Weekly Newsletter        |        March 31, 2015
In This Issue
Message from the BALIF Board 



It has been a busy start to the spring for BALIF! Last week, long time member Joseph Quinn was appointed to the Superior Court of San Francisco. Joseph was endorse by BALIF after vetting by BALIF's Judiciary Committee, which continues to have tremendous success at getting LGBT people and allies on the bench. Congratulations Judge Quinn!

BALIF's Board of Directors election begins online tomorrow! This year, we have received a record number of candidate statements and anticipate very close races for the 10 open positions. You may vote online up until April 15th or in person at our annual membership meeting on April 15th at The Sausage Factory, where the new directors will be announced. Good luck to all the candidates! Members, get out your vote!

Lastly, this year's BALIF mentorship program was a huge success with multiple nominees submitted for Mentor of the Year. This Thursday, April 2nd, come out and celebrate this program and the Mentor of The Year, Dennis Raglin, at the Law Student Spring Happy Hour at the Patriot House in downtown San Francisco. Details are below and, of course, there will be free food and drink!


Jennifer Orthwein 

BALIF Board Communications & Technology Chair

BALIF Board 2015 Elections


BALIF has received a record 20 candidate statements for the 10 open positions on the Board!  Thank you to everyone who submitted statements and nominations.  Let the campaign season begin!  Good luck to all of the candidates!    


Elections will begin online on April 1, 2015.  The candidate statements will be posted online.  There will also be an opportunity to vote in person at BALIF's annual general membership meeting on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 from 6 - 8:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Sausage Factory in the Castro.  The results will be announced at the end of the meeting. 

BALIF Mentorship Program / 
Law Student Spring Happy Hour


Calling all BALIF mentors, mentees, and law student members -- please join us for a happy hour on April 2. For law students, this will be a great opportunity to meet and mingle with LGBT attorneys and other law students before you leave for the summer. We'll also celebrate BALIF's mentors and mentees and honor Dennis Raglin, the 2015 BALIF Mentor of the Year. And of course, there will be free drinks and food. Hope to see you there!


When: Thursday, April 2, 2015

Where: The Patriot House, 2 Embarcadero Center, SF

Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Pathways to the Judiciary
A Conversation and Reception

BASF and BALIF presents:


Thursday, April 9, 2015

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.


The Bar Association of San Francisco

301 Battery Street, Third Floor


  • $30 BASF Student and Legal Professional Members
  • $40 Committee Members, Government & Non-Profit Attorneys, and BALIF Members
  • $50 BASF Members 
  • $65 Others


MCLE: 1.5 Hours of Elimination of Bias Credit

MCLE Registration: 5:00 - 5:30 p.m.


Light Refreshments/Program: 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Event Code: G151629


Click here to view the flyer!



HON. ANGELA BRADSTREET- San Francisco Superior Court

HON. LINDA COLFAX- San Francisco Superior Court

HON. VICTORIA KOLAKOWSKI- Alameda County Superior Court

HON. VAUGHN WALKER (RET)- United States District Court for the Northern District

STUART PLUNKETT- Morrison & Foerster/BASF Judiciary Committee



* LGBT judicial officers discussing their personal pathways to the bench

*Information on the vetting process for judicial candidates in California

* Advice for (LGBT) attorneys considering a career in the judiciary


BALIF Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Supporting Marriage Equality

MARCH 6 - San Francisco - Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court in the consolidated cases Obergefell v. Hodges , Tanco v. Haslam, DeBoer v. Snyder, and Bourke v. Beshear, in support of the Petitioners' positions that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a same-sex marriage lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state. BALIF's brief argues that it is the duty of the courts to decide the equal protection challenge, that the marriage bans are unconstitutional applying even the most deferential rational basis review, and that the bans inflict profound legal, economic, and emotional harm on same-sex couples and their children.


"Contrary to the Sixth Circuit's holding, it is the role of the judiciary to evaluate the constitutionality of state provisions and not to defer the question to the state voters and legislators who enacted them," said Leah Nutting, BALIF's Amicus Committee chair. "Fundamental rights such as the right to marry cannot be denied by majority vote. The institution of marriage is too special and the harms caused by the bans are too costly to just 'wait and see' for the democratic process to recognize that right."


Thirty bar associations and legal organizations from around the nation joined BALIF in signing the brief. The coalition of amici includes state, metropolitan, local, and minority bar associations and local non-profit organizations. The brief was filed with pro bono support from Jerome C. Roth and Amelia L. B. Sargent of the law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson.

San Mateo County Women Lawyers' Educational Foundation Scholarship


Deadline: April 1, 2015


San Mateo County Women Lawyers' Section's Educational Foundation is currently accepting applications for their San Mateo County Women Lawyers' Educational Foundation Scholarship.  This foundation was established in 1996 to raise scholarship funds for deserving law students, considering need, academic excellence, ties to San Mateo County, and involvements in legal, scholastic, public, private, and/or community activities.  

Please direct all inquiries to Ms. Feiger at (650) 679-8484 or by email at mwfeiger@yahoo.com.

Career Conference & Diversity Reception 



3L+ Law Prep cordially invites you to celebrate diversity and support our scholarship programs for law students and new attorneys at our Second Annual San Francisco Diversity Reception & Scholarship Fundraiser. Join us for appetizers, drinks, a chance to win cool raffle prizes, and inspiring speeches.


When:   April 8, 2015, 6-8 p.m.

Where: The Fairmont (Crystal Room), 950 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94108


For details, pricing, and tickets click HERE. Attendance is complimentary for all conference/seminar attendees (see below). All proceeds benefit 3L+ scholarship and diversity programs for law students and new lawyers.




Do you want to learn skills to help you proactively manage your legal career? Become a successful, balanced, and fulfilled attorney?


When:   April 8, 2015, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Where: The Fairmont (historic Garden Room where the UN Charter was drafted)

             950 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94108


Conference courses/topics here.

Speaker list here.


You can register for the entire 3L+ Law Prep Career Conference (9 am to 5 pm), the morning Super Summer Seminar (law students), or the afternoon Career Management Seminar (attorneys and law students, 2 hour CA general CLE pending) HERE. To benefit from our bar association 50% discount, register before March 11 and use special code "NorCalBar" (last field on the registration form). Admission to the evening's Diversity Reception & Scholarship Fundraiser is complimentary for all conference and seminar attendees.


Scholarships for New Attorneys - Thanks to the generous sponsorship of our partner SoFi, we are able to provide full scholarships to attorneys in their first two years of practice to attend the Career Conference. Click HERE for eligibility and application information.  

Scholarships for law students - click here

2015 Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship- Application 
Deadline April 10, 2015
The Justice & Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco is currently accepting applications for our 2015 Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship. Our scholarship program was established in 1998 to reaffirm a commitment to diversity in legal education and the legal profession. Scholarships are need based and are given to those from minorities that are underrepresented in Northern California or Bay Area law schools. Recipients receive up to $30,000 over three years. Applications are available online through our website: http://www.sfbar.org/jdc/diversity/educational-programs/scholarships.aspx Our application deadline is April 10, 2015.


If you have any questions regarding the application process, please contact Nicole Britton-Snyder at nbrittonsnyder@sfbar.org.


Nicole Britton-Snyder, Esq.

Diversity Pipeline Programs Manager 

Justice & Diversity Center, The Bar Association of San Francisco 301 Battery Street, Third Floor 

San Francisco, CA 94111 
Tel: 415-782-8914 

nbrittonsnyder@sfbar.org | www.sfbar.org/diversity


LGBT Business Builder Event in SF

SBA and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) held the first LGBT Business Builder event here in San Francisco two weeks ago.  This was the first event of a national series to reach LGBT businesses to encourage LGBT certification.  Of course, the best place to initiate that effort was here in San Francisco, with SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.  Locally, the SBA and GGBA will continue our effort to reach out to LGBT entrepreneurs, and we want to enlist you in this effort.


Are any of your clients an LGBT-owned company? The San Francisco Business Times wants your help to build an inaugural self-identified LGBT-owned list of companies headquartered in the Bay Area.  

This List will be part of a special "Business of Pride" edition of the San Francisco Business Times publishing June 12,

featuring stories that explore LGBT trends, issues and workplace diversity, and highlighting LGBT leaders within the Bay Area business community.


The deadline to nominate an LGBT-owned company is Wednesday, April 15.  Here is a link to the nomination form to forward to your clients to self-nominate: http://bizj.us/1dulyr

Lambda Legal San Francisco Soiree


APRIL 17, 2015 
6:00 PM





Join Lambda Legal's Bay Area Leadership Council for a fabulous night in San Francisco! Supporters will learn of Lambda Legal updates while enjoying a fantastic dinner among friends and supporters at the City View at Metreon.


For more information, please visit the event website at http://www.lambdalegal.org/sfsoiree2015, or contact Adrian Ogle at 646-307-7397.

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.


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.

April 2 - BALIF Mentorship Program / Law Students Happy Hour
April 9 - BASF/BALIF Presents: Pathways to the Judiciary
April 15 - BALIF Annual Meeting & Election Happy Hour
Our 2015 Sponsors
Partner Level
Counsel Level


HB Logo



Advocate Level


A.L. Nella & Company, CPAs 


Gibson Dunn & Crutcher  

Jones Day 

Latham & Watkins LLP 

Morgen Lewis & Bockius LLP 

MUFG Union Bank

O'Melveny & Meyers LLP 

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP 

Pacific Gas & Electric

Perkins Coie LLP 

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP 

Sanford Heisler Kimpel, LLP 

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton 

Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP 


Benefactor Level


Callaway & Wolf

Carroll, Burdick & McDonough LLP

Clarence, Dyer & Cohen LLP / Swanson & McNamara LLP 

Cooley LLP 

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP

Farella Braun + Martel LLP 

Futterman Dupree Dodd Croley Maier LLP 

Golden Gate University, School of Law 

Jackson Lewis LLP 


Lewis, Feinberg, Lee & Jackson, P.C. 

Littler Mendelson P.C. 

Lubin Olson & Niewiadomski LLP

Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP 

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP 

Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg LLP

Paul Hastings LLP 

Pritzker Levine LLP

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  


Individual Sponsors


Dave Arellano, Altep, Inc.   

Michael Colantuono, Colantuono Highsmith & Whatley, PC 

David Fermino, Sideman & Bancroft LLP 

David Helbraun, Helbraun Law 

Frederick Hertz, Law and Mediation Office of Frederick Hertz

John Hill, Law Offices of John E. Hill, P.C.

Hon. Stuart Hing & Rhoda Hing, Alameda County Superior Court

James Kealohi, Pathways Personnel

David Monroe, Able & Monroe P.C.

Todd Norris, Bullivant Houser Bailey 

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

Cheryl Sena, Sena Family Law 

Hon. James L. Warren (Ret.), JAMS  

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 
Follow BALIF


BALIF | | info@balif.org | http://www.balif.org
P.O. Box 193383
San Francisco, CA 94119