Click for Barristers/Young Attorneys Section Newsletter Online Version
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Social Media
Upcoming Events
LACBA Section Liaisons
February Section Spotlights
February Spotlight


Barristers/ Young Attorneys Newsletter

Barristers/Young Attorneys Executive Committee Officers:

Diana A. Sanders, President
Jessica G. Gordon, Immediate Past President
Sharon Gelbart, President-Elect
Sarah Kelly-Kilgore, Vice-President
Anne Nash, Assistant Vice President of Outreach
Yujin Chun, Assistant Vice President of Public Relations
J.D. Rees, Assistant Vice President of Special Events
Melissa Hailey, 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: Los Angeles County Bar Association Barristers/Young Attorneys Section (@lacbabarristers)
  • LinkedIn: The Group Name is Barristers/Young Attorneys Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association (
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Upcoming Events
• Bridging the Gap

Please join us on April 4, 2020 at LACBA for this special one-day program featuring prominent attorneys and judicial officers with specific practice area expertise sharing their insights targeted at helping first–year and second-year attorneys make the transition from law student to legal professional.
Register Here

• Barristers Winter Social

Come join us for our Winter Social on Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 40Love in West Hollywood. Arrive early to enjoy complimentary cocktails at this exciting venue.

• Circle of Counsel

The Barristers/Young Attorneys are pleased to present a special event at Greenberg Gross LLP’s downtown L.A. office on April 23, 2020, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., connecting members to top in-house attorneys, including several prominent members of the Business Law Section. This free event will feature a networking reception over cocktail hour, as well as a panel presentation from local GCs about best practices for in-house and outside counsel relationships, transitioning in-house, and the role of the in-house lawyer. Registration information coming soon!

• Connect with Membership

Not yet a member? Connect with our Barristers Membership team leaders Kate McMorrow ( and/or Alison Spirito ( to hear more about the benefits of membership and get on board. We look forward to connecting with you at future events, including the our next Social!

• Announcements from the UCLA Mock Trial Program and the UCLA Anderson School of Management:

You are invited to volunteer as a presiding trial judge or scoring judge at one of the two 2020 collegiate mock trial tournaments in Los Angeles. The 2020 UCLASSIC Mock Trial Competition at UCLA is on Martin Luther King weekend, January 18-20, 2020 and the Opening Round Championship Tournament at the Santa Monica Courthouse is March 7-8, 2020. This year’s case involves a criminal murder or involuntary manslaughter case against a parent arising out of his or her daughter’s death during a mountain hike.

You will see college students present Openings, Closings, Direct & Cross Examinations. Presiding judges will rule on objections and introduction of exhibits, while scoring judges will rate the students’ performances. Some of the top teams in the nation will compete at UCLASSIC, and most of the California/Southwest colleges will be at both tournaments (UCLA, USC, UCI, Cal, Stanford, ASU etc.).

You can volunteer for either or both tournaments. Parking and meals will be included! If you would like to volunteer, please register at the following link: Mock Trial Volunteer Judge Registration Link or e-mail Prof. Gonzalo Freixes of the UCLA Anderson School (faculty advisor for the UCLA Mock Trial teams) at Be sure to indicate if you would prefer to Preside (ruling on evidence) or Score only.

LACBA Section Liaisons

Liaison Position Open for the Social Security Law Section. Apply by February 29, 2020!

Do you specialize in disability claims under the SSA? Are you simply looking to get involved with LACBA and meet titans of the local bar? If so, the Barristers are looking for YOU! We are currently accepting applications for liaisons to the Social Security Law Section of LACBA. Liaisons attend executive committee meetings with their assigned sections and regularly meet with top attorneys in the field. If interested, the application form for both positions is available at, but it closes on February 29, 2020.

Questions? Connect with

February Section Spotlights

Cannabis Law Section: LACBA’s brand new Cannabis Section is blazing a new trail and “Raising the Bar Higher.” California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana and recently adopted a comprehensive and complex regulatory scheme covering the cultivation, manufacture, testing, transportation, and sale of cannabis for both medicinal and adult recreational use. At the same time, possession and commercial production, distribution, and sale of cannabis remain unlawful under federal law. The Cannabis Section will provide many high-impact educational and networking opportunities, including: (a) social mixers at unique, fun locations such as restaurant patios/event spaces, and experiential art installations; (b) brown-bag lunches that provide more intimate opportunities for attendees to get to know each other while having open and organic conversations on topics of interest to them; (c) educational salons on current topics of interest to the legal cannabis industry; (d) “joint sessions” with other LACBA sections; and (e) an annual educational symposium featuring multiple educational panels on a single day.
For more information:
Membership Chair - Griffen Thorne (
Chair - Joshua Mandell (

Labor and Employment Law Section: Are you looking for a collegial section that offers true mentorship and a variety of informative events? Do you practice or have an interest in practicing labor and employment law? If so, consider attending an event or joining LACBA’s Labor and Employment Section!

This section brings together labor and employment law professionals, and is beneficial for general practitioners, in-house counsel, business attorneys, government attorneys and others—labor and employment issues arise in all practice areas. The section is also a great resource for newer attorneys. Its members truly want to mentor and help develop the next generation of attorneys.

All are invited to participate in a variety of events, including the section’s signature Labor and Employment Law Symposium, on March 11, 2020 at the Biltmore Hotel. The day starts with an informative year-in-review panel, features other topics of current interest, and ends with a cocktail hour. Newer admittees and Barristers section members can take advantage of reduced pricing. Find more information here.

The section offers other programs and events as well, such as the annual Retreat, which provides a weekend of instructive programming in a more casual environment; Dinner Programs which highlight important practice topics, practical Saturday Seminars which often are geared to the newer practitioner, instructive Breakfast programs in a variety of locations.

February Barristers Spotlight
Nick Spear is an attorney at Susman Godfrey LLP, a litigation firm that is consistently rated by as the nation’s top litigation boutique. Nick’s practice is focused on high-stakes commercial litigation in state and federal courts across the country, and covers a broad swath of practice areas including government contracts, insurance, intellectual property, real estate, and employment law. He has been at the forefront of challenging improper “cost of insurance” charges by life insurance companies, and recently achieved certification of a nationwide class of nearly 50,000 policyholders against Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company. Nick has also played a key role in a false claims action brought on behalf of cities and counties across California against AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, arguing dispositive motions and deposing many of the core witnesses.

Nick is a member of the LACBA Barristers/Young Attorneys Executive Committee and chairs the Bench Meets Bar Committee. The Bench Meets Bar Reception is the highlight of the Barristers/Young Attorneys events calendar and gives junior attorneys an unparalleled opportunity to interact with leaders in the judiciary. This year’s event, held on January 30, 2020 at the Jonathan Club in Downtown Los Angeles, was another great success, with dozens of state and federal judges in attendance and speeches by Chief Judge Virginia Phillips of the Central District of California and Presiding Judge Kevin Brazile and Assistant Presiding Judge Eric Taylor of the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Nick received his B.A. from UCLA and his J.D. with high honors from the University of Chicago Law School. After law school, Nick clerked for Judge Andrew Hurwitz of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge Philip Gutierrez of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. In his spare time, Nick enjoys watching basketball, trying to listen to every album on Rolling Stones’ 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, and, most importantly, hanging out with his newborn daughter.


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