Weekly Newsletter        |         September 23, 2014
In This Issue
Message from the BALIF Board 



Today kicks off the first day of fall - my favorite season. While some love fall because it means the Starbucks Pumpkin Latte is back in rotation, I love fall for the colors, crisp weather, and because to me, it's the kick off of the warm season of giving. Sappy, perhaps, but I'm a sucker for the fundraisers, benefits, and holidays that carry us through fall and winter.

With BALIF's mix of happy hours, networking events, and galas, we also play a part in fundraisers near and dear to our heart. Take, for example, the October 30th LYRIC Halloween Eve Fundraiser. LYRIC is an amazing organization working to provide LGBTQ youth with job skills and jobs to boot. This Halloween fundraiser supports an amazing organization and promises to supply a good time be you dressed as Hedwig or that Starbucks Pumpkin Latte. Happy first day of fall! 



Lilah Sutphen

BALIF Judiciary Co-Chair

BALIF October Happy Hour

Join us for our Monthly Happy Hour! 

October 2, 2014

5:00 - 8:00


Lalita Thai Cuisine and Bar

96 McAllister Street

San Francisco, CA 94102


We can't wait to see you there! Don't forget to join us before for Social Action's HNP Volunteer Day!  

Social Action's Housing Volunteer Day

Please join us Thursday, October 2 from 12:30pm - 4:30pm for BALIF's Volunteer Day with San Francisco's Housing and Negotiation Project (HNP).  On October 2, volunteers will negotiate against the landed elite on behalf of tenants facing eviction.  Flex those negotiating muscles and help prevent homelessness!   And then join us for delicious cocktails at Lalita Thai afterward.


The Nuts and Bolts:

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).

Register Here for the training!


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!


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



BALIF sent a delegation to the Conference of California Bar Associations' (CCBA) annual conference of delegates in San Diego from September 11th-13th. 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

Leadership Development 
Program for LGBT Jews

Interested in learning more about the Bay Area LGBT Jewish landscape, meeting influential people, enhancing your public speaking and fundraising skills, and building a relationship with an established leader in the LGBT Jewish community? Apply or nominate someone you know for this great opportunity aimed at queer-identified Jews aged 25-40. Questions? email Angela Dalfen at adalfen@gmail.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

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 

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.

A Midday Lunch Mixer with 

Do you have any lunch plans on September 30th? If not, please plan on coming to a noon, brown bag lunch mixer with FBANC and BALIF members. Great company and conversation will be provided! No need to RSVP. Please feel free to show up, and bring a friend if you'd like.

When: September 30, 2014

Time: 12 noon to 1 p.m.

Where: Golden Gate University, 536 Mission Street, Room 3209

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 Volunteer Day
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


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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