Weekly Newsletter        |         September 2, 2014
In This Issue
Message from the BALIF Board 



This past month, I had the privilege of attending the 2014 Lavender Law Conference in New York City. To be honest, it had been years since I formally attended the Conference. Initially, I was reluctant to attend. Taking off time from work, traveling, and being away from home were my main concerns. Within 5 minutes of the first session, I realized I had made the right decision.


During the Conference, I learned about the fundamental legal issues that arise with surrogacy (and how it works); the current status of LGBT protection under the Equal Protection Clause (still rational basis?); the ongoing difficulties facing smaller LGBT Bar Associations in less progressive states; the path to the judiciary of 6 outstanding, brave, amazing LGBT Judges (including 2 BALIF members); and so much more.


At different times during the Conference I was upset and angry, excited and driven. But, I left the Conference with one feeling. Pride. I am so proud of all of our LGBT brother and sister attorneys and law students across the country. That includes each and every BALIF member. I give a special shout out to those BALIF members that attended (from memory: Dave, Jennifer, Nick, Lilah, Ken, Laura, Ethan, Sasha, Robb, Mike, John, Craig, Judges Flanagan, Kolakowski, and Bowen).

Courtesy of National LGBT Bar Association Lavender Law Conference

I look forward to seeing you at BALIF Connections Mentorship Program - Kickoff Happy Hour on Thursday at 6pm at the Holding Company (all BALIF members are welcome).



Peter Catalanotti
BALIF Board Secretary

BALIF "Connections" Mentorship Program -
Kickoff Happy Hour on September 4 

When: Thursday, September 4, 2014

Where: The Holding Company, 2 Embarcadero Center, SF

Time:     6 pm - 8 pm


Please join BALIF for a happy hour to kick off BALIF's 2014-2015 Connections mentorship program! It's the perfect time for mentor/mentee pairs to meet each other in an informal setting. It's also a great opportunity to meet and mingle with LGBT attorneys and law students. BALIF's Young Lawyers & Law Students Committee and Social Committee will provide drinks and appetizers. All are welcome!


About 60 BALIF members have already been matched with a mentor or mentee for this year. For more information about the mentorship program, see the description on the BALIF website (scroll down), or email Julie Wilensky, jwilensky@lewisfeinberg.com.


Sher Kung Memorial Fund


It is with deep sadness that we inform you Sher Kung, an amazing person and former BALIF member, was tragically killed in a bike accident on August 29th. She was an active BALIF member, assisting with the 2009 Gala and attending many happy hours, panels and other BALIF events until she moved to Seattle a few years ago. Sher is survived by her partner, Christine Sanders, and their 7-month-old baby girl, Bryn.


A memorial fund has been set-up in her honor: http://www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/in-memory-of-sher-kung/226786


BALIF will also be collecting donations for the memorial fund at the BALIF "Connections" Program Kickoff Happy Hour this Thursday at The Holding Company from 6-8pm.

ALRP Free Fall 2014 MCLE Trainings



Pre-Trial Preparation 

* Tuesday, September 9, 5:30-7:00pm 

* Presented by Mary Catherine Wiederhold, Esq. 

* 1.5 General CLE Credits 


Federal Immigration Law and Family Support 

* Tuesday, September 23, 5:30-7:00pm 

* Presented by Karen Alicia Davies, Esq. 

* 1.5 General CLE Credits 


Employment Issues facing Clients with HIV/AIDS 

* Wednesday, October 1, 5:30-7:00pm 

* Presented by Sonya Smallets, Esq. 

* 1.5 General CLE Credits 


How to Lay a Domestic Violence Record for Appeal 

* Tuesday, October 7, 5:30-7:00pm 

* Presented by the Family Violence Appellate Project 

* 1.5 General CLE Credits 


Confidentiality Law 

* Thursday, October 23, 5:30-7:00pm 

* Presented by Jim Wood, Esq. 

* 1.5 General CLE Credits 


Negotiation on Behalf of Tenants in San Francisco 

* Wednesday, November 5, 5:30-7:00pm 

* Presented by Deepa Varma, Esq., Eviction Defense Collaborative 

* Bar Association of San Francisco, 301 Battery Street, 3rd Floor, Board Room, San Francisco, CA 94111 

* 1.5 General CLE Credits 


All Classes take place at:

Bar Association of San Francisco

301 Battery Street, 3rd Floor, Board Room

San Francisco, CA 94111





Call: 415-701-1200 ext. 303 

An Evening with Ayala Katz
Discussion about LGBT Issues in Israel


Take part in a meaningful discussion about LGBT issues in Israel.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Congregation Sherith Israel - Bart Hall

2266 California Street

San Francisco, CA


About Ayala:


On August 1, 2009, Ayala Katz lost her 26 year old gay son Nir Katz z"l in a shooting at the Bar Noar, a center for LGBT youth in Tel Aviv where Nir worked as a volunteer counselor. Following Nir's death, Ayala was invited to become the Chairperson of the LGBT parents' support organization, Tehila, where she served until February 2011.


In her capacity as Chairperson, she worked to promote Tehila in the media and foster cooperation between Tehila and other LGBT organizations in Israel and abroad. During 2011, Ayala wrote a weekly opinion column on the Ma'ariv website, where she discussed a range of issues and current events and focused many columns specifically on LGBT issues.


The main project Ayala pushed forward was the establishment of the Nir Katz Center for Violence, Discrimination, and Homophobia Reporting in Tel Aviv, which opened in August of 2012. Sponsored by the Israeli LGBT Association (The Aguda), the Nir Katz Center operates a helpline to field complaints of LGBT abuse and offers concrete psychosocial and legal support to victims of violence or discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, using Israeli LGBT Association services.


Please contact Tye Gregory at A Wider Bridge if you have any further questions.


Co-sponsored by A Wider Bridge, Keshet, Congregation Sherith Israel and the Israel Center of the Jewish Community Federation

KABANC's 2014 Annual Gala on 9/26

Please join us for KABANC's 2014 Annual Gala at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Palo Alto, California on Friday, September 26th from 6 to 9 pm. This year, KABANC is proud to honor Jan Kang, VP & GC of AOptix Technologies as KABANC's 2014 Legal Professional of the Year and Ki Hwang, CEO & GC of Black Letter Discovery as KABANC's 2014 Alumnus of the Year.

KABANC Annual Gala
Friday, September 26, 2014
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Crowne Plaza Hotel
4290 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Please contact KABANC Social Co-Chair Alice Choy (kabancsocial@gmail.com) or KABANC Treasurer Fred Choi (fkchoi@outlook.com) if you or your firm is interested in attending KABANC's Annual Gala. We would be honored if you could join us for this event.

Transgender Law Center SPARK! 
12th Anniversary Celebration


Transgender Law Center has spent 12 years igniting change to laws, hearts, and minds to advance the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming people. In light of this milestone, TLC cordially invites you to SPARK! - a 12th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, October 2 at Sir Francis Drake, a Kimpton Hotel in San Francisco, CA.


Click here: www.transgenderlawcenter.org/spark to join us, support our work and mission, and help acknowledge the achievements of our outstanding SPARK! 2014 honorees:


* Willy Wilkinson, Claire Skiffington Vanguard Award: For his innovative leadership - from garnering attention and funds for trans* communities impacted by the AIDS epidemic to founding the first support group for FTM people of color to changing hearts and minds through his work and trainings.


* CeCe McDonald, Authentic Life Award: For her courage and resilience in bringing visibility to our diverse communities, the unjust ways that transgender people are treated by law enforcement and within the justice system, and the ways in which prisons are not safe for anyone, regardless of gender identity.


* ACLU of Northern CA, Community Partner Award: For their leadership and support in sponsoring AB1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, and for being an unyielding, fierce, and fully committed stakeholder while defending the law against a potential referendum.


BALIF Files Amicus Curiae in the 
7th Circuit Court of Appeals

BALIF filed an amicus curiae brief in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in the consolidated cases Baskin v. Bogan, Fujii v. Commissioner of the Indiana State Dept. of Revenue, Lee v. Abbott, and Walker v. Wolf, supporting the right of same-sex couples in Indiana and Wisconsin to marry and to have out-of-state marriages recognized. The press release can be viewed here.


The brief argues that the marriage bans of Indiana and Wisconsin are unconstitutional and that the tangible legal and economic harm inflicted by the bans, including the denial of substantial benefits and the perpetuation of stigma and discrimination, cannot be remedied by the availability of domestic partnerships or civil unions.


"We applaud the decisions out of the 4th and 10th Circuits striking down similar bans," said Leah Nutting, BALIF's Amicus Committee chair, noting recent cases where BALIF has also submitted amicus briefs. "And we are heartened by the 7th Circuit's emergency order requiring Indiana to recognize the out-of-state marriage of a set of plaintiffs in this case, where one spouse is suffering from a terminal illness. The case illustrates the very real and irreparable harm suffered by same-sex couples while waiting for the marriage bans to work their way through the courts."


Fourteen other civil rights groups joined BALIF on the brief. The brief was filed with pro bono support from Jerome C. Roth and Nicole S. Phillis of the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olsen.


Click here to read the amicus brief.

Latta v. Otter Amicus Brief Filed

BALIF filed an amicus curiae brief on Friday, July 25, with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Latta v. Otter supporting the right of same-sex couples in Idaho to marry and same-sex couples who have been married out-of-state to have their marriages recognized in Idaho. The Court will hear Latta, on appeal from the District of Idaho, in September. Sevcik v. Sandoval, the Nevada marriage equality case on appeal from the District of Nevada, for which BALIF filed an amicus brief last October, is also scheduled to be heard by the court in September.

The brief argues that excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage causes tangible legal and economic harm and denies substantial benefits, including the federal benefits extended to same-sex marriages following the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor.


 "Some critical federal benefits are linked to the place of domicile, so even same-sex couples married legally in other states are prevented from enjoying these benefits if they currently reside in states, such as Idaho, that do not recognize same-sex marriage," said Leah Nutting, chair of BALIF's Amicus Committee. 


More than thirty other civil rights groups joined BALIF on the brief. The brief was filed with pro bono support from the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olsen, with Jerome C. Roth and Amelia L. B. Sargent heading the effort.

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 in the right hand column 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).
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 JOBS from the menu on the left.

Upcoming Events
September 4 - "Connections" Mentorship Happy Hour
October 2 - BALIF October Happy Hour
October 30 - LYRIC Halloween Eve Party 
BALIF Board of Directors
Jamie Dupree & John Robert Unruh
Peter Catalanotti

Mario Choi

Andrew Vu &
Lilah Sutphen 
Judiciary Co-Chairs

Nick Clements & 
Mario Choi
Gala Co-Chairs  


Meaghan Zore 

Leah Nutting
Amicus Chair     

Joseph Rocha & Midori Hirai
Katie Carlson
BALIF Administrator 
Our 2014 Sponsors
Senior Partner Level
Partner Level


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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 Coie 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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