James Wootton is a nationally recognized expert in law and public policy. Wootton is a former partner of Mayer Brown LLP in Washington DC and a former president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. Mr. Wootton joined the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform in 1998 and was the Chamber’s lead negotiator of the Y2K Liability Act of 1999. Wootton also organized the Class Action Fairness Coalition which led to the passage of the Class Action Fairness Act in 2004.
As president of Safe Streets, Mr. Wootton was principal drafter and advocate for the truth-in-sentencing provisions of the 1994 Crime Act which led to 27 states adopting truth-in-sentencing laws by 1997. While at the Legal Services Corporation from 1986-1991 Wootton led the effort to focus resources on day-to-day legal services for the poor and helped draft the McCollum-Stenholm legal services reform legislation which was enacted by Congress in 1996.
As the Deputy Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention from 1982-1986 helped create numerous national programs including the: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime; National Court Appointed Special Advocates; National Child Safety Center; Child Safety Partnership; National Partnership to Prevent Drug and Alcohol Abuse; and Serious Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program.
In 1973 Mr. Wootton graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts degree with High Honors in Economics. In 1976 he graduated from the University of Virginia Law School and is a member of the Virginia State Bar Association.
James C. Capretta
Capretta, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, was an Associate Director at the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2004, where he had responsibility for health care, Social Security, education and welfare programs. He studies and provides commentary on a wide range of public policy and economic issues, with a focus on health care and entitlement reform. His essays and articles have appeared in numerous print and online publications and he is a co-author of Why Obamacare is Wrong for America. Capretta is also a health policy and research consultant.
Bob Wood honed his political campaign knowledge and organizational skills during the decade he ran statewide and congressional campaigns in the battleground state of Wisconsin. During that time, he served as a key campaign organizer for the only Republican challenger to unseat an incumbent congressman in 1990, worked as Gov. Tommy Thompson’s 1998 campaign manager, and led the state’s George W. Bush presidential campaign in 2000. Bob’s political experience also includes serving as Thompson’s chief of staff, both during his duration as Governor of Wisconsin and later when Thompson became Secretary of Health and Human Services. As chief of staff to Secretary Thompson, he also served as the Department’s chief liaison to other federal departments, governors and the White House.
Charles J. Cooper
Cooper is a founding member and chairman of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC. Named by The National Law Journal as one of the 10 best civil litigators in Washington, he has over 25 years of legal experience in government and private practice, with several appearances before the United States Supreme Court and scores of other successful cases on both the trial and appellate levels. Shortly after serving as law clerk to Judge Paul Roney of the Fifth (now Eleventh) Circuit Court of Appeals, and to Justice (later Chief Justice) William H. Rehnquist, Cooper joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in 1981. In 1985, President Reagan appointed Cooper Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel. He reentered private practice in 1988, as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of McGuire Woods. From 1990 until the founding of Cooper & Kirk in 1996, he was a partner at Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge where he headed the firm’s Constitutional and Government Litigation Group.