Message from the BALIF Board
I hope everyone had a joyous and festive holiday season. As we transition back to the daily grind of our busy lives, and start working on those New Year's Resolutions, I ask everyone to take a minute to answer the following two questions:
1. Have you recently confirmed that your BALIF membership is current?
2. Are you a sponsor of and/or ticket holder to BALIF's 2016 Gala on Friday, February 19, 2016?
If your answer to either of these questions is "no" I invite you to follow this link to the BALIF website where you can log-in and complete both of these tasks. For those whose memberships have lapsed I encourage you to renew to support BALIF for another year, and anyone yet to purchase a ticket to or sponsor our 2016 Gala may do so online. If you have any issues logging into our website please follow the prompts or email me at email@example.com for assistance.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me or any BALIF board member with your questions. Here's to another fabulous year! Thank you and see you soon.
John Robert Unruh
BALIF Board Co-Chair
BALIF Joins Coalition of National LGBT, Racial Equality, and Health Groups in Filing Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Challenge to Texas Abortion Restrictions
On January 4, 2016, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF) and a coalition of 13 other LGBT, racial justice, and health equity organizations filed an amicus brief in
Whole Woman's Health v. Cole asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down draconian restrictions on abortion providers enacted by the State of Texas in 2013 which, if upheld, would lead to the closing of most abortion clinics in the state. The brief urges the Court to carefully scrutinize the state's asserted justification for the law, just as the Court has done with other laws that infringe upon fundamental freedoms. The State of Texas has argued that the law protects the health of women seeking abortion, but the evidence at trial showed just the opposite. In fact, medical organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Public Health Association have explained that the restrictions imposed by the new law are medically unnecessary and endanger, rather than advance, women's health.
In addition to BALIF, the organizations filing the brief are the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the Equal Justice Society, the National Black Justice Coalition, the Family Equality Council, the Human Rights Campaign, the National LGBTQ Task Force, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, Equality Federation, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, Immigration Equality, the National Health Law Program, and Movement Advancement Project.
U.S. history is replete with attempts to use pseudo-science and unsupported health-related justifications to exclude individuals and groups from the full protection of essential constitutional liberties, including laws barring interracial marriage, excluding women from certain professions, permitting the forced sterilization of those deemed "inferior," and criminalizing and discriminating against LGBT people. BALIF and its fellow amici urge the Court to remember this history and to fulfill its constitutional obligation to look carefully at the State's asserted justifications for restricting women's fundamental right to reproductive autonomy.
"The brief powerfully reminds us of the history of using empirically indefensible social science to justify discrimination against vulnerable groups," said Julie Wilensky, chair of BALIF's Amicus Committee. "With this history in mind, it is especially important for the Court to meaningfully review the public health rationales Texas has asserted here."
BALIF and the other amici are represented by Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld LLP and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
BALIF 36th Annual Gala
BALIF Gala: Equality Affirmed! BALIF's 36th Annual Gala is on February 19, 2016. If you haven't done so yet, now is the time to sponsor BALIF and purchase your tickets to the Gala. This year's format is an elegant cocktail party with food stations and drinks sprinkled around the venue. It's a fabulous format for mingling with old friends and meeting new ones. Don't miss the best party of the year!
Your sponsorship of BALIF and ticket purchases will fund law student scholarships, mentor programs, CLE, amicus briefs on LGBT issues, LGBT recruiting, social events to LGBT lawyers, community outreach, and much more. If your business or firm would still like to sponsor the Gala, it is not too late to take advantage of some of the many benefits of sponsorship, such as recognition through the end of 2016 on the BALIF website and newsletter, and complimentary tickets to the gala.
The Gala is BALIF's largest annual event with more than 600 attendees, including lawyers, judges, lawmakers, legal professionals, students, and in-house counsel. Please join us to celebrate the amazing progress our community has made over the past year.
When: Friday, February 19th from 7-11pm
Where: Bently Reserve, 301 Battery St., San Francisco, California
Want to get the party started early? BALIF members and Gala attendees will be meeting for a pre-party Gala location: TBA Starting at 5:30 pm on the night of the Gala, please stop by for a pre-Gala cocktail, meet new friends, reconnect with old ones, and prepare yourself for the Gala!
Diversity Scholarship Opportunity for ABA Forum on Construction Law
View flyer here.
The American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law
Forum's Midwinter Meeting, "Livin' on the Fault Line: Cutting Edge Solutions for Seismic Events that Threaten Your Construction Client," will be held January 21 - 22, 2016 at the Westin St. Francis on Union Square in San Francisco, California.
The Forum is pleased to announce the availability of six (6) Diversity Scholarships for the cost of registration for this program for women and minority construction lawyers, construction lawyers with disabilities, and construction lawyers from the LGBT community, whose practices are based in California. Individuals wishing to be considered for a scholarship should submit a copy of their resume and a letter describing their construction law practice and the reasons why they want to attend the Midwinter Meeting. Applications are due no later than December 21, 2015. If selected, candidates must commit to attend the program. The scholarships are not transferable.
The Diversity Scholarship includes:
* admission to the Program with waiver of the registration fee;
* a set of Program course materials; and
* continental breakfast and lunch as noted in the brochure.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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.
Baby on the way?
Recently married or engaged?
Award, recognition, certification, or degree?
Or anything else you're excited about...
Keep it to one or two lines. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can't wait to hear your great news!
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.
|February 19 - BALIF 36th Annual Gala|
A.L. Nella & Company, CPAs
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
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
Callaway & Wolf
Carroll, Burdick & McDonough LLP
Clarence, Dyer & Cohen LLP / Swanson & McNamara 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
Dave Arellano, Altep, Inc.
Michael Colantuono, Colantuono Highsmith & Whatley, PC
David Fermino, Sideman & Bancroft LLP
David M. Helbraun, Helbraun Law Firm
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