Weekly Newsletter        |          July 23, 2013
Message from the BALIF Board



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 very busy. Many quality programs exploring the legal, political, and personal implications for the LGBT community have taken place, and there are many more to come!


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 25th, 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. Next 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 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





Prenup is not a Dirty Word: Marrying and Registering with Heart and Smarts


Marriage. It's in the air. And in the courts. And all over the press. Marriage is a civil right, marriage is romantic .... and marriage is a contract with your partner. Unless you specify otherwise, the terms of the contract are pre-written by the state. This contract is the only contract most people enter into without reading or knowing the terms. In fact - where can one even find those terms? If you are considering marrying and/or domestic partnering, we encourage you to think about what you want your marriage or registered partnership to look like. Do the rights and obligations set by the state fit your relationship - or do you want to customize them?


More info here!


Join us July 25, 2013!


The LGBT Center

1800 Market Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

In this workshop, we will address:
- Why do a pre-nup? (Or not!)

- What can we address in a pre-nup?
- How can we go about creating a pre-nup?

Presenters are: Charles Spiegel (charlesspiegellaw.com), Heba Nimr (hebanimr.com), and Dylan Miles (milesfamilylaw.com)


Lavender Law Donations


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.

Law Student Kickball Save the Date


Hey Law Students and Bar-preppers! Save the date of Saturday August 10th from 1-3 at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center for some kickball awesomeness! Afterwards, join us for some stimulating beverages as well! This is a fantastic opportunity for new and veteran law students to meet up and engage in some friendly competition with one another. And for recent Bar-testers, this is a great way to blow off some steam. Bring a friend and let's play ball!

2013- 2014 BALIF 
"Connections" Mentorship Program

It's that time of year again! BALIF's "Connections" Mentorship Program is looking for mentees seeking to gain valuable insight into the profession, and mentors who want to provide guidance and experience to the "younger" crowd. Both mentors and mentees must be able to commit to constant communication, and must be able to meet at least a few times during the course of the mentorship year (September-May).


Mentors should be more senior, experienced attorneys or judges in their field(s) of practice. Mentees can be law students, attorneys just beginning their careers, or even more senior attorneys looking to expand their horizons or to move into a different legal focus.


Applications are available for the program. Please email younglawyers@balif.org, and in the subject line note either "Mentor" (if you are seeking to be a mentor) or "Mentee" (if you are looking to be mentored). If you have any questions, please email the Chair of the Young Lawyers and Law Students Programs Committee Chair at younglawyers@balif.org.

Congratulations to BALIF Members Recognized by the LGBT Bar as the 
Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40

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
Jones Day
Scott Willoughby
Senior Corporate Counsel

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.
Dan Dean Elected to 
State Bar Board of Trustees
BALIF would like to congratulate Dan Dean!

Attorney Daniel Dean of San Francisco was elected 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.
Up Your Alley & Folsom Street Fair Volunteers Needed!


The Transgender Law Center is proud to be one of the partners selected by the Folsom Street Fair to provide volunteers for the Folsom Street Fair and its baby brother, Up Your Alley.


To be a success, TLC needs BALIF members' help. TLC needs BALIF to step up and be a volunteer. It's easy, it's fun, and you'll still have plenty of time to enjoy the fair.


All you have to do is go to a brief orientation meeting, and then show up and work a shift. A variety of volunteer tasks are available. You'll meet terrific people and have fun while at the same time helping Transgender Law Center become a strong, solid partner of the Folsom Street Fair.


Up Your Alley is on July 28th and the Folsom Street Fair is September 29th. More information can be found here: http://folsomstreetfair.org/fair-faq.php


Please let Trans Law Center Board Member Shawn Demmons (shawn.demmons@gmail.com) know ASAP if you can volunteer for either event. TLC needs you, BALIF members!

Minority Attorney In-House Counsel Awards Reception
The Bar Association of San Francisco presents its
Minority Attorney In-House Counsel Awards Reception
July 31, 2013: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

The Bar Association of San Francisco cordially invites you to its third annual Minority Attorney In-House Counsel Diversity Awards Reception recognizing those who have demonstrated a sustained and meaningful commitment to increasing and retaining diversity in the legal profession. 

Awards will be presented to Nicole Harris of Pacific Gas and Electric Company as well as the AT&T Legal Department. 

This event is hosted by Davis Wright Tremaine and Latham & Watkins. 

Please RSVP by July 29, 2013.  

Register online here!

Latham & Watkins 
505 Montgomery Street, Suite 2000 
San Francisco, CA  


Event Code: D137404

Implications of DOMA and Prop 8 Rulings: The new frontier in same-sex family law and estate planning


On June 26, 2013 the United States Supreme Court issued the long anticipated rulings in the first marriage cases to reach the high court - United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, No. 12-144.  Taken together, the decisions represent a significant step in the central civil rights issue of this era - the rights and responsibilities of same sex couples to marry and to raise children.


Please join BALIF and JAMS for a complimentary panel discussion that will address the immediate family law and financial planning implications of these decisions and the questions that remain.  Topics to be addressed include:

  • Overview of Windsor and Perry rulings and questions that remain
  • Key issues in pending Ninth Circuit cases
  • Financial planning issues for California residents before and after DOMA, including estate plans, ERISA, and estate, income and gift tax issues
  •  Issues for California employer benefit plans
  • The impact of the cases on dissolution actions and resolving disputes in an ADR setting


Edward P. Joy, Attorney at Law, Estate Planning, Probate & Probate Litigation
Nickolas A. Kacprowski, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP  

Hon. Catherine Gallagher (Ret.), JAMS  

Hon. Patrick J. Mahoney (Ret.), JAMS

Date and Time:
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Registration:  5:00-5:30pm
Program: 5:30-6:30pm
Reception to follow.


1.0 General MCLE credit to be provided.



Two Embarcadero Center

Suite 1500

San Francisco, CA 94111


Please RSVP here.


The ABA National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws To Hold Western Regional Hearing in San Francisco


Friday, August 9, 2013

8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.

The Westin San Francisco Market Street

50 Third Street, Metropolitan I, 2nd Floor

San Francisco, CA


You are cordially invited to attend and/or present testimony at a significant public forum concerning the proliferation of Stand Your Ground Laws, which have substantially expanded the contours of self-defense law in over half of jurisdictions in the United States and received increased national attention in connection with recent high-profile cases.


Expert witnesses drawn from local and regional community and government stakeholders, law enforcement prosecutors, public and private criminal defense attorneys, and legal academicians will testify on the impact of Stand Your Ground laws in the Western region, where several states have enacted similar expanded self-defense statutes. 


Topics will include:

  • The utility of Stand Your Ground laws from legal and policy perspectives
  • The impact of Stand Your Ground laws on public safety
  • The impact of Stand Your Ground laws on traditionally marginalized communities and racial and ethnic minorities
  • The impact of Stand Your Ground laws on the criminal justice system, with a particular focus on law enforcement and the prosecutorial function

This hearing is free and open to members of the public and press, but, you must register today in order to reserve your seat. For more information on the August 9, 2013 Western regional hearing in San Francisco, or the National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws, generally, please contact: Rachel Patrick, Staff Director, ABA Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice, at: (312) 988-5408 or via email at: corej@americanbar.org.

"Historical Trial: The Twinkie Defense - The Trial of Dan White for the Murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone"


Friday, August 9, 2013

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM



Room 2006, 2nd Floor, Moscone Center West


Event Description:

On November 27, 1978, the nation's first openly gay elected official, San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, and Mayor George Moscone were shot to death in City Hall by former city supervisor Dan White. In White's murder trial, the defense team successfully argued diminished capacity based in part upon his junk food diet. Was this right, or should White have been convicted of murder? Join the prosecution or defense team, and argue the case yourself, with help from leading trial lawyers Vincent Chang and Garrick Lew, Judge William Kelly, and trial consultants David Weinberg and Dr. Darlene Shelton.


Primary Sponsor:

Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division


Primary Sponsor Chair:

Benes Z Aldana, Chair, APO, AE


Speakers: Vincent Chang, New York, New York; Honorable William Kelly, Kentwood, Michigan; Garrick Lew, San Francisco, California; Darlene Shelton, Guilford, Connecticut; David Weinberg, Guilford, Connecticut


Additional Sponsors:

Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section

Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division

Section of Litigation

Young Lawyers Division

Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity


Ticket Price:

Ticket Price: $90, Judges: $35, Govt Atty: $35, Young Lawyers: $90, Law Students: $0, Solo Practitioners: $35

Iranian American Bar Association 
Sixth Annual Dinner
The Iranian American Bar Association invites BALIF Members to their Sixth Annual Dinner on Thursday, August 15, 2013, at 6:30pm.  This year's keynote speaker will be Mr. Cyrus Amir-Mokri, the U.S. Treasury Department's Assistant Secretary of Financial Institutions!  Tickets can be purchased tickets here . 
Castro Offices for Rent

2 or 3 offices available in prime Victorian in Castro. Share flat with estate planner/generalist and building with other attorneys. We are congenial, collegial, experienced and respectful.


Rents: 1,100 for smallest office; 1200 for med office and $1,400 for front parlor office (fireplace, etc.). Included in rent: shared reception/paralegal office and conference room, and small kitchen space. Not included in rent: utilities, and cleaning. Floor is well-wired for internet for easy plug and play.


Contact: Michael @ 415-861-9900

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.
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.

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!


BALIF members should have received our invitation to join our newly-created Listserv. You must proactively respond to the request in order to be added to our Listserv. If you didn't get a request, please let us know by emailing technology@balif.org or balif@balif.org.

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 must be current 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
July 25- Workshop: Prenup is Not a Dirty Word
July 31- Implications of DOMA and Prop. 8 Rulings
In This Issue
BALIF Board of Directors
On Lu & Jamie Dupree  
John Robert Unruh


Elizabeth Pritzker & Andrew Vu  
Judiciary Co-Chairs

John Robert Unruh & 
Lilah Sutphen
Gala Co-Chairs  

Laurie Bertolacci  

Nick Kacprowski
Amicus Chair   


Leah Nutting  

Peter Catalanotti
Outreach Chair

Jessica Bogo
Social Action Chair 

Nick Clements  
Dustin Helmer & Midori Hirai


Katie Carlson
BALIF 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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