Women Leadership in Law
Connect. Engage. Grow
Our inaugural event will bring together some of the greatest law firm and in-house practitioners to participate in insightful discussions on recent topics important to the legal profession and of interest to women leaders. This is a conference/interactive forum, with networking opportunities throughout the event, for current, past or future women leaders in law firms and law departments.
About our Keynote
Eileen M. Decker
Former United States Attorney, Central District of California
Until earlier this year, Eileen M. Decker served as a United States Attorney, and as such was the chief federal law enforcement officer in the Central District of California, a sprawling district based in Los Angeles that encompasses seven counties. Ms. Decker oversaw the largest United States Attorney’s Office outside of the District of Columbia, an office that employs approximately 280 attorneys who serve almost 20 million residents. The United States Attorney’s Office prosecutes the entire range of federal criminal offenses, defends the United States in civil actions, and represents government interests in tax matters.
After being unanimously confirmed as United States Attorney by the United States Senate on June 11, 2015, Ms. Decker was given a four-year appointment by President Barack Obama. As part of her duties, Ms. Decker served on five Attorney General Advisory Committees – Civil Rights, Cyber/Intellectual Property, Terrorism/National Security, Violent and Organized Crime, and White Collar/Fraud. Along with many of her colleagues who were appointed by President Obama, Ms. Decker resigned on March 10, 2017.
Prior to becoming the United States Attorney, Ms. Decker was the Deputy Mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety for the City of Los Angeles for nearly six years. As Deputy Mayor, Ms. Decker was responsible for matters related to the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, and the Emergency Management Department. In addition, she was the principle liaison for the City of Los Angeles to all federal law enforcement agencies.
Ms. Decker was an Assistant United States Attorney for almost 15 years, during which time she investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of cases. During her tenure as an Assistant United States Attorney, she was the first Chief of the National Security Section. She also served as Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime and Terrorism Section and as Deputy Chief of Organized Crime Strike Force.
Prior to becoming an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Decker was in private practice for three years at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles. She also served as a law clerk to United States District Judge Gary L. Taylor in the Central District of California.
Ms. Decker received her undergraduate and law degrees from New York University. She also received a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School and was a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School. In addition, she is a Past President of the Women Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles.
About our Chairs
Deborah S. Chang
Attorney, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Deborah S. Chang is an attorney with the firm of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and was named by Daily Journal as one of the Top Women Lawyers in California in 2016. She was on trial teams that obtained the two largest wrongful death verdicts in California in 2014, four of the top 25 verdicts in California in both 2014 and 2015 – including the largest verdicts received in North County, San Diego (Vista) and Imperial County (El Centro). Deborah is the recipient of the 2014 Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) Consumer Attorney of the Year Award, and was a finalist for the award in 2012 and 2016. She is a member of the Los Angeles chapter of ABOTA, where she serves on the Executive Committee and is a National Board Member. Deborah also serves on the Executive Committee and as a Board Member of the CAOC, and is currently the Third Vice-President and Education Chair for 2017. She is listed in Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers for Southern California.
Cheryl D. Orr
Chair, National Labor and Employment Practice Group,
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Cheryl D. Orr is chair of Drinker Biddle’s national Labor and Employment Practice Group and an elected managing partner of the firm. Cheryl concentrates her practice on defending employers nationwide against complex wage and hour class, collective, and representative actions arising in industries including retail, health care, education, insurance, finance, and manufacturing. She also has a long history of resolving wrongful termination, unfair competition and discrimination cases through a winning motion practice. In addition to litigation, she provides a full range of employment law counseling, audit and training services.
Cheryl is often quoted in the media on employment law issues. She is a frequent writer and lecturer on employment law topics and regularly chairs the American Conference Institute’s national wage and hour class action conference. The Daily Journal has named Cheryl one of California’s Top Employment Lawyers and Top Women Lawyers, and Chambers USA consistently ranks Cheryl as one of the top employment lawyers in California. She is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and a member of the American Employment Law Council.
About our In-House Advisor
General Counsel, Privacy and Compliance Officer, PCV Murcor & General Counsel, VRM Mortgage Services
Dawn Haghighi is General Counsel, Privacy and Compliance Officer for affiliated companies PCV Murcor Real Estate Services, Hightide Settlement Services and Vendor Resource Management in Los Angeles, California. Her career encompasses senior management positions with responsibility for matters at several multi-national corporations, including Assistant General Counsel and Privacy Officer for Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd., Charter One Bank, NA (Royal Bank of Scotland), and Nordstrom, Inc. Ms. Haghighi is a frequent lecturer before corporate boards, foundations and professional organizations around the world. She is active in a number of international, public policy, and not for profit organizations. In June 2011, she served as one of the keynote panelists at the Greenberg Taurig National Executive Women’s Leadership Conference. In recent years, she was selected as a participant to the U.S. – China Economic & Trade Cooperation Forum welcoming PRC Vice President Xi Jinping to Los Angeles (2012), as a delegate t the Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria (2010), as a member of the United States delegation to the Enhancing the Middle East’s Economic Future IV Forum Doha, Qatar (2009), as a participant to the RAND China Reform Forum, in Beijing, China (2004 and 2005) and a presenter to the Supreme People’s Court Mediation and Arbitration Congress in Beijing and Shanghai, China (1990 -1995) and as a delegate to several HKTDC Business Conferences in Honk Kong. Ms. Haghighi also attended the White House Welcome Ceremony for the PRC Premier Wen Jibao (2003). Her community involvement also vests in memberships of a number of international, public policy, and not for profit organizations, she is Vice Chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel National Real Estate Committee, a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy (invitation only) and a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Committee on Foreign Relations (invitation only). She has served on the Boards of The Association of Corporate Counsel SoCal, The Western Justice Center Foundation, and the National U.S. Hong Kong Business Association (past chairmen and founding director). She was also a founding director and secretary of the Princess Cruises Community Foundation. In Chicago, Illinois she served on the board of directors for the Hong Kong Business Association of Midwest (past president), The Association of Corporate Counsel Chicago (past president) and the Chinese American Service League. She is also pro bono consultant to the Rockefeller Pacific Trust advising on the advancement of national and international justice systems, with emphasis on transnational economic activities. Ms. Haghighi has received many professional awards including the Los Angeles Business Journal In-House Counsel Awards (Finalist). Alston & Bird Women of Distinction Award (2011), the Association of Corporate Counsel Robert Townsend Member of the Year Award (2005 – 30,000 membership) and the Association of Media and Entertainment Honoree (2007).
About our Speakers
Elizabeth E. Atlee
Deputy General Counsel, Global Litigation, CBRE, Inc.
Ms. Atlee is Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel for CBRE, Inc. In this capacity, she manages more than 300 active cases and other litigation globally including reporting to insurers, senior managers and the Board on litigation, developing and managing the e-discovery and litigation hold protocols, managing a small department of lawyers and paralegals. Ms. Atlee is also responsible for outside counsel management and legal spend containment among other responsibilities as a senior legal manager. She is a commercial litigator with experience in state and federal courts. She has managed a wide variety of matters including antitrust lawsuits, governmental agency investigations, unfair business practice litigation, contractual disputes, franchise-relations issues, products liabilities allegations and real estate controversies.
Prior to joining CBRE, Ms. Atlee was a Senior Attorney at BP, an international energy company, where she managed litigation as well as state and federal investigations and transacted franchise-related retail agreements.
Ms. Atlee is a member of the California State Bar. She is admitted to practice in all California courts, the United States District Court, Central District of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Cecily T. Barclay
Partner, Perkins Coie LLP
Cecily T. Barclay is a partner in Perkins Coie’s Real Estate and Land Use practice. She is a member of the firm-wide Executive Committee and chair of the firm’s Land Use practice. Cecily previously served on the firm’s Lateral Partner Hiring Committee and was chair of the Land Use practice while a partner at Bingham McCutchen. For more than a decade, Cecily has served as President and a Board Member of two non-profit housing corporations. Cecily also co-authors California Land Use and Planning Law, regularly speaks and writes on topics involving land use and local government law.
Cecily received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, and her B.A. from University of California, Berkeley.
Founder and President of ADR Services, Inc
Lucie Barron is the Founder and President of ADR Services, Inc. Born in Germany to Russian parents, she emigrated to Australia at a young age. Ms. Barron studied psychology in Adelaide before going on to obtain her Masters in Psychology at the University of Sydney. After working as a psychologist for several years, she earned her MBA from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
After relocating to Southern California, personal litigation introduced Ms. Barron to the legal system, where she recognized the value of alternative dispute resolution, an emerging field at that time. In 1994, she founded ADR Services, Inc., which now operates in seven offices across the state, with over 135 conference rooms and 130 retired judges and attorneys. ADR Services, Inc., has expanded at a significant rate due to Ms. Barron’s tenacity and dedication, developing a reputation for successful resolution with its highly diverse and experienced neutrals.
Terry P. Bayer
Chief Operating Officer, Molina Healthcare, Inc.
Terry P. Bayer is chief operating officer for Molina Healthcare, Inc. In this role, Ms. Bayer is responsible for operational oversight of the Company’s state health plans, direct delivery, Molina Medicaid Solutions and Pathways Human Services. Her responsibilities also include health plan support in medical affairs, quality, and provider and member engagement. As COO, she has successfully overseen implementation of Molina’s expansion into new product lines such as the Medicare and Marketplace.
Prior to joining Molina, her professional experience included operations responsibilities at FHP and multi-state responsibility as regional vice president at Lincoln National, Maxicare and Partners National Health Plan, a joint venture of Aetna Life Insurance Company and VHA. She has also served as executive vice president of managed care at Matria Healthcare, president and chief operating officer of Praxis Clinical Services, and as western division president of AccentCare. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the California Water Services Group.
Terry holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Stanford University, a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Northwestern University.
Chief Executive Officer, Berkhemer Clayton
Author of “The Board Game – How Smart Women Become Corporate Directors,” Betsy is CEO and co-founder of Berkhemer Clayton Inc., retained executive search. Her book “The Board Game” reveals how 58 women directors found their first corporate board seats.
Betsy chairs the Los Angeles/Orange County chapter of Women Corporate Directors (WCD), a global nonprofit network of women serving on public and private boards; and is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Society for Corporate Governance. She has been keynote speaker throughout the U.S., and in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
She serves on the boards of the statewide National Association of Women Business Owners-California (NAWBO-CA), also Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN) and was previously on the consumer advisory board at Southern California Edison (SCE), and UCLA Health Sciences Medical Center.
Executive Vice President & Chief Legal
and Administration Officer, Kaplan Inc.
Janice Block is an executive vice president and the Chief Legal and Administrative Officer, at Kaplan Inc., a global education company owned by The Graham Holdings Company. With nearly 400 locations in more than 30 countries and more than 24,000 employees worldwide, Kaplan educates more than one million students and professionals each year.
As Kaplan Inc.’s Chief Legal and Administrative Officer, Janice leads a worldwide team of legal, regulatory, compliance, government relations, human resources and talent development professionals, supporting all facets of Kaplan’s business. She also serves on the board of directors and as an officer of numerous Kaplan entities in the U.S. and overseas.
Janice earned her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Princeton, her M.S. degree in journalism from Northwestern, and her J.D. degree from Columbia. Janice serves on the advisory board of The Center for Women in Law and is active in Global Leaders in Law, through which she has completed leadership programs at both Oxford University and Harvard Business School. Janice was awarded the “Woman of Achievement” award from the Anti-Defamation League in 2014.
Lori A. Bowman
Partner, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Lori Bowman has more than 30 years of experience representing employers in labor and employment law. For several years, Lori has been named a Best Lawyer in America and a Southern California Super Lawyer. Lori graduated from Indiana University School of Law where she was an Editor of the Indiana Law Journal. She received a MA in labor relations from the University of Illinois and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with an AB from Indiana University.
Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
Linda Burrow, partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, is a go-to litigator in the entertainment industry for cases ranging from breach of contract, to copyright and trademark infringement, defamation and right of publicity who has garnered high-profile trial and appellate victories on behalf of her clients. Ms. Burrow also handles a variety of other complex litigation matters.
Ms. Burrow is also committed to pro bono work and has twice been honored by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California for her advocacy on issues of free speech and civil rights. She is consistently recognized as a lead practitioner by a number of legal publications, including Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers and has been honored as one of California’s “Top Women Lawyers” by the Daily Journal for seven of the past eight years (2009 and 2011–present).
Hon. Christine Byrd
Los Angeles Superior Court
Christine Byrd was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2010 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. She has been part of the Family Law Department since appointment, assigned to the San Fernando Courthouse for the first six months and thereafter to Dept. 65 in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. She is a member of the Family Law Curriculum Committee of the Center for Judiciary Education and Research (CJER).
A native of California, Judge Byrd attended Stanford University and then the University of Virginia School Of Law, receiving her J.D. in 1975. Following law school, she served as law clerk to the Hon. William P. Gray in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Prior to her appointment, she was a partner with Irell & Manella LLP for 14 years, from 1996 – 2010, where she handled complex business litigation and specialized in damages in patent litigation. Before that, her legal career included nine years as a partner at Jones Day and five years as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
During her 35 years of law practice, she tried over 20 significant jury and non-jury cases, earning her recognition in Southern California “Super Lawyers” and in “Top California Women Litigators,” and election as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. She also served as a neutral arbitrator in dozens of complex business disputes and was elected as a Fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators.
Her other accomplishments include raising two children, now ages 31 and 24, while practicing law full-time, which she could not have done without the help and support of her late husband, the well-known architect Gary Byrd.
Executive Director, Miguel Contreras Foundation (MCF), Commissioner, Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, Former President of the City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
Araceli Campos is Executive Director of the Miguel Contreras Foundation (MCF), a new 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by local civil rights, labor, and business leaders. MCF’s mission is to serve and empower working families throughout Los Angeles County, including the most underserved, such as immigrants. MCF honors the legacy of late union leader Miguel Contreras, who helped bring previously-excluded workers into the workers’ rights movement and into political power in California. MCF is housed at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
Before MCF, Araceli served as national Corporate Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), one of the largest Latino civil rights organizations in the United States. She supported programs in the areas of education, employment and equal opportunity, immigrant rights, and political access. During her time at MALDEF, the organization brought numerous cases, including against Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB 1070 and against Latino vote suppression in Texas, Illinois, and around the nation. She also helped develop lasting infrastructure supporting several grassroots immigrant youth-led coalitions now leading in California and Texas.
Hon. Judith C. Chirlin, Ret.
Executive Director, Western Justice Center
Judge Judith C. Chirlin (Ret’d), served on the Los Angeles Superior Court from 1985 to 2009. In November of 2011, she became Executive Director of the Western Justice Center (“WJC”) in Pasadena, California. WJC is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a more civil, peaceful society where differences are valued. It designs and implements creative programs that change the way people think about and respond to differences and conflict.
Over her years as a lawyer and on the bench, Judge Chirlin became involved in numerous efforts to improve the legal systems and the administration of justice in California, throughout the nation and around the world. A renowned speaker and educator, Judge Chirlin has traveled extensively, consulting on court reform, human rights and conflict resolution and teaching programs for foreign judges, lawyers, police officers, educators and other professionals in more than 20 countries. Since joining WJC, she has focused on conflict resolution and reduction of prejudice and intergroup conflict in schools and communities.
Attorney, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Erika Contreras is an attorney at Panish, Shea and Boyle. She currently focuses her practice on mass tort pharmaceutical and medical device litigation as well as on catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, and motor carrier liability.
Prior to joining Panish, Shea & Boyle in 2011, Ms. Contreras was an attorney for the A.V. rated firm of Kussman & Whitehill where she represented plaintiffs in cases relating to catastrophic personal injury, product liability and medical malpractice. She has litigated cases involving defectively designed and manufactured tires and was involved in the Bridgestone/Firestone and Continental Tire Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings where she helped injured Plaintiffs recover millions of dollars.
Ms. Contreras received a Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA in English with a minor in French. She then went on to attend Loyola Law School and obtained her J.D., all while working full time at Kussman & Whitehill.
Hon. Elizabeth R. Feffer
Los Angeles Superior Court
Judge Elizabeth R. Feffer was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2007, and currently presides over a civil independent calendar (I/C) general jurisdiction courtroom, at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. Judge Feffer has previously been assigned to civil trial, family law, and criminal departments. Judge Feffer has presided over 70 civil jury trials and over more than 500 civil bench trials. As member of the bench, Judge Feffer has served on a number of court-related committees, both locally and statewide, including the Superior Court’s Rules and Security Committees, the California Judges’ Association’s Civil Law & Procedure Committee, the California Judicial Council’s Judicial Branch Leadership Development Curriculum Committee, the Executive Committee of the California State Bar’s Litigation Section, and the Civil Jury Project at NYU School of Law. Judge Feffer has also written articles pertaining to legal issues published in the Daily Journal, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, CAALA’s The Advocate, the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Gavel to Gavel, and the California Supreme Court Historical Society Newsletter. Judge Feffer earned her B.A. from UCLA, her M.A. from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication, and her J.D. from USC’s Gould School of Law.
Jeanne A. Fugate
Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
Jeanne A. Fugate, partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, has a wide-ranging practice, focusing primarily on employment litigation, complex civil litigation, and securities litigation. Ms. Fugate handles all phases of litigation in state and federal courts across various fields, including employment, contract, real estate, and general business disputes. She also advises clients regarding employment and compliance issues. Ms. Fugate is recognized as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” by the publishers of Super Lawyers and Los Angeles magazines (2016 and 2017) and was previously selected as a “Rising Star” (2009–2014).
Since 2015, Ms. Fugate has served as a board member of the California Bar Foundation and is presently Co-Vice President of the Board. She is also Vice President of the Los Angeles Civil Service Commission, and a board member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Kate S. Gold
Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Kate S. Gold is a partner in Drinker Biddle’s national Labor and Employment Practice Group. Kate’s practice includes defense of individual, collective and class actions and focuses on business and employment litigation and counseling.
She handles matters involving wrongful termination, retaliation, whistle blower, sexual harassment, family leave, discrimination; misappropriation of intellectual property and trade secrets, interference with contract, unfair competition; compliance with federal and state employment laws, including wage and hour, classification of employees, employment issues in the context of purchase and sale of businesses, and noncompetition agreements; executive employment and separation agreements; and employee handbooks and policies.
Founder and President, EOS Consulting Inc.
Deana Kardel is an executive coach and consultant who works with clients to achieve their maximum potential. Drawing on 30 years of business, marketing and dispute resolution experience in executive level positions, Deana advances strategic practices that work to advance her client’s goals and intentions. Her client roster includes high profile partners, in-house counsels, board chairs, CEOs, ADR neutrals, and law school and industry leaders, among others.
Before founding Eos in 2008, Deana served as the Regional Vice President for JAMS where she was responsible for the budgetary and personnel oversight of eight of the company’s Northwest offices. As part of senior management, she led the firm’s strategic business development plan that fostered the company’s growth. Prior to JAMS, Deana built the Client Relations Department for Littler Mendelson from scratch. Proceeding her legal career, she served as a Vice President for a San Francisco based public relations agency and the Director of Sales and Marketing for a national mobile communications company.
Deana is often called a “coach-sultant” because she combines leadership skills, operations, human relations, communications, and business imperatives into one strategic plan. She was recently featured in the Book entitled, Mastering the Art of Success, and presents regularly at retreats and conferences on the topic of Successfully Managing Difficult Conversations.
Partner, Founder, Kaplan Marino
Nina Marino is a 27-year lawyer and a State Bar of California Certified Criminal Law Specialist. Her practice focuses on white collar and complex criminal litigation on both a national and international level. Ms. Marino regularly represents individuals in matters involving allegations of all aspects of fraud, including, wire and mail fraud, health care fraud, insurance, and bank fraud, as well as allegations of money laundering, conspiracy, computer crimes, bribery, and kickbacks, counterfeiting and copyright infringement, tax crimes, securities cases, antitrust matters, and public corruption investigations including FCPA violations. Ms. Marino also represents both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens in matters involving extradition and related Interpol notices. Ms. Marino’s ability to communicate persuasively with all government agencies at every level on behalf of her client has served her client’s interests for nearly three decades, and is only matched by her skills as an effective and aggressive litigator.
Ms. Marino is a regular speaker and author on topics relating to the practice of criminal law. In 2016, the Los Angeles Daily Journal recognized Ms. Marino as one of the top 100 women lawyers in California. In 2015, the Los Angeles Business Journal recognized Ms. Marino as one of the most influential lawyers in the field of white collar and cybercrime in Los Angeles. Since 2004, Ms. Marino has been voted by her peers as a Southern California Super Lawyer and a Top Woman Lawyer.
Ms. Marino is a native New Yorker, transplanted in LA, with residence in Miami and London along the way
Kathleen A. “Katie” McGinty
Partner, Militia Hill Ventures
Kathleen A. “Katie” McGinty is Partner at Militia Hill Ventures, a firm that creates and develops transformative life sciences companies in the Philadelphia region. In 2016 she was the Democratic Nominee for US Senate in Pennsylvania.
McGinty’s public sector career includes chairing the White House Council on Environmental Quality during President Bill Clinton’s administration and as Secretary of Environmental Protection under Governor Ed Rendell.
In the private sector, McGinty led a business cleaning up and redeveloping polluted properties, and developing renewable energy projects. As an Operating Partner with a private equity fund, she helped build successful growth strategies for early stage clean energy, water, and efficiency companies. She also started her own small company, and has been a Director on public and private company boards.
McGinty’s career was launched when she was awarded the Congressional Fellowship of the American Chemical Society and went to work for then-Senator Al Gore developing legislation to strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. high tech companies that commercialize basic research. Just prior, and with a degree in chemistry from St. Joseph’s University and a law degree from Columbia University, McGinty was awarded a judicial clerkship on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the federal appellate court with special jurisdiction over intellectual property matters. McGinty also lived and worked in India, serving as a Senior Visiting Fellow at TERI, a leading energy and environmental organization in New Delhi.
Deirdre M. O’Callaghan
Chief Counsel, Center for Internet Security, Inc.
Ms. O’Callaghan is an experienced in-house attorney. She currently serves as Chief Counsel for the Center for Internet Security, Inc., a nonprofit organization located in East Greenbush NY, which focuses on developing and sustaining cybersecurity standards and related services. She previously served as General Counsel for Gas Turbine Efficiency, Ltd., TerraMesa Development Group and Centex Hospitality Group, as well as Assistant General Counsel and Sr. VP of Development for American Skiing Company. She was also previously a partner in the New England law firm Preti Flaherty, where her practice focused on environmental, energy and government relations matters. She is a graduate of the University of Maine and Columbia Law School.
Stacy D. Phillips
Partner, Blank Rome LLP
Stacy D. Phillips is a Certified Family Law Specialist and one of the country’s most well-known and respected family law practitioners, having achieved virtually every honor available to a lawyer for her work. She is also an author (including Divorce: It’s All About Control – How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, ExecuProv Press), sought-after commentator, speaker and writer, philanthropist, and a tireless advocate for children and families. Throughout her career, she has given back through active involvement as a leader and volunteer in community and nonprofit organizations, as well as multiple professional associations.
At Blank Rome, Ms. Phillips represents a wide variety of high-profile and celebrity clients as they undergo the significant and often difficult changes involved in divorce and custody issues. After more than 30 years of practice, she continues to believe in a philosophy she often shares with her clients: “How we treat others, how we conduct ourselves and how we communicate during difficult times, can alter the course of one’s life.”
In a career filled with extraordinary accolades and accomplishments for both her clients and herself, Ms. Phillips is most proud of her team’s work through their Adopt-A-Center Program. Founded by her former firm Phillips Lerner in 1999 as a way to both give back and support good works, each year the Adopt-A-Center program supports a deserving local nonprofit organization that helps children and families in Los Angeles. Ms. Phillips and her colleagues not only donate and raise money for these worthy organizations, but they also often participate as active volunteers.
Hon. Virginia A. Phillips
Chief District Judge, Central District of California
Chief Judge Phillips was appointed to the United States District Court for the Central District of California by President Clinton on November 15, 1999. She was a Magistrate Judge in the Central District from 1995 until 1999, and served on the California Superior Court for four years before joining the federal bench
Judge Phillips graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Riverside and received her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall). She is a founding member of the Inland Empire chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and the Leo A. Deegan Inn of Court, where she serves as a Judicial Master emerita and was a member of the Board of Directors. She served on the Ninth Circuit Jury Trial Improvement Committee from its formation in 2002, and was appointed Chair of the Committee in 2008.
Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Phillips was a partner in Best, Best & Krieger. She has served in leadership roles with various community organizations, including the Inland Counties Federal Bar Association, Riverside Legal Aid, Riverside Youth Service Center, the Children’s Center of the Inland Counties, the Survive Food Bank of Riverside & San Bernardino Counties, the Riverside Area Rape Crisis Center, and the city’s Human Relations Commission
Amy Fisch Solomon
Partner, Girardi | Keese
Amy Fisch Solomon, a partner with Girardi | Keese, specializes in the areas of professional liability, products liability and catastrophic injury. She is a Past President of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), the largest local plaintiffs bar association in the nation. She has successfully tried over 45 jury and bench trials in both State and Federal courts, and obtained numerous seven and eight figure verdicts and settlements on behalf of her clients. She is Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the International Association of Trial Lawyers. She is on the Board of Directors for the Inner City Law Center, the Western Justice Center and the Consumer Attorneys of California. Ms. Solomon is a past recipient of CAALA’s Ted Horn Memorial Award (2009), and CAOC’s Robert E. Cartwright, Sr. award (2011). She recently was named one of the top 25 Personal Injury lawyers in California, by the Daily Journal. She has been named as a Top Woman Litigator in the State of California by the Daily Journal for the past 12 years. She sits on the Los Angeles County Bar Central Civil Bench/Bar Liaison Committee, the LACBA Presidents Advisory Committee on Women in The Legal Profession and the LACBA Complex Court Committee. Ms. Solomon is a Commissioner for the California State Bar serving on the Judicial Evaluation Nominee Committee. She is on the Board of Overseers of Loyola Law School and the Board of Directors of Loyola Law School Civil Justice Program. She has obtained certification in mediation from the Straus Institute at Pepperdine and mediates cases for colleagues. In her spare time, she mentors both Inner-City High School Students, as well as Law Students, to encourage their participation in the Civil Justice System
Chair, Copyright Group, Fenwick & West LLP
Jennifer Stanley is Chair of the Copyright Group at Fenwick & West. She focuses her practice on intellectual property, technology and media transactions and counsels regularly on copyright protection, strategy, and business model analysis and risk management. Jennifer also advises on copyright disputes and copyright registration matters and she is one of the go-to authorities on intellectual property issues relating to games, content licensing and social media. Jennifer is also a member of the firm’s transactional Privacy and Information Security practice, advising clients on all aspects relating to collection, use and disclosure of personal information, and the legal issues that arise when running sweepstakes, contests and promotions.
Britt K. Strottman,
Principal, Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson, PLC
Britt K. Strottman is a seasoned litigator with 15 years of experience, more than 30 jury trials, and over 60 state and federal administrative hearings. She is a Principal at Meyers Nave and Chair of the firm’s Crisis Management: Public Policy, Ethics and Investigations Practice Group and California Public Utilities Commission Practice Group. In addition to special expertise in high-profile state and federal gas regulatory prosecutions, Britt focuses her practice on municipal law special counsel issues, criminal prosecutions, crisis management, whistleblower matters and workplace investigations.
Britt has earned numerous honors for her expertise, results and leadership in the legal profession, including, “Top 100 Lawyers” (Daily Journal 2016), “Top Women Lawyers” (Daily Journal 2015), “Top 20 Under 40” (Daily Journal 2015), “Giant Slayer” (The Recorder 2015) and “Top Women Lawyers” (Daily Journal 2014).
She has received local, state and national recognition for her successful representation of the City of San Bruno against Pacific Gas & Electric Company in the aftermath of a deadly gas pipeline explosion that attracted international headline news coverage. Britt’s pioneering work on behalf of the City of San Bruno transformed California’s utility regulatory landscape and helped raise awareness about effective utility regulations and gas pipeline related safety issues across the country. Law360 named Meyers Nave a “California Powerhouse,” specifically recognizing that the firm “flexed its muscle” by “marshaling the City of San Bruno through the aftermath of a devastating pipeline explosion.”
Britt’s background includes serving as a Senior Assistant Attorney General at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and a Deputy District Attorney at the San Mateo District Attorney’s Office. In addition to her work as a litigator, Britt previously served as Vice President at Van Prooyen Greenfield LLP, where she developed and implemented litigation, crisis communications and public relations plans for public agencies, law firms, law schools and corporations.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, VRM Mortgage Services & Co-Chair,
The Council for Inclusion in Financial Services
Cheryl Travis-Johnson is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of VRM Mortgage Services and Co-Chair of the Council for Inclusion in Financial Services.
Cheryl’s career in mortgage banking spans over 30 years and includes leadership roles in lending, loan servicing and real estate. Her extensive experience enables her to recognize industry trends and proactively address operational challenges with creative perspective and innovative solutions.
Ms. Travis-Johnson ensures that VRM uses a diverse network of providers, and as a result VRM has been recognized by DiversityBusiness for two years in multiple categories including top African-American, Diversity-Owned and Minority-Owned business. Cheryl is an executive participant on the MBA Diversity & Inclusion Committee. As a part of her involvement, she led the co-development of a new Diversity and Inclusion Self-Assessment Tool. The new tool will enable Lenders, Servicers and Investors to assess, document and measure their compliance with the proposed OMWI standards for diversity and inclusion developed in response to Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act.
She is an active advocate for and participant in various industry organizations including the MBA, NAREB, NAHREP, AREAA, the Asset Manager Forum, California Mortgage Bankers Association and DFW REO Professionals. Ms. Travis-Johnson serves as a director on the board of the non-profit organization, PCV|VRM Seeds of Hope where her leadership through philanthropy serves to educate, enable and empower homeowners in an effort to stabilize neighborhoods and breathe new life into communities.
Susan K. Ullman
General Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel
Susan has spent most of her career as a public servant. She was the first female law clerk to Judge John R. Bartels (E.D.N.Y.), an Assistant Attorney General with the Wisconsin Department of Justice for 6 years, and a Senior Trial Counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice for 16. Susan has litigated cases before the EEOC, the MSPB, all three levels of the Wisconsin state court system, federal district courts, federal courts of appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court, and an international tribunal in The Hague. Recent constitutional issues have included an Eighth Amendment challenge to the treatment of inmates at the federal Supermax prison, an Equal Protection challenge to the questioning of Muslims re-entering the U.S., and a separation of powers issue concerning the Office of Special Counsel. Susan started as the General Counsel at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel on January 17, 2017.
Lisa Von Eschen
Partner, Lamb & Kawakami LLP
Lisa Von Eschen, Esq. counsels businesses and non-profit organizations on employment law compliance, including exempt classifications, leaves of absence, discipline, terminations and reductions in force. She advises companies and executives on employment contracts, commission plans, restrictive covenants and severance agreements. Ms. Von Eschen drafts personnel handbooks, leads internal investigations, and conducts preventive training on harassment and other employment topics. She has successfully litigated wrongful termination, discrimination and wage and hour cases for almost 25 years.
Hon. Elizabeth Allen White
Los Angeles Superior Court
Judge Elizabeth Allen White sits in Department 48 of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse where she handles general jurisdiction trial matters. She was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1997 and elevated upon unification to the Los Angeles Superior Court where she’s served since 2000. Judge White holds a B.A. from UCLA and a JD from Loyola Law School. She has served as an Instructor for UCLA Extension’s Paralegal Training Program since 1998 and Adjunct Faculty for Loyola Law School from 2002-2005. She has served as adjunct faculty for USC’s LLM program and Summer Law and English Program since 2012. Judge White serves as Chair of the Civil Law Sub-committee for Judicial Education Seminars for the Los Angeles Superior Court and is frequent faculty for judicial education courses. She is the author of the Rutter Group’s California Paralegal Manual on Civil Procedure and a co-author of the California Paralegal Manual on Civil Trials and Evidence, the California Paralegal Manual on Personal Injury and the California Paralegal Manual on Corporations.
The Montage Beverly Hills
225 N Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Registration & Breakfast
8:00am - 8:55am
Introduction by Co-Chairs
8:55am - 9:00am
Women Success Stories: I'm With Her
9:00am - 10:00am
Our esteemed panel will share successes nearly three decades out of school. They will discuss how they used their law degrees to advance their varied and diverse careers and how they have dealt with challenges and supported each other in both their professional and personal lives.
Cheryl D. Orr, Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP
Janice Block, EVP, Chief Legal and Chief Administrative Officer, Kaplan, Inc.
Katie McGinty, Partner, Militia Hill Ventures
Deirdre O’Callaghan, Chief Legal Counsel, Center for Internet Security
Susan Ullman, General Counsel, U.S. Office of Special Counsel
Women in the Courtroom
10:00am - 11:00am
Recent statistics published by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession concluded that women are significantly and shockingly underrepresented as lead trial lawyers in court. Join this powerhouse panel to see the successful women trial lawyers who are sitting in courtroom tables as first chairs at significant trials – and paving the way for other women to follow.
Deborah Chang, Attorney, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Linda Burrow, Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
Amy Fisch Solomon, Partner, Girardi | Keese
Britt K. Strottman, Principal, Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson, PLC
11:00am - 11:20am
Women in the Boardroom
11:20am - 12:20pm
The panel will discuss the representation of women in the C-suite and on corporate boards and how to best leverage abilities and talents to achieve positive business results. Our presenters will also share advice on how to get a seat at the table and successfully navigate the myriad issues facing women in leadership roles and explore wide-ranging ways to create a culture of inclusion. Board-ready attorneys will gain insights, tools, and connections to learn, advance, and lead.
Dawn Haghighi, General Counsel, Privacy & Compliance Officer, PCV Murcor and General Counsel, VRM Mortgage Services
Terry P. Bayer, Chief Operating Officer, Molina Healthcare, Inc.
Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, Chief Executive Officer, Berkhemer Clayton
Araceli Campos, Executive Director, Miguel Contreras Foundation; Commissioner, Los Angeles City Ethics Commission; Former President, City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
Cheryl Travis-Johnson, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, VRM Mortgage Services & Co-Chair, The Council for Inclusion in Financial Services
Keynote Luncheon: "Trials By Fire--Leading and Managing Through Crisis"
12:20pm - 1:30pm
Eileen Decker, Former United States Attorney, Central District of California
Interviewed by Nina Marino, Founder, Partner, Kaplan Marino
The Career Trajectory of Women in Law: Paths and Opportunities
1:30pm - 2:30pm
This panel is comprised of accomplished women in Law who have each taken (and continue to take) different paths to success and fulfillment. Each of these women — and their career choices — exemplify the myriad opportunities and transitions that a lawyer can experience. Whether they began in government, a large firm, or a small firm, and transitioned to a different-sized firm, to the bench, or to private industry, this distinguished group of attorneys has wrestled with the same life events, work environments, and career decisions as the women attending this conference. This panel will highlight the wealth of opportunities available today to women in Law, examine the positives and negatives of different trajectories, and comment on their personal experiences with change.
Stacy D. Phillips, Partner, Blank Rome LLP
Cecily Barclay, Partner, Perkins Coie LLP
Hon. Christine W. Byrd, Los Angeles Superior Court
Kate S. Gold, Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP
Jennifer Stanley, Partner, Fenwick & West LLP
Lisa Von Eschen, Partner, Lamb and Kawakami LLP
2:30pm - 2:50pm
Communication Skills for Women: How to Be Heard
2:50pm - 3:50pm
Effective communications are critical to one’s progress and success. As leaders, we often negotiate contracts, ask for business, disagree in a group, say no to someone, communicate a bad reviews, oppose disrespectful, discriminatory or bad behavior, end a relationship, ask for money, or give directives to colleagues and staff, the list goes on. This session will focus on various communication practices that worked to champion this panel’s career success.
Deana Kardel, Principal, EOS Consulting, Inc.
Elizabeth E. Atlee, Deputy General Counsel, Global Litigation, CBRE, Inc
Lucie Barron, Founder and President, ADR Services, Inc.
Lori Bowman, Partner, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Jeanne Fugate, Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
Women on the Bench
3:50pm - 4:50pm
Erika Contreras, Attorney, Panish Shea & Boyle LLP
Hon. Judith C. Chirlin, Ret., Executive Director, Western Justice Center
Hon. Elizabeth R. Feffer, Los Angeles Superior Court
Hon. Virginia A. Phillips, Chief District Judge, Central District of California
4:50pm - 5:30pm
- The Report on the Status of Women and Girls - Part 1
- The Report on the Status of Women and Girls - Part 2
- The Report on the Status of Women and Girls - Part 3
- The Report on the Status of Women and Girls - Part 4
- The Report on the Status of Women and Girls - Part 5
- Dress for Success - Donations and Tuck $20
- Western Justice Center's 11th Annual Robert I. Weil Lecture
- State high court should weigh in on campus sexual assault decision
- Difficult Converstaions (Communication Skills for Women: How to Be Heard)
- Show Me the Culture and I'll Show You the Money (Communication Skills for Women: How to Be Heard)
- Managing-Partners-Seeking-Higher-Profits-Look-at-Your-Culture (Communication Skills for Women: How to Be Heard)
- Health Care Fraud Sweeps Continue
- Purging Racial Prejudice from the Administration of Justice
- The Trump Administrations’ Shifting Priorities
- Wanted in Interpol
- The Accidental Defendant
- A Letter from Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti
- Recommended Reading List - Career Trajectory Panel (The Career Trajectory of Women in Law: Paths and Opportunities)