Our People

Hon. Beverly Martin, Director

Hon. Beverly Martin

The United States Senate confirmed Beverly Martin as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in January, 2010. Before joining the  Court of Appeals, Beverly sat for nearly a decade as a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta.

Beverly is the fourth generation in her family to practice law in Macon, Georgia. Prior to taking her oath as a U.S. Judge, Beverly served as the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia as well as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in that office. She represented the State of Georgia between 1984 and 1994 as an Assistant Attorney General in Atlanta. She began her legal career in Macon with the law firm of Martin, Snow, Grant & Napier LLP in 1981.

Beverly received her JD from the University of Georgia School of Law and her BA from Stetson University.



Janet Sabel, Director, Access to Justice Initiative

Janet Sabel

Janet Sabel is the Founding Director of the Access to Justice Initiative at NYU Law School’s Center on Civil Justice. The initiative is an ambitious effort to assist state courts in building robust, equitable and sustainable programs and policies to address the needs of self-represented persons in a reimagined civil court system. Leveraging the resources of NYU Law School, and marrying scholarship and advocacy, transformative ideas and practical steps, the initiative will work with judges and courts nationwide to build a more accessible, problem-solving civil court system that delivers justice to members of underserved communities in housing, family, consumer collection and small claims matters. Janet has worked for nearly forty years as an advocate for social and economic justice. Most recently, she was the Executive Director and Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society in New York City, where she previously had spent the first decades of her professional career in Legal Aid’s Civil Practice, representing clients in Housing Court, bringing law reform cases around disability and health law issues, running a neighborhood office, and leading the Immigration Law Unit before serving as Legal Aid’s General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer.

In between her stints at Legal Aid, Janet spent eight years at the New York State Attorney General’s office, serving initially as Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice and ultimately as a Chief Deputy to two Attorneys General. In these capacities, Janet oversaw the affirmative enforcement work of the Attorney General’s Social and Economic Justice Bureaus, including Civil Rights, Environmental Protection, Labor, Charities, Health Care, Consumer, Antitrust, and Investor Protection.

Janet’s work has been recognized by Cranes (Notable Women in Law), City & State (Power 50, Nonprofit Power, Law Power), the New York State Bar Association (Public Interest Law), New York County Lawyers’Association (Public Service Award), and The Legal Aid Society (Servant of Justice Award).

Janet received her BA from Harvard College and her JD from NYU Law School where she was a Root Tilden scholar. Janet clerked on the First Circuit Court of Appeals for the Honorable Frank M. Coffin.


David Siffert, Director of Research & Projects

David Siffert is an attorney born-and-raised in New York City.  Prior to joining the Center, Siffert was a civil litigator at Boies, Schiller & Flexner.  Siffert clerked for Hon. Robert S. Smith, Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, and Hon. Barbara S. Jones, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.  Siffert is an alumnus of New York University School of Law ('09) and the University of Chicago (AB '06).


In Memoriam: Peter Zimroth, Founding Director

Peter Zimroth, founding director of NYU Law School’s Center on Civil Justice, was an adjunct professor at the Law School.  He served as the independent monitor appointed by the United States District Court to oversee the New York City Police Department's compliance with the court’s orders regarding the NYPD’s practices and policies regarding “stop, question and frisk” and enforcement of trespass laws.        

Mr. Zimroth was recognized as an accomplished trial lawyer and appellate advocate, as well as a leading litigator in products liability, commercial, securities, and criminal law matters. He tried jury and nonjury cases and arbitrations, argued appeals at every level of state and federal court (including in the US Supreme Court), and represented clients before government and regulatory agencies, disciplinary panels, and congressional committees.

Early in his career, Mr. Zimroth was corporation counsel of the City of New York. The corporation counsel, the city's chief legal officer, is in charge of all the city's legal business, and heads the city's law department of more than 500 lawyers. As corporation counsel, Mr. Zimroth supervised major litigations, was the prosecuting authority in juvenile cases and provided counsel on employment issues, major economic development projects, city contract and procurement policies, environmental, healthcare, law enforcement, transportation and education issues, tort and products liability, and legislation. He was the architect of the City's law providing for the public financing of city elections, a law which has become the model for local legislation around the country.  Mr. Zimroth served as an assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York (securities fraud unit) and as the chief assistant district attorney in Manhattan, the highest non-elected position in the district attorney's office. He was a tenured professor at the New York University School of Law and a law clerk to US Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas and to Chief Judge David Bazelon of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He was the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. He was appointed by the chief judge of New York State to serve as one of the three directors of the now defunct Capital Defender’s Office, which had the responsibility of ensuring legal representation for indigents charged with capital offenses, and served on the Moreland Commission appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to report on campaign finance and related ethical issues.

Mr. Zimroth served on many boards and committees among which are the executive committee of the New York City Bar Association, chair of its Criminal Law Committee, the ACLU’s Privacy and Due Process committees, the board of the Legal Aid Society, the Criminal Procedure Law Advisory Committee to the Judicial Conference and the boards of two schools for children with learning disabilities. He serves as a referee for the Appellate Division First Department in attorney discipline matters.

Mr. Zimroth was published on a wide variety of subjects in the Yale Law Journal, The New York Times, and The New York Law Journal. He was the author of "Perversions of Justice" (Viking Press, 1974), a book about political trials. He received many awards and recognitions, including:

  • The New York Law Journal's 2014 "Lawyers Who Lead by Example" in the Lifetime Achievement category.
  • Interfaith Center’s 2014 James Parks Morton Humanitarian Award (for “lifetime achievements and contributions towards increasing respect and mutual understanding among people of different faiths, ethnicities, and cultural traditions.”)
  • Association of Muslim American Lawyers 2016 Honoree for his work defending civil rights and civil liberties.
  • City and State NY Magazine’s top 50 most influential people in New York politics working in law.
  • The Best Lawyers in America for Bet-the-Company Litigation (2008-2016) and Commercial Litigation (2006-2016)
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2012 for Products Liability & Mass Torts (New York)
  • New York Super Lawyers 2006-2011
  • New York Super Lawyers 2011 for Securities Litigation and Business Litigation
  • Chambers USA 2006-2011 Products Liability
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business 2011 for Products Liability