Weekly Newsletter        |         September 16, 2014
In This Issue
Message from the BALIF Board 



Please join us on Thursday October 2 to flex those negotiating muscles and help prevent homelessness!   We are partnering with the Justice and Diversity Center's Housing and Negotiation Project (HNP) to negotiate against the landed elite on behalf of tenants facing eviction, with a happy hour to follow. A special BALIF training event (with CLE credit and dinner) will be provided September 29. Come one, come all-as we have fun while doing good.


The Nuts and Bolts:

BALIF Training (dinner provided):

Monday 9/29 5pm - 7pm at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (Four Embarcadero Center, 22nd Floor SF, CA).

(You can attend a different training day if 9/29 does not work for you. Please email socialaction@balif.org for more information).


BALIF Volunteer Day (happy hour to follow):

Thursday 10/2 12:30pm - 4:30pm at San Francisco Superior Court (400 McAllister Street SF, CA).

Happy Hour at Lalita Thai afterward (96 McAllister Street SF, CA).

(You can volunteer a different day if 10/2 does not work for you. Please email socialaction@balif.org for more information).


More details on the Clinic: http://www.sfbar.org/jdc/legal-services/legalprojects/projects-evictiondefense.aspx


Please register in advance so we know how many people to expect!

Register for Training 

Register for Volunteer Day


And please also join us in welcoming our new Social Action Committee Co-Chair, Sergio Benavides. Sergio is a criminal defense and immigration attorney with his own practice who recently kicked some serious keister with BALIF's LCCR Second Chance Legal Clinic Volunteer Day in August. Welcome, Sergio!



Jessica Bogo

BALIF Social Action Committee Co-Chair

BALIF Partner Exchange Luncheon


When: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm

Where: San Francisco City Club (155 Sansome, 10th Floor)
What: Gourmet buffet lunch with other partners and law firm owners Cost: $40 payable by cash or check only


Space is limited so only the first 11 to RSVP to BALIF Co-Chair Jamie Dupree at jdupree@fddcm.com may attend.


Topic:  Time Management. Any recommended time management tools and techniques? How do you make time for business development activities? How do you balance your professional life with your personal life?


BALIF has created the BALIF Partners Exchange to bring together our members that are looking to network and exchange business and ideas.  This collegial event is exclusively for BALIF members who are partners or owners of their law firm with 7 years or more of experience. 


This past weekend, BALIF sent a delegation to the Conference of California Bar Associations' (CCBA) annual conference of delegates in San Diego. One of the core missions of the CCBA is to help the resolutions approved by the Conference become law. Resolutions proposed by bar associations are voted on at the conference, and if approved, are eligible for inclusion in the CCBA legislative agenda. CCBA has become a respected body in Sacramento, with numerous CCBA-sponsored bills enacted each year. In recent years, BALIF has been the only LGBT bar association to propose resolutions and participate at CCBA.


This year, BALIF proposed a resolution that would require state, local and private correctional facilities to create a safe environment free from sexual abuse for inmates or detainees by adopting policies implementing the U.S. Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). These standards, widely seen as groundbreaking by corrections professionals, advocates, and survivors of sexual abuse in detention, lay out a comprehensive framework for ending abuse in adult jails and prisons, lockups, community confinement facilities, and juvenile facilities. LGBT prisoners are significantly more likely to experience assaults, including sexual assaults, than non-LGBT prisoners. This problem is particularly severe for transgender people. Also, as a means to procure safety, some facilities have designated involuntary LGBT specific units, which limit programming in some circumstances to those housed in these units, as well as designates their placement solely based on their LGBT status. Furthermore, these units, in some circumstances, have become a cesspool for discrimination and harassment by guards and other inmates. If enacted, the resolution would ensure federal guidelines to protect prisoners from attacks from guards and other prisoners are followed. It would also establish protections so that prisoners subject to violence will not be subject to punitive measures such as segregation and solitary confinement.


The BALIF-sponsored resolution was approved by CCBA, making it eligible for inclusion on CCBA's legislative agenda! More work is still to be done, however, and we can use your help in Sacramento to lobby for this proposal in February. If you are interested in joining the CCBA Committee to help lobby or to propose resolutions for next year's Conference, please email CCBA@balif.org.

Thanks to CCBA delegates Jennifer Orthwein, Theresa Witherspoon, Denise Bergin, and Nick Clements (l-r in photo).
BALIF Statement on Judge Ashley Tabaddor

Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) joins the growing chorus of fellow minority bar associations who are outraged and deeply concerned by the facts underlying a lawsuit recently filed by the Honorable Ashley Tabaddor, an Iranian American Immigration judge, against the Department of Justice (DOJ).  The DOJ issued an order disqualifying Judge Tabaddor from cases involving Iranian nationals given her activities within the Iranian-American community.  Judge Tabaddor alleges that the disqualification order violates Title VII and her First Amendment rights.  Notably, other immigration judges active in their ethnic and religious communities have not been subject to similar, blanket recusal orders. 


Just as we stood against the calls for the recusal of the Honorable Judge Vaughan Walker in the Prop 8 case based on his sexual orientation, BALIF strongly objects to any efforts to recuse judges based on their immutable characteristics, such as their race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.  BALIF is particularly concerned that the DOJ, which is charged with enforcing civil rights laws in this country, issued the recusal order.  A copy of the lawsuit, Tabaddor v. Holder et al., which is filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, can be accessed here

BALIF & AABA Present 
Halloween Eve LYRIC Extravaganza 




Come as a lawyer, a banker, a candlestick maker. 
Have a fabulous time! Join BALIF and the Asian American Bar Association to benefit LGBTQ youth at our Halloween Eve LYRIC party. 

LYRIC is a San Francisco charitable organization that provides primarily impoverished or homeless LGBTQ youth paid job training internships, including 100+ jobs over the past year.  

"LYRIC has altered my life so immensely. I could not imagine my life if I hadn't taken this path. I have so many skills now.  [LYRIC] has opened up many, many opportunities for me."  Joshua, Queer Educator, age 21. 

Donate and celebrate to give an LGBTQkid a job, and a future!

What: Halloween Eve LYRIC Extravaganza with drinks, hors d'oeuvres and party favors 
When: Thursday, October 30th - 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: The Drake Lounge, 508 4th St, San Francisco
Donations: Requested minimum $25 in advance, $35 at the door

Purchase Tickets / Donate here: 

  For sponsorship opportunities, contact edward@edwardjoylaw.com


LGBT Asian/ South Asian Lawyers Networking Reception 9/25


Please join the AABA LGBT Committee, the South Asian Bar Association (SABA), and BALIF for the LGBT Asian/South Asian Lawyers Networking Reception!  Attendance is free and the event will feature remarks by Judge Donna Ryu.  Light appetizers and drinks will be provided.  Please RSVP here: 



Thursday, September 25, 2014

6:00-8:00 p.m.


Keker & Van Nest LLP

633 Battery Street

San Francisco, CA 94111

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

ALRP Free Fall 2014 MCLE Trainings



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 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

Lambda Legal House Parties

Two evenings to learn about Lambda Legal's work for LGBT legal equality in the state and nationwide. No contribution required, so its a great way to learn for free, but bringing your checkbook is appreciated and encouraged. Both are held at spectacular homes with food & drink. www.LambdaLegal.org

RSVP: JMaxwell@lambdalegal.org 


In Marin, Friday, September, 19, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, 120 Edwards Avenue, Sausalito


In San Francisco, Saturday, September 20, 6 to 9 pm, 1234 Howard St., Unit 2A

Queen's Bench's Annual Judges' Dinner

Purchase your tickets now to Queen's Bench's Annual Judges' Dinner featuring keynote speaker Ellen Malcolm, founder and Chair of the Board of EMILY's List. The dinner, honoring members of the San Francisco Bay Area Judiciary, will take place on Thursday, September 25th at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. 


For additional information, including event sponsorship opportunities and to purchase tickets, please visit the following link: http://www.queensbench.org/judgesdinner-register.html

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.

Prenups with Heart: 
An Interactive Workshop for 
LGBTQ and Heterosexual Couples


Tuesday, September 30th, 6-7:30pm


Do marriage your way! 

This workshop:

  • demystifies the prenup process, so you can be an educated consumer
  • teaches you the basics of California community property law, so you can make informed decisions
  • supports you in gaining clarity about your financial styles, so you can have your needs met
  • helps you communicate with your partner with ease and joy, so you can navigate the prenup process and your life together from a place of strength and heart

This workshop is lead by Philipe Harrington and Dylan Miles. 

For more info and to register, please go to www.prenupswithheart.com

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.


ALRP From the Heart 
31st Annual Reception & Auction


Wednesday, October 15th, the AIDS Legal Referral Panel of the San Francisco Bay Area (ALRP) will commemorate 31 years of serving the legal needs of people living with HIV/AIDS throughout the San Francisco Bay Area by hosting its ALRP From the Heart 31st Annual Reception & Auction. The Reception, ALRP's biggest fundraising event of the year, will feature special guest host San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener. 


The wine and food Reception, which will include a silent and live auction, is being held in the Julia Morgan Ballroom at the Merchants Exchange in San Francisco from 6:00 to 9:00 pm


Individual tickets for the Reception start at $100. For more details or for tickets, please visit www.alrp.org or contact Jim McBride, Director of Development at 415/701-1200 ext. 301, or by email at jim@alrp.org

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 16 - BALIF Partner Exchange Luncheon
October 2 - BALIF October Happy Hour
October 2 - BALIF Volunteer Day
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


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 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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P.O. Box 193383
San Francisco, CA 94119

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