NATIONAL TRAFFIC LAW CENTER
Contact us via our general National Traffic Law Center email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or contact a specific staff member, listed below.
Joanne Thomka Program Director
Ms. Thomka was a Senior Assistant District Attorney for the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office in Syracuse, New York prior to joining the NTLC in 2006. She was the Bureau Chief of the DWI Unit from April 2000 – August 2006, responsible for the prosecution of all alcohol-related crimes and all vehicular fatalities. Ms. Thomka was previously a member of both the Special Victims and Violent Felony Bureaus within the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office. She is a graduate of Salem State College and Vermont Law School.
Duane M. Kokesch Senior Attorney
Duane M. Kokesch is a Senior Attorney with the National Traffic Law Center, a division of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA). Mr. Kokesch has more than 16 years experience litigating criminal cases, beginning as an Assistant City Attorney with the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan where he prosecuted driving under the influence and other local crimes. He also worked as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Calhoun County, Michigan and an Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. In 2006, Kokesch was appointed Chief of the Criminal Section for the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. As Chief, he oversaw the prosecution of routine and high profile drug and alcohol traffic-related offenses in the District of Columbia as well as other crimes. Prior to joining NDAA, Kokesch worked in private practice with a focus on criminal litigation. He is a cum laude graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School and holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from St. Cloud State University.
Will Lathrop Staff Attorney
Will Lathrop joined the National District Attorneys Association in 2014. He has devoted his life to working with and advocating for children—most recently this has manifested itself in Will’s work to curtail child abuse and sexual assault at a national level. A licensed deputy district attorney in Oregon for ten years, Will prosecuted child sex abuse, physical abuse, and adult sexual assault. In addition, he handled complex and high-level crossover cases, juvenile offender cases, and homicide. In his time as a prosecutor, Will tried well over one hundred jury trials, including over fifty major sex cases. He also worked on the Oregon District Attorney’s Association Legislative Counsel, revising and editing criminal laws and testifying in front of the legislature. As a witness to the complexity and cyclical nature surrounding abuse and assault, Will served as the State’s representative in Mental Health Court and sat as the Chair of the Marion County Sex Offender Supervision Protocol group. An advocate for interagency collaboration and education, he also participated in training and collaboration efforts among county and state agencies.
Will brought extensive experience working with and mentoring “at risk” youth to his position as a prosecutor. He spent more than eight years working in education and mentoring positions with various cultural, educational, and religious organizations, including serving on the Board of Trustees for Mid-Valley Mentors, a youth mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents. In 1999, he was awarded “Role Model of the Year” by Oregon Youth Conservation Corps (OYCC), where he had worked as a team leader for four years. His work with OYCC exposed him to diverse cultural groups, and he took particular interest in rural and native groups after working with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Nez Perce Tribe. His current areas of research include child abuse within Indian Country and the unique criminal justice needs of autistic abuse victims.
Kristen K. Shea Senior Attorney
Ms. Shea comes to the NDAA by way of the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office where she worked as a program manager for the DUI courts and multiple law enforcement grants. Prior to that, she served as a prosecuting attorney for almost 10 years with the majority of her time spent as an Assistant District Attorney in Nashville, Tennessee. She worked as the team leader of the Vehicular Crimes Unit, specializing in traffic-related criminal offenses at the state trial court level. Ms. Shea is a graduate of Trinity University and University of Memphis College of Law.