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  • 17 Sep 2013 9:06 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    San Francisco, Sept. 13, 2013 – On Sept. 12, over sixty women came out to see an all-female panel of legal luminaries including Therese Stewart, chief deputy attorney at the San Francisco City Attorneys Office, in BALIF’s first ever LGBT Ladies Salon.  The event was hosted and co-sponsored by Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg LLP.

    The participants focused their discussion on decisions that arose from this year’s Supreme Court term.  Stewart related her personal experiences litigating on behalf of San Francisco in the fight for marriage equality starting from San Francisco’s issuing of marriage licenses in 2004 to the Supreme Court’s June decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry upholding the invalidation of Proposition 8. 

    Other featured speakers included Theodora Lee, attorney and shareholder at Littler Mendelson; Ilona Turner, legal director of the Transgender Law Center; and Pamela Fulmer, partner at Novak Druce and early contributor to the marriage equality litigation.  Leah Nutting, programs committee chair at BALIF, moderated.  In addition to Perry, the participants discussed the impact of decisions related to the Defense of Marriage Act and employment law.

    The Bar Association of San Francsico (BASF) LGBT Equality Committee served as the other co-sponsor of the inaugural event.

  • 11 Sep 2013 10:22 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members and Friends-

    It has been quite a summer! I've had so much fun seeing all the pictures and receiving the announcements from my friends about their "official" weddings. My wife and I went to San Francisco City Hall to make it official a few weeks ago and I have to say, despite being Domestic Partners for 2 years, it really does feel different to be married.

    We got a lot of great feedback last week regarding the first BALIF "Connections" Mentorship Happy Hour. If you couldn't make it, there is still an opportunity to become a mentor or mentee. Please email Mario to let him know you are interested.

    This week, we have an exciting event led by an amazing panel of legal wonder women. Please join us Thursday, September 12th from 6pm-8pm at Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg LLP for Give 'em L! LGBT Salon and Talk Show- Supreme Court Edition. It will be a great opportunity to network and learn more about the key decisions that have launched our movement forward. I hope to see you there!

    Have a great week!

    Jennifer Orthwein
    Chair, BALIF Communications and Technology Committee
  • 04 Sep 2013 10:12 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hi BALIF Members and Friends-

    This month's premier event is BALIF's first ever LGBT Ladies Salon & Talk-Show - Supreme Court Edition. (Gentlemen welcome.) Featured guests include Therese Stewart, Chief Deputy City Attorney at the San Francisco City Attorneys Office, Ilona Turner, Legal Director of the Transgender Law Center, Theodora Lee, Attorney and Shareholder at Littler Mendelson and more! Tired of stale panels and connection-less networking events? Come try something different. Give 'em L! will take place on Thursday, September 12, 2013.

    On another note, if you love Galas and other grand events, then BALIF's Community Ambassador Committee is right for you. Through ticket swaps with other minority bar associations, Committee members attend other minority bar association's grand events as BALIF's representatives. Lined up for this month alone are the Korean American Bar Association of Northern California's 30th Anniversary Gala and the Women Lawyers of Alameda County's Annual Judges Dinner. If you are interested in joining the Community Ambassador Committee, please contact Edward Joy at

    Have a Great Week!

    Edward Joy
    BALIF Community Ambassador Committee Chair

    P.S. Looking forward to seeing all you mentors and mentees to be this Thursday September 5, 2013 at BALIF's first "Connections" Mentorship Happy Hour from 6pm-8pm at the Lookout!"
  • 28 Aug 2013 9:33 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Dear BALIF Members and Friends,

    A Big Thanks to all of the BALIF members who came out to welcome the 2013 Lavender Law attendees at 111 Minna last Thursday! Special thanks to Nick Clements for organizing and Seyfarth Shaw LLP for co-sponsoring this event! A good time was had by all!

    Mark your calendars for the upcoming BALIF / BASF LGBT Women's Networking Event on September 12, 2013 at Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg. It is going to be AMAZING!

    Finally, BALIF is working on a response to the recent draconian anti-gay "propaganda" laws passed in Russia . Any and all ideas on how BALIF should respond on behalf of our members are welcome. Please email

    Have a great week.

    Pete Catalanotti
    BALIF Outreach Committee Chair
  • 21 Aug 2013 11:10 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members and Friends-

    I'm going to keep this short and sweet, since this week is going to be BUSY.

    Lavender Law 2013: Celebrating 25 Years, is happening this week at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. From the career fair to the featured speakers to the more than 50 workshops to the Gala Dinner, this year's Lav Law will be nothing less than phenomenal! More information can be found here. Of particular note is our Lavender Law welcome reception, co-hosted with Seyfarth Shaw LLP, this coming Thursday (August 22, 2013) at 111 Minna Gallery at 8:00 p.m. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Come join us!

    Of course, I would be remiss if I did not promote the BALIF "Connections" Mentorship Program. More information can be found below. If you're interested in either becoming a mentor or are seeking mentorship, or just want more information, please email me at

    Have a good week and see you at Lav Law!

    Mario Choi
    BALIF Young Lawyers& Law Student Programs Committee Chair
  • 20 Aug 2013 2:33 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Do you want to help shape California 's laws? Join BALIF's California Conference of Bar Associations (CCBA) Committee. Each year, BALIF sends a delegation to the California Conference of Bar Associations, a group of attorneys from local, specialty, and minority bar associations across the state that are focused on improving California's laws. BALIF's CCBA Committee reviews and determines BALIF's position on resolutions that are debated at the Conference. This year, the Conference will be in San Jose from October 11-13, 2013.

    BALIF's representation and participation at the Conference are crucial to ensure visibility of the LGBT legal community at the statewide level and to bring LGBT issues before the Conference. Last year, BALIF sponsored resolutions to ensure that transgender people in jails and prisons receive appropriate medical treatment.

    If you want to weigh in on this year's proposed resolutions and/or join BALIF's delegation to the Conference, please email Julie Wilensky at by August 23, 2013.
  • 14 Aug 2013 9:26 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hi BALIF Members and Friends-

    Thank you for all that came out to the super awesome kickball event this weekend. We had a blast and we hope to do another one in the near future!

    I hope that all of you are getting pumped about Lavender Law which is being held here in beautiful San Francisco August 22-24! We are seeking last minute donations from firms or attorneys so if you want to give please contact or for more information. For those firms and attorneys who have donated - Thank you!!! Your generosity is greatly appreciated. BALIF wants to send as many law students as possible to take advantage of the great opportunities Lavender Law has to offer.

    Finally, BALIF is seeking mentors and mentees for our annual BALIF "Connections" Mentorship program. We are looking for attorneys willing to volunteer their time to become a mentor for law students and baby attorneys looking to find their way through the legal profession. Going through the mentorship program myself, I found the experience incredibly meaningful professionally and personally. If you are interested in being a mentor or a mentee, please contact Mario Choi (my illustrious mentor) at

    I hope you all have a fantastic week. And a warm welcome back to our law students!

    Dustin Helmer
    BALIF Law Student Representative
  • 07 Aug 2013 9:33 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Dear BALIF Members and Friends-

    I don’t know about you but I can’t believe how quickly this summer has passed me by (perhaps it’s because it is overcast, cold and windy in San Francisco while the rest of the country is burning up?). With all that is upcoming in August though, I doubt things will seem to slow down any time soon. Two major events for LGBT lawyers will be taking place in San Francisco in the next three weeks - the ABA litigators conference on August 9-11 and the 25th annual Lavender Law conference on August 22-24. In conjunction with the ABA conference, on August 9, 2013 Navigant Consulting is sponsoring an LGBT Reception at Bisou French Bistro, 2367 Market Street, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. BALIF is also co-hosting a Lavender Law welcome reception with Seyfarth Shaw LLP on August 22, 2013 at 111 Minna Gallery at 8:00 p.m. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served. All BALIF members are welcome to join both events.

    Not to be left out, there are activities and opportunities in August for law students and young lawyers as well. For law students seeking cost assistance with Lavender Law registrations fees, please reach out to Law Student Representatives Dustin Helmer and Midori Hirai for more information (or if you’re an established lawyer and would like to sponsor a law student’s registration fees, likewise reach out to the Law School Representatives). Additionally, on August 10 from 1-3 p.m., Law Students are invited to play in a Law Student kick ball game at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center in San Francisco. Drink specials to follow the game at Hi Tops in the Castro. Contact Dustin Helmer for more information.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

    Nick Clements
    BALIF Social Committee Chair
  • 01 Aug 2013 1:39 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    The Barristers Club Board of Directors is accepting applications for 2014. Directors determine the club's mission and set policy and procedures to fulfill the club's mission.

    Directors supervise and facilitate Barristers Club activities by serving as liaisons to Barristers Sections and Committees, and participating on ad hoc committees in connection with major events (e.g., the Judges Reception). Directors represent the Barristers to the legal community and the public.

    Candidates must be BASF members who were admitted to the bar on January 1, 2004 or later. The Barristers Club and its board encourage diverse eligible members of BASF to apply for the Barristers board.

    To be considered for a nomination, you must submit a personal statement no later than September 3, 2013.
    The statement should include your education and legal background, area of practice, your involvement with the Barristers Club, other bar associations, or community service organizations. We encourage you to include any other information that you believe will assist the committee in making an informed decision. Your statement should not exceed 350 words and should not include the names of endorsers. In addition, you may include your resume, if you like.

    Submit your statement by email to
  • 01 Aug 2013 1:35 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Dear BALIF Members and Friends-

    As a month of wonderful programming in July comes to a close, BALIF is excited about some unique opportunities arising in August. The stars are aligned this year for LGBT Bay Area attorneys, as San Francisco is hosting both the ABA Annual Convention and Lavender Law. In conjunction with the ABA conference, on August 9, 2013 Navigant Consulting is sponsoring an LGBT Reception at Bisou French Bistro, 2367 Market Street , from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. BALIF members are invited. BALIF is also co-sponsoring a Reception with Seyfarth during the Lavender Law Conference on August 22, 2013 at 111 Minna Gallery. We hope to see you there!

    In our excitement about August, we should not forget that there is still some programming to squeeze out of July. This Wednesday, July 31st, we have a panel co-sponsored with JAMS discussing important family law issues - Implications of DOMA and Prop 8 Rulings: The new frontier in same-sex family law and estate planning.

    Please have a wonderful week, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

    Nick Kacprowski
    BALIF Amicus Committee Chair

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