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  • 29 Jul 2013 1:34 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Each year, the National LGBT Bar Association recognizes 40 LGBT legal professionals (practicing lawyers, law professors, corporate counsel, members of the judiciary, politicians, etc.) under the age of 40 who have distinguished themselves in their field and have demonstrated a profound commitment to LGBT equality.

    BALIF would like to congratulate two of our members for being recognized this year as the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.

    Brian McDonald
    Partner
    Jones Day

    Scott Willoughby
    Senior Corporate Counsel
    Clorox

    The Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 Class of 2013 will be presented at the 25th Anniversary Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair, which will be held August 22-24, 2013 in San Francisco , California .
  • 23 Jul 2013 12:33 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    In the weeks following the Supreme Court's Prop 8 and DOMA decisions, BALIF and our local network of bar associations and legal organizations have been busy providing quality programs that explore the legal, political, and personal implications for the LGBT community.

    We were fortunate to partner this July with the American Constitution Society and the BASF's LGBT Equality Committee, enjoying two excellent panels featuring attorneys who are on the front lines of this march for equality. And we have been inspired by the stories from Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, about the challenges they faced along the way and their newfound, sometimes blissfully mundane, joys of being legally married.

    We have even more great programming coming up this month. This Thursday, July 25, we have a seminar for those planning to walk down the aisle, Prenup is not a Dirty Word: Marrying and Registering with Heart and Smarts, and next Wednesday, July 31, 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 come join us for these two timely and important CLE programs, and stay tuned for more great events in August!

    Leah Nutting
    BALIF Programs Committee Chair
  • 17 Jul 2013 8:44 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hey BALIF members! Did you know that almost half of BALIF membership is made up of law students? And with the National Lavender Law Conference being held in beautiful San Francisco August 22 through 24 - it is BALIF's goal this year to send as many law students to attend this exciting and invaluable event. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of registration, many law students are unable to attend. Therefore, BALIF is seeking the help of our generous members to donate a minimum of $135 (the cost of registration) to help support a law student to attend Lavender Law 2013. This year will be especially electrifying with the demise of DOMA and Prop 8 and we don't want our Bay Area law students to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

    If you are interested in making a donation or want more information about how you or your firm can help sponsor a law student, please email balif@balif.org or lawstudentrep@balif.org.
  • 16 Jul 2013 5:23 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members & Friends-

    Summer is always my favorite time of the year. It stays light later and there are plenty of opportunities after work for an ice cream cone with the kids or a tropical drink with friends.

    This summer is particularly sweet for BALIF. I can't stop smiling after our victories in the Supreme Court. There are lots of exciting events coming up. San Francisco will be the venue for the 2013 ABA Convention on August 8-13, and the National LGBT Bar Association's Lavender Law Conference on August 22-24. Both will present opportunities for BALIF members to mingle and network with colleagues from across the country.

    And there are two sweet, not-to-be missed, BALIF events this week. On Wednesday, July 17, BALIF is co-sponsoring Marriage in America: Life after Windsor and Perry with BASF's LGBT Equality Committee, to be immediately followed by BASF's annual LGBT Partners and Associates reception. On Thursday, July 18, BALIF is co-sponsoring Shattering the LGBT Judicial Glass Ceiling with AABA's LGBT Committee. For registration information, see the newsletter below.

    I hope to see you both nights! And enjoy the summer.

    Jamie Dupree
    BALIF Co-Chair
  • 15 Jul 2013 10:45 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    BALIF would like to congratulate Dan Dean!

    Attorney Daniel Dean of San Francisco was elected today to serve a three-year term on the State Bar Board of Trustees.
    Dean, was elected by attorneys in District 1, which covers Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma counties. Dean is a civil trial attorney with Fotouhi Epps Hillger Gilroy Mau PC in San Francisco, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury, employment, medical malpractice, construction defect, business litigation and other matters.

    Dean has served with a number of community and legal groups including as a board member and co-chairman of the Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, as co-chairman of the Minority Bar Coalition, and as a board member of the Bar Association of San Francisco. He is currently on the board of his alma mater, the University of San Francisco School of Law, and serves as a judge pro tem with San Francisco County Superior Court in its traffic and small claims departments.

    Click here to view the press release.
  • 09 Jul 2013 8:36 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    BALIF Members and Friends-

    Since our Prop 8/DOMA victories, I haven't been able to stop humming the tune to "Winds of Change"...

    Take me to the magic of the moment
    On a glory night
    Where the children of tomorrow dream away
    in the wind of change

    This Scorpions' classic is from 1991. I was a sophomore in college back then, and vividly recall how the lyrics of this song celebrated German reunification, the end of the Cold War, and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe .

    The "Winds of Change" have been blowing in the Bay Area as well. Everywhere I turn, I see our BALIF brothers and sisters standing prouder, wiser, and more forcefully - because together, we survived (and won) a decade-long war for marriage equality in our state. Our attorneys are advancing up the law firm ladders, and getting promoted through the corporate and government ranks. Our in-house counsel members are becoming decision-makers. We're remembering the need for LGBT judges, and redoubling our efforts to recruit. We're helping our law students and young attorneys gets jobs and become more qualified candidates. We're finally standing-up for our long-neglected transgender family, and putting an exclamation mark behind our female members (!).

    The BALIF Board has been busy laying plans for our 2013-14 year. We can't wait to unveil what's coming, and we're so, so glad you're along for the ride.

    BTW: Here's a link to the music video if you're so inclined: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4RjJKxsamQ

    Looking forward to greeting you soon,

    On Lu
    BALIF Board Co-Chair
  • 01 Jul 2013 12:40 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Members and Friends-

    It was a spectacular end to the month of June, with the Windsor and Perry decisions, the BALIF/Jones Day Pride Parade Breakfast and Pride Parade, and this short work week (well, at least for some of us)! As Edith Windsor said: "We won and got everything we hoped for." Indeed we have!

    But, as they say, with power comes responsibility. And that means we in the community need to step up. What can you do for the community, you ask? One way is through mentoring! BALIF's "Connections" Mentorship Program is just that. Look below for more information.

    Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

    Mario Choi,
    Young Lawyers and Law Students Programs Committee Chair
  • 26 Jun 2013 2:29 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)

    For immediate release:
    Please contact Edward Joy
    BALIF Board Member & Community Ambassador
    415-608-6727, communityambassador@balif.org

     

    Proposition 8- Click here for a PDF of the Press Release


    San Francisco Bay Area's LGBT Bar Association Overjoyed at Supreme Court Decision
    BALIF joined by 22 minority bar associations

     

    June 26, 2013 - San Francisco, California - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Hollingsworth v. Perry that the proponents of Proposition 8 had no standing to assert their position, thus leaving in place the decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, holding that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional as applied to California. Proposition 8 is now dead, and same-sex couples will be free to marry in California. Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), the San Francisco Bay Area's LGBT Bar Association, is overjoyed at this result.

     

    Today's decision finally terminates a long struggle in California for BALIF and other proponents of marriage equality. BALIF has been committed to overturning Proposition 8 since it was first passed by California voters in 2008, and has participated in the marriage equality fight in virtually every stage of the litigation. BALIF filed an amicus brief in the 2007 California Supreme Court case that declared the prohibition of same-sex marriage a violation of the California Constitution as it then existed. When Prop 8 amended the California Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage and the Hollingsworth v. Perry case was filed to challenge it, BALIF again took an active role in every battle. BALIF filed an amicus brief when the case was in the district court, an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and finally an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court.

     

    In addition to its actions in court, hundreds of BALIF's members have marched, protested, donated, and lobbied throughout the course of this campaign. We note, however, that the struggle for marriage equality is not over. The Court's decision today means that although same-sex marriage will be permitted in California, our brothers and sisters in the vast majority of other states will still be denied this fundamental right. BALIF will do all it can to help remedy this injustice through judicial, legislative, or electoral means. According to Edward Joy, BALIF Board Member and Community Ambassador, "The Supreme Court came down on the right side of history today. And we have no doubt that marriage equality will ultimately be the law of the land throughout the country, whether through the ballot box or through the courts."

     

    BALIF recognizes that although the cause of marriage equality has been central to its mission as an organization over the past decade, we have received tremendous support from our fellow minority bar associations. They have supported us not necessarily because marriage equality is central to their own missions, but because they support the cause of equality for all. BALIF acknowledges and thanks these organizations who have supported marriage equality, and in many cases joined in BALIF amicus briefs throughout this process.

     

    DOMA- Click here for a PDF of the Press Release

     

    San Francisco Bay Area's LGBT Bar Association is Thrilled with Supreme Court Decision
    BALIF joined by 22 minority bar associations

     

    June 26, 2013 - San Francisco, California - Today the United State's Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit Court of Appeals' opinion in United States v. Windsor, holding that "the principal purpose and the necessary effect of [DOMA] are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage." Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), the San Francisco Bay Area's LGBT Bar Association, is thrilled at this result. Today's decision has far-reaching implications. The Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") is now considered unconstitutional in all of its malevolent aspects, from immigration, to federal benefits, to taxation. Federal law will no longer refuse to recognize marriages valid under state law on the sole basis that those marriages are between partners of the same sex.

     

    BALIF has long been involved in the legal movement to overturn DOMA. BALIF filed an amicus brief in a sister case challenging DOMA in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Golinski v. United States Office of Personnel Management. BALIF also joined an amicus brief as a party in the United States v. Windsor U.S. Supreme Court proceedings. BALIF applauds today's decision on DOMA along with the additional rights and respect it affords same-sex couples and LGBT Americans. The DOMA decision coupled with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on Proposition 8, means that same-sex California couples now have the right to full marriage equality at both the state and federal level. According to Edward Joy, BALIF Board Member and Community Ambassador, "The Supreme Court came down on the right side of history today. And we have no doubt that marriage equality will ultimately be the law of the land throughout the country, whether through the ballot box or through the courts."

     

    BALIF recognizes that although this cause has been central to its mission as an organization over the past decade, we have received tremendous support from our fellow minority bar associations. They have supported us not necessarily because marriage equality is central to their own missions, but because they support the cause of equality for all. BALIF acknowledges and thanks these organizations who have supported marriage equality, and in many cases joined in BALIF amicus briefs throughout this process.

     

    These organizations join in BALIF's statement today celebrating today's decision.

     

    BALIF, the Bay Area's LGBT Bar Association

    Joined by:

    Alameda County Bar Association

    Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area

    Asian American Prosecutors Association

    Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley

    Black Women Lawyers Association of Northern California

    California Minority Counsel Program

    California Women Lawyers Association

    Charles Houston Bar Association

    Co-Chair of East Bay Diversity Bar Coalition, Toni Mims-Cochran

    Co-Chairs of Minority Bar Coalition, Lily Wong, Alberto Rosas, David Wei & Mala Sahai

    East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association

    Filipino Bar Association of Northern California

    Iranian American Bar Association

    Korean American Bar Association of Northern California

    Queen's Bench Bar Association

    San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association

    San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association's Diversity Committee

    Santa Clara County Black Lawyers Association, by Aileen F. Casanave, President

    Santa Clara County La Raza Lawyers Association

    South Asian Bar Association of Northern California

    Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California

    Women Lawyers of Alameda County

  • 26 Jun 2013 8:54 AM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    BALIF members interested in joining the Day of Decision rally should meet BALIF at the corner of 18th and Market Streets. Look for the BALIF Banner!
    When: June 26th, 2013 at 6:30 pm
    Where: Corner of 18th and Castro Streets (@ BALIF Banner)
  • 25 Jun 2013 11:22 PM | BALIF Administrator (Administrator)
    Hello BALIF Family & Friends-

    As we patiently await the Prop 8 and DOMA decisions tomorrow, the BALIF Board of Directors has been reviewing all the hard work of our members and celebrating the coalitions we have built along the way. It has filled us all with a great sense of pride. Once the decisions are announced, look for BALIF's statement, which will recap BALIF's and our supportive coalitions' contributions toward marriage equality.

    However SCOTUS decides these two momentous cases, there is still a lot of work to do to achieve full equality under the law and in the eyes of our fellow Americans and the world. Where do you see the LGBT civil rights movement in 5 or 10 years? Where do you think we should spend our time, energy and money? How will you contribute?

    Pride week is in full swing and we look forward to seeing many of you at the festivities. Please check out http://balif.org/events for a full list of our events. Don't forget to join BALIF and Jones Day for the 5th Annual Pride Breakfast Celebration this Sunday before you head out to the Pride Parade.

    Happy Pride everyone! Let's make it another one to remember!


    Jennifer Orthwein
    BALIF Communications & Public Relations Chair

Call or Email Us
Office: +1 415 874-3045

balif@balif.org

Address:
P.O. Box 193383 San Francisco, CA 94119