Each year, the National LGBT Bar Association’s Lavender Law® Conference provides a challenging and rewarding learning experience for our attendees and presenters. To cater to our highly diverse demographic of practitioners, legal scholars, members of the judiciary, and law students, the latter of whom make up half of the conference attendees, both introductory and advanced content will be presented. Please Note: the below workshops represent what was presented at the 2017 Conference & Career Fair. The 2018 programming is coming soon.
Wednesday, August 2 | 9:00am – 10:30am
From the Voting Rights Act to Redistricting
A colloquy between Pam Karlan and Paul Smith
This plenary will feature a frank and unfiltered conversation between two long-time leading experts on the current state of voting rights and the impact we are seeing in 2017 due in part to redistricting efforts. Pam Karlan has been a fierce and tireless advocate for all LGBT families and those who love them. She is co-director of Stanford Law School’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, where she has been an award-winning teacher since 1998. Paul Smith, who currently serves as the Vice President of Litigation and Strategy for The Campaign Legal Center, works everyday to fight unfair gerrymandering, to make sure all Americans have the ability to exercise their right to vote, and that those votes count. Smith, a former partner at Jenner & Block, argued Lawrence v. Texas before the Supreme Court in 2003.
Wednesday, August 2 | 10:45am – 12:15pm
Tips for Succeeding as a Lesbian Attorney at a Big Law Firm or Company
The panelists will discuss what it is like to be an out lesbian at a large law firm or at a large company and tips for succeeding in those environments. Panelists will include a current Big Law associate and partner, an in-house attorney at a multi-billion dollar company, and a former Big Law associate turned employee relations professional who will discuss barriers to entry and obstacles facing them in their practices, the importance of finding mentors and like-minded colleagues, and strategies for success even in the most challenging practice groups and corporate environments.
Speakers: Lyzzette Bullock, Ashianna Esmail, Ashley Tessier, Ashley Brooks, Elizabeth Davis
Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and the Changing Face of Entertainment
This panel of entertainment and digital media experts examines how dealmaking and the law are keeping up with a constantly evolving content creation and distribution landscape. Topics will include the role of premium content in a world where everyone with a smartphone is a content creator, the changing economics of TV and film in an increasingly over-the-top environment, the role of big data in advertising and linking consumers to the content they crave, and current issues in talent and license negotiations.
Speakers: Paul Marchegiani, Stephen Fronk, Kenneth Garrett, Philip Matthys
Pathways to the Judiciary
This workshop has been approved for CLE Ethics credit
Each year, members of the judiciary come together to discuss their career trajectory and provide advice to young professionals interested in ascending the bench. Representing a diverse array of judges, panelists will discuss both the appointed and elected processes for judges, panelists will discuss both the appointed and elected processes for judges in different jurisdictions as well as ethical guidelines or standards associated with panelists’ paths to becoming judges or retaining their positions. Additionally, challenges of being an openly LGBT judge, arising especially out of judicial ethics codes, will be a focus as well. Members of the International Association of LGBT Judges will be available during and after the session to talk further with attendees.
Speakers: Hon. Victoria Kolakowski, Hon. Mark Scurti, Hon. Gary Cohen, Hon. Kristin Rosi
Immigration Laws and Crossing Borders: What Multinational Same-Sex Couples Need to Know about Migrating the Globe
This session will discuss legal developments relating to the accessibility of immigration benefits for same-sex couples globally, with a particular focus on legal developments and related case law in the United States. There is not uniformity in how same-sex couples are treated around the globe, and the panelists will highlight these legal gaps and assess how the U.S. legal system has responded to DOMA being overturned. There will be an overview as well of legal decisions on the immigration front, with a focus on relief for refugees and asylum seekers. With multinational same-sex couples and their families still facing uncertainty when it comes to crossing borders, this panel will address gaps in the immigration laws that same-sex couples need to consider. Legal risks when crossing borders and applying for visas, challenges presented to same-sex couples and GLBT individuals when encountering immigration laws, and the relevance of increased security measures at U.S. borders in the GLBT context will all be covered in this panel.
Speakers: Douglas Hauer, Prof. Scott Titshaw, Aaron Morris, Aleksander Miltch
Transgender Rights and Bathroom Access: Expanding the Conversation
Access to bathrooms and other sex-specific spaces is an important issue that seems to have been the focus of most major policy fights in the last several years – whether we’re fighting for or against statutes at the local, state, or national level. Over the last several years, the other side has progressively increased their efforts to use this issue to impact public discourse and public opinions about trans people, resulting in tremendously negative impacts on trans people’s lives, especially for trans people of color.
Notably, the trans advocacy community has responded to these efforts by framing the issue as being solely about bathrooms rather than viewing it as a larger civil rights issue. More alarming, the response has neglected to address the impact this issue has had on people of color, even as the facts show that people of color are more at risk for attack on the streets and in public accommodations. Even though there have been reports of attacks on people of color in bathrooms, the discourse around this issue and the campaigns launched to address it have largely failed to account for people of color.
This session will focus on bringing more voices into the conversation and alternate ways to look at framing this issue so that we control the messaging. The conversation will address how this issue arises in various contexts, including schools, workplaces, and public accommodations. We will also discuss current cases, such as the Grimm case, and how they have shaped the public discourse.
Speakers: Dru Levasseur, Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan, Jill Gaulding, Alexander Chen, Joseph Wardenski, Kylar W. Broadus
Understanding Discrimination Against Bisexuals and Internalized Biphobia: The Keys to Successful Representation of Members of the Bi+ Community
This workshop will examine some of the central issues facing bisexuals and attempt to facilitate effective and sensitive representation of bisexual clients in the context of discrimination claims and refugee claims. Panelists will discuss their personal experiences litigating these types of cases and the challenges they had to overcome to represent bisexual plantiffs. Psychology doctoral candidate Tangela Roberts will discuss the study she co-authored on monosexism and the degrees of social prejudice that bisexuals face from both the heterosexual and gay communities.
Speakers: Ann Tweedy, Shannon Minter, Nancy Marcus, Chien-yu Liu, Tangela Roberts
What Does a Trump Administration Mean for Employers?
The 2016 Presidential election was arguably the most contentious, unpredictable, and politically polarizing race in this nation’s history. In the end, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president on January 20, 2017, with a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress. What will this mean for the employer community? How will the course of labor and employment law be changed, and how can you prepare your company to navigate these changes? This workshop will cover the most significant employment law developments and trends impacting the workplace. We will discuss groundbreaking rulings affecting the LGBTQ community, and information about creating inclusive and LGBTQ-friendly workplaces.
Speakers: Kevin Kraham, Jean Schmidt, Mark Phillis, Denise Visconti, Eduardo Juarez, Kylie Byron
Post-Election Solidarity: Lawyering and Building Alliances Across Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Immigration Status and Practice Areas
This workshop has been approved for CLE Ethics credit
As monumental struggles for legal protections are unfolding in diverse communities across the country, we have opportunities to support allied campaigns and to learn from each other across common struggles. This workshop will explore the role of cross-movement solidarity and lawyering in building transformative change. We will address both the challenges and opportunities involved in building strong alliances across identities and boundaries. We will explore legal strategies for tackling issues that have commonalities not only across diverse LGBTQ communities but across other communities as well; and techniques for sustaining and deepening cross-movement and cross-issue lawyering. The workshop will also address the logistical, ethical, and practical “nuts and bolts” of how non-profit organizations, community groups, and corporate law firms can maximize their resources to collaborate on rapid-response advocacy and outreach to support LGBTQ communities facing new challenges in this complex social climate. The code of professional ethics is a foundation for this discussion.
Speakers: Flor Bermudez, Nishan Bhaumik, Susan Belinda Christian, Kelly Dermody, Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Virginia Goggin, Richard Saenz, and Deborah Wald (moderator).
Wednesday, August 2 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm
A Landmark Year for Intersex Rights
2017 has proven to be a landmark year for the intersex rights movement, in terms of visibility as well as advances in recognition of the legal and human rights of intersex people. In the midst of a wave of media coverage including such diverse outlets as Teen Vogue and National Geographic, supermodel Hanne Gaby Odiele came out as intersex, two states introduced bills to protect intersex children from non-consensual surgery, a major report was issued addressing human rights violations against intersex people in the U.S., multiple countries were reprimanded by the UN for failing to protect intersex children’s rights as the U.S. prepares for its own Universal Periodic Review, trans and intersex advocates collaborated to fight bigoted “bathroom bills,” and intersex issues were before the courts. We will provide an update on these and other developments, and facilitate discussion about how LGBTQ advocates can effectively incorporate intersex issues into their work.
Speakers: Anne Tamar-Mattis, Prof. Julie Greenberg, Sylvan Fraser
Welcome Home: The Fight for LGBT Friendly Housing
Housing discrimination can occur with a smile. Often those being discriminated against are not aware they are being quoted a higher rental price than others, or otherwise experiencing disparate treatment. Surveys reveal that some LGBT people are aware that discrimination is occurring, but very little empirical data exists related to actual levels of discrimination in the housing market.
The Suffolk University Law School’s Housing Discrimination Testing Program conducted matched paired testing between December 2015 and June 2016 of the Metro Boston rental housing market. Transgender and gender non-conforming people were paired with gender conforming cisgender people and sent to view available housing. This session will present the data from the study and cover the high level of discrimination that was found. In 2014, SAGE and the Equal Rights Center conducted a study on housing discrimination faced by LGBT older adults. The results shocked us, and SAGE launched a 5-point housing plan, focused on building housing, training providers, changing policy, educating consumers, and expanding services.
What lessons have we learned and where do opportunities for progress lie? What legal and other challenges do we face in the construction of LGBT friendly housing? From the Equal Access Rule to the Fair Housing Act, what legal tools do we already have at our disposal to protect LGBT individuals in the housing market at large? How have our partners in the banking industry advanced protections? What more can they do? How can we literally, and figuratively, build new protections in the housing markets?
Speakers: Jamie Langowski, Aaron Tax, Prof. William Berman, Joseph Wardenski
Leaning Into the Backlash: Allies Need to Be Heard
The time for supporting in silence is over. The threat to progress in attaining LGBT Equality is explicit, is present and is growing. Organizations, communities and professions need to identify and motivate allies from all sectors. It is still the case that a majority of straight, cis people want LGBT Equality and yet the backlash from opponents has picked up a disconcerting momentum. Importantly, allyship starts with the majority but also needs to garner support from the various other minorities currently under siege. This panel will discuss the challenges, as well as the potential wins, at the intersection of majority and minority allies, especially pertaining to LGBT rights.
Speakers: Adeel Mangi, Kylie Byron, Michelle Waites, Rick Richardson, Katrina Quicker, Melvin White
Out and Proud in Finance Law
This workshop is not being offered for CLE credits
Whether your work focuses on Wall Street, Silicon Valley, London’s City or Hong Kong’s Central, working as an openly LGBTQ+ lawyer in the world of finance can present its own unique challenges and opportunities. During this workshop, the panel will discuss and engage the audience on a wide range of topics, including: getting started in finance as a young LGBTQ+ lawyer; when and how to come out to clients; managing the stereotype that the world of finance is straight (white) male dominated; taking advantage of business development opportunities that may be unique to LGBTQ+ lawyers; staying involved in the community through pro bono and community outreach opportunities; making the most of affinity groups and ally groups; navigating the politics and bureaucracy of large banks and law firms; and working in non-US and emerging markets as an openly LGBTQ+ lawyer.
Speakers: John Owen, Noah Kressler, Maria Bernstein, Jane Jarcho
Diversity and Inclusion: Broadening Opportunities; What's Working, and What's Not
While many diversity workshops discuss the barriers obstructing opportunities, this workshop will focus on strategies that firms, in-house counsel offices, and individual attorneys, informed from experience with those barriers, have crafted to broaden opportunities for diverse attorneys. Panelists will share the challenges they have faced in the legal profession, how they overcame the bias (overt and implicit/hidden) they encountered and became “included,” and what they learned from their experiences. These attorneys will also discuss how those experiences helped shape the development of diversity and inclusion programs that have been successful at their law firms and companies, and other steps that can be taken by the legal profession to increase diversity and inclusion, to eliminate bias, and to broaden opportunities. The goal of the workshop is for attendees to leave with a checklist of concrete action items to increase diversity and inclusion in their organizations, and to seek out the benefits of diversity and inclusion programs of current and potential clients.
Speakers: William Weinberger, C. Edwin Hopkins-Gillispie, Blake Sorensen, Hon. Victoria Kolakowski, R. Jason Burch, Blane Mall
This workshop discusses legal issues affecting disabled LGBTQ people and strategies for providing direct services to clients who are disabled, homeless, or living with HIV or AIDS. Disabled LGBTQ attorneys will provide an overview of legal protections of disabled LGBTQ people and will discuss unique barriers that disabled LGBTQ people face, including barriers to self-determination, employment, and health care access, as well as other effects of overlapping forms of discrimination. The workshop will also discuss the impact of current disability laws and policies on both disabled and non-disabled LGBTQ people and the evolving legal landscape around the application of disability discrimination laws to people diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Additionally, direct services attorneys will provide an overview of the basics of Social Security Disability Law and challenges that can arise when working with clients, including LGBTQ clients, who are homeless, living with HIV or AIDS, and/or living with mental health disabilities. This session will discuss strategies for handling these often challenging cases, including medical-legal partnerships between legal services providers and homeless healthcare clinics.
Speakers: Ma’ayan Anafi, Denise Miller, Molly Brennan, Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan
Updates on Energy and Environmental Law
This panel will provide an overview and update on recent developments in the interrelated practices of electric energy and environmental law. Panelists will provide a brief introduction to their practice areas and a brief overview of the statues that govern the practice, including the Federal Power Act, Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, Energy Policy Act of 2005, Clean Air Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Updates will be provided on current law and policy issues being considered by the Trump Administration and the states that could affect wholesale markets, grid reliability, resiliency and security. Panelists will identify and discuss developments that are expected to have a significant impact on the industry, including increased reliance on renewables and development of distributed energy. Opportunities and challenges on the horizon will also be highlighted.
Speakers: Matthew Rudolphi, Christopher Dolan, Romulo Diaz, Charles Berardesco
Ready or not, Here they come (and go!): Preparing for the Generational Shift
In 10 years, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce, and accordingly, the legal profession. This session will share the results of a recent Thomson Reuters survey on the impact of this generational shift on the legal profession. Topics will include how leading legal departments and law firms are responding by capturing Baby Boomers’ knowledge and deploying initiatives to prepare for the influx of Millennial practitioners and clients.
Speakers: Scott Morgan, Bernadette Bulacan, Jim Leipold, Wesley Bizzell, Justin Becker
Sex Workers and the Criminal Law: An LGBT Issue
Laws criminalizing consensual sex work are disproportionately enforced against transgender women, particularly trans women of color, and against homeless LGBTQ youth. These laws enable and encourage violence against sex workers and discourage them from seeking health care, and exacerbates the HIV epidemic. Arrests and convictions can create formidable challenges for LGBTQ immigrants seeking relief under U.S. immigration laws. Crackdowns on internet-based commercial sex venues such as rentboy and backpages force sex workers onto the streets, where their health and safety are threatened. Recently, Lambda Legal announced its position that “we see no constitutionally adequate basis to criminalize sex solely because one consenting adult pays another.” The panelists will discuss recent legal challenges to sex work criminal laws, including the case of ESPLERP v. Gascon, currently in the Ninth Circuit, and local and state advocacy for legislative and administrative reforms. They will address new research, as well as differing proposals for reform, including decriminalization and legalization.
Speakers: Daniel Bruner, Richard Saenz, Maria Carmen Hinayon, Shawn Meerkamper, Kara Ingelhart
Wednesday, August 2 | 3:30pm – 5:00pm
This panel will focus on the successes in the civil rights movement over the past eight years, and where our nation stands in the fight for LGBT, racial, and ethnic equality. Our panelists come with years of experience working in and with the federal government to further civil rights. Hear from the experts about current efforts to continue moving forward, particularly in this new administration.
Speakers: Stuart Delery, Jon Davidson, James Esseks, Tobias Barrington Wolff, Nadine Smith, Shannon Minter
Thursday, August 3 | 9:00am – 10:30am
A Few Voting Demographics Knew; Now Let's Use that Intelligence to Move Forward Stronger than Ever
On November 9th, the nation woke to one of the most shocking election results in its history. Victories for the LGBT community now seem few and far between and maybe impossible. Instead of enjoying headlines regarding open military service, relationship recognition, or the other amazing accomplishments of our litigators and advocates, we wake to open violence and almost overwhelming fear. Newly elected top political leaders not only support discrimination but push deadly practices such as conversion therapy. Only a few voting demographics stood strong against the current regime: 94% of Black women, 83% of Asian American women, and 69% of Hispanic women. The speakers on this program are extraordinary leaders and extremely accomplished lawyers with experience succeeding, despite bias, in Fortune 500 companies, AmLaw 100 firms, and other elite practices. For this general attendance session, we ask them to use the lens of their experiences to examine how on earth we got here, and the potential for increasing engagement of white queer/trans women’s allyship for the benefit of queer/trans people of color’s liberation, and the nation more broadly.
Speakers: Michelle Waites, Michelle Peak, Marla Butler, Bendita Cynthia Malakia (moderator)
Thursday, August 3 | 10:45pm – 12:15pm
A Dialogue On Transgender People in the Military
Speakers: Denise Brogan-Kator, Tobias Barrington Wolff, Bridget Wilson
Estate Planning: Applying Obergefell in Trumpland
This session will address estate planning for LGBT individuals, couples, and families, in light of the new Administration and Congress. It will review the standard forms for estate
planning (e.g., Will, Healthcare Power of Attorney & Advance Directive, General Durable Power of Attorney, Disposition of Bodily Remains) and how they can be utilized and modified to serve the specific needs of LGBT elders (especially Transgender elders). It will also discuss a strategy for elders who have no one to appoint as their agent for power of attorney. The session will review alternatives (such as payable on death accounts and pooled trusts) to managing a client’s limited resources at end of life and simplify resolution of their estate after death. It will also review some basic strategies for low to moderate income individuals for saving and maximizing retirement income.
Speakers: Paula Kohut, Krisztina Szabo, Joan Burda, Murray Scheel
So Called "Religious Freedom": The Latest Tool to Discriminate
Since even before Obergefell, countless “religious freedom” bills have been popping up in states across the country. Things came to a head at the federal level earlier this year when a leaked draft of a proposed Trump administration executive order was widely disseminated. Parts of it aligned closely with the federal “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA) bill and other parts mirrored diverse state bills. All told, it was a grab bag of old and new ways to discriminate against LGBT people and many others. Panelists will discuss how the religious and political right is evolving and expanding its uses of religious freedom claims to undermine LGBT equality and inclusion, and what these demands could mean for our future.
Speakers: Sarah Warbelow, James Esseks, Jenny Pizer, Bill Eskridge
LGBTQ Youth and the Juvenile Justice System
A disproportionate number of youth involved in the juvenile justice system juvenile detention facilities in the United States identify as LGBTQ, particularly youth of color. Although LGBTQ youth make up 7-9% of the U.S. population, they make up 20% of youth detained in juvenile justice facilities. This panel will provide an overview of harmful policies, including an overview of state-based SOGIE nondiscrimination protections, and practices that lead to over-representation, resources, and recommendations on collaboration between public interest organizations and the private bar to we can do at the federal and state level to ensure the well-being and safety of LGBTQ youth involved with the juvenile justice system.
Speakers: Currey Cook, Corinne Green, Breanna Diaz, Sharra Greer, Hon. Zeke Zeidler
Overcoming Barriers to Health Care and Safety for Transgender Prisoners
Some jails and prison systems have made some improvements in their treatment of transgender prisoners, while most continue to delay or outright deny transgender people the medical care they need. In addition, prisons still mostly place women who are transgender in male facilities putting them at constant risk of being sexually assaulted and forcing them to undergo the indignity of being searched by male guards and showering in front of male prisoners and guards. Local advocates continue to push correctional institutions for more humane treatment for transgender people, but for many prisoners litigation is the only option, with or without the support of lawyers. Join attorneys involved in litigating prisoner rights cases to discuss some of the challenges transgender people face in prison and in securing their rights to necessary medical care, safety and basic human dignity. Share ideas about how you and other lawyers may be able to assist transgender prisoners in your city, county or state.
Speakers: John Knight, Dru Levasseur, Demoya Gordon, Jennifer Levi, Jordan Heinz, Scott Lerner
Advocating for a Pro-LGBT Agenda in Trump's Washington
On the heels of the most LGBT-supportive administration in history, LGBT policy advocates and lawyers face the most hostile environment we’ve seen in the past eight years. How can lawyers who litigate and lawyers in the policy space use administrative, legislative, and legal advocacy to move our agenda forward? Do all of these forums still provide avenues for LGBT policy advocacy? Must we only play defense? Are there opportunities to play offense? What tactics have we learned and what can we adopt from other movements and even opponents to LGBT rights? What opportunities does the new reality present to work across movements to advance our goals? We’ll explore these issues from the perspective of a cross section of LGBT advocacy and litigation organizations.
Speakers: Aaron Tax, Robin Maril, Karen Loewy, Shannon Minter, Joseph Vardner
LGBT Bar Associations: Nuts and Bolts
This Workshop will focus on the nuts and bolts of setting up and maintaining LGBT Bar Associations. The speakers will discuss topics such as providing direct legal services as a bar association, how to manage referrals, and how to set up mentorships and other programs. The speakers will also discuss the differences between a 501(c)(6) and 501(c)(3), membership benefits, membership management, including experience with software.
Speakers: Peter Catalanotti, Matthew Skinner, Nicole Bashor
What's Wrong with Being Confident (in the security of your organization's PII)?
This workshop is not being offered for CLE credit
Demi Lovato has it right – there’s nothing wrong with being confident. Confident, that is, that your company, law firm, and vendor partners are taking adequate steps to protect the personally-identifiable information (“PII”) that your organization may encounter in the course of everyday business. But there’s nothing wrong with trying to be sure, either. Do you know the actual definition and scope of PII and how to identify it? Are you clear on the related ethical obligations that apply? Are you aware of laws and regulations that might shape your particular obligations? What safeguards can you put in place to mitigate risk for your firm or your client? Join our panel of discovery and data management experts to discuss the current state of data security law surrounding PII and the steps you can take to assess and improve your organization’s security readiness. We know you’ll leave feeling cool for the summer about the steps your organization has taken or that can be implemented in short order.
Speakers: Jaron Luttich, John Koss, Vivek Hatti, Kyle Faget, Tricia Wagner
LGBT Rights and Reproductive Rights at Catholic Hospitals
As our courts, government, and society recognize the reproductive rights of individuals as well as the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people more and more, we are confronted with increasing attempts by some to obtain religious exemptions that would deny equal rights and dignity to others. Perhaps nowhere is the demand for religious exemptions more acutely felt than in health care. One in six hospitals beds in the United States are within Catholic hospitals and the trend towards hospital consolidation shows no signs of abatement. This panel explores the convergence of reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and religious exemption claims at Catholic hospitals. Panelists, which include attorneys challenging the denial by Catholic hospitals of reproductive health care to individuals and transition-related health care to transgender people, will provide an intersectional perspective to the ongoing litigation challenging claims for religious exemptions from nondiscrimination and reproductive health care mandates, including cases involving the Affordable Care Act.
Speakers: Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Melissa Goodman, Prof. David Cruz, Prof. Lisa Ikemoto
Thursday, August 3 | 2:00 – 3:30pm
LGBTQ in the Heartland: How Middle America Influences Law and Culture
Efforts in America’s heartland have impacted LGBTQ rights regionally and nationally. The “fly-over states” have produced numerous figures both for and against the movement, including Supreme Court plaintiff Jim Obergefell and Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis. While the LGBTQ community has secured many significant legal victories, they are not enough. Thus, changing the hearts and minds of voters, legislators, judges and jurors on LGBTQ issues remains vital. This panel will share strategies and provide insight into how lawyers and activists can change hearts and minds in Middle America.
Speakers: Josh Langdon, Jim Obergefell, Jennifer Branch, Verna Williams
Fundamentals of Crowdfunding: An Introduction for Non-Securities Lawyers
Crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and general solicitation in private offerings often seem to be mixed together when people talk about crowdfunding. This panel discussion will clear up any confusion and explain the current state of crowdfunding, regulatory oversight, and applicable legal frameworks.
Speakers: Gary Ross, Amy Wan, Brian Castro, Michael Vargas
A New World Order? Responding to the Trump Immigration Agenda
A panel of immigration attorneys will provide an overview of immigration policies under the current Administration and the authority of executive orders within the context of immigration law. From the flood of news coverage and litigation regarding the “travel ban” executive orders to the orders on border security and the infamous wall, panelists will provide an overview of the particular impact that these policies have on the LGBTQ community, such as the detention of transgender immigrants, escalated use of enforcement, and increased barriers for asylum-seekers and refugees. The panel will discuss what is happening on the ground in policy and litigation efforts, as well as how attorneys can volunteer and get involved.
Speakers: Denise Hunter, Connor Cory, Aaron Morris, Ava Benach, Sharita Gruberg, Keren Zwick, Flor Bermudez
Jury Selection and Anti-LGBT Bias
This panel will revisit the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in SmithKline Beecham Corp. v. Abbott Labs, holding that individuals cannot be removed from a jury due solely to their sexual orientation. The panel will also discuss a case currently on appeal to the 11th Circuit, Berthiaume v. Smith et. al, addressing this issue as well as the limits that courts can place on questioning potential jurors regarding anti-LGBT bias. Additionally, the panel will discuss general issues surrounding voir dire, how to address both express and implicit bias during jury selection, conducting LGBT-inclusive voir dire, and how to the discriminatory use of peremptory strikes.
Speakers: Ethan Rice, Todd Brower, Tina Luongo, Dale Noll, Hon. Phyllis Frye, Laura Hoch
HIV Treatment and Prevention in the Trump Era: An Update
Over the past two decades, we have made tremendous progress in the fight against HIV. Treatment advances, health insurance reforms, and breakthroughs in prevention have given more people access to quality care and prevention. And numerous people living with HIV who have experienced discrimination have won victories in the federal and state courts and civil rights agencies. But much work needs to be done to address continuing racial and ethnic disparities in access to care and in health outcomes. This panel of leading experts on HIV law and policy will provide an overview of relevant federal laws and programs, review and explain the latest developments in the still-uncertain and changing federal landscape, and discuss how state and local governments and nonprofit health care providers and HIV advocates are responding.
Speakers: Daniel Bruner, Terrance Moore, Carmel Shachar, Sean Bland, Scott Schoettes
How to Succeed as an LGBT Lawyer in a Big Law Firm
Join us for a candid discussion about life after you’ve landed “the job.” The legal industry is constantly changing and new challenges arise everyday. Whether you work in a law firm or are part of an in-house team, there are a multitude of issues that you’ll be faced with: professional development, business development, learning the business, navigating internal politics, networking. Come engage our panel of experts from different walks of legal life to learn how they handled these challenges and lived to tell about it!
Speakers: Kenneth Sanchez, Richard Segal, David Tsai, James Moore, Keith Watts, Hilary Ware
Improv … Yes, And! Using Improv Techniques to Facilitate Negotiations, Improve Public Speaking, and Manage Stress
Led by two in-house attorneys who have studied and performed with Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade, Bovine Metropolis Theatre, Impro Theatre, the Denver Performing Arts Center, Studio ACT, and LA Theatresports, this interactive (and fun!) workshop will explore how improvisation techniques can make you a fearless public speaker, a better negotiator, a stronger team player, an expert networker, a nimble problem solver, and a happier person. Through a variety of on-your-feet games and exercises, you will learn the core improv philosophy of “yes, and”, and see how it can help transform your personal and professional lives for the better.
Speakers: Paul Marchegiani, Jason Prussman
LGBTQ Domestic and Sexual Violence: New Considerations in the Field
Domestic and sexual violence in LGBTQ Communities is as common as or more common than among non-LGBT individuals. However, bias, invisibility and misconceptions about LGBTQ survivors can result in their continued victimization when accessing legal assistance. This training will provide an overview of domestic and sexual violence in LGBTQ relationships, including the overlap with stalking, and explore the role of attorneys and judges in serving LGBTQ survivors, including immigrant survivors in the wake of new harmful policies. We will also discuss what government protection currently exist, as well as what is on the policy horizon in the field and how people can get involved.
Speakers: Terra Russell Slavin, Debra Murphy, Hon. Christopher Bowen, Mieko Failey, Hema Sarang-Sieminski
Thursday, August 3 | 3:45pm – 5:15pm
Policing LGBT Communities
This panel will discuss policing and criminalization of LGBT people with a focus on people of color, immigrants, transgender people, people living with HIV, and sex workers. The panel and audience will discuss the impact of legal and policy issues on our communities from various points of engagement with the criminal justice system and law and immigration enforcement. We will explore strategies that attorneys and advocates can use in representing LGBT clients and organizing our community members. Finally, we will discuss lessons learned in our strategies including advancing legal arguments and theories, community advocacy, changing the culture of law enforcement and the idea of building trust and mutual respect between police and communities.
Speakers: Richard Saenz, Carl Charles, Maria Carmen Hinayon, Morgan Givens, Adam Romero
What's Happening Now with the FDA's Blood Donation Ban?
In 1985, during the earliest days of the HIV epidemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first recommended that blood establishments indefinitely defer from donation any man who had sex with another man, even once, since 1977. Over the next three decades, LGBT advocates, and a growing number of medical and public health authorities, criticized this lifetime deferral as medically unwarranted, stigmatizing and discriminatory. In late 2015, after a public comment period, FDA revised its policy to a deferral of any man who has had sex with another man in the previous year. The June 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando renewed attention to this new but still unreasonable and stigmatizing blood donation policy. This panel of lawyers, who have participated in recent FDA proceedings, will discuss the background of the evolving blood donation policy, the relevant regulatory framework, the current political environment, continuing scientific work in this space, and possible future outcomes. The panel will exchange views, and invite audience discussion.
Speakers: Daniel Bruner, Scott Schoettes, Christopher Hanson, Paul Thaler
Internet of Things
It seems that everything with an on/off switch is now connected to the Internet or soon will be: our cars, door locks, fitness devices, security monitors, appliances, computers, phones, lights, cameras, etc. With a simple voice command, we can now dim the house lights, adjust the thermostat, turn on security alarms, activate cameras, and shut down the house for the night. Or, even more Jetson-esque, soon we can purchase our favorite pair of sneakers and have them delivered by a drone to our front lawn within a matter of minutes. The Internet of Things–the concept of connecting devices to the Internet and to each other–has quickly taken over our homes and our lives. But with these technological “advances” come increasing risks, and we all know inevitably there will be litigation. This panel of cyber security specialists will discuss the brave new world of IoT across several product lines–home devices, automobiles and medical devices–and explore what the future may hold for lawyers.
Speakers: Sam Felker, Dominic Campodonico, Joseph Cohen, John Stephens
“Saving Alex”: Legal Strategies for Ending Conversion Therapy
It’s 2017 and yes, conversion therapy is still a “thing.” Despite condemnation by every major medical and mental health organization in the country, efforts to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ people are underway across the United States–from Birmingham to Berkeley. Join some of the leaders in the movement to end conversion therapy in a discussion about legal strategies to protect LGBTQ youth from these practices. And hear from Alex Cooper, a courageous survivor, and the pro bono attorney who worked with her to ensure her safe return home from a conversion therapy program.
Speakers: Carolyn Reyes, Xavier Persad, Paul Burke, Alex Cooper
LGBTQ Immigrants’ Access to Healthcare
This panel discussion provides an overview of LGBTQ immigrants’ access to healthcare based on their immigration status and the barriers that prevent/impede access to safe and affirming care, particularly under the new Administration. The discussion will focus on barriers such as: lack of meaningful coverage for gender-affirming care, the disproportionate impact to LGBTQ immigrants by proposed changes to the ACA and Medicaid, access to gender-confirming and HIV care for detained transgender immigrants, and concerns over what health-based inadmissibility grounds and public charge violations mean in the current political environment.
Speakers: Flor Bermudez, Abbi Coursolle, Sharita Gruberg, Denise Hunter, Krisztina Szabo, Tanya Broder
Breaking ID Barriers: Gender Change Cases in the Courts
Identity document policies have progressed significantly over the years, and transgender people now have increased access to accurate gender markers without requiring a judge’s approval. However, judges and the courts are still instrumental to gender marker changes in two important ways. First, many transgender people may want a court ordered gender change for additional legal protection, or are forced to get a court order to change a particular document. Hear from legal providers about the considerations for getting a court order for gender change and the challenges of accessing them in different states.
Second, many states still have difficult and sometimes impossible barriers to updating the gender on government-issued IDs. When lawmakers or agencies won’t budge on these discriminatory policies, litigators tackle the problem in the courts. Come hear from lawyers on the front lines of ID document litigation about the legal arguments, challenges, and results of these unique cases. Join our conversation highlighting the scope and history of gender marker change cases, exploring compelling legal arguments, and discussing when and when not to bring gender change cases to the courts.
Speakers: Sam DePrimio, John Knight, Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Sasha Buchert, Kelly Perigoe, Arli Christian
Healthy Lawyer, Healthy Practice: Well-being in the Legal Profession
As lawyers, law students, and legal workers our journey in the legal profession has its ups and downs and sometimes this can foster a mindset that contributes to a deteriorating well-being. Rates of stress, depression, anxiety, and alcohol and substance abuse is high in our profession. Yet, being the lawyer you have always wanted to be is possible while navigating through a chaotic legal system. This workshop will focus on taking care of yourself, your clients, reducing stress and increasing productivity through a focus on our well-being and a mindfulness practice. Learn tools for avoiding burn-out, coping with stress, strategies for self-care and wellness, increasing productivity and focus, improving time management, improving partner/associate relationships, learn how to deal with difficult people- opposing counsel, clients, witnesses, or judges. Find out about what resources are available and how to overcome barriers to seeking help and how attorney well-being is an important part of firm management.
Speakers: Angie Martell, Kerene Moore, Karen Langsley, Eduardo Juarez, Hon. Steven Kirkland, Bree Buchanan
Navigating the Safety Net with LGBT Elders: A Public Benefits Update
Aging presents challenges for LGBT individuals, not least of which are the legal challenges they may have to face regarding: Medicare, Social Security benefits, long term care (nursing home), and healthcare planning. This program will provide participants with an overview of the federal and state programs regarding these matters, and recent legal developments regarding benefits, especially for same-sex spouses. Topics: Current developments in public benefits under the present administration; Public Benefits and Eligibility Requirements; Retirement Social Security and Supplemental Security Income; Medicare A, B and D; Medicaid, QMB, SLMB, Low Income Subsidy; Long Term Care Medicaid; and Veterans Benefits
Speakers: Murray Scheel, Karen Loewy, Aaron Tax
For a complete list of workshops offered in 2016, please click here.