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Meet the BALIF 2012-13 Board

23 May 2012 2:56 PM | Anonymous

BALIF is proud to unveil our 2012-13 Board…

Meet the 18 revolutionary men and women who, over the next two years, will be leading BALIF to 1,000 members strong (BALIF 1K!). Membership retention will serve as the foundation of our efforts, and will be fervently supported by the three pillars of social activities, networking opportunities, and community service.

We’re proud to be the oldest and largest LGBT bar organization in the world. BALIF 1K!


Chelsea HaleyNelson
HaleyNelson & Heilbrun, LLP

BALIF Board Co-Chair


Realizing that her initial plan to become a famous ballerina would require a little too much sacrifice (think Black Swan), and she didn't have enough space to start the World’s largest animal sanctuary, Chelsea settled on a legal career. Her 2012 goal is to have BALIF become the go-to legal organization on LGBT issues, not just for the Bay Area, but in California...and beyond!

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On Lu
Mount, Spelman & Fingerman, PC

BALIF Board Co-Chair


oN’s first job out of college was acting in Hong Kong action movies; thank goodness he had a back-up. His 2-year goal is to build BALIF to 1K members strong—through a tri-pod blueprint of networking, social, and community outreach opportunities for our members.

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Cara Sherman
Ongaro Burtt & Louderback

Secretary; Pride Law Fund Committee Chair; and State Bar/Conference of Delegates Committee Chair


Cara’s childhood chores involved collecting eggs from the henhouse and gathering firewood for the fire that warmed the house and made hot water for showers. She’s traded that country life for city livin’ and is BALIF’s new Secretary and will lead BALIF’s contingency to the California Conference of Bar Associations in Monterey—where she promises not to look for eggs. Actively.

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John Robert Unruh
Swords to Plowshares

Treasurer; Gala Committee Co-Chair


As a teenager John acted, sang and tap danced in Anything Goes to rave reviews. No longer on stage, he is still an avid theater and opera goer. John will ensure BALIF runs another year with a balanced budget and plans to throw an awesome Gala! The party will be the LGBT event of the season! Stay tuned.

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Jamie Dupree
Futterman Dupree Dodd Croley Maier LLP

Development Committee Chair; Gala Committee Co-Chair


Jamie loves men in uniform, especially her sports-loving sons, Jonah (6) and Zach (3), and the San Francisco Giants! Jamie's goal is to increase membership and participation in BALIF by women and more experienced lawyers. And, of course, to help John Unruh to throw a really great party!

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Laurie Bertolacci
Robert Half Legal

Membership Committee Chair


Laurie was born in the Bronx, and during the summers as a kid, her sprinklers were fire hydrants.  Her primary goal is to retain existing members and increase membership beyond attorneys to other legal professionals in the Bay Area.

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David Nathan-Allen Sims
Saveri & Saveri

Social Committee Chair


As a young man David was large, not in charge and rarely popular. Eventually he grew up into a Cheer magnet and now runs the show. Still large but working to be in charge he is dedicated to making BALIF a Social Cornucopia. If you seem him out you know this is the place to be for social, fun, networking, and community run in his blood.

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Ted Garey
Beahm Law

Communications & Public Relations Committee Chair


An interesting albeit weird fact about Ted is that he once took a piece of gum from Kristen Chenoweth’s purse while she was performing on stage. Ted is returning to the Communications Committee for a second term. He has added “PR” to his agenda and aims to launch BALIF’s work and accomplishments to the press world!

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Susan Bluer
Bluer & Bluer LLP

Judiciary Committee Chair


Susan is our returning Chair of the Judiciary Committee. She has been practicing law long enough to feel “wise” and is a founding partner of Bluer & Bluer, LLP. This year, our Judicial Plebiscites will go on-line and we will help 100 LGBT lawyers get on the bench (wouldn't that be nice...)

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Elizabeth Pritzker
Girard Gibbs LLP

Young Lawyers & Law Student Programs Committee Chair


As a young adolescent growing up in suburbia, Elizabeth’s aspiration was to become a Soul Train dancer.  She still tries out her funky “moves” whenever she gets a chance. Elizabeth’s goal is to enhance BALIF’s connection to its legacy members, and build a strong and enduring mentor-mentee program for BALIF’s law student and young lawyer members.

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Nick Kacprowski
Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Amicus Committee Chair


Nick has an indomitable chocolate lab named Scotch who has moved with him to three different states. But unlike the Romney family dog, Scotch was not strapped to the top of a car. Nick’s goal for the year is to increase the quantity and quality of BALIF’s participation as a friend of the court in cases affecting our community.

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Michael Wolchansky
Law Office of Michael Wolchansky

Outreach/Social Action Committee Co-Chair


Michael’s first foray into drag was at age 11 during the Herzl Camp Talent Show where he performed a rousing and much loved edition of Saturday Night Live’s Linda Richmond’s Coffee Talk, complete with huge wig and glasses. This year he plans to blaze a new path for BALIF Community Outreach by implementing LGBT community involvement volunteer events.

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Peter Catalanotti
Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP

Outreach/Current Events Committee Co-Chair


Peter C. Catalanotti, Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester, LLP. Everyone's road to inner calmness looks different. For Pete, it involves punching, kicking, elbowing, and kneeing as hard as he can four times a week in Muay Thai kickboxing class. When he's not kickboxing or lawyering, he promises to keep BALIF’s membership informed on current events and to create alliances with other local and national LGBT groups all in an effort to push our community's legal rights to the next level.

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Lilah Sutphen
Wald & Thorndal P.C.

Programs Committee Co-Chair


Lilah has an inner Martha Stewart dying to be cut loose. She is infamous for tempting Board members and friends with delectable dessert concoctions whipped up at home. Her goal this year as co-chair of the newly formed Programs Committee is to orchestrate CLE's that involve subjects BALIF members are attracted to and thus look forward to attending, as well as other dialogue-driven events that draw out BALIF members who aren't seen at the ubiquitous happy hour.

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Nick Clements
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Programs Committee Co-Chair


Nick has a thing for circus folk, having dated three over the past few years. His goals this year on the BALIF Board include establishing and building the Programming Committee with his amazing Co-Chair Lilah Sutphen and working to integrate and enhance communication between the other BALIF Committees to ensure smoother functionality so they are working towards achieving the same ends—primarily a superior BALIF membership experience.

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Nathan Bewley
University of San Francisco School of Law

Law Student Representative


A month before starting law school, Nathan drove across the country from Boston, where he received his BS in Marketing Communications from Emerson College in 2007. One of his goals as this year’s Male Law Student Representative is to visit all eight BALIF law schools (Bolt, Davis, Golden Gate, Hastings, McGeorge, Santa Clara, Stanford, and USF) and encourage involvement in BALIF by putting a face to name.

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Aditi Fruitwala
University of San Francisco School of Law

Law Student Representative


During a kindergarten career day, Aditi announced to the class that she wants to be a rainbow when she grows up so she can “come out after the rain and make everything okay.” Due to practical difficulties in achieving that dream, she now attends law school at the University of San Francisco. As a BALIF student rep, she hopes to serve as a strong voice for students in the bay area and increase student attendance at BALIF events.

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Milo Beitman
Golden Gate University School of Law

Law Student Representative


Growing up, Milo aspired to be a Hollywood stuntman. Now faced with finding a job after law school, jumping from moving cars is again looking appealing. The law student representatives are hoping to increase student involvement through a series of events and continue to build a strong law student network.

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