Bryan Cave

Diversity






"Promoting and embracing diversity is a core value at Bryan Cave, and each of us is responsible for fulfilling this commitment. Diversity at Bryan Cave means a professional home where people of all backgrounds and perspectives can achieve personal success and contribute meaningfully to the success of the firm. Diversity brings depth and richness to our individual professional experiences, binds us to the communities where we practice, and makes our firm a better place. In the following pages, you will find highlights of our diversity initiatives, a summary of recent news and events, and information about our affinity groups, recruiting efforts and Diversity Committee."
 
   – Don Lents, Chair of the Firm

 

DIVERSITY NEWS & EVENTS

New York Women’s Forum Hosts Annual Shoe Event


The New York Women’s Forum, led by associates Anna Nazarenko and Carolyn Rincon, hosted its annual shoe event March 4th. More than 80 clients and attorneys privately shopped for shoes and handbags at the Stuart Weitzman Boutique. The event was inspired by Bryan Cave’s firmwide philosophy that women benefit when they network with other women. The Women’s Forum works to promote the professional development and advancement of women lawyers at the firm and addresses issues related to the retention and promotion of women lawyers.



Bakewell Receives Missouri Lawyers Women’s Justice Award


The 2014 Women’s Justice Awards selection committee has named Ketrina Bakewell, a partner in Bryan Cave’s St. Louis office, a winner in its litigation practitioner category. Presented by Missouri Lawyers Weekly, the award recognizes women litigation practitioners who improve the quality of justice and contribute to the betterment of the profession. The Missouri Lawyers Women’s Justice Awards, now in its 16th year, recognizes women across the state of Missouri who have demonstrated leadership, integrity, service, sacrifice and accomplishment in improving the quality of justice and exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession. The awards reach out to women in various segments of the legal community, including the bar, the bench, public office, business, academia, nonprofits and the state at large.



Bryan Cave Hosts LGBT Receptions


Bryan Cave's Kansas City and St. Louis offices hosted receptions for LGBT law students to learn more about the firm's LGBT lawyers and affinity group, as well as the group's signature pro bono client, the Family Equality Council (FEC), on whose behalf Bryan Cave filed amicus briefs in United States v. Windsor, which challenged the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenged California's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions. Bryan Cave New York partner Bill Hibsher and FEC's Executive Director, Gabriel Blau, were featured speakers. The events were very well received with over 100 guests in attendance at each reception, including clients, law students, community members, and Bryan Cave lawyers.



Bryan Cave Honored by Orange County Lavender Bar Association


The Orange County Lavender Bar Association (OCLBA) recently honored Bryan Cave and the Family Equality Council (FEC) as joint recipients of the M. Katherine B. Darmer Outstanding Community Service Award. The award is named in memory of the late Katherine Darmer, a founding member of the association's board of directors, and recognizes individuals and organizations that make extraordinary contributions to the advancement of LGBT equality. The award was presented for the firm's representation of the FEC in filing the "Voices of Children" amicus brief in United States v. Windsor, which challenged the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenged California's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions.

The award was presented at the OCLBA's third anniversary celebration hosted by Bryan Cave at the firm's Irvine office. Well over 250 people were in attendance, including Bryan Cave management, lawyers, and summer associates; and a dozen judges, elected officials, and local reporters.



Bryan Cave to be Honored at Family Equality Council Event


In recognition of Bryan Cave's role in the historic U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning marriage equality, the Family Equality Council will host an evening to thank supporters and celebrate Bryan Cave on June 6, at The Westin New York Grand Central. The firm represented the Family Equality Council in filing an amicus brief in United States v. Windsor, which challenges the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges California's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions.

At the June 6 event, Bryan Cave New York Partner Bill Hibsher will discuss the strategy and development of the amicus brief, which focused on the stigmatizing effect of Proposition 8 and DOMA on children of same-sex parents. The brief's expression of the "voices of the children" has brought attention from academics, the press, interest groups and citizens nationwide. And at oral argument in the case, Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen by some to be a pivotal justice in this case, specifically asked proponents of Proposition 8 why the approximately 40,000 children of unmarried same-sex couples in California should be stigmatized and inquired about the voices of children.

Hibsher, David Greene, Katherine Keating and Lee Marshall filed the brief, which concludes: "While the Proponents will tell you that Proposition 8 and DOMA are good for children, children raised by same-sex parents will tell you otherwise. These children will tell you that Proposition 8 and DOMA stigmatize and de-legitimize their families. And they will tell you that their families are just as deserving of recognition, respect, and protection as those of children with opposite-sex parents." Robert Esposito, Liz Kukura and Yvonne Herron also worked on the brief. The Supreme Court is expected to decide both cases by the end of June.

Hibsher has long been a pillar of the LGBT community in New York and a pioneer in the fight for LGBT civil rights nationally. He has given more than 25 years of service to leadership and mentoring to the LGBT legal community. The Family Equality Council provides a community of support to LGBT moms, dads and their children.

At Bryan Cave, Hibsher has experience litigating trial and appellate matters in federal and state courts and before arbitration tribunals involving a variety of industries. He has litigated numerous matters on behalf of financial institutions and he has conducted internal investigations for financial institutions in the United States and abroad.

Amicus Brief for Family Equality Council