Click for Barristers/Young Attorneys Section Newsletter Online Version
APRIL 2021
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Social Media
Section Spotlight
Barristers Spotlights
Get Involved


Barristers/ Young Attorneys Newsletter

Barristers/Young Attorneys Executive Committee Officers:

Sharon G. Gelbart, President
Diana A. Sanders, Immediate Past President
Sarah Kelly-Kilgore, President-Elect
Anne Nash, Vice-President
J.D. Rees, Assistant Vice President of Outreach
Janette Blair, Assistant Vice President of Public Relations
Melissa Hailey, Assistant Vice President of Special Events
Nick Spear, Secretary
Social Media

To stay connected with us and receive information about events, updates and opportunities, follow us on the following social media forums:

  • Instagram: Follow @lacbabarristers
  • Twitter: Be one of the first to follow @LACBAbarristers
  • Facebook: Like our page @lacbabarristers
  • LinkedIn: Connect with us. Group Name: Barristers/Young Attorneys Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association (
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New Admittee Celebration: The Circus of Life! (April 29, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.) [TOMORROW]

This past year has been something of a circus—from remote appearances to working and studying from home, to putting up with trial and exam delays, everyone could use a little fun. What better way to enjoy yourself than with a special circus performance dedicated to the newest members of the L.A. legal community?

All LACBA members and passers of the 2020 California Bar are invited to join us in welcoming our newest colleagues. Following a brief introduction and congratulations, viewers will be treated to a series of circus-style performances via Zoom.

Registration is free for all LACBA members and can be completed here.

We hope to see you all there!

Event Review—E-Discovery Principles with U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Audero (March 9, 2021) by Todd Berman

The BYA’s Professional Development Committee presented a CLE webinar, “E-Discovery Principles,” about electronic discovery and related “Sedona Principles” that are most relevant to Barristers/Young Attorneys members.

Each of the three panelists presented a unique vantage point: the Honorable Maria A. Audero (United States Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California) presented a view from the bench; Heather L. Plocky (Partner, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP) presented a view from the defense side, and Rohit Nath (Associate, Susman Godrey LLP) presented a view from the plaintiff perspective.

A lively question and answer session followed the well-attended presentation. All registrants received the PowerPoint, a related supplement, and 1.0 hour of CLE credit.

Todd Berman is a tutor for the bar, law school professor, and member of the Barristers/Young Attorneys Executive Committee.

Event Review—But First, Unmute Yourself: Guerrilla Tactics for Virtual Lawyering, a Barristers' Networking Affair (March 18, 2021) by Justin Gordon

The BYA’s Networking Committee hosted an evening of storytelling and networking regarding the twists and turns of litigating in the world of COVID-19. The attendees had a great discussion, reflecting on how the past year has affected their practices, from interviewing for new jobs, taking remote depositions, mediations, and even trials, as well as virtual marketing strategies. Several BYA members presented on their interesting pandemic-related lawyering experience, discussed what aspects over the past year they would like to keep in their practice, and what they are ready to resume once the pandemic is over. The group then split up into break-out rooms and engaged in some good old-fashioned networking.

Justin Gordon is a partner at the firm of Gordon & Gordon LLP, a boutique firm specializing in trusts, estate planning, and real estate. Justin is a member of the Barristers/Young Attorneys Executive Committee and a co-chair of the Networking Committee.

Be on the lookout for news about our other upcoming spring events, including:

  • Joint Event with Cannabis Section (May 13, 2021)
  • Bench & Bar Virtual “Bench Meets Bar” Event (May 20, 2021)
  • Bar Preparation Workshop (May 24, 2021)
  • Legal Issues Surrounding the Gender Pay Gap (June 2021)
  • What Does Zealous Advocacy Mean? A Primer for Young Attorneys (June 2021)
Section Spotlight—Litigation Section

LACBA’s Litigation Section brings together judicial officers and trial attorneys from across L.A. County, and is one of the best resources for new and young litigators. Section members are invited to participate in events, including networking receptions with local practitioners, top-notch CLE programs led by some of L.A.’s best lawyers, and brown-bag lunches with esteemed trial judges.

The Litigation Section also provides regular “Court Alerts” through its newsletters, which detail local court closures, courtroom relocations, and special hearing dates—information critical to any new litigator’s success! Access “Court Alerts” here.

Upcoming Litigation Section events include: 

  • Bernard Witkin Lecture featuring California Supreme Court Justice Martin Jenkins on April 15, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Pathways to the Bench Conversation featuring Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Stephanie Bowick, Rupert Byrdsong, Holly Fujie, and California Court of Appeal Justice Luis Lavin on May 4, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Annual “State of the Courts” Presentation featuring Central District of California Chief Judge Philip Gutierrez, Los Angeles Superior Court Presiding Judge Eric Taylor, and California Court of Appeal Presiding Justice Elwood Lui on June 10, 2021.

You can find more details about these events and register by visiting LACBA's Event Calendar.

For additional information about the Litigation Section, refer to its Facebook page and remember to “Follow” and “Like” for the most up-to-date information! You can also contact the Section’s BYA Liaison, Harmony Gbe, at

Barrister Spotlights

Meet Your BYA Executive Committee

Martin Hirshland photo

Martin Hirshland is a third year associate at Lavely & Singer, P.C. Martin practices mostly business, intellectual property, and contract litigation, with his firm boasting a who’s who list of celebrities and entertainment industry professionals. Martin graduated from Loyola Law School in 2018, where he was co-President of the school’s Entertainment and Sports Law Society. Martin became interested in practicing law at a young age, and, while growing up in Silverlake, was surrounded by people involved in the world of entertainment, including his mother (entertainment and lifestyle journalist) and father (music publisher).

As part of the Barristers/Young Attorneys Section, Martin serves as the co-chair of the Law School Outreach Committee, and works to help law students at Los Angeles area campuses take advantage of the benefits of LACBA membership. The Committee recently hosted two successful events, one focusing on advice for students to ace their OCI and other job interviews, and another on the benefits of a federal clerkship. Martin has been a member of BYA since 2018, and previously served on the BYA's Bench & Bar Committee.

Martin recently was second chair on his first trial, a bench trial involving a breach of contract claim by a movie producer, which was conducted completely via Zoom. The experience taught him that despite the technological necessities of a pandemic practice, effective advocates can still present their arguments clearly, and young lawyers can successfully leverage their skills with technology to provide added value to their client’s cases.

Martin lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend and cat Franco, and enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and taking weekend road trips (work permitting!).

Member Spotlight

Nicholas Morello photo

Nicholas Morello is a new member of the Barristers/Young Attorneys section, and a recent JD/MSF graduate from the University of Arizona (Class of 2020). After working as a judicial extern and as a summer associate in Phoenix, AZ’s big law scene, he developed an interest in the corporate world, and decided to obtain his Master of Science in Finance degree alongside his J.D. While in graduate school, Nicholas wanted to get as involved as he could, and served as the Business Editor and a writer for the Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law. He also worked as a graduate student supervisor for UArizona’s Applied Portfolio Management course, where he learned how the worlds of finance and law can often intersect.

While most of his experience stems from Tucson’s and Phoenix’s legal scenes, Nicholas knew upon graduating that he wanted to head out west to LA to start his professional life, and plans to relocate to the city following the conclusion of his clerkship in Arizona early next year. In preparation for the move, Nicholas sat for the October 2020 California Bar Examination, and received the news in January that he passed. He also joined LACBA to get to know Southern California’s legal scene. LACBA has been a great experience for Nicholas, and his desire to get involved has continued on from law school, as he serves as a Barristers liaison and on the BYA's Bench & Bar Committee.

In his spare time, he enjoys weight-lifting, reading SciFi books, competitive game nights with friends, golf, and exploring Arizona’s hiking scene. He is looking forward to exploring Los Angeles’s outdoor scene, such as Griffith Park and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Get Involved

Interested in getting more involved with the BYA Section? Connect with our AVP of Outreach J.D. Rees ( to hear about the various BYA Committees and benefits of membership. The Committees are: Bench and Bar, Law Student Outreach, Networking, Professional Development, Media and Marketing, Membership, and Counsel for Justice (CFJ). Committee descriptions can be found at


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