Weekly Newsletter        |        January 5, 2016
In This Issue
Message from the BALIF Board 
Greetings!
 
 
Happy New Year!
 
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 john@jru-law.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. 
   
 
Best wishes,  
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!
 
Please visit the BALIF website at balif.org/sponsorship for sponsorship information or to purchase individual tickets. For more information email balif@balif.org or gala@balif.org.
Diversity Scholarship Opportunity for ABA Forum on Construction Law
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.
 
Applications for the scholarships should be sent to the Forum's Diversity Committee Chair, David J. Theising, at dtheising@harrisonmoberly.com

View flyer here.
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?

Promotion?

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.

February 19 - BALIF 36th Annual Gala
Our 2015 Sponsors
Partner Level
Seyfarth
 
Counsel Level

A&P

Fenwick
HB Logo
Kilpatrick

Mofo
Sedgwick2


Wilson

Advocate Level

 

A.L. Nella & Company, CPAs 

AT&T

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 

JAMS  

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 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  

BALIF Board of Directors
Jessica Bogo & John Robert Unruh
  
Peter Catalanotti
Secretary

Mario Choi
Treasurer

Denise Bergin 
Judiciary Chair

Nick Clements & 
David Sims
Gala Co-Chairs  

 

Meaghan Zore 

Julie Wilensky
Amicus Chair     

 
Jennifer Orthwein
Communications Chair 

Jamie Dupree
Programs Chair

Felicia Medina & Shauna Madison
Young Lawyers & Law Students Co-Chairs  

Brandon Lawrence & Daniel Faessler
Social Action Co-Chairs 


Dmitri Pikman
Lindsey Rosellini
Community Ambassador Chair  

Joseph Deignan, Alex Lemberg & Sam Potts
Katie Carlson
BALIF Administrator 
Follow BALIF

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

BALIF | P.O. Box 193383 | San Francisco | CA | 94119