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.  David serves as Director of Research & Projects at the Center on Civil Justice, having previously served as Research Coordinator.  David is also an Adjunct Professor of Clinical Law at NYU School of Law, teaching NYU's State Legislative Externship.  David is also the Legal Director at the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project.

Prior to joining the Center, David was a civil litigator at Boies, Schiller & Flexner.  David 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.  David is an alumn of New York University School of Law ('09) and the University of Chicago (AB '06).


Susanne Augenhofer, Fellow

Susanne Augenhofer portrait

Susanne Augenhofer has been a full Professor of Law at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, since January 2020. Before then, she was a Professor of Law at Humboldt University in Berlin as well as at the University of Erfurt in Germany. Before her appointment as Associate Professor at Humboldt University in 2009, Professor Augenhofer conducted research at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law (Hamburg, Germany), the London School of Economics (United Kingdom), and the European University Institute (Florence, Italy). She studied law at the University of Graz (Austria, Mag. Iur.), the Universitá Statale di Milano (Italy), the University of Vienna (Austria, Doctor iuris), and as a Fulbright scholar at Yale Law School (LL.M.) as well as at the Free University Berlin (Germany, LL.M.), where she was supported by a Yale Fox Fellowship.

In 2001, Professor Augenhofer was appointed as Senior Research Scholar in Law at Yale Law School, where she was a Visiting Professor in spring 2020 and held the position of Associate Research Scholar from 2014-2020. In spring 2018, she taught at New York University School of Law, where she was a Global Hauser Senior Fellow in 2016–2017 and is currently a Fellow at the NYU Civil Justice Center. She currently serves as a Member of the Council of the European Law Institute (ELI) as well as a Co-Chair of the ELI Austrian Hub. In 2022 she was elected by the ELI as one of three reporters on third party funding and in 2023 she was elected by the ELI as lead-drafter of a response by the ELI to the proposal by the European Commission on the right to repair.

Professor Augenhofer has advised the European Parliament and the European Commission on various issues regarding European fair trading as well as consumer law (including product liability) and its enforcement. She is a member of the Advisory Group on Consumer Policy of the European Commission and the Academic Society for Competition Law. Her research areas include consumer law, contract law, antitrust law and fair-trading law as well as questions of (aggregated) enforcement. Humboldt University in Berlin, Professor Augenhofer was the co-founder of the Humboldt Consumer Law Clinic, the first German legal clinic for consumer rights. She is also a member of the Advisory Board "Smart Regulation" at the University of Graz.

Her research focuses on a range of issues across consumer law, including international and European contract law, fair trade, and advertising law, as well as antitrust law. A special emphasis is placed on the enforcement of consumer rights, as well as legal comparison in the context of the harmonization of private law in the European Union and transnational settings. Her current research focuses on the liability of businesses for corporate speech, warranty law in the digital age and during the green transition, and the current state of class actions in the United States and Europe.

In Memoriam: Peter Zimroth, Founding Director

Peter Zimroth was the founding director of NYU Law School’s Center on Civil Justice. While serving as an adjunct professor at the Law School, he also 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 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.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Zimroth was corporation counsel of the City of New York. The corporation counsel, the city's chief legal officer, oversees 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.