In an era too often marked by acts of incivility, Robert’s Fund aims to elevate the way we treat one another in the legal profession and to inspire acts of courtesy, kindness, and compassion among members of the profession. Increased civility demonstrably improves outcomes for legal professionals and the people that they serve. And because legal professionals profoundly influence society, even outside their formal work, their behavior often sets the tenor of corporate, political, and social interactions. View information about who we are and what we do

Robert's Fund Staff and Consultants

Our staff work with consultants that we have gathered from all sectors of the legal profession. These experts help design our seminars, consulting projects, and custom programs. Many also serve as presenters and facilitators at our seminars.


Paula Lustbader, J.D.

President, Robert’s Fund; Professor of Law Emerita and Past Director, Academic Resource Center at Seattle University School of Law

Professor Paula Lustbader is highly respected internationally in the legal-education academy and locally in the Seattle legal community for the passion and energy she brought to her work as co-founder and director of the Academic Resource Center and its Access Admissions program at Seattle University School of Law. For 28 years, she provided instruction, support, and mentorship to law students from under-represented groups and, in the process, has been instrumental in increasing the diversity of the legal profession. She has touched the lives of more than 1,000 law students who, on graduation, have gone on to impact the lives of literally thousands of clients and fellow citizens in Washington and across the country.

Professor Lustbader’s contribution to the academy was acknowledged in 2015, when she was given the Association of American Law Schools Section on Academic Support Award for Excellence in Legal Education. The Washington State Bar Association recognized Professor Lustbader’s outstanding contributions by naming her co-recipient of the organization’s Award for Excellence in Diversity (2006). In 2010, she received the Loren Miller Bar Association President’s Award for her role in increasing the diversity in the legal profession.

Professor Lustbader is an internationally recognized leader, scholar, and speaker on law school academic support programs, learning theory, teaching methods, and diversity. She has also lectured in England, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy. In addition to using her vision to help found two national organization sections on Law School Academic Support and the Center for Teaching and Learning at Seattle University, she has assumed numerous leadership roles with the legal academy’s national organizations.

She retired from Seattle University School of Law in 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, Professor Lustbader began phased retirement from the Law School in order to enable her to shift her focus to her work as president of Robert’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering civility in the legal profession. In that role, she has undertaken a variety of initiatives. In addition to writing articles about civility, she is developing curriculum, programs, and seminars to promote civility; she is facilitating conversations on civility with focus groups; and she is making multiple presentations and providing consulting to law firms and other legal professional organizations.

In 2014, Professor Lustbader became the president of Alfie’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to help change a life. She is currently spearheading the foundation’s first initiative, Alfie Scholars at Seattle University, whose mission is to make the dream of a bachelor’s degree achievable for diverse transfer students who are committed to fostering civility.

View Professor Lustbader's CV


Genevieve Williams Geiger, M.P.A.

Program Manager, Robert's Fund

Genevieve Williams Geiger earned her BA in Government from Lawrence University and she recently earned her MPA with an emphasis in Non-Profit Management from Seattle University.  As part of her work in the non-profit arena, Ms. Geiger worked on several capital campaigns and initiatives, including a $15 million campaign with Overlake Hospital Foundation and helping to raise corporate donations for Girls on the Run of Puget Sound. Ms. Geiger brings substantial international experience, having studied, taught and managed educational programs & special projects in Honduras, Japan and the Czech Republic. Ms. Geiger is a Seattle area native, but spends many weekends headed east of the Cascade Mountains in search of the sun.


Timothy Jaasko-Fisher, M.A., J.D.

Senior Director of Curriculum and Program Development, Robert’s Fund

Mr. Jaasko-Fisher works with people and organizations to explore how individuals exercising leadership can promote a more civil workplace, community, and society. He engages people through interactive workshops designed to promote wellbeing within the individual, enhance productivity, and improve outcomes. In his role as the Senior Director of Curriculum and Program Development at Robert’s Fund, Tim not only works on programing, but also gives presentations, and works individually with organizations of legal professionals.

As a private consultant, Mr. Jaasko-Fisher also serves as the Director of Internal Capacity Building for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau’s Center for Capacity Building for Courts where he is part of a team of national experts focused on building capacity for positive change in court improvement programs across the United States.

Mr. Jaasko-Fisher was the founding director of the Court Improvement Training Academy (CITA) at the University of Washington School of Law, where he developed a unique intervention model to help courts improve their response to child abuse and neglect. Using a systems-based approach, he helped court communities engage in meaningful conversations across disciplines to improve their process, relationships, and outcomes. In 2010, he was awarded the Lee Ann Miller Individual Award for outstanding leadership in furthering the goals of the Washington State Children’s Justice Act and led the Court Improvement Training Academy to receive the Lee Ann Miller Team award in 2014.

Mr. Jaasko-Fisher worked as an Assistant Attorney General for 11 years. He has litigated at all levels of the justice system in Washington State, including administrative tribunals, the Superior Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. He presents and consults nationally and internationally on issues relating to leadership, civility, and engaging groups in complex problem-solving. He resides in Tacoma with his two daughters.


Ricardo Ibarra, B.S.

Director of Marketing and Webmaster, Robert's Fund

Ricardo Ibarra prides himself on crafting unique and compelling creative solutions for projects of all types.  While earning his bachelor of science in biology at the University of Washington, Mr. Ibarra nurtured his love for creative work and honed an approach to design informed by his scientific background.  Mr. Ibarra brings his decade of experience to Robert's Fund by developing and delivering compelling print and digital messaging and media across multiple platforms.


William Galloway, J.D.

Editor at Large, Robert’s Fund

Bill Galloway is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law, where he was Managing Editor of the Washington Law Review. He earned his B.A. in English literature from Williams College. After clerking at the Washington Court of Appeals, he worked as a consultant in Seattle before joining the faculty at Seattle University School of Law as a Legal Writing Professor. Since 2002, Bill has lived on the west coast of Ireland, where he has worked in organic aquaculture, as a web designer, and as a musician.


Michael Djordjevich, CPA

Michael Djordjevich, Director and Accountant for Robert's Fund; Owner, Michael Djordjevich, CPA.

Michael Djordjevich graduated from the University of Southern California School of Business in 1976. He has been practicing public accounting as a CPA since then. Michael’s experiences range in a variety of industries: real estate, financial services, health care (many of which were not-for-profit hospitals), construction, professional. As a business owner, developer, investor and concerned citizen Michael brings a unique perspective to Robert’s Fund.


G. Andrew H. Benjamin, J.D., Ph.D., ABPP

Director, Parenting Evaluation/Training Program (PETP), Clinical Professor of Psychology, and Affiliate Professor of Law at University of Washington School of Law

G. Andrew H. Benjamin was named "Professional of the Year" by the Washington State Bar Association's Family Law Section while working with families engaged in high-conflict litigation and lawyer suffering from mental health and substance abuse problems. He was elected to serve as President of the Washington State Psychological Association; his colleagues created an award named after him for "outstanding and tireless contributions." He was honored by the Puyallup Indian Nation's Health Authority for serving as a "modern day warrior fighting the mental illnesses, drug-alcohol addictions" of those served by the Nation's program. He has published 63 peer reviewed articles in Psychology, Law, and Psychiatry journals and he is the coauthor of five books published by APA and one book published by Sage.

Learn more about Dr. Benjamin

Parenting Evaluation Training Program, University of Washington

"Family Therapy with Children in Custody Litigation" Presentation at The Cummings Foundation Conference

LinkedIn Profile



David Boerner, J.D.

Professor Emeritus, Seattle University School of Law

Professor Boerner is one of Washington State's leading experts on professional ethics. He currently serves as chair of the Board for Court Education, chair of the Washington Supreme Court’s Time for Trial Task Force, as well as serving as a member of the Washington Supreme Court's Jury Instruction Committee. He has also chaired the Rules of Professional Conduct Committee of the Washington State Bar Association. In addition, he lectures frequently for groups such as the Washington Criminal Justice Institute, Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, and the Federal Bar Association.


Lisa Brodoff, J.D.

Director, Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic and Associate Professor at Seattle University School of Law

Professor Brodoff served as chief review judge in the Office of Appeals for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services and was appointed chief administrative law judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings. She has also worked as an attorney for the Puget Sound Legal Assistance Foundation and as legislative staff counsel to the Washington Senate. She joined the faculty in 1997.

Professor Brodoff has engaged in both scholarly work and impact litigation/legislative advocacy while teaching at Seattle University. Her areas of expertise are in the rights of gay and lesbian individuals and couples, people with disabilities, the elderly, and public assistance applicants and recipients. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and continuing legal education programs on topics including the right to counsel in civil matters (civil Gideon), end of life and disability planning, and the administrative hearing process. Professor Brodoff was instrumental in the passage of legislation in Washington State creating the Mental Health Advance Directive, a planning document for people with mental illness. Washington’s statute is now considered model legislation for states seeking to expand the rights and planning options for people with mental illness.

In addition to her scholarship, speaking, and impact work, Professor Brodoff has served on a number of committees and boards including the Coalition for Indigent Representation and Civil Legal Equality (CIRCLE), the Access to Justice Board Impediments Committee, and the Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington Board. She is also a tribal court judge for the Northwest Intertribal Court System.


Giuseppe De Palo, M.S., J.D.; LL.M.

Co-founder and President, ADR Center, Rome, Italy; Professor, Hamline University School of Law; and Director, JAMS International, London.

Professor De Palo is co-founder and President of the ADR Center, Italy’s first and largest private provider of mediation services; mediator of over 500 civil and commercial disputes; responsible for the company’s global development; and team leader/director of several international projects on four different continents. He also serves on the board of directors of JAMS International. Professor De Palo sponsors and teaches numerous professional development seminars, as well as law school courses at Hamline University School of Law in Negotiation, Advanced Negotiation, Cross-Cultural Negotiation, and Mediation.

Learn more about Professor De Palo

ADR Center

Hamline University

JAMS International


Justice Mary E. Fairhurst, J.D.

Justice, Washington State Supreme Court

By Seattle Photography Inc.Elected in 2002, Mary Fairhurst began serving as a justice on the Washington Supreme Court in 2003. She started her legal career in the Supreme Court as a judicial clerk, working first with Chief Justice William H. Williams in 1984 and then with Justice William C. Goodloe until 1986. For the next 16 years, Justice Fairhurst served in the Washington Attorney General's Office, working with Attorneys General Christine Gregoire and Ken Eikenberry. She specialized in the areas of criminal justice, transportation, revenue, and labor. When she left, she was serving as the Division Chief of the Revenue, Bankruptcy and Collections Division. In 1998, Attorney General Gregoire presented her Steward of Justice award to Justice Fairhurst.

Justice Fairhurst has been a leader in the legal profession throughout her career. She served as president of the Washington State Bar Association, becoming the second woman, first public sector attorney, and youngest attorney to hold the position. She also served on the WSBA Board of Governors, representing the Third Congressional District, and was president of the Washington Women Lawyers.

Justice Fairhurst is committed to public legal education and is active working for children and youth. She cares deeply about civility in the profession and inspiring others to live to their full potential. Justice Fairhurst speaks regularly to individuals and groups.

Learn more about Justice Fairhurst

Washington State Supreme Court

King 5 News Up Front "State Supreme Court Justice Mary Fairhurst believes in miracles"

Gonzaga University


Stella Rabaut, M.A., J.D.

Retired Attorney at Law

Stella Rabaut practiced law in corporate settings and private practice in Texas and Washington for over 25 years. During that time, she practiced as a sole practitioner, in-house counsel for an oil and gas company, and general counsel for a non-profit institution of higher education.

She served as chair of the Washington State Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee and as an officer on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee. She headed up the Division of Committees of the Texas Bar Association that dealt with the public while chairing the Public Affairs Committee and the Citizen’s Legal Education Committee. She is a life fellow in the Texas Bar Foundation. Stella also served as president of the Houston Association of Women Attorneys.

Ms. Rabaut has consulted with the Fetzer Institute on its Healing and the Law Project and has facilitated retreats for lawyers and judges in various settings, including the Whidbey Institute. She taught at the Leadership Institute of Seattle, where she also served on the board of directors. She was adjunct faculty at Seattle University Law School, where she designed and taught a course titled, “Transforming the Legal Profession: Emerging Trends in the Practice of Law.” She was a frequent presenter for King County Bar Association, Washington State Bar Association, and Seattle University Law School continuing legal education programs.

Her particular interest is in sustaining the human spirit and well being while practicing law. Most recently she has focused on the challenge of civility in the context of the legal profession. Ms. Rabaut has been instrumental in helping to develop the vision and implementation of Robert's Fund's initiatives to promote civility within the profession.


Craig Sims, J.D.

Trial Attorney, Bergman Draper Ladenburg

Craig Sims received the 2011 Washington State Bar Association Professionalism Award. At the City Attorney’s Office, Mr. Sims’ primary responsibility is to oversee all attorneys and staff who prosecute criminal and traffic crimes that occur within the city. Before becoming Criminal Division chief, Mr. Sims was a trial attorney with the civil firm of Fury Bailey. During his time there, his primary focus was serving clients who had suffered serious personal injuries.

Before joining Fury Bailey, Mr. Sims enjoyed a distinguished 10-year career as a senior deputy prosecuting attorney with the King County Prosecutor's Office. During that time, he represented the public in over 100 trials. His career as a prosecutor also included a multi-year assignment to the Most Dangerous Offender Program. While a member of the program, Mr. Sims prosecuted several homicides and other high-profile cases. One of his most notable prosecutions was State v. William Joice, in which the defendant was a civil defense attorney convicted of the attempted murder of his opposing counsel. Mr. Sims’ career demonstrates his passion for helping those who have been harmed by others.

Mr. Sims is an adjunct professor at Seattle University School of Law teaching comprehensive pretrial advocacy. He is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Washington Law School instructing a section of trial advocacy.

He is a member of several organizations, including the Loren Miller Bar Association, of which he was president in 2007-2009. He is also a member of the Washington State Bar Association  and the King County Bar Association, of which he served as a trustee. Mr. Sims is also on the advisory board for the WSBA Leadership Institute. He is licensed to practice law in the Washington state courts and the United States Federal Court for the Western District of Washington. In his spare time, Mr. Sims enjoys spending time with his family, biking and skydiving.


Sumeer Singla, J.D.

Assistant Seattle City Attorney

Sumeer Singla is currently assigned to the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct. Sumeer’s current practice involves providing advice on criminal and civil issues, including coordinating community outreach on behalf of SPD and the City Attorney’s Office.

Prior to joining the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, Sumeer served as Policy Director for the Washington State Senate. He coordinated policy staff analysts and provided strategic policy and political advice to Washington State Senate Democrats. Sumeer specifically served as counsel to the Judiciary and Transportation Committees.

Sumeer also served as a King County Prosecutor, where he tried over thirty-five felony jury trials. He received his undergraduate degree from Washington State University and is a 2002 University of Washington School of Law graduate. After law school, Sumeer clerked for the Honorable Judge Elaine Houghton, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II and worked for Preston Gates & Ellis (now K&L Gates).

Sumeer is a member of the Washington Appleseed Board and an Advisory Board Member to the Boyer Clinic.

Originally from India, Sumeer moved to a small immigrant town in Eastern Washington when he was 12 years old. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Suzanne, and his two young daughters, Asha and Amaya. His free time is spent with his family and friends.


Ronald R. Ward, J.D.

Attorney at Law, WardSmith

Ronald R. (Ron) Ward earned his juris doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He served as a Washington state assistant attorney general before entering private practice in Seattle. Mr. Ward was elected 2004-2005 President of the Washington State Bar Association, the first African-American and first person of color to serve as WSBA president in the association’s then 114-year history. Mr. Ward successfully founded and put into action the WSBA Leadership Institute (WLI), which now serves as a developmental program for young lawyers seeking leadership positions. The WLI pays particular attention to diverse groups of lawyers that would otherwise be traditionally underrepresented. Since his status as president of the WSBA in 2004, This WLI program has won national honors, including the American Bar Association Partnership Award (2005) and the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell® Legal Fellowship (2006). Mr. Ward served as the president of the Washington State Bar Foundation from 2008 to 2011, and he became president of the Washington chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates in November of 2012. He has been a tireless and eloquent state-wide and national advocate for the preservation of the independence of the judiciary, and for access to justice for disadvantaged citizens. He has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board for Judicial Administration (BJA)-Washington Supreme Court, and as a representative to the BJA Court Funding Task Force. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Washington Equal Justice Coalition for the support of legal services to deprived citizens.

Mr. Ward has received numerous awards including the Washington State Bar Association Award of Merit (WSBA's highest honor), the Washington State Bar Association Excellence in Diversity Award, the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association Presidents Award, and the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Outstanding Plaintiff's Trial Lawyer Award. Since 2003, he has been included in Washington State’s Super Lawyers®


Justice Mary I. Yu, M.A., J.D.

Justice, Washington State Supreme Court

Mary Yu was appointed to the Washington Supreme Court effective May 16, 2014, and subsequently elected for the remainder of a two-year term. Justice Yu joined the Supreme Court after more than 14 years as an accomplished trial court judge in King County Superior Court where she presided over a wide variety of criminal, civil, and juvenile cases, and presided over hundreds of adoptions and other family law matters. As a trial court judge, Justice Yu became known for treating everyone with respect and fairness, approaching each case with an open mind and understanding that each decision has an impact on an individual’s life.

Prior to becoming a judge, Justice Yu served as Deputy Chief of Staff to King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng and as a deputy in the Criminal and Civil Divisions. Before attending law school, Justice Yu worked in the Peace and Justice Office for the Archdiocese of Chicago first as staff, and later appointed by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin as Director of that Office.

Justice Yu has a deep record of service both on and off the bench, mentoring young attorneys, law clerks and students, co-chairing the Court’s Minority and Justice Commission, teaching at Seattle University School of Law and serving as Jurist in Residence, co-chairing the Washington State Bar Association/University of Washington Law School Leadership Institute, serving on the board of FareStart and the advisory board for the University of Washington School of Law’s Gates Public Service Program. She is personally devoted to the Civility Project of the Robert’s Fund Foundation and to the Seattle Girls’ School Mock Trials, serving as their judge for the last eleven years.

Justice Yu was raised in Bridgeport, a south side neighborhood in Chicago, by immigrant parents; her mother came from Mexico and her father from China. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. She received her B.A. from Dominican University, M.A., Religious Studies from Mundelein College of Loyola University in Chicago, and J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Justice Yu is the recipient of the following awards: 2015 "Woman of the Year" from the Seattle University School of Law and Women's Law Caucus; 2014 “Judge of the Year” from the Washington State Association for Justice; 2014 “Betty B. Fletcher Judge of the Year” Award from Washington Women Lawyers, King County Chapter; 2013 “Public Official of the Year” from the Municipal League Foundation; 2013 Latina/o Amicus Award from Seattle University School of Law Latina/o Law Student Association; 2012 “President’s Award” from the Asian Bar Association of Washington; 2012 “Difference Makers Award” from the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division; the 2011 “Judge of the Year” award from the Washington State Bar Association (shared with Justice Gonzalez); 2011 Seattle Girls’ School Grace Hopper Award; 2009 Norm Maleng Award from the Washington State Bar Association; 2008 “Judge of the Year” from the Asian Bar Association; 2008 President’s Award from Washington Women Lawyers; 2006 “Model of Excellence” Award from the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington; the 2005 “Judge of the Year” award from the American Board of Trial Advocates; and the 2005 Reah Whitehead Public Leadership Award from Seattle University School of Law.

Learn more about Justice Yu

King5.com, "Mary Yu appointed to state Supreme Court"

Seattle University School of Law

The Seattle Times, "A special ruling: judge of the year"

The Stranger, "Who's marrying the first gay couple? Judge Mary Yu"

American Bar Association

Washington State Bar Association