Weekly Newsletter        |         April 1, 2014
In This Issue
Message from the BALIF Board


In the true spirit of Spring cleaning, the BALIF Judiciary Committee is streamlining BALIF's judicial endorsement process.


BALIF's founding mission is to seek to diversify the state and federal bench with LBGT judges. To further this goal, the BALIF Judiciary Committee has streamlined the process for securing BALIF endorsements for judicial candidates.


Historically, the endorsement process required a plebiscite. This meant that candidates vetted by BALIF's Judiciary Committee and recommended for endorsement had to receive an affirmative vote of 30 percent (later reduced to 20 percent) of the BALIF membership. The plebiscite was time consuming, costly (requiring thousands of dollars in election administration costs) and ineffective: in most instances, the required vote percentage was not achieved, and the BALIF Board would then take up the issue at its next regularly calendared meeting.


On March 17, 2014, the BALIF Board unanimously voted to adopt the recommendation of the BALIF Judiciary Committee to do away with the plebiscite. Going forward, judicial candidates vetted and recommended by the BALIF Judiciary Committee for endorsement will automatically receive BALIF's endorsement unless three or more members of the BALIF Board request discussion and affirmative action by the BALIF Board as a whole. This streamlined process ensures that BALIF will continue to thoroughly vet candidates for the state and federal bench, and complete the endorsement process without delay and added expense.  


We are the BALIF Judiciary Committee...and we want to recruit you!


Diversifying the bench is a multi-faceted process. The BALIF Judiciary Committee and its Attorney and Judicial Advisory Committees are working hard to identify qualified LGBT candidates for the bench. The path to the bench includes several stages of formal evaluation, which include evaluation by the State Commission, the Commission on Judicial Nominations and Evaluations (JNE), and local county bar association judicial commissions. Each of these commissions need greater diversity and input from the LGBT legal community, and BALIF is urging its members to participate in the formal evaluation process by:


1.       Applying to be a JNE Commissioner: The California State Bar's Commission on Judicial Nominations (JNE) assists the Governor in the judicial selection process by providing independent, comprehensive, accurate and fair evaluations of candidates for judicial appointment and nomination. We need LGBT representation on this 37-member commission. Please consider applying: www.calbar.ca.gov/About Us/JudicialNomineesEvaluation.aspx. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2014.


2.       Participating in your Local Bar Judiciary Committee: Each of the San Francisco Bay Area bar associations has a judiciary committee that regularly vets judicial candidates in contract with the Governor's Office. If you are active with your local county bar, or want to be, this an excellent way to increase LGBT participating in the judicial vetting process. BALIF can help facilitate your involvement with your local bar association judiciary committee. Email us at judiciary@balif.org.


3.       Joining BALIF's Judiciary Committee: The Committee's ongoing work program is sowing the seeds for greater LGBT diversity on our state and federal benches. Get involved. Join us. We have lots for you to do. Email us at judiciary@balif.org.

Grow our Judiciary with LGBT judges.


There are an unprecedented number of vacancies on the state and federal bench - an historic opportunity for the LGBT community. There is one vacancy on the California Supreme Court, and at least two vacancies on the California Court of Appeals, First Appellate District. There are vacancies at many Bay Area Superior Courts. Some positions on the Northern District Court of California bench also are open.  


Currently, however, there are no LGBT Article III judges in the Northern District of California. There are no LGBT judges on the California Supreme Court. There is only one openly gay justice serving on the California Court of Appeals.


The time to get involved is now. Help grow our judiciary with LGBT judges by getting involved in the evaluation and selection process. We need you.


For more information on how you can help, contact judiciary@balif.org.



Elizabeth Pritzker & Andrew Vu

BALIF Board Judiciary Committee Co-Chairs


Join the BALIF Board of Directors- Statements Due Thursday


A great way to serve the LGBT legal community and become more involved in BALIF is to join BALIF's Board of Directors. BALIF's Directors are elected by the BALIF membership, and each Director holds office for two years. Any BALIF member is welcome to run for the Board or nominate another BALIF member. BALIF's bylaws reflect the Board's commitment to "equality, parity, and diversity," and we specifically encourage people of color, women, and transgender and/or gender non-conforming individuals to run for the Board. All Directors must attend BALIF's Board Retreat the evening of Friday, May 9 and all day Saturday, May 10, 2014.


To run for the Board or nominate someone else, please send a candidate statement of up to 250 words to Julie Wilensky (secretary@balif.org) and BALIF's Administrator, Katie Carlson (balif@balif.org) by April 3, 2014 at 5:30 pm. BALIF's bylaws require gender parity on the Board, with a certain number of positions allocated to Directors who identify as male, female, and gender non-conforming. So if you are seeking a position, please indicate the category with which you identify.


Elections will be online starting on April 10, and there will be an opportunity to vote in person at BALIF's annual general membership meeting on Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 6 - 8:30 p.m. The results will be announced at the end of the meeting.


Questions about the Board? Thinking about seeking a position? Feel free to contact Julie Wilensky at secretary@balif.org.

BALIF East Bay Family Friendly Social
When: Saturday, April 5, 2014, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Where: Lake Chalet - 1520 Lakeside Dr, Oakland, CA 94612
What: East Bay BALIF Family Social
Cost: Free for BALIF members and their families

Please join BALIF at our East Bay social for BALIF members (past, present, future) and their families.  Kids of all ages welcome. Kid friendly snacks and drinks will be provided; alcoholic beverages will be provided for current BALIF member adults. A face painter and balloon artist will be onhand to entertain the kids. This will be a great opportunity for BALIF parents to get to know one another.  


Not currently a BALIF member?  It's easy to join. Simply follow this link, and sign up on line.

BALIF Mixer with CAOC & MBC - 
4/10 RSVP Required


BALIF Mixer with the Consumer Attorneys of California and members of the Minority Bar Coalition.  Hosted bar and appetizers. 

When: Thursday, April 10th
, 5:30-7:30
Where: Otis Lounge, 25 Maiden Lane, San Francisco
12th Annual SF LGBT Center Soiree


The SF LGBT Center is proud to announce Soiree 2014, its marquee fundraising event of the year. Soiree will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014 from 6:30 pm to midnight at the beautiful City View at Metreon. Individual tickets are available at $95 each and VIP tickets are $150 each. Tickets can be purchased now at www.sflgbtcenter.eventbrite.com.


All proceeds will go directly into Center programs and initiatives that combat economic inequality, youth displacement, homelessness and other key issues in our community. Themed a Jazz Tribute to San Francisco's Beat Generation, this event celebrates the counter-culture movement that has enriched the diversity of our wonderful city.

SABANC Public Interest
Fellowship Application
Applicants must submit the following materials: (1) Completed application form; (2) Essay responses; (3) Resume with two references; (4) Completed employer form; (5) Completed financial information form; and (6) Unofficial law school transcript. Applicants may also submit the following optional materials: letters of recommendation, and any additional evidence of financial need. Application materials must be sent no later than 5 p.m. on April 4, 2014 to the following email address: Zahra Billoo, SABA-NC Foundation Secretary, zahra.billoo@gmail.com.

One or more members of the SABA-NC Foundation Board may interview finalists. All applicants will be notified of the Board's determinations by mid-April 2014.

Please click here for more details!
LGBT Legal & 
Political Developments in Israel
The legal and political landscape for LGBT residents of Israel is changing rapidly, with emerging issues involving surrogacy for gay male couples, co-parenting arrangements, accommodation for transgender people, and the lack of civil marriage. Elinor Sidi is the director of Jerusalem Open House, a central location for social support, political activism and legal advocacy for the LGBT community. Sidi has also been involved in numerous social and political engagements regarding the role of Orthodox religion in LGBT affairs, and the concerns of gay Palestinians living in Israel . Come hear Sidi discuss the recent legal and political developments that affect the gay community in Israel. Thursday, April 17, 2014, 4:30 p.m. at the Bar Association of San Francisco, 301 Battery Street, San Francisco.   



This event is co-sponsored with the Bar Association of San Francisco's LGBT Equality Committee & International Human Rights Committee.

Attendees must RSVP by emailing Fred@Frederickhertz.com
BALIF / SF La Raza Summer Fellowship
BALIF / SF La Raza $5000 Summer Fellowship

Applications are due April 25, 2014.

Lambda Legal Soiree


Join Lambda Legal for a fun networking evening in support of Lambda's impact litigation, public policy and education work. Help Lambda protect and expand the rights of LGBT people and people with HIV - marriage equality, youth and senior issues, health care, employment, housing, benefits and beyond. From Alaska to Alabama. Lambda has been there fighting for the last 41 years.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Cocktails 6-7:30

Dinner and Program 7-9:00

Soiree Lounge 9-11:00 with DJ Christopher B and Velocity Circus


For more about the event or if interested in participating as an event sponsor, please contact Jennifer Bing at jennifer@bing-sf.com or call (415) 800-8127.


Pride Law Fund
Upcoming Events
Celebrate the 35th Anniversary with Pride Law Fund in 2014.  

Save the date for our third annual Boat Cruise around the Bay on May 31, 2014 and keep an eye out for details about the first annual Pride Law Fund Wine Bus Adventure in Napa in the fall. 

You can donate on our website  at
http://www.pridelawfund.org/donate.php or send checks to Pride Law Fund, P.O. Box 2602, San Francisco, CA 94126-2602)
Seeking Women & Minority Arbitrators 
for Kaiser Permanente Panel


The Office of the Independent Administrator (OIA) is seeking qualified individuals who want to join its pool of possible arbitrators. There is no fee to do so and the OIA receives no money from the neutral arbitrators.


The OIA administers the arbitration system between Kaiser Permanente Health Plan, Inc., and its six million members in California. We administer about 650 cases a year and have approximately 275 neutral arbitrators on the panel. The panels are divided by region; Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego. The parties select their neutral arbitrator by striking and ranking 12 randomly generated names supplied by the OIA, or by jointly selecting any neutral arbitrator upon whom they can agree.   Neutrals set their own fees and are paid by the parties.


Among other requirements, neutral arbitrators must either be lawyers with either ten years of substantial litigation and/or arbitration experience; retired state or federal judges; or lawyers with specifically designed arbitration training.   Medical malpractice experience is not required. You must agree to follow the OIA Rules and ensure that the deadlines set forth in the Rules are met.


If interested, please go to the OIA at www.oia-kaiserarb.com. You may complete the application on line. You may also obtain copies by emailing oia@oia-kaiserarb.com or by calling 213-637-9847. The qualifications and a copy of the application are attached.

2014 Lavender Law Conference & 
Career Fair Student Awards

The National LGBT Bar Association is now accepting submissions for the Student Leadership Award, the Michael Greenberg Writing Competition and the International Association of LGBT Judges Writing Competition


Student Leadership Award

The National LGBT Bar Association's Student Leadership Award is the organization's highest honor for law students. The award will recognize a law student who has demonstrated leadership within their school and in the surrounding community, especially in the area of LGBT equality.


Michael Greenberg Student Writing Competition

Established in memory of Michael Greenberg, a former National LGBT Bar Association board member and Philadelphia attorney who died in 1996 from complications with AIDS, this exciting competition is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing outstanding law student scholarship on the legal issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons.


International Association of LGBT Judges Student Writing Competition

The International Association of LGBT Judges sponsors a writing competition for all law students attending the 2014 Lavender Law Conference & Career Fair. This is an exciting opportunity for law students who wish to pursue their career as a member of the United States judiciary.



All three student awards will follow the same final submission date of Friday, May 16, 2014 at 5:00pm ET. Late entries will not be considered. Students are able to enter all competitions, but only if they turn in different works for each submission.

Click here for full competition details. Should you have any questions, please send them to info@LGBTbar.org.

ACBA - Judicial Mentoring Project
ACBA - Judicial Mentoring Project:  Thinking about applying for a judicial appointment. Diverse applicants needed.  Rolling application process through July 2014.  Please consider applying.   For more information: https://www.acbanet.org/Committees/EastBayDiversityBarCoalition.aspx
State Bar of California-
2015 JNE Commission
State Bar of California - 2015 JNE Commission:  Diverse applicants/commissioners needed.  Deadline to apply is June 2, 2014.  15 openings anticipated.  Please consider applying.   For more information:  http://cc.calbar.ca.gov/CommitteesCommissions/OtherEntityAppointments/JudicialNomineesEvaluation.aspx
Follow BALIF on Twitter!


BALIF's twitter feed is up and running.  Follow us to see BALIF news, event info, #ThrowbackThursday posts, and more.  Just click the Twitter button at the bottom of the newsletter or here.


Uber Discount for BALIF Members
Request a ride with the push of a button! Uber is offering new users $20 off your first ride. Text BALIF to 827-222. You can also sign up at uber.com/go/BALIF and download the app for Android, Blackberry, or iPhone. Then sit back and enjoy the magic of Uber, everyone's private driver. (Valid for new users only, TAXI excluded).
Are you an expert in your field? Get your name in BALIF's new Expert Directory and get quoted!


BALIF members are experts in almost every legal specialization from antitrust to family law and we want to leverage our extensive media contacts list to raise the profiles of our experts. When a journalist needs an expert on securities law, prison law, employment law, or whatever your specialization is, she'll call you for that quote. 


If you want to be included in the BALIF Expert Directory,

please send a short email with the following to PR@balif.org:


Name, title and place of business


Fields and/or sub-fields you are an expert in (E.g., Employment and ERISA)


No more than 500 words on what makes you an expert: specific work experience, length of experience, published articles or books, and speaking appearances related to your topic.

Please reply only if you can truly be considered an expert in your field; general guidelines are at least 7-10 years of practice and/or additional qualifications that separate you from other attorneys.

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!


Meaghan Zore 

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
April 5- BALIF East Bay Family Friendly Social
April 10- BALIF Mixer with CAOC & MBC
April 17- LGBT Legal & Political Developments in Israel
April 24- BALIF Board Election Night
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  
Meaghan Zore 

Nick Kacprowski
Amicus Chair   


Jennifer Orthwein
Communications Chair 

Leah Nutting  

Peter Catalanotti
Outreach Chair

Jessica Bogo
Social Action Chair 

Nick Clements  
Denise Bergin
Dustin Helmer & Midori Hirai
Katie Carlson
BALIF Administrator
Our 2014 Sponsors
Senior Partner Level
Partner Level


HB Logo



Advocate Level


A.L. Nella & Company, CPAs 


Bingham McCutchen  

Farella Braun + Martel LLP 

Jones Day 

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. 

Nixon Peabody LLP 

O'Melveny & Meyers LLP 

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 

Perkins Cole LLP 

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP 

Santa Clara University School of Law 

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton 

Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP 


Benefactor Level


Clarence, Dyer & Cohen LLP / Swanson & McNamara LLP 

Cooley Godward Kronish LLP 

FTI Consulting 

Futterman Dupree Dodd Croley Maier LLP 

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher 

Golden Gate University 

HaleyNelson & Heilbrun LLP 

Heath Newton LLP 

HendricksMurry, P.C. 

Jackson Lewis LLP 


Latham & Watkins LLP 

Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C. 

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP 

Littler Mendelson 

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP 

Paul Hastings LLP 

Pritzker Law 

Reed Smith LLP 

Roeca Hass Hager LLP 

San Francisco City Attorney's Office

San Francisco District Attorney's Office 

Schiff Hardin LLP 

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP 

Special Counsel 

Stein & Lubin LLP 


Individual Sponsors


Altep, Inc.  

Todd Norris, Bullivant Houser Bailey 

Michael Colantuono, Colantuono & Levin, P.C. 

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

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

 Cheryl Sena, Sena Family Law 

Judge Vaughn Walker ADR/Law Office Vaughn R Walker 

Hon. James L. Warren (Ret.), JAMS  

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP 
Follow BALIF


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Box 47
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