Weekly Newsletter        |        April 14, 2015
In This Issue
Message from the BALIF Board 



Spring has officially sprung and you all know what that means.  No, not sunny picnics around Lake Merritt or lazy Sunday's in Dolores Park or big tax refunds...it means BALIF elections! Voting ends tomorrow, April 15, so there is still plenty of time to cast your vote online. Better yet, come vote in person tomorrow at the Sausage Factory at 6:30 pm and enjoy some delicious pizza and a beer or two while fulfilling your membership duties.  Questions? Check out the BALIF website or email one of your friendly board members.

Additionally, we are proud to announce that Marriage Equality would like to honor BALIF at an event on Sunday, May 3, 2015. Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, the SF Giants and Mark Leno will also be given awards at this event. We think this award is a fantastic recognition of all the work we have done as a community to help make marriage equality a reality (and the norm, at least in California). If you're interested in attending this event, please let a BALIF Board Member know.  We would love to have a great crowd in attendance.

Have a great day, and don't forget to vote!





Nick Clements 

BALIF Board Gala Co-Chair 

BALIF Board 2015 Elections & Annual Meeting Tomorrow Night!


Only one day left to vote for the BALIF Board of Directors!  


Elections will close online on April 15, 2015 at 4pm.  The candidate statements are posted online.  There will also be an opportunity to vote in person at BALIF's annual general membership meeting tomorrow 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.  


Sausage Factory

517 Castro Street

San Francisco, CA 

ABA Business Section Meeting
The ABA's Business Section is meeting in San Francisco, and the ABA LGBT Involvement Subcommittee invites BALIF members to an informal gathering at The Cavalier, 55-5th Avenue in San Francisco on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 6 pm.
BALIF Partner Exchange Luncheon
Thursday, May 14, 2015 & Save the Date for Future Events


When: Thursday, May 14, 2015; Tuesday, June 17, 2015; Thursday, July 16, 2015; and Thursday, August 20, 2015

Time: 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm

Where: San Francisco City Club (155 Sansome, 10th Floor)

What: Gourmet buffet lunch with other partners and firm owners

Cost: $40 payable by cash or check only


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


Space is limited so only the first 11 to RSVP to jdupree@fddcm.com may attend.


RSVPs being accepted for Thursday, May 14, 2015 only. 

ALRP's 2015 Major Donor Party
Come celebrate the ALRP You're the One Campaign at ALRP's 2015 Major Donor Party.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 from 5:30-7:30pm at The Plant Café.

ALRP is honoring Kerne Matsubara of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP with the ALRP 2015 James C. Hormel Philanthropist Award and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) is being presented the ALRP 2015 Community Partner Award.

Suggested minimum donation $500. RSVP to Jim McBride at jim@alrp.org or (415) 701-1200 ext. 301. If you already made a $500+ gift to the ALRP You're the One Campaign this year, please RSVP as our guest. For more info: http://www.alrp.org/events/2015-major-donor-party
ALRP Free 2015 MCLE Trainings



Affirmative Lawsuits in Housing

  • Tuesday, April 14, 5:30-7:00pm
  • Presented by Fred Feller, Esq. - Buresh Kaplan Feller & Chang - www.bkjf.com
  • 1.5 General CLE Credits

Introduction to Simple Wills

  • Tuesday, April 21, 5:30-7:30pm
  • Presented by Mark Senick, Esq. - www.marksenick.com
  • 2.0 General CLE Credits

Introduction to Landlord/Tenant Law

  • Thursday, May 7, 5:30-7:00pm
  • Presented by Ora Prochovnick, Esq. - John F. Kennedy 

University Housing Advocacy Clinic

  • 1.5 General CLE Credits

Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith Litigation

  • Thursday, May 14, 5:30-7:00pm
  • Presented by Guy Kornblum, Esq. - Kornblum Cochran Erickson Harbison - kcehlaw.com
  • 1.5 General CLE Credits

Family Law

  • Wednesday, March 27, 5:30-7:00pm
  • Presented by Joann Babiak, Esq. - Babiak Law Offices
  • 1.5 General CLE Credits

Creating Workplaces Free from Gender Identity Bias

  • Tuesday, June 16, 5:30-7:00pm
  • Presented by Daniel Faessler, Esq. - Pride Law Fund Tom Steel Fellow at Transgender Law Center
  • 1.5 Elimination of Bias 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 

Daniel Faessler

Daniel Faessler is the 2014-2015 Pride Law Fund Tom Steel Fellow.  His fellowship is sponsored by Transgender Law Center and works in partnership with a number of Bay Area organizations serving the transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) community.   Faessler has established the Transgender Legal Services Project (TLSP), which reduces barriers to accessible legal representation by providing fully bilingual (Spanish and English) services for the TGNC community in the San Francisco Bay Area. TLSP organizes legal clinics where community members may access legal information, obtain referrals and seek direct representation on a variety of legal issues including discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations; court-ordered name and gender changes; accessing medical care; immigration; and many other issues. TLSP has served 59 of the most vulnerable and marginalized TGNC people in the Bay Area TGNC community.  For more information, contact Daniel Faessler at Daniel@transgenderlawcenter.org
BALIF - 2015 Mentor of the Year


The BALIF Board is pleased to announce that Dennis Raglin, a partner at Sedgwick LLP, has been selected to receive BALIF's  2015 Mentor of the Year Award. Dennis has done a spectacular job providing professional guidance and support to mentee Raymond Rollan, who recently graduated from University of San Francisco School of Law. The award was presented at BALIF's Mentorship Program/Law Student Spring Happy Hour on April 2.

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

Upcoming ALRP Event

Volunteer Appreciation Party

Thursday April 16, 6-8pm, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman



Major Donor Party

Wednesday, May 20, 5:30-7:30pm, The Plant Cafe


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.

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.

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 14 - BALIF Partner Exchange Luncheon
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