable Pierce Lively of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In 1998 Mr. Dane was selected as one of eight Lawyers of the Year by Ohio Lawyers Weekly, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Civil Rights.
Steve is also editor of the Civil Rights Insider, the quarterly eNewsletter of the Federal Bar Association’s Civil Rights Law Section. In 2000, he received the Public Interest Award from a consortium of legal services organizations, including Advocates for Basic Equality and the Equal Justice Foundation. For 17 years Steve has served as Acting Judge of the Perrysburg, Ohio Municipal Court, and is a former Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the Diocese of Toledo. Steve also served as President of the Toledo Bar Association in 2010-2011.
After nearly 25 successful years as a civil rights attorney, Tim is known for ground-breaking litigation. He particularly enjoys creative approaches to class-action and systemic-change litigation, including through structured negotiations and cutting-edge litigation on behalf of people detained in immigration prisons. Following 17 years of private practice at Fox & Robertson, the civil rights firm he and his wife Amy Robertson built, Tim and Amy co-founded CREEC to continue to bring impact litigation, expand their outreach and increase proactive investigation. Tim’s cases include a nationwide class-action on behalf of individuals detained in immigration prisons, class action settlements through structured negotiations with cities across the country resulting in more than $500 million in accessibility improvements to sidewalks and paths of travel, along with multiple other systemic-change cases under disability rights statutes.
Prior to establishing Fox & Robertson, Tim was an associate at what was then Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. A Colorado native with family roots in the state beginning in 1869, Tim received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Denver and a law degree from Stanford Law School, where he was a member of the Stanford Law Review and president of his graduating class. In 1986, Tim was injured playing rugby and has used a wheelchair for mobility since then. Tim is admitted to practice in Colorado, California, and the District of Columbia (inactive).
In addition to his day jobs as CREEC attorney and co-executive director, Tim serves on the National Board of Directors of the ACLU. He is an avid – some might say rabid – sports fan, poker player, and connoisseur of hot sauces and whiskey.
Throughout Tom’s long career of practicing law, he has gained a national reputation for protecting the rights of news and media organizations to speak and publish freely. He has successfully represented numerous news and media outlets including NBCUniversal, Inc., The Denver Post, and Gawker Media. Chambers USA describes him as “a go-to guy in libel defense and media litigation in Colorado and nationally. His ease in the courtroom, and excellent judgment are singled out” by clients, and the Media Law Resource Center has stated that his “lifetime of advocacy for reporters and editors is an inspiration to us all.”
Currently, Tom is Counsel at Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP, where he focuses primarily on representing individuals for social justice advocacy and pro bono work. He was previously Senior Counsel at Ballard Spahr, LLP. Tom also serves as Fellow Emeritus for Litigation Counsel of America, and has held numerous esteemed positions in the past, including Governing Board Member for the Colorado Bar Association, President of Media Law Resource Center’s Defense Counsel Section, and President and Board of Directors member of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. Tom has received numerous recognitions for his work, including being named Law Week Colorado Lawyer of the Year in 2013, and receiving First Amendment Lawyer of the Year designations in 2011, 2012, and 2015 by The Best Lawyers in America®. In 2018, he received a First Amendment Leadership Award from Media Law Resource Center in recognition of his career-long accomplishment of protecting the rights of news operations. He has been ranked in the top tier nationally by Chambers USA in First Amendment Litigation for over a decade.
Tom holds a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
Bill Lann Lee
Bill Lann Lee
Bill has been a civil rights attorney for more than 40 years with expertise in challenging employment discrimination and disability access. From December 1997 to January 2001, Bill served as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in the United States Department of Justice in the Clinton Administration, as the nation’s top civil rights prosecutor. He has brought disability access cases against Netflix to obtain closed captioning on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf, and against Burger King and Walmart on behalf of individuals who use wheelchairs for mobility. His employment discrimination work includes prosecution cases against Wet Seal, Costco, Best Buy, Abercrombie & Fitch, and McCormick & Schmick’s.
Before joining CREEC, Bill was a shareholder at Lewis, Feinberg, Lee & Jackson, P.C. in Oakland, CA, and previously a partner at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. Earlier in his career, he spent 18 years as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and headed the Legal Defense Fund’s western regional office in Los Angeles. Bill earned his Bachelor of Arts from Yale University and his law degree from Columbia University School of Law. Bill is admitted to practice in California and New York (inactive).
When not busy fighting injustice, Bill spends time reading history, biographies, and science fiction. He’s an avid traveler and especially loves visiting his grandson, Oliver.
Mark is a Director of the Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals practice area of The Livingston Group LLC. Mark served on President Obama’s Transition Team and in President Clinton’s White House as Assistant to the President for the Office of Management and Administration. His areas of responsibility included the White House Military Office, which managed Air Force One, the White House Communications Agency, the Medical Unit, and Camp David; running the White House Operations; and the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Administration, which was responsible for finance, information systems, human resources, legal/appropriations and security. Mark’s office was responsible for the logistics of all domestic and international Presidential travel and special air missions. President Bill Clinton selected Mark to be the operational lead for the White House’s 2001 transition preparation and execution. Prior to his appointment to the White House, Mark served as senior legislative aid and counsel to Congressman Louis Stokes (D-OH). He worked closely with Democrats and the Congressional Black Caucus on a number of business and economic issues. Mark was a member of Senator Hillary Clinton’s Minnesota Finance Committee for her 2008 Presidential campaign. Before joining The Livingston Group, Mark was with UnitedHealth Group, one of the world’s largest healthcare companies, where he held a number of senior positions including President of the AARP Pharmacy Services Division and Vice President of Public Communications and Strategy. Mark holds a B.A. from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota; a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law; an M.A. in International Affairs from Georgetown University; and a graduate degree from the Advanced Management program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
With almost 25 years of experience as a successful civil rights plaintiffs’ attorney, Amy’s expertise in class action and individual representation in disability rights cases is unparalleled. She has represented people with a wide range of disabilities in a wide range of settings, but specialized in Deaf rights and rights of incarcerated people with disabilities. Following 17 years of private practice at Fox & Robertson, the civil rights firm she and her husband Tim Fox built, Amy and Tim co-founded CREEC to continue to bring impact litigation, expand their outreach, and increase proactive investigation. Amy’s work includes successful cases requiring videophones in Colorado prisons and outdoor exercise for Colorado’s maximum security prisoners, multiple cases challenging the failure of hospitals to provide sign language interpreters, and the then-largest wheelchair-access class action settlement.
Prior to establishing Fox & Robertson, Amy was an associate at what was then Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. Amy received her Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College and her law degree from Yale Law School. Following law school, Amy clerked for the Hon Richard L. Williams of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. She is admitted to practice in Colorado, the District of Columbia (inactive), and Minnesota (inactive).
Outside of her busy life as an attorney, co-executive director and sought-after educator of disability rights law, Amy enjoys time with her husband and two dogs. She is also an avid reader, photographer, and blogger, with an occasional propensity for snark.