Weekly Newsletter        |          August 13, 2013
Message from the BALIF Board



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 balif@balif.org or lawstudentrep@balif.org 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 younglawyers@balif.org.

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



Dustin Helmer

BALIF Law Student Representative 



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.

Join BALIF's California Conference of
Bar Associations Committee!

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 ccba@balif.org by August 23, 2013.
BALIF / APABA-SV ScholarshipScholarship

The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley ("APABA-SV") Charity Foundation and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom ("BALIF") are pleased to announce a special scholarship for law students who have a demonstrated commitment to the Asian Pacifica American community and the LGBT community.



To recognize law students in the greater Bay Area who have:

  • Overcome personal hardships or challenges;
  • Shown excellence and achievement in law school; or
  • Demonstrated leadership and service to the Asian Pacific American and LGBT community.



One scholarship of $1,500.



Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m., September 6, 2013.




Please submit applications to apabasv@gmail.com. Please also feel free to contact us with questions.


BALIF / Seyfarth 2013 Lavender Law Conference Reception



BALIF and Seyfarth Shaw would like to invite you to a reception to celebrate the 2013 Lavender Law Conference.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.


111 Minna Gallery

111 Minna Street

San Francisco, CA 94105

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.

ALRP Preliminary List of Free 
Fall 2013 MCLE Trainings


Dates TBA


Bar Association of San Francisco

301 Battery Street, 3rd Floor

San Francisco, CA 94111, Board Room


1.5 General CLE Credits


Immigration Options for Bi-national Couples after DOMA

Kelly McCown, Esq., McCown & Evans LLP


Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

Noah Zinner, Esq., Housing & Economic Rights Advocates


Applied Mindfulness for Lawyers: Strategies for Managing Stress

Kim Nicol, Esq., Attorney at Law

Substance Abuse Credit


Wills & Trusts for LGBTQ Couples after DOMA

Deb Kinney, Esq., Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica, LLP


Family Law & Mediation

Joann Babiak, Esq., Babiak Law Offices


New Developments in Tax Law

Adria Price, Esq., Price & Associates LLP and Aubrey Hone, Esq. Hone Maxwell LLP


Unlawful Detainer Negotiation

Deepa Varma, Esq., Eviction Defense Collaborative


LGBT Elder Abuse: Nursing Homes and Assisted Living/Residential Care Facilities

Helene Wenzel, Esq., Law Office of Helene V. Wenzel


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 . 
Green Cards for Same Sex Couples

A Panel of Immigration Attorneys Present: 


Do you have questions about getting a green card based on a same-sex marriage? 

A panel of San Francisco-based immigration attorneys will provide an overview of the impact of the recent Supreme Court case striking down the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") on immigration law.

* Emily Wages, of the Law Office of Emily Wages
* Christina H. Lee, Partner at Becker & Lee LLP
* Camiel Becker, Partner at Becker & Lee LLP

** Time permitting, attorneys will offer free
consultations on a first come first served basis.

Thursday, August 15, 2013
From 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

San Francisco LGBT Community Center
Spencer Andrew Ceremonial Room
1800 Market Street, San Francisco, CA

For more information:
Camiel Becker
Backer & Lee LLP

Barristers 5th Annual Diversity Reception
The Diversity Committee of the Barristers Club presents
Barristers 5th Annual Diversity Reception
August 15, 2013: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


You are invited to attend the 5th Annual Diversity reception. This award reflects an individual's efforts to increase awareness of diversity issues in the Bay Area Legal Community. This is a free event for all attorneys, judges, law students, and BASF members. The Barristers Club is proud to honor Otis Bruce Jr. and Quyen Ta.


Generously Sponsored by: 
Keker & Van Nest LLP
Phillips Spallas & Angstadt LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP

Sponsorship opportunities still available. 
Please contact Barristers Club Director Kallie Donahoe.

Register here! 


BASF Conference Center 
301 Battery Street 
3rd Floor 
San Francisco, CA 94111   

Event Code: B137313

Marriage After DOMA: Why You Should Walk (Not Run) to Tie the Knot


Hosted by:

The Beck Law Group, P.C.

McCown & Evans LLP

Our Family Coalition

Gay Asian Pacific Alliance

Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women & Transgender Community

API Equality



Please join us as we discuss tax, immigration, social security, property co-ownership and other legal implications of same-sex marriage and the possible repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.


Topics will include:

  • Immigration options for same sex binational couples after DOMA
  • Requirements for fiancé visas or marriage-based green cards
  • Differences between applying for a green card in the U.S. vs. abroad
  • Federal Income Tax implications after DOMA
  • Social Security benefits implications after DOMA



Alma Soongi Beck, J.D., LL.M. Taxation

The Beck Law Group, P.C.


Kelly McCown, Esq. and Jeptha Evans, Esq., Partners/Co-Founders of McCown & Evans LLP


San Francisco:

Thursday, August 22, 2013 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

San Francisco Public Library

Koret Auditorium

100 Larkin Street

San Francisco, CA 94102


East Bay:

Saturday, August 17, 2013 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Bananas Inc.

Main Meeting Room

5232 Claremont Avenue

Oakland, CA 94618


Space is limited. To RSVP, please contact Andrea from McCown & Evans LLP at info@mccownevans.com or (415) 834-9123. For additional information, please see www.mccownevans.com or www.becklawgroup.com.


COST: Seminars are free of charge. These are informational seminars. There is no cost or obligation.

Nominations Now Being Accepted for 2014 Barristers Club Board of Directors

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 barristers@sfbar.org.

KABANC 2013 Dinner Gala


Korean American Bar Association of Northern California

2013 Dinner Gala



Salle Yoo

General Counsel at Uber Technologies, Inc.

KABANC's 2013 Legal Professional of the Year


Ken Lee, Tom Surh & Grant Kim

Original Founders of KABANC

KABANC's Special 30-Year Gala Recognition


Date: Friday, September 6, 2013

Reception:   6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Dinner and Program: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm


Venue: Four Seasons Hotel

2050 University Avenue

East Palo Alto, CA 94303


For tickets, tables, and sponsorship pricing and reservations, please contact Fred Choi: fkchoi@outlook.com

For dinner information, please contact Jang Im: jim@ebglaw.com

ABA Diversity Committee Luncheon

American Bar Association, Section of Taxation

Fall Meeting, September 19-21, 2013, Hyatt Regency, San Francisco, CA

Register at: http://meetings.abanet.org/meeting/tax/fall13/ 


Diversity Committee Luncheon and Panel


Friday, September 20, 2013


Tax Implications for Same-Sex Couples After DOMA.  Where Does the Code Go From Here?


On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court in Windsor v. United States invalidated Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  What will be the implications of the Court's decision on the application of Federal tax laws to same-sex couples?  Panelists will discuss the tax planning challenges faced by same-sex couples and other Federal and state laws, such as estate and gift tax complications, taxation of Social Security benefits and employer-provided health coverage, the availability of certain deductions and exemptions, and the possibility of filing amended returns.  The panelists will share their insights on the Supreme Court's rulings in Windsor and in Hollingsworth v. Perry.  The panel will also share ideas on necessary IRS guidance in light of these decisions.


Moderator:  Laura R. Westfall, King & Spalding , New York , NY.

Panelists:  Professor Patricia A. Cain, Santa Clara Law, Santa Clara, CA; Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights, San Francisco, CA; Eric A. San Juan, Senior Attorney-Advisor to the National Taxpayer Advocate, Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, Washington, DC (invited); Shawn Newman, Law Office of Shawn C. Newman, P.A., Wilton Manors, FL; Stephen B. Tackney, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel, Employee Benefits, Office of Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel, TE/GE, IRS, Washington, DC (invited).

WLAC Annual Judges' 
Dinner & Silent Action
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Featured Panelists
Hon. Tara Desautels - Alameda County Superior Court Judge 
Nancy O'Malley - Alameda County District Attorney
Aundrea Brown - Alameda County Assistant Public Defender
Laura Stein - Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Clorox

The Faculty Club at U.C. Berkeley
6:00 pm Reception and Silent Auction
7:15 pm Dinner and Panel Discussion
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; $1,200 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

August 22-  BALIF / Seyfarth 2013 Lavender Law Conference Reception 
September 6- BALIF / APABA-SV Scholarship Application Deadline
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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Box 47
San Francisco, CA 94102

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