Weekly Newsletter        |          April 9, 2013
Message from BALIF Co-Chairs 




The numbers from Saturday's Career & Networking Expo surprised even us...

  • 200+ young lawyers and law students came for the half-day event.
  • 35+ practice area tables staffed by dozens of BALIF members.
  • 15 employers hiring for 30+ positions for laterals, first-years, and interns.
  • Standing room only at the "Power Networking" and "Legal Spectrum" panels.
  • Resume review sessions - every slot filled.
  • Mock interviews - every slot filled. 
  • Sedgwick networking mixer - 100+ attendees; complimentary champagne was finished within 30-minutes

Best of all -- BALIF members are already interviewing for some of the open positions.  Keep us updated if you land a position as a result of the Expo!


Thank you to all the BALIF members that took time out of their Saturdays to staff tables, conduct mock interviews, speak on panes, and to provide advice to job seekers.  And a special thanks to Katie Carlson - BALIF's Administrator - for her wonderful work in setting up the venue.


career fair 3

career fair 4  career fair 2

career fair 1  


This week - don't forget to vote for your 2013-14 BALIF Board.  Voting lasts for only ONE WEEK and closes next Tuesday (4/16).  Your vote matters in selecting the men and women who will lead BALIF this year.  More info below.


We look forward to seeing you soon.


On Lu & Chelsea HaleyNelson

BALIF Co-Chairs



Your Voice Matters -- 
Vote Now for your 2013-2014 BALIF Boardelection


The BALIF 2013-14 Board Elections are under way. Your voice matters in selecting the people that will lead BALIF in the coming year.


Elections will be online for one week (April 9 - 16). You can also vote in person at the General Membership Meeting on Tuesday (April 16) at the Sausage Factory from 6 - 8:30 pm. The results will be announced at the end of the General Membership Meeting.


If you don't receive your e-ballot by Tuesday (April 9), please email balif@balif.org.


7 CANDIDATES for 5 Female Board Positions

+ Denise Bergin

+ Jessica Bogo

+ Jamie Dupree

+ Leah Nutting

+ Lilah Sutphen

+ Julie Wilensky

+ Meaghan Zore


11 CANDIDATES for 4 Male Board Positions

+ Paul Bird

+ Mario Choi

+ Edward P. Joy

+ Brian Mack

+ Michael O'Rourke

+ Dmitri Pikman

+ Mike Riess

+ Okan Sengun

+ John Unruh

+ Andrew Vu

+ David P. Waggoner


1 CANDIDATE FOR 1 Gender Non-Conforming Board Position

Jennifer Orthwein


3 CANDIDATES for 1 Female Student Board Position

+ Amanda Hamilton

+ Midori Hirai

+ Dannielle (Danni) Vogl


1 CANDIDATE for 1 Male Student Board Position

+ Dustin Helmer

BALIF Lesbian Comedy Night: 
Suzanne Westenhoefercomedy


May 7, 2013 at 6pm
Punch Line Comedy Club
444 Battery Street
San Francisco, CA


  • includes meet and greet with Suzanne
Purchase Tickets Here!

A laugh-out-loud event just for the fabulous femme fatale of BALIF (and their male cohorts of course). We've got the Punchline Comedy Club all to ourselves for the second year running. We are excited to feature Suzanne Westenhoefer! She's brave, bold and comic gold. The real deal in a post-modern world seeking to pump out reproductions, Suzanne is the reigning shtick chick worth noting. Her individual style and unique sense of self set the stage for all walks of life - young, old, gay, straight, lesbian, bi, and every descriptor imaginable in between. The first openly gay stand-up comic, Suzanne's ground-breaking career includes appearances on Letterman, HBO, Bravo, Logo and GSN as well as live performances across the US. Suzanne works mostly unscripted and is fearless, bold, unapologetic, and freaking hilarious.

For more information about Suzanne, please visit her website.
LGBT Groups to Present, 
"Marriage on Trial: The U.S. Supreme Court, Proposition 8, DOMA, and You" 
on April 22


San Francisco -- On Monday, April 22, 2013, The LGBT Committee of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF), Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF), and Horizons Foundation will present Marriage on Trial: The U.S. Supreme Court, Proposition 8, DOMA, and You. This free event will take place from 6:00 -7:30 p.m. at the LGBT Community Center (1800 Market Street in San Francisco).


The event, which is open to the public and appropriate for non-lawyers and lawyers alike, will feature an all-star panel of community leaders who have been involved in the struggle for marriage equality in California from Day One and who attended the Proposition 8 and DOMA oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in late March.


Guests will hear from some of the LGBT community's most prominent attorneys and civil rights advocates who will discuss the oral arguments held in these cases, explain the legal theories and questions before the Court, and predict how the rulings will affect that lives of LGBT individuals in California and beyond. 


Speakers include:

  • Matt Coles, Deputy National Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • Andrea Shorter, Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Leadership Strategies
  • Terry Stewart, Chief Deputy City Attorney, City and County of San Francisco
  • Ilona Turner, Legal Director, Transgender Law Center
  • Yolanda M. Jackson, Deputy Executive Director and Diversity Director, BASF (Moderator)

There is no cost to attend this event. Space is limited, please RSVP online at www.sfbar.org/calendar.


For more information on BASF's LGBT Committee, please visit www.sfbar.org/cle/committees_equality_sexual.aspx.


For more information about BALIF, please visit www.balif.org.


For more information about Horizons Foundation, please visit www.horizonsfoundation.org.

Report Back from the Prop 8 Oral Arguments

From BALIF Member David Monroe:


I went to D.C. to sit in on the oral arguments. I am a lawyer admitted to the US Supreme Court, so I had a better than average chance to get inside and sit at "ground zero", so to speak, of the current status of gay legal rights in America.


I arrived in D.C. at 1:00 a.m. Monday morning from San Fran, went to my bed and breakfast, changed into my suit, and went straight to the Court, arriving at 2:30 a.m. It was about 36 degrees, chilly but bearable. I was 51st in line, good enough to get into the courtroom that day. We got into the building about 8:30. I was inside the courtroom for Prop 8 (2nd row center - nice!).


For DOMA the next day, I slept some, but still went to the court around 3:00 a.m. Wednesday. I did not get into the courtroom, between the lawyers paying for "Place Holders" to get the first 50 spots (a practice I detest, and will write to the Supreme Court marshals objecting to, as the use of "Place Holders" is not allowed in D.C. for congressional hearings, etc.) and the VIPs (many U.S. House of Representatives were there, including Nancy Pelosi, who did not have to stand in line), so I was in the lawyer's lounge for DOMA (where I could hear the arguments, but not see the proceedings).


My take on the Prop 8 - DOMA arguments in the US Supreme Court:


We still have work to do to educate the intelligent elite about the nature of gay people and the effects of discriminatory laws and language in society. They do not understand the oppressive effect of being denied equal treatment. They see us still as objects, not people.


The lady Supreme Court justices understand our position - not surprising, rising from the ranks of women, who have also been mistreated by the white rich straight men in America who think they rule the world, and experiencing the humiliation of being treated as "less than" - something most rich white men in America rarely experience. It was clear to me the white men on the Supreme Court did not understand what it is like to be discriminated against - they dismissed it as a passing discomfort, rather than the denigrating humiliation that it is.


On of the best points made by "our side" was the attorney arguing DOMA for the plaintiff, Edith Windsor, in response to Roberts' argument that we must now have extensive political power (and therefore do not deserve protection as a class), she pointed out that no other minority in history had been subjected to over 30 public referendums on whether we had rights, and we have lost 28 out of 30 times, indicating we do not have political power.


So we should continue to educate the straight world - make our movies, to reach those who do not have gay friends: but more focus on our humanity, rather than flaunting our sexuality. My goal - to make one feature film in the next two years that shows the effects of discrimination on people across the board, including my gay brothers and sisters.


I saw Rob Reiner in the hallway before the Prop 8 arguments, and did congratulate him for helping us get this far. Rob helped finance the underpinnings for the Prop 8 case and was there in the courthouse for the arguments.


Opinions are expected in June. My prediction: Prop 8 falls in California, but gay marriage is not addressed in other states; and DOMA Section 3 falls, leaving gay married couples in states that recognize gay marriage on equal footing with other married coupes. We will see.


And the journey continues...

Waiting for the Prop 8 arguments, like at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning - then I was interviewed on TV by the local SF affiliate (my roommate sent me a pic of my mug on his TV back at home that was broadcast that same morning, while I was still standing in line!) - and waiting outside shivering for the DOMA arguments (no pics are allowed inside the building); and after the DOMA arguments, the crowds outside...


Conversation on Historic Prop 8 
and Marriage Equality Cases

Thursday, April 18, 4 to 5:30 pm
Golden Gate University School of Law
536 Mission Street, Room 3201
San Francisco, CA

Recently the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Prop 8 and DOMA, historic cases on marriage equality. GGU Law invites you to continue the rich conversation on marriage equality and Prop 8. Therese Stewart, Chief Deputy City Attorney of San Francisco, and Diana Richmond (GGU JD '73), Partner, Sideman & Bancroft LLP, will discuss marriage equality (MCLE is available). RSVP to GGU Alumni Services at alumni@ggu.edu or phone at 415/442-7812.
Join the BALIF Listserv!

Have a job or need one? Civil procedure question? Need a

referral? Have something important to ask ... or news to tell? Want to get to our members quickly? Join our Listserv!


Over the next few weeks, we will be sending out requests ONLY to BALIF members to join our newly-created Listserv. You must proactively respond to the request in order to be added to our Listserv (we will try to send out reminders to those of you who did not have the chance to respond). If you don't get a request by the end of April, please let us know. And, if you want to be added sooner than we can send out requests, shoot an email to technology@balif.org or balif@balif.org.

Announcing Reed Smith's 
2013 Diverse Scholars Program
The National LGBT Bar Association is pleased to present Reed Smith's 2013 Diverse Scholars Program. Reed Smith has a strong commitment to diversity which has resulted in a firm in which diversity and inclusion permeate the culture. Rewarding young future leaders for their efforts in the area of diversity and introducing them to the Reed Smith culture are two important goals of this program.

Click here for more details.
UC Davis SOL Memorial Lecture
Bill Smith Memorial Lecture presents Therese Stewart
Tuesday, April 9
UC Davis King Hall School of Law
400 Mrak Hall Drive
Davis CA 95616
Room 1001
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM. Reception to immediately follow in King Hall courtyard.

Please join us for the 12th Annual Bill Smith Memorial Lecture on
Tuesday, April 9th at 5 PM at King Hall in room 1001. The event is
followed by a reception in the King Hall Courtyard at 6:30 PM.

As you may recall, the Bill Smith Memorial Lecture honors the memory of Bill Smith ('98) who passed away 12 years ago. During Bill's short time with us, he dedicated himself to disability and LGBT rights activism. The Lecture is our way of honoring his memory, both by highlighting a powerful voice in the disability or LGBT rights arena and by awarding a small summer grant to a 1L or 2L law student doing nonprofit legal work in either of those areas.

This year we are excited to bring Therese Stewart to speak to us about her involvement with same-sex marriage litigation in California. Ms. Stewart is the Chief Deputy City Attorney for the city and county of San Francisco and graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law. As an attorney for San Francisco, Ms. Stewart has defended the city's position that same-sex couples should have the right to marry since February 2004, when then Mayor Gavin Newsom directed city officials to permit same-sex marriages. Ms. Stewart continues to be a stalwart for same-sex marriage, delivering the oral argument for San Francisco's position before the California Supreme Court in 2008 and, most recently, arguing on behalf of the city before the 9th Circuit in Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

Again, please join us for this very special event on Tuesday, April
9th at King Hall and help us honor a spirit of caring and compassion through an evening committed to learning and serving the public good.

For more information, please contact Bradley Showman at beshowman@ucdavis.edu
Click here for the flyer!
Lesbian Businesswomen Social
You are invited to a wine and hors d' oeuvres social!

April 18, 2013
5:00-7:00 pm

Monty White LLP
1000 Fourth Street, Suite 425
San Rafael, CA

Hosted by:
Barbara Monty

Lenore O'Connor
Chartered Financial Consultant


Please RSVP by April 10th to lenorejoconnor@gmail.com.

Queen's Bench Invites You to a Panel Discussion

Thursday, April 18, 2013
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 


International Women's Rights
An informative discussion of the challenges women face
in their quest for equal rights around the world


  • Judge Farjana Yesmin
  • Judge Ruth Astle
  • Judge Mary Kasango
  • Nancy J. Newman

Golden Gate University School of Law, 536 Mission Street, San Francisco 


Admission free for QB members and students.  

To register, contact admin@queensbench.org or 415-249-9280.

See  flyer for more details.

$10 for non-members. Click here to purchase ticket.

LGBT Parentage
"LGBT Parentage- How LGBT people create children, and when and why it matters to be a legal parent"

Thursday, April 18, 2013 
11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Lunch (provided)
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Learning Session

This presentation will survey the different methods of creating family, including adoption, fost-adopt, surrogacy, and assisted reproduction technology. The panelists will explain the difference between a bio and non-bio parent, a natural parent under California law, second-parent and step-parent adoption, and presumed parentage for married and domestically partnered couples. Most important for financial planners and other professionals, will be tools to understand the relative costs in terms of time and money to your clients, the effect on your clients of various legal statuses, and what to suggest when things go wrong.

To RSVP, please contact Jenna Heath via email or call 415.398.2333 x115.
Northern Trust 
580 California Street, 18th Floor  
San Francisco, CA 
4th Annual California 
Diversity & Leadership Conference

Thursday, April 18 - Friday, April 19, 2013


Click here for more information and to register!


We are very fortunate to have Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm as our Keynote Speaker for the Awards Breakfast on April 18, and CNN Morning Anchor Soledad O'Brien will be giving the closing Keynote Address on Friday, April 19! 



Hilton Concord

1970 Diamond Blvd

Concord, CA 94520



Please call 1-800-826-2644 and ask for reservation and then ask for the California Diversity & Leadership Conference.

BALIF Member-Endorsed Events


BALIF member Enrique A. Monagas serves on the Board of Directors of the New ConservatoryTheatre Center and gives two-thumbs up to "A Benefit Concert to End Bullying."  The concert benefits the New ConservatoryTheatre Center's Youth Aware program that combats homophobia. 


New Conservatory Theatre Center

A Benefit Concert to End Bullying

Featuring the Yale Whiffenpoofs
with Special Guest Star Taye Diggs


Saturday April 20, 2013 at 8:00 pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
San Francisco, CA

Click here to buy tickets!

Click here for more information!
**Do you have an event or activity that you'd like to publicize to BALIF members? Send details to balifnews@gmail.com 
BASF's Mind the Gap Program: 
Mentors Needed!

This new exciting initiative called "Mind the Gap" (MTG) is to provide recent law school graduates and young attorneys who are unemployed or underemployed with training, work experience, mentorship connections and debt reduction information. BASF is looking for attorneys to serve as mentors to MTG participants. A mentorship Listserv consisting of MTG participants and interested mentors will be created where mentees can post questions and mentors can respond with answers and general advice. 


If you are interested in becoming an MTG mentor, please email mindthegapmentor@sfbar.org


For more information, please visit www.sfbar.org/mind-the-gap.

We Want Your BALIFBuzz

We all love that section in our alumni newsletters that talks about who's doing what.


Well, we're introducing the BALIFBuzz to show-off all the great things that our members are doing.  BALIFBuzz will be appearing in the weekly BALIF newsletter.   


New job?

New client?


Court victory?

Significant settlement?

Baby on the way?

Recently married or engaged?

Speaking engagement?

Award, recognition, certification, or degree?  

Or anything else you're excited about...


Keep it to one or two lines.  Please send to membership@balif.org.


Can't wait to hear your great news!


Lauri Bertolacci

BALIF Membership Chair

Job Postings Now on BALIF Website

All job postings can be found here!  


BALIF membership is required to view the job postings. Simply log into the BALIF website with your membership ID and password, and select the JOBS from the menu on the left.

Upcoming Events
April 16- BALIF Board Election Night
May 7- BALIF Comedy Night
In This Issue
BALIF Board of Directors
Chelsea HaleyNelson & On Lu,  
BALIF Board 
Laura Maechtlen, Secretary 
John Robert Unruh, Treasurer  


Susan Bluer, Judiciary Committee Chair


Michael Wolchansky, 
StateBar/Conference of Delegates Committee Chair 

John Robert Unruh & 
Jamie Dupree,  Gala Co-Chairs 

Michael Wolchansky & Peter Catalanotti, Outreach/Current Events Committee Co-Chairs 

Laurie Bertolacci, Membership Committee Chair

Elizabeth Pritzker, Young Lawyers & Law Student Programs 

Lilah Sutphen & Nick Clements, Programs Committee Co-Chairs

David Sims, Social Committee Chair  


Mario M. Choi,  Communications & Public Relations Chair 

Nick Kacprowski, Amicus Committee

Nathan Bewley, Aditi Fruitwala & 
Milo Beitman,  Law Student Representatives
Katie Carlson, Administrator
Our 2013 Sponsors
Partner Level

HB Logo


Advocate Level


A.L. Nella & Company, CPAs

Bingham McCutcheon LLP

Cooley LLP

Farella Braun + Martel LLP

Huron Legal

Jones Day

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Nixon Peabody LLP

O'Melveny & Meyers LLP


Perkins Cole LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Santa Clara University School of Law

Sheppard Mullin
Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP


Benefactor Level


AT&T Legal Department

Clarence, Dyer & Cohen LLP / Swanson & McNamara LLP

Futterman Dupree Dodd Croley Maier LLP

Gibson Dunn

Jackson Lewis LLP


Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

Littler Mendelson 

Mount, Spelman & Fingerman

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Neilson & MacRitchie Investigators

Office of the California Attorney General

Jennifer & Meredith Orthwein 

Paul Hastings

Pritzker Law

Reed Smith LLP

Robert Half Legal

Roeca Hass Hager LLP

Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld

San Francisco City Attorney's Office

San Francisco District Attorney's Office

Schiff Hardin LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Special Counsel

Stein & Lubin LLP

Turner Boyd

University of San Francsico School of Law

Wald & Thorndal P.C.

Wells Fargo


Individual Sponsors


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

Michael Colantuono, Colantuono & Levin, P.C.

Todd Norris, Bullivant Houser Bailey

Debra R. Schoenberg, Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C.

Cheryl Sena, Sena Family Law

Jonathan Shapiro, Wilmer Hale

Hon. James L. Warren (Ret.), JAMS

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