LGBT Law & Litigator

About the Committee

Mission

Our mission is twofold:

First, we offer programming, publications, and a forum to discuss and learn about cutting-edge litigation and other legal developments affecting the LGBT community. We partner with groups across the ABA and country and work to keep our members informed. Topics include same-sex marriage litigation, school bullying, transgender developments, same-sex adoptions, implicit bias issues in selecting a jury and much more.

Second, we provide a forum for our members to network and to discuss the unique issues that LGBT litigators and allies face. We also work with other ABA groups to support policy statements promoting full equality for LGBT persons and provide ample networking opportunities.

By joining our committee, you will receive our newsletter, LGBT Litigator, which provides updates on legal developments and valuable practical tips on all fronts. You will also receive periodic emails from the Committee with case notes, information on programs, and networking opportunities, and information on how to get involved. You will also receive advance notice of roundtables and CLE programming sponsored by the Committee.

Membership in our committee is open to all members of the Section of Litigation, whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. We hope that you will join us and that we will see you at an upcoming event.

Join this Committee


Message from the Chairs

Dear Members,

As the 2019-2020 cochairs of the ABA’s LGBT Law and Litigator Committee, we are delighted to welcome you. 

This past year was one of continued growth and exciting opportunities for our committee. One of the highlights was the ABA’s second LGBT Forum, which preceded the Section Annual Conference in New York in May. Hundreds of LGBT litigators and friends gathered over two days for breakouts and plenary sessions that focused on legal topics of particular interest to the LGBT community. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the final plenary session featured a discussion on how Stonewall sparked the LGBT+ civil rights movement. Another highlight from this past year was our Roundtable in June on the Supreme Court’s decision to review cases this fall on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act provides protection from employment discrimination for LGBT persons.  

Welcome to 2019-2020: The Year the National LGBT Litigator Network Begins!

We have exciting plans for the 2019-2020 year as well. Our goal this year is to start creating a national network of LGBT litigators, supporting each other professionally and providing networking, referral, and professional development opportunities specifically aimed at the LITIGATOR who is LGBT.  Each month we intend to feature a Sound Advice interview with a prominent LGBT litigator. These interviews will be structured around topics such as coming out to colleagues or opposing counsel, handling gender or sexual identity presentation in motion and trial practice, and the LGBT identity as a business asset or liability. We also aim to receive feedback from you, our members, on these same topics, and that feedback will be featured in our periodic newsletter or on our website. Another goal for this coming year is the creation of a mentorship program to create bridges between older and younger LGBT litigators.

We are also creating substantive content specifically geared to LGBT interests. We are planning further Roundtables on the Supreme Court’s decision to address the scope of Title VII. We will also be presenting a special panel for the Section of Litigation Annual Conference in Washington titled “Othering or Smothering?” on how to create welcoming workplace environments and talk about diversity and inclusion without inviting backlash. We will also be presenting a second panel titled: “The Evolution of Disenfranchisement” to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and examine modern disenfranchisement and what lessons can be learned from the past. This panel may have a very special guest, so stay tuned!

The benefits of joining our committee have never been greater:

  • We are actively proposing panels for Section of Litigation conferences, national and regional, and we are looking for LGBT litigators who are subject matter experts in their respective areas of practice to share their expertise on these panels. If you have an idea for a panel, please let us know! This is a wonderful way to network with other litigators and get your name out there as an expert in your field. 
  • Members also receive our periodic newsletter and the opportunity to connect with other committee members through in-person networking events and online gatherings and interactions.
  • Members are also invited to write on issues in their area of expertise or issues of concern to the LGBT community—we are always looking for authors and speakers, and these opportunities can be a great career-building exercise.
  • We are developing the mentorship program, which will allow us all to share our experiences as LGBT litigators with others and start developing a strong network of LGBT litigators that can support and assist each other professionally.  

But to create this network, we need you! We’d love to get you involved in whatever way makes the most sense for you. Please contact us for more information: Wade Kolb and Michal Rogson. We look forward to hearing from you!


Subcommittees

Our active subcommittees include:

• Programming
• Newsletter
• Web Editor
• Membership

Committee Leadership

Cochairs

Michal Rogson
Tokio Marine HCC Surety Group
Los Angeles, CA

Nathan Pearman

 

Wade Kolb
Wyche, P.A.
Greenville, SC

Editor

Nick Kacprowski
Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing
Honolulu, HI