Weekly Newsletter        |        November 18, 2014
In This Issue
Message from the BALIF Board 



It's the most wonderful time of the year!


For me, Christmas came early this year when in August I was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. This of course following my 2007 discharge for being gay, my participation in the federal court challenge that ruled Don't Ask Don't Tell unconstitutional and a rating of "unfit" to return to service even after the policy was repealed. What I learned as an activist was that sharing our stories must be paired with quality legal advocacy to cement lasting change.


We are seeing this today with the struggle for marriage equality. While public opinion has significantly swung in favor of equality, no victory is guaranteed and lawyers across the country have had to stay quick on their feet to keep the legal momentum moving forward.


With Thanksgiving on our heels, it is imperative we not take any progress for granted and remain committed to equality. This is why serving on the BALIF Board has meant so much to me. I've witnessed how this Bay Area network of judges, lawyers, and law students affords us the resources and talent to quickly mobilize and effectively respond to the needs of our community. All while building a competent and passionate future legal community through mentoring.


Knowing first hand how the legal field can conquer the most insurmountable odds to make things right, this Thanksgiving I am thankful to you, for dedicating your life to increasing LGBT access to the legal field and fostering a robust profession committed to justice. As one of the two Law School Representatives, I look forward to organizing creative and powerful events for our law students that will further these efforts.


As the deluge of Christmas parties and (ever) looming finals approach, I hope that you'll join us December 10th for the BALIF Holiday Party to celebrate, in community, how far we've come and to renew our commitment to each other.



Semper Fi,


Joseph Rocha

BALIF Law Student Representative

BALIF 2014 Holiday Party!

Join us for our annual holiday party and ring in some holiday cheer!! 

December 10, 2014
6:30 - 9:30 pm

The Drake Lounge
508 4th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

BALIF / AABA Halloween Fundraiser 
for LYRIC a Huge Success


On Halloween Eve, BALIF joined the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) to host a fundraiser for LYRIC at the Drake Lounge.  LYRIC is a San Francisco charity that provides a broad array of social services to LGBTQQ youth.  Among its many programs, LYRIC sponsors paid job training internships for impoverished and homeless young people through its Youth Workforce Development Program. 


The event was a huge success, drawing nearly 150 attendees and raising over $17,000 that will benefit LGBTQQ youth job training internships.  Special thanks go to Esquire Deposition Solutions for the hosted bar, and to City National Bank and Sedgwick LLP for their generous donations! 



Post- NAPABA Networking Mixer


If you are interested in re-connecting with new friends and acquaintances, missed your chance to connect at NAPABA, or were not able to make it to NAPABA, you will get your chance on November 19th. Come share beverages and hors d'oeuvres with new and old friends and colleagues before everyone disappears for the holidays. This event is open to all members (and those interested in becoming a member) of any NAPABA affiliate organization.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

5:30PM to 8:00PM

Baker Botts LLP

1001 Page Mill Road; Building 1, Suite 200

Palo Alto, CA 94304


Hosting coordinated by the Women in Law Committee of APABA-SV and Baker Botts.


Please RSVP here.

Legal Event with the Oakland Raiders

ALRP Free Fall 2014 MCLE Trainings



Employment Law and Transgender Clients - Sponsored by the State Bar's Labor & Employment Law Section

  • Thursday, November 20, 5:30-7:00pm
  • Presented by Ilona Turner, Esq., Transgender Law Center
  • 1.5 General CLE Credits
  • Overview: This training will cover the workplace rights of transgender and gender non-conforming clients, including anti-discrimination laws and workplace best practices.

Asylum and Other Forms of Relief from Removal

  • Tuesday, December 2, 5:30-7:00pm
  • Presented by Zachary Nightingale, Esq. of Vanderhout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale, LLP
  • 1.5 General CLE Credits
  • Overview: Part of ALRP's new Immigration Training Series, this training will cover asylum and other forms of relief from removal that can provide a client with permanent status. Because all of our clients are living with HIV/AIDS and many are LGBT, we are frequently approached by people who have suffered abuse and intolerance in their countries of origin. This MCLE will contrast asylum with other forms of relief from removal such as Withholding of Removal Relief and Convention Against Torture Protections (CAT), as well as provide insight into how you can achieve asylum for your immigration clients. 

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 

Empire Mock Trial 
International High School Competition

Help high school students from across the globe learn about our legal system (and enjoy a complimentary meal!). Empire Mock Trial, an education non-profit, is hosting an international mock trial program on the weekend of November 22nd at the US District Court for the NDCA. Over 300 students from 5 countries will take part in this inaugural event.

Please join us as a Presiding Judge or Scoring Juror to evaluate and educate the students. We especially need volunteers on Sunday, November 23rd. To find out more and register to participate, visithttp://empiremocktrial.org/program/san-francisco/volunteer/judge/. If you invite a friend to judge with you, we can pair you together.
Newly-Created Magistrate Judge Vacancy in San Francisco
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is accepting applications for a Magistrate Judge vacancy in San Francisco. Please see the attached notice and the court's website for additional information and the application.  BALIF's Judiciary Committee seeks to develop, support, and provide the resources for those interested in joining the bench.  Please contact your BALIF Judiciary Co-Chairs, Andrew Vu or Lilah Sutphen, at judiciary@balif.org, if you have any questions regarding our work and efforts to get more LGBT attorneys on the bench.

Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C.
Congratulations to the Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C. for being named to the San Francisco Business Times' 2014 Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses List and the 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in the Bay Area List.

Danny Williams
Danny Williams, the former domestic partner of BALIF member Carl Wolf, died on November 4 at age 62.  Danny was a supporter of BALIF and ALRP and was an acclaimed (and hilarious) stand-up comic, former MC of RSVP cruises, and an avid fundraiser for countless LGBT causes, especially AIDS charities, during the height of the epidemic.
Office Sublet Available
Light-filled window office (12' x 12.5') is available for sublease on the 6th Floor in 150 Post, a Class B Building renovated to the level of Class A, and located across from Gumps, between Kearny and Grant.  Suite has A/C controlled by tenants, AND large operable windows.  Perfect for lawyer or other professional.  Full-time visitor reception, shared use of large conference room, copier/scanner, kitchen with dishwasher, and Wi-Fi.   Please contact Boone Callaway at 415-541-0300 or via email
Boone@callawayandwolf.com for more information.
The Office will be available January 1, 2015.
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
December 10 - BALIF Holiday Party!
March 13, 2015 - Save the Date! 
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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