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CALIFORNIA WOMEN LAWYERS N E W S L E T T E R FEBRUARY 2017

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NEWSLETTER FEBRUARY 2017 #3 2016-17 CWL Board Officers President Chris Chambers Goodman - Pepperdine University School of Law President-Elect Renee Galente - Galente Law, APC First Vice President Amee Mikacich - Sedgwick LLP Second Vice President Jessica Lynn Rowe - Aaron, Riechert, Carpol & Riffle Secretary Naomi Dewey - Buynak, Fauver, Archbald & Spray Treasurer Connie L. Chen - Jackson Lewis P.C. Editor Amelia Burroughs - Janssen Malloy LLP Assistant Editor Vanessa Gonzales Editorial Designer David Blue Garrison Additional Photography Pexels, Pixabay and Stocksnap CWL was chartered in 1974. It was organized “to advance women in the profession of law; to improve the administration of justice; to better the position of women in society; to eliminate all inequities based on sex; and to provide an organization for collective action and expression germane to the aforesaid purposes.� The purposes are limited to purposes meeting the requirements for exemption provided in Section 2370le of the Revenue and Taxation Code and Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code as the statutes may be amended from time to time. Thank you to all the authors in this issue for sharing with us their time and expertise. If you have an idea for a future article, please contact Vanessa Gonzales at the CWL office at vgonzales@cwl.org Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CWL. For more information on CWL or this newsletter, please contact the CWL office at 916.930.9020 or visit the website at www.cwl.org.


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

We are excited to bring you CWL’s February Newsletter, highlighting our events, activities and members. This month, I visited our affiliates at Fresno County Women Lawyers to provide an Elimination of Bias CLE luncheon just before the State Bar deadline. Some form of this question always arises: “Why do we keep talking about eliminating bias?” Laws and regulations prohibit discrimination. We have federal and state statutes, which aim to prevent unfair treatment, and even a specific rule of professional conduct that prohibits discrimination by attorneys in hiring, promotion, terms of employment, and firing. We applaud all of those who fought for our civil rights, making manifest the promise of the Fourteenth Amendment. Still, something is missing. Despite our best or second-best or mediocre efforts, some are treated unfairly. The news media and our personal experiences attest to this fact. Bias still impacts our lawyers, judges, and jurors, and equal protection of the laws is not always equal. Eliminating bias is a lofty goal, and I suggest we take a more practical approach—aiming to reduce bias instead. Engage with someone who is different from you. Have a conversation with a stranger. Make a point to get out of your comfort zone. As we expand our circle of connections, we learn to truly appreciate the value of diversity. As Black History Month winds down, I want to express my gratitude to all the past and present members of Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. for providing the mentorship, fellowship, and opportunities to serve women lawyers and the community. I give a special thanks to the Honorable Marguerite Downing, a past President of CWL and BWL, Inc., who first encouraged me to pursue leadership opportunities in CWL. It is my honor to serve as CWL’s third African American President. Chris Chambers Goodman CWL President


EDITOR’S LETTER WOMEN AT WORK AMELIA BURROUGHS February proved to be a dynamic month. Current events certainly animated the profession of law, with lawyers and judges in the nation’s spotlight on all manner of topics. Change—present and past—is in the air and on our minds here at California Women Lawyers. As you know, February is National African American History Month. More than 30 years ago, a Joint Resolution of Congress, Public Law 99-244 (Feb. 11, 1986), designated the month of February 1986 as “National Black (Afro-American) History Month.” The purpose was to help public schools, institutions of higher learning, and the public “gain a deeper understanding and knowledge of the many contributions of Black Americans to our country and the world.” The resolution called upon the President of the United States “to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe that month with appropriate ceremonies and activities to salute all that Black Americans have done to help build our country.” President Reagan then issued Presidential Proclamation 5443, the purpose of which was to create awareness “of this struggle for freedom and equal opportunity.” President Reagan proclaimed the month as a time “to celebrate the many achievements of African Americans in every field from science and the arts to politics and religion.” In 1996, President Clinton issued Presidential Proclamation 6863 for “National African American History Month.” The proclamation observed the contributions and achievements of black women in American history. At CWL, we’re celebrating the history of one of our affiliate members, Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, including an interview with Shirley A. Henderson, a founding member and the organization’s third president. Ms. Henderson remains in practice and a member of the organization. February marks another transition here in California. February 17 was the last day to introduce bills in the California legislature. In this newsletter, we introduce you to the current chair of CWL’s Legislative Committee, Louinda V. Lacey. Ms. Lacey recently accepted a position with the California Chamber of Commerce in Sacramento, and she talks to us about her plans for the committee and bills she thinks are worthy of support or scrutiny. We’re also looking forward to Women’s History Month in March, and we would love to hear about how you intend to mark the occasion. March also brings CWL’s 17th Annual Northern California Judicial Reception. Join us in Oakland on the evening of March 2, 2017, as CWL honors Judge Carol S. Brosnahan, Alameda County Superior Court, with the presentation of CWL’s Rose Bird Memorial Award. The event is cosponsored by Women Lawyers of Alameda County and the Contra Costa County Bar Association Women Lawyers Section. Plan now to join us in San Diego on April 7, 2017 for CWL’s Annual Conference. California Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher will be the keynote speaker, and CWL will award Tracey Skadden, General Counsel for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest and Action Fund, with the 2017 Judith Soley Lawyer as Citizen award. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact CWL for more information. As always, it is our pleasure to bring this newsletter to CWL members. We welcome your comments and encourage all of you to contribute to future newsletters.

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THE BEGINNING OF THE BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS OF LOS ANGELES A Conversation with Shirley A. Henderson on the History of BWL Amelia Burroughs Shirley A. Henderson graduated from Loyola Law School in 1972 and went to work as an attorney in Los Angeles, where she has now practiced for more than 40 years. She is one of the founding members of BWL and served as its third president, and she was kind enough to share her memories of its fledgling days. Ms. Henderson recalls that what is BWL today started as conversations about the need for African American women practicing law in Southern California to organize. Vaino Spencer, the first African American woman appointed to a judgeship in California and who later served as a Justice for the California Court of Appeal, Sandra L. Carter, who became the first president of BWL, and Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, then a U.S. Representative in Congress, saw that many young women in practice repeatedly encountered the same issues. “At that time, it was very lonely to be an African American lawyer and a woman. When you walked into court, most people thought you were the defendant or the court reporter. You were always judged by higher standards. And, no law firms were hiring African American women, and we thought they should.” The women organized a luncheon at the Medallion restaurant in Los Angeles. They tapped a core group of about ten women to get the word out. As Ms. Henderson tells it, “We were motivated; when Judge Spencer talked, you paid attention.” Ms. Henderson remembers that about 100 women showed up to the first luncheon, but organizers had expected more. “We had ordered a bunch of meals we couldn’t pay for, so we told the restaurant staff that we’d be back just before Thanksgiving, and they could freeze the food and serve it to us then. They wouldn’t do that, of course, but we did return the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for a cocktail mixer that was very popular.” That pre-Thanksgiving event remains a BWL tradition today. Ms. Henderson is very proud of what BWL has accomplished through the years, particularly its scholarship opportunities, community projects, and committee activities. “Our purpose was really to give a community perspective to women who felt pretty isolated and to network and educate. And we wanted to help women get hired at firms. And, we did that. We opened those doors.”

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From left to right: Anne Davis, Donna Gibbs, Ahtossa Fullerton and Leah Fullerton

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REFLECTIONS ON THE WOMEN’S MARCH AND BEYOND Ahtossa Fullerton There have been few events with so great an impact as the Women’s March on Washington. Its consequence on grass-roots politics will be felt for years to come. Protests are a daily occurrence in cities in America and around the world. Regular folk, previously uninvolved or uninterested in politics, have been spurred to action. From my own perspective, it was an experience of a lifetime, although it would have been a different one without my oldest daughter. I hesitated to include her. Was she too young? Was it safe? Was it an extravagance? Ultimately, this experience was one she will never forget and which can never be duplicated. From the airplane ride, which was the loudest I have ever known, full of chattering ladies all excited about our common goal, to the Metro Ride, which took several hours too long and saw us literally face-squeezed-to-window hoping the doors didn’t pop open mid-ride, to 6 hours standing unable to move more than a few feet listening to some of the most influential women give incredibly moving speeches. The entire experience was more than I could ever have imagined. And this daughter is burgeoning into a proud, intelligent feminist from whom we can all learn. I am grateful to live in a country, which allows us the opportunity for assembly and civil dissent. The March was the embodiment of what our Nation’s Founders protected with our Bill of Rights, a document more I urge today’s precious with each passing day.

Republicans to stand up and firmly denounce actions of exclusion and hate..”

The Women’s March was about more than women’s rights. It was about the rights of all humanity. And our values as Americans not merely tolerating, but accepting and even embracing, each other’s differences. Both my parents were born in Iran, although they immigrated in their teens and soon became citizens. My father was a proud Republican, and until the Party began to evolve into a Christian theocracy in the 1980s, encouraged me to be the same. I urge today’s Republicans to stand up and firmly denounce actions of exclusion and hate... I am an incredibly proud and grateful American who does not feel that I can leave the U.S. for fear of being turned away at the border by some fool in a uniform. Against my advice, my sweet, adored Aunt is taking a trip to Iran, and I am already preparing to intervene for the possibility she may not be allowed to return. Is this America? Is this what we have become? Is this what we have always been, but not been made aware because we have thus far been safeguarded by checks and balances? All around us in the days after the Inauguration and March, we saw the red “Make America Great Again” hats mixed in with the pink yarn hats. I was intrigued by those who wore them. And I appreciated their willingness to identify. Why? I want to know who you are. I want to know who wants me gone. Don’t hide behind your fear of being judged. That shouting of our own collective messages is what made the Women’s March so real and beautiful. It was the knowledge that everyone in that crowd and crowds all over the world felt equal. We are one. We are each other. No one is better and no one is lesser. From this hope springs movement, action, and finally, change. We are ready.

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MEET LOUINDA LACEY, CWL’s LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE CHAIR Amelia Burroughs Louinda Lacey chairs California Women Lawyers’ (CWL) Legislative Committee. Ms. Lacey joined the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) in January as a policy advocate specializing in environmental policy, housing and land use, and product regulation issues. Before joining the CalChamber policy team, she provided regulatory compliance advice and enforcement defense, and civil litigation services to businesses and individuals with a focus on environmental laws and regulations at her own Sacramento-based law firm. She also advised clients in retail, food and beverage, construction, real estate, contracts, and lending cases. She is a graduate of McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, with a Certificate in Environmental Law, and she holds a B.S. in business administration and an M.B.A. in finance from California State University, Sacramento. Ms. Lacey credits her exploration of policy advocacy to her experience as a board member for CWL. In 2016, Ms. Lacey attended CWL’s Lobby Day with then-President Kelly Robbins, held in conjunction with the National Council of Jewish Women. Ms. Lacey says that experience opened her eyes to lobbying and this previously unexplored use of her legal training: “That day showed me a whole different way of using my law degree. I can use my legal training to help shape law on the front end, in contrast to litigating the application of the law once it is applied to stakeholders.” As a policy advocate, Ms. Lacey considers potential legislation and proposed regulations to determine how it fits into the puzzle of the existing statutory or regulatory framework along with the practical on-the-ground application and effects associated with the bills on stakeholders. She meets with legislators, legislative staff, and regulators to discuss policy, positions, and/or possible amendments, and assists in building coalitions of interested parties to support or oppose proposed legislation and regulations. As a policy advocate, she enjoys using one of her law school loves, statutory and legislative interpretation, on a daily basis. Ms. Lacey came to CWL through a colleague and fellow CWL member, Jennifer Hartman King, of Sacramento, and she volunteered to lead CWL’s Legislative Committee when the chair position became available in 2016. Ms. Lacey’s short term goal for the committee is to identify a handful of bills that impact CWL’s mission in the 2017 legislative session. The deadline for bills to be introduced in the legislature this year was February 17. The Legislative Committee’s task is now to identify those that meet or hinder CWL’s mission of advancing women in the profession of law and bettering the position of women and children in society. The Legislative Committee will identify relevant bills for CWL’s support or opposition and propose a legislative agenda to the CWL Board in March. Look to CWL’s March 2017 newsletter for a round-up of bills on CWL’s legislative agenda for the upcoming year. Long term, Ms. Lacey would like to see CWL build a coalition with other organizations and identify areas of need and propose or co-author legislation. “The breadth of experience of CWL’s members, particularly those who advocate for our vulnerable populations, naturally informs the process. We’d love to hear from members about potential areas for legislative advocacy. Where is the need from a practical standpoint? How can CWL advance the position of women and children in our society?” In terms of advice to others considering solo practice, Ms. Lacey explains that while she enjoyed the experience of building a successful solo practice, she encourages all attorneys considering a similar path to be practical about the administrative time and costs associated with it. Talk to other solo practitioners at length about what solo practice entails, what technologies are available to assist you, how to use contract work to supplement your practice in the beginning, how to build a “brain trust” of attorneys with whom to discuss ideas and strategies, how to go about staffing and using contractor services, and all of the expenses with starting and running a practice. CWL certainly welcomes Ms. Lacey, and we’re excited by the opportunities she brings for advocacy in the legislature.

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ARTICLE REQUEST:

HOW PROTECTIONS FOR THE ELDERLY IMPACT WOMEN Amelia Burroughs According to Patricia McGinnis, Executive Director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, there is no question that senior care issues impact more women than men. She points to the following statistics: • 61% of nursing home residents are women; • 75% of unpaid caregivers are women; • women comprise 80% of family caregivers for elders; • 60% of caregivers are wives of disabled husbands (and 73% of these are aged 65 or older); and; • the average American woman can expect to spend 17 years caring for a child and 18 years caring for an elderly parent. Consider how nursing home and assisted living reforms, as well as advocacy for caregivers and litigants in elder abuse cases, will impact women in our communities. If you have written on this topic or can connect us with anybody who has investigated these issues, please let us know!

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Join us for the

2017 Annual Conference IN SAN DIEGO

Offering a full day of MCLE credits, inspiration and networking in a world-class vacation destination!

April 7, 2017

8:30 am to 5:00 pm Cocktail Reception Following with Presentation of the Judith Soley Lawyer as Citizen Award to Tracy Skaddan, General Counsel for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm


Sponsor and Exhibitor Opportunities available. For more information and registration

Hotel Accomodations: Book your room by March 9, 2017 for

special discounted room rates of $269/nt plus tax and fees for single or double rooms. Reservations may be made online HERE or by calling: Toll Free 1-877-622-3056 See what San Diego has to offer. Please be sure to reference that you are with California Women Lawyers to receive the special pricing.


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LAW STUDENTS TAKE NOTE! $5,000 Nancy E. O’Malley Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted! The CWL Foundation board is proud to announce the $5,000 Nancy E. O’Malley scholarship for its first year of service! Nancy E. O’Malley has provided her guidance and wisdom to CWL for many years. Now a deserving law student member of CWL will be given the opportunity to follow in her footsteps. Nancy served as president of CWL in 2009, and Chair of the CWL Foundation from 2010-2012. She is the first woman to serve as Alameda County District Attorney. Nancy has led the state and the country in crafting concrete methods to help women and children, and is now known throughout California and the nation for her innovation and vision. Nancy is a nationally recognized expert in issues involving violence against women and persons with disabilities, as well as interpersonal violence including sexual assault, domestic violence, elder and child abuse, stalking, and human exploitation and trafficking. Nancy is also recognized for creating the Alameda County Family Justice Center, which brings resources for victims of violence together under one roof. The Family Justice Center now serves as a model around the country.

“If you know

a law student member of CWL who aspires to take action along the lines of our own Nancy E. O’Malley, please pass along the requirements and application...”

Nancy’s 2017 campaign to combat human trafficking focuses on eliminating demand. The billboard campaign partners with Clear Channel and raises community awareness. This campaign places a focus on the buyers who purchase trafficking victims. The campaign hopes to make clear the fact that men must be a partner in the effort to stop commercial sexual exploitation. Without people willing to pay for sex, traffickers have no incentive to lure vulnerable women, girls, and boys into the illegal sex trade. Remove the buyers, and the whole system stops. Much of the demand-reduction work done in Alameda County is in collaboration with The CEASE (Cities Empowered Against Sexual Exploitation) Network. The CEASE Network is a collaboration of 11 cities nationwide committed to reducing sexbuying by 20 percent in two years. H.E.A.T. Watch serves as the coordinating unit for the Oakland/Alameda County region. Nancy has also received praise for implementing criminal justice reforms in Alameda County, including drug courts and diversion programs that are designed to reduce prison incarceration rates.

Nancy O’Malley continues to inspire our members to aid in the cause of improving the lives of women and children in society. If you know a law student member of CWL who aspires to take action along the lines of our own Nancy E. O’Malley, please pass along the requirements and application, found HERE

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MEET THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATIVE WOMEN’S CAUCUS As CWL turns its sights to a legislative agenda, part of its task is to identify similar stakeholders. In that vein, meet the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. The Legislative Women’s Caucus advocates for and represents the many interests of women, children, and families in California. One of its goals is to increase the participation of and representation by women in state government. Members of the LWC promote legislative policies and budget priorities that will improve the status and well-being of women, children, and families. The LWC works cooperatively with local, state, and national women’s organizations with similar objectives. This year, the LWC is chaired by Assembly Member Cristina Garza, and its Vice Chair is Senator Connie M. Leyva. CWL encourages your participation in its Legislative Committee and urges you to contact your legislators.

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CONDUCT UNBECOMING OF A WOMAN... Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles’ 22nd Annual Litigators Forum: “Conduct Unbecoming of a Woman…” The Litigation Section of CWL affiliate Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles will hold a panel discussion centering on a recent sanctions order against a male attorney who told attorney Lori Rifkin that she behaved in an unladylike manner during a deposition. Panelists include Susan Estrich, Law Professor at USC and partner at Quinn Emanuel, the Honorable Margaret Morrow (Ret.), President and CEO of Public Counsel, Chief Judge Virginia A. Phillips, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Lori Rifkin, Principal at Rifkin Law Office, and keynote speaker Lisa Bloom, American Civil Rights Attorney. The forum is Thursday, March 2, 2017, at 5:30 p.m., at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles. RSVP is required. Please contact the WLALA office at (213) 892-8982.

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MEMBER PROFILE: HEATHER STANGLE-SMITH Where and what do you practice? I’m an Associate at Watt Tieder Hoffar & Fitzgerald in Irvine, California. My practice currently focuses on general commercial litigation, construction law, and government contracts. I moved to California from the Washington, DC area last year with my husband, who is a paleontologist and curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. In addition to my litigation practice, I previously served as in-house counsel for a nonprofit government consulting firm headquartered in the DC area. When do you feel most lucky to be a lawyer? I find the intellectual side of the law very satisfying. I love reading and writing, and I appreciate that even a single word can have so much power in our practice. But I feel most lucky when my work allows me to have an impact on a personal level for someone else—in those moments when I get to make another person feel advocated for, represented, and heard. What do you do when you’re not lawyering? You can usually find me hanging out with my husband and our four pets (I’m a sucker for animals, and we have two dogs and two cats, all adopted from shelters). I enjoy being active (yoga, running, coercing my husband into doing P90x workouts with me) and spending time outdoors— there are so many places I can’t wait to explore out here in our new home in California. I’m proud to be a volunteer with Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and a member of Planned Parenthood Young Professionals. I also recently completed CWL stood out training as a pro-bono attorney with Immigrant Defenders Law Center, an to me because organization that advances social justice for Southern California’s immigrant and refugee communities and coordinates with volunteer attorneys to of its mission represent unaccompanied immigrant children facing possible deportation-and advocacy critical work that I’m excited to be a part of.

Tell us about your membership in CWL. Joining a bar association seemed like a natural way to branch out and meet friends and colleagues after my cross-country move. CWL stood out to me because of its mission and advocacy work, as well as the ease of becoming active in individual CWL committees as a new member. Do women’s bar associations remain relevant?

work, as well as the ease of becoming active in individual CWL committees as a new member.”

Absolutely. Women’s bar associations and other women’s organizations are so relevant right now. We have the ability to be powerful allies for one another at work and in our communities, and groups like CWL allow us to connect with and support one another and provide a unique forum to give voice to shared issues. What would you like to see from CWL in the future?

I’m excited to see more opportunities to become personally involved and invested as a member in CWL. A formal mentorship program would also be a great feature.

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SUSAN B. ANTHONY BORN FEBRUARY 15, 1820 The California Women’s Law Center reminded us that February 15, 2017 would have been Susan B. Anthony’s 197th birthday. When you’re contemplating your own advocacy efforts on behalf of women in our profession, remember this tireless woman who dedicated her life to women’s rights and the abolition of slavery. The New York Public Library’s Digital Collections has some wonderful pictures of Ms. Anthony and others who advocated for women’s suffrage.

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UPCOMING EVENTS March 2 Northern California Judicial Reception and Rose Bird Memorial Award Presentation to Judge Carol S. Bosnahan, Alameda County Superior Court (only onsite registration available) April 7 The Future is Feminine – Inspire, Inform, Illuminate CWL’s 2017 Annual Conference Marriott Marquis San Diego 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Cocktail Reception to follow from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM Register HERE Please join us for this full day conference offering inspiration, networking, and MCLE credits. Book your room by March 9, 2017 for special discounted rates of $269/night plus tax and fees for single or double rooms. Reservations may be made online HERE or by calling: Toll Free: 1-877-622-3056 Reservations Local Phone: 619-234-1500 Be sure to reference that you are with California Women Lawyers to receive special pricing. May 19 Southern California Judicial Reception and Jaon Dempsey Klein Distinguished Jurist Award Presentation to Judge Marguerite D. Downing, Los Angeles Superior Court September 15 So You Want To Be A Judge (location to follow) October 5 CWL 43rd Annual Dinner and Silent – Grand Hyatt San Francisco

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Thank You to Our 2017 Statewide Gold Sponsors

Learn about all of our Annual CWL Sponsorship Opportunities HERE

CALIFORNIA WOMEN LAWYERS N E W S L E T T E R February 2017

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www.cwl.org

CWL Newsletter February 2017  
CWL Newsletter February 2017  

California Women Lawyers promotes the advancement of women in the legal profession and is an active advocate for the concerns of women in so...