Santa Clara Law launched the In-Residence Experts program to connect current students with legal experts in a variety of areas. Our in-residence experts are excited to share their mastery of a multitude of subjects, from mediation to patents, with Santa Clara Law students considering entering similar fields.

Hon. Risë Jones PichonDistinguished Jurist in Residence Honorable Risë Jones Pichon BS ’73, JD ’76 served as a superior court judge for the County of Santa Clara from 1998 until her retirement on April 18, 2019. She was elected to serve as presiding judge of the Santa Clara County Superior Court in 2015 and 2016 and is the first minority judge to serve in this position. From 1984 to 1998, she served as a municipal court judge and as a court commissioner from 1983 to 1984. Judge Pichon was elected to serve as the presiding judge of the municipal court from 1990 to 1991.

She is currently a panelist with JAMS, Inc. (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services), a private provider of alternative dispute resolution services worldwide.

Judge Pichon is a member of the Santa Clara University Board of Regents and currently serves as its Vice President. She is also a member of the Law School Advisory Board and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics Advisory Board. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and her Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University. On June 4, 2020, Judge Pichon was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree by Santa Clara University.

Current Santa Clara Law students interested in scheduling a meeting with Judge Pichon can email her at


Justice Edward A. PanelliDistinguished Justice in Residence Justice Edward A. Panelli B.S. ’53, J.D. ’55 is a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California. Prior to the Supreme Court Service, Justice Panelli served as a Judge of the Superior Court of Canta Clara County and as the Presiding Justice of the Sixth District Court of Appeal. Justice Panelli has served on the University’s Board of Trustees for 55 years and was its chair for 19 years. He is an ardent advocate for the Law School and works hard each year to raise money for student scholarships.

While serving on the California Supreme Court, Justice Panelli authored some of the leading opinions on insurance coverage such as Montrose I, Bank of the West, Horrace Mann, Mirkin v. Wasserman, Jolly v. Eli Lilly, and Abbott Ford. He also authored Moore v. Board of Regents.

As a judge, Justice Panelli handled hundreds of settlement conferences and mediations involving all areas of the law. During his twenty-two years on the bench, he was recognized as one of the best settlement judges in California. Justice Panelli is currently a panelist with JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services).

Current Santa Clara Law students interested in scheduling a meeting with Justice Panelli should contact him directly at


Howard CharneyDistinguished Professor of Innovation Howard S. Charney MBA ’73, JD ’77 recently retired from Cisco, where he served as senior vice president, providing strategic direction. He advised, businesses, governments, and educators around the world on implementing critical technologies to improve productivity and competitiveness. At Cisco, and before Cisco as co-founder of 3Com and the founder of Grand Junction Networks, he oversaw the development and proliferation of key technologies such as Fast Ethernet and low-cost switching that led directly to the global build-out of the Internet.

He holds Master of Business Administration and Juris Doctor degrees from Santa Clara University, Bachelors and Masters degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a licensed patent attorney and a pilot.

Mr. Charney serves on the Board of Trustees of Santa Clara University and the advisory board for the University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. He received the Santa Clara Law Alumni Special Achievement Award in 2014. In 2018, Santa Clara University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws.

Meet Howard Charney