Thursday Speaker Spotlight


Jake Watson. Ken Levinson. Chip Welch. David Sachar. Their careers are storied, their expertise is indispensable – and they’ll be at ATLA Convention next week! There’s still time to register, just visit Read about today’s featured speakers below…

Jake Watson, Huntsville, ALATLA Convention Topic: Secrets to Presenting Your Most Powerful Mitigation Case for Life

Jake Watson represents people accused of crimes in state and federal court. Before becoming a lawyer, Mr. Watson was a newspaper reporter. While covering a capital murder trial he became interested in becoming a criminal defense lawyer. In addition to criminal defense, Mr. Watson represents people in domestic relations matters and personal injury cases. He graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law. In 2006, he attended Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College and later attended Mr. Spence’s Death Penalty College. Mr. Watson has served as faculty at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. He attended the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia and the Clarence Darrow Death Penalty College in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Watson has been honored by the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association for his work on capital cases.

Ken Levinson, Chicago, ILATLA Convention Topic: Using Focus Groups to Maximize Your Cases

Kenneth H. Levinson is the founding partner of Levinson and Stefani, a Chicago firm concentrating in representing families in wrongful death and serious injury matters. Ken co-authored the current edition of Litigating Major Automobile Injury and Death Cases, published by AAJ Press/Thomson-Reuters. He is a graduate of the prestigious Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College. Ken was named by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top attorneys in Illinois for 2010 – 2016 and made the list of the Super Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers in Illinois in 2012 and 2016. He is currently the Chair of the Education Committee for AAJ’s Interstate Trucking Litigation Group, and the Chair-Elect of AAJ’s Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway and Premises Liability Section. Ken currently serves on the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association Board of Managers and is Illinois’ State Delegate to AAJ. Ken is a Co-Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Solo/Small Firm Committee. He is also an invited speaker and faculty member at various trial lawyer programs throughout the country.

David Sachar, Little Rock, ARATLA Convention Topic: Good Lessons from Bad Judges

David J. Sachar has been the Executive Director of the Arkansas Judicial Discipline & Disability Commission since 2013. He was the Deputy Executive Director of the agency from 2007 to 2012. During the past ten years he has been responsible for supervising the investigation of judicial misconduct, investigative panel hearings and public judicial discipline hearings in Arkansas. Sachar graduated from Rose Bud High School in White County. He received his undergraduate degree in Social Science from Harding University in 1991 and his JD from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1994. Mr. Sachar is licensed to practice law in Arkansas and Tennessee.  He is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, is the president of the national board of directors of the Association of Judicial Discipline Counsel and is on the Advisory Committee for the Center for Judicial Ethics for the National Center for State Courts. In his spare time, David plays on a really good regional slow pitch softball team as a mediocre middle infielder.

Chip Welch, North Little Rock, ARATLA Convention Topic: Good Lessons from Bad Judges

Morgan “Chip” Welch was elected Circuid Judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit in Little Rock in 2012. His Circuit includes Pulaski and Perry Counties. Judge Welch serves on the Supreme Court Committee on Model Jury Instructions (Civil) and is a member of the state Judicial Council. He is a Past President of Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association (1991) and was a board member of AAJ for 16 years. Judge Welch served in the House of Delegates of the Arkansas Bar Association (1994 – 1996). He received the Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from ATLA in 1990; the Roxanne Wilson Advocacy Award in 1997, and was listed in “Best Lawyers n Arkansas,” Arkansas Times, 1998 – 2007 as well as being listed in “Mid-South Super Lawyers” 2007 – 2011 and “Best Lawyers in America” 2005 – 2011. He is a member of ABOTA and serves as the current president of the William Overton Inn of Court.

Chip is married to Cheryl Williams Welch. The Welches live in North Little Rock and have two grown children, three grandchildren, and “Jake”, the dog who administers the home.


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