Click for Barristers/Young Attorneys Section Newsletter Online Version
SEPTEMBER 2021
 
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IN THIS ISSUE
 
Social Media
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Events
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Barristers in the News
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Section/Committee Liaisons Section
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Section Spotlight—Entertainment Law and Intellectual Property
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Pro Bono & Community Investment Spotlight
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Barrister Spotlights
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Get Involved
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Job Board
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Barristers/ Young Attorneys Newsletter

Barristers/Young Attorneys Executive Committee Officers:

Sarah Kelly-Kilgore, President
Sharon G. Gelbart, Immediate Past President
Anne Nash, President-Elect
Nick Spear, Vice President
Jason Parnell, Assistant Vice President of Outreach
Claire-Lise Y. Kutlay, Assistant Vice President of Public Relations
Martin Hirshland, Assistant Vice President of Special Events
Harmony R. Gbe, Secretary
 
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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 (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7071699/)
 
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Events
 

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

  • Bench and Bar Virtual “Brown Bag” Event
    (October 2021)
  • Advice and Guidance for First-Generation Law Students
    (November 2021)
 
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Barristers in the News
 

Congratulations to Barristers/Young Attorneys (BYA) AVP of Special Events Martin Hirshland, who successfully collected a $100,000 judgment on behalf of a client from a judgment debtor who frequently avoids creditors.

Congratulations to BYA Secretary Harmony Gbe, who was selected to join the American Bar Association’s Diverse Leaders Academy (DLA). The DLA provides opportunities for young lawyers from historically underrepresented groups to participate in leadership roles within the ABA’s Section of Litigation.

Congratulations to BYA President Sarah Kelly-Kilgore, who was named as one of Benchmark Litigation’s Labor & Employment Stars for 2021.

 
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Section/Committee Liaisons Application
 

The application period is open for the BYA liaison positions for the following sections:

  • Immigration and Nationality Law
  • Trusts and Estates

Liaisons serve on the executive committee of their assigned section for two-year terms, help foster a connection between the sections, and ensure that the BYA section and its members know of any upcoming events or issues in the liaison’s assigned section (and vice versa). Serving as a liaison can help you get on the fast-track to LACBA leadership both in the BYA and in whichever practice area you choose.

The application form is available here. Applications are due by October 8, 2021. Please feel free to share with anyone who may be interested and contact Nick Spear (nspear@susmangodfrey.com) or barristersliaison@gmail.com with questions.

 
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Pro Bono & Community Investment (New Feature!)
 

The BYA is proud to support our members’ pro bono and community service engagements, and we are pleased to announce that we will be featuring various pro bono and community service opportunities in the coming months. Please follow us on social media for regular updates about how you can get involved in the community. If you would like to get involved immediately, please contact our Pro Bono & Community Co-Chairs, Stephanie Taft (taft@kiesel.law) and Dona Abdo (Dona.Abdo@lewisbrisbois.com). If you would like to be spotlighted for your pro bono and community service engagements, please contact our AVP of Public Relations, Claire-Lise Kutlay (CKutlay@GGTrialLaw.com).

LACBA’s Counsel for Justice (CFJ) supports four legal service projects: the Domestic Violence Legal Services Project, the AIDS Legal Services Project, the Immigration Legal Assistance Project, and the Veterans Legal Services Project. A great way to support these important projects is by selecting CFJ and its projects for a cy pres award. The Cy Pres Committee has undertaken a campaign to raise the visibility of CFJ and its projects among counsel who are active in complex litigation—the source of most settlements that yield cy pres awards—and with mediators in such cases. If you know or work with any mediators or other neutrals who specialize in complex cases and might be interested in learning more about CFJ and its projects, please reach out to LACBA Barristers CFJ Liaison Stephanie Taft (Taft@Kiesel.Law). More information about making a cy pres award to a CFJ legal services project can be found here.

CFJ is also participating in the AIDS Walk Los Angeles 2021’s remote AIDS walk this year, with all proceeds raised will go directly back to LACBA CFJ to support the AIDS Legal Services Project. Please consider joining and fundraising with our team.  Donations can also be made here.  And don’t forget that you can always support CFJ by simply selecting it when shopping at Amazon or Ralphs!

 
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Barrister Spotlights
 

Meet Your BYA Executive Committee

Dona Adbo Headshot

Dona Abdo is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP. She represents domestic and international companies and business entities in a wide array of complex business and commercial matters, including breach of contract and IP assignment agreements, joint venture and partnership disputes, unfair competition and fraudulent business practices, consumer class actions, antitrust, civil RICO and conspiracy, real estate and HOA disputes, employment, and products liability. She recently successfully argued a motion for evidentiary and issue sanctions for spoliation of evidence, thereby barring the plaintiff in a products liability case from presenting any evidence related to causation at trial.

Dona serves on the BYA Executive Committee and as Co-Chair of the Pro Bono & Community Investment Committee.  She also serves on the Executive Board for the LACBA Counsel for Justice and is the Program Chair for LACBA’s Commercial Litigation Section.

In her spare time, Dona is an avid philanthropist and enjoys dedicating her time to various organizations near and dear to her heart like the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities, Baby2Baby, Hashtag Lunchbag, and Pencils of Promise. She is a pro bono attorney for the Alliance for Children’s Rights, where she represents and advocates for abused, neglected, and vulnerable children in the foster care system, as well as runaway and emancipating youth in need of aid or support. Dona is also a Wish Granter for Make-a-Wish Foundation.

For fun, Dona is a whole-hearted and passionate foodie and loves to fully embrace LA’s diverse culture and melting pot (pun intended) one eatery at a time. (She also loves burning off those delicious calories by hiking, dancing, or weight training.) Dona grew up in the Valley and currently lives in Downtown. She received her JD from Loyola Law School and completed her undergraduate education at the University of California, Los Angeles.

 

Member Spotlight

Kelsey Middleton-Headshot

Kelsey Middleton recently joined Goodwin Procter LLP, where she supports the firm's cannabis and complex litigation practice groups. Kelsey attended the UCLA School of Law where she co-founded and served as Co-President of the Cannabis Law Association and completed an externship at the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation. Before law school, Kelsey was a member of Visceral Dance Chicago, a contemporary dance company. Kelsey appreciates that practicing in an emerging industry allows her to tap into her creativity to address novel issues.

Kelsey was recently selected to serve as the BYA liaison to the Cannabis Section and looks forward to connecting young attorneys who may be interested in pursuing legal opportunities in the cannabis industry with attorneys who are established in the space. Kelsey is also passionate about advancing social equity in the cannabis industry. She served on the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association and co-authored a chapter on social equity in VS’s book, The Cannabis Business.

Kelsey lives in Los Angeles with her fiancé, Ryan, and English bulldog, Sherman. In addition to practicing law, Kelsey enjoys art, especially dance and music, and road-tripping across the United States.

 
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Get Involved
 

Interested in getting more involved with the BYA Section? Connect with our AVP of Outreach, Jason Parnell (jparnell@winston.com), 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 Pro Bono and Community Investment.  Committee descriptions can be found at https://www.lacba.org/sections/barristers-young-attorneys/homepage/officers-and-committees.

Interested in being a law student liaison to the BYA Section?  BYA’s Law Student Outreach Committee (LSOC) is currently seeking law students at UCLA, USC, Loyola, Pepperdine, and Southwestern Law Schools to serve as Barristers Student Liaisons for the 2021-2022 academic year.  Student Liaisons will assist LSOC with promoting Barristers events at their respective schools, will be LSOC’s “eyes and ears” for any and all developments at their respective schools, and will be invited to attend Barristers’ monthly Executive Committee meetings.  If you, or a law student you know, is interested in serving as a Student Liaison, please contact barristerslawstudentliaison@gmail.com for more information and to request an application.  Applications are due no later than October 8, 2021.

Interested in being Spotlighted in an upcoming newsletter? Please contact our Media and Marketing Chair, Mary Keller (mkeller@raklaw.com) for more information.

Interested in being a published author? Please consider writing an article for the Barristers' Tips section of the LA Lawyers Magazine. These are one-page columns (800-900 words) that focus on general coverage of a topic that may be of interest to attorneys still fresh to the profession. Past columns include how collaborative attorneys make great family lawyers, novel approaches to correcting the gender wage gap, and the benefits of legal specialization. This is a great opportunity to earn a sizable chunk of free MCLE credit and also to get published in the LA Lawyers Magazine, which is circulated to a huge following of attorneys. Please contact Mary Keller (mkeller@raklaw.com) to sign up and for more information. Articles for the 2022 issues are quickly filling up, so reach out today!

 
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Job Board
 

Looking for a new opportunity? Meyers Nave is hiring attorneys at all levels and staff in Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, and Sacramento. Meyers Nave represents business entities, public agencies, non-profit organizations and public-private partnerships across California as well as clients based in other states that have interests and operations in California. Contact Barristers Networking Chair, Yujin Chun, at ychun@meyersnave.com for more information.

FirstAmerica is actively recruiting for the position of Labor Counsel to work closely with Company business units on labor and employment matters.  FirstAmerica is the largest provider of student transportation and a leading provider of transit management and contracting services in the U.S. and Canada.  FirstAmerica is seeking to fill the position as soon as possible, so apply today!  Click here for more information and the application.

 

 
 
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