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Women Leadership in Law

Austin Holian
 •  $195 - $245

This 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

Kathryn H. Ruemmler

Former Counsel to President Barack Obama

Kathryn H. Ruemmler has built a reputation as a respected and formidable litigator with an unusual breadth of experience in crisis management, policy development and regulatory and enforcement matters. Ms. Ruemmler served for more than five years in the Obama Administration, first in the Department of Justice and later as Counsel to the President. As one of President Obama’s most senior advisors, she provided strategic advice on all legal matters implicating domestic and foreign policy and national security; advised on all significant litigation, including the most highprofile and consequential cases heard by the US Supreme Court; managed the Administration’s response to congressional and other investigations and oversaw the selection and nomination process for the federal judiciary. Prior to her tenure in the Obama Administration, Ms. Ruemmler served as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the DOJ, one of the Department’s most senior positions, and worked for six years as a federal prosecutor, including as Deputy Director of the Enron Task Force and one of the case’s lead prosecutors. Ms. Ruemmler’s work on that case earned her the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the DOJ’s highest recognition. Ms. Ruemmler received her B.A. cum laude from the University of Washington and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was Editor-in-Chief of The Georgetown Law Journal. She clerked for the Hon. Timothy K. Lewis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Our Special Guest

Special Guest Speaker – Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis is an award-winning actress and best-selling author who, from an early age, learned from her mother, Janet Leigh, to use  her celebrity to bring exposure to worthy charitable causes.   She has advocated for children affected by cancer and AIDS and was the face and voice of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  Recently, she has dedicated her energy and advocacy to electing progressive, smart women to the California legislature with Fund Her.  She has explained, “Now is the time to put women at the  helm.  Because if women lead California, they will lead the nation.  And if they lead the nation, they will lead the world.”  For her dedication over a lifetime of empowering women, Ms. Curtis is the first recipient of the Women Leadership in Law Award.


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.  She was on the trial teams that obtained a recent $160,500,000 verdict for a brain injury in Las Vegas, the two largest wrongful death verdicts in California in 2014, and 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 has recently been named by the Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California for 2017, one of the Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California for 2017, and as one of the Top Women Lawyers in California for 2016, 2017, and 2018.   She 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, 2016, and 2017.   At this year’s 56th Annual Convention, the CAOC Women’s Caucus honored her with its Consumer Advocate of the Year Award for her outstanding commitment to furthering the education and careers of women trial lawyers.  Deborah is a member of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (“ABOTA”), where she serves on the Executive Committee and is a National Board Member.  She is also on the Executive Committee (2nd Vice President) of the CAOC, and was the Education Chair for 2017.  She is listed in Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers for Southern California.



Linda Kornfeld  

Partner, Blank Rome LLP

Linda Kornfeld is partner and vice chair of the Insurance Recovery Practice at Blank Rome LLP. She represents companies in high-stakes insurance coverage litigation and has helped recover hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance assets through settlements and trial, including in high-profile matters dealing with cybersecurity/data privacy issues.



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 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. In 2018, she was named as the exclusive Lexology Client Choice Award winner for Employment & Benefits in California.  Cheryl is also a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and a member of the American Employment Law Council.

About our In-House Advisor

Dawn Haghighi
General Counsel, Privacy and Compliance Officer

PVC Murcor Real Estate Services

Ms. Haghighi is the principal company legal officer responsible for oversight and leadership of all legal aspects of the business, including corporate affairs, strategic corporate initiatives, complex transactions, cyber-security, privacy, litigation, employment, IP, licensing, governance and board activities.   Prior to joining Murcor, her legal career encompassed senior management positions at global institutions including Princess Cruise Lines, Charter One Bank (RBS), Nordstrom and leading law firms.

Ms. Haghighi is a frequent lecturer before corporate boards, foundations and professional organizations around the world.  She is active in and serves on the board of directors of a number of public policy, and not for profit organizations including serving in a number of leadership roles with the Association of Corporate Counsel “ACC” and is a member of the 2020 Women on Boards Host Committee SoCal.

Ms. Haghighi has received many professional awards including the ACC Outstanding Committee Member of the Year (2017), the ACC Advocacy Award (2017), Los Angeles Business Journal Corporate Counsel Awards finalist (2012), Alston & Bird Women of Distinction Award (2011), the ACC Townsend Member of the Year Award (2005)  and the Association of Media and Entertainment Honoree (2007)

About our Panelists

Renée Becnel

Vice President, Business Affairs and Chief Legal Officer, Meridith Baer Home

Renée Becnel is Vice President, Business Affairs and Chief Legal Officer of Meridith Baer Home, the country’s largest home staging and interior design company.

With over twenty years of professional experience and increasingly higher degrees of responsibility, she most recently served as the outside General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of LightBeam Electric Company, Inc./Energy Asset Corporation, and previously held positions with Occidental Petroleum Corporation and with Young & Rubicam Inc. Ms. Becnel began her career with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP in New York as an Associate.

Ms. Becnel has been active in several professional societies and served as a Director on the Board of the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Inc.  She is a member of the Board of Visitors of Duke Law School and serves on Duke’s Southern California alumni board.

Ms. Becnel received A.B. (Economics and French) and J.D./LL.M (International Law) degrees from Duke University. She is admitted to practice in the California and New York Bars.



Katherine J. Blair

Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Katherine Blair is co-chair of Manatt’s capital markets practice. She primarily advises companies on public and private offerings, corporate finance, federal, state and stock exchange disclosure, compliance and governance requirements and mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Blair is co-chair of the Business and Corporations Law Section of the LA County Bar Association, vice chair, Publications for the Corporations Committee, Business Law Section of the California Lawyers Association, and serves on the Board of Advisors for




Hon. Deborah S. Brazil

Los Angeles Superior Court

Judge Deborah S. Brazil was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2013, and currently presides over a felony arraignment calendar at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.  Judge Brazil has presided over

misdemeanor and felony jury trials since her appointment.  Prior to her appointment to the bench, she worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles.  In 2012, she was named California Lawyer’s Attorney of the Year in Criminal Law by California Lawyer, and honored as Prosecutor of the Year by the Los Angeles County Bar Association.  As a member of the bench, Judge Brazil has served on a number of court-related committees both locally and statewide, including the Bail Committee and statewide Judicial Education Services Committee.  Judge Brazil is also an Adjunct Professor at Southwestern Law School, teaching Trial Advocacy since 2010.  She earned her B.A. from UCLA and her J.D. from Southwestern Law School.




Linda BurrowLinda M. Burrow

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).


Carla Christofferson

Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, AECOM

Carla Christofferson is Executive Vice President and Chief Legal officer for AECOM, a Fortune 200 company that designs, builds, finances and operates assets for governments, businesses and organizations in more than 150 countries. In this role, Ms. Christofferson oversees all aspects of AECOM’s global legal function and leads its team of more than 100 lawyers and compliance professionals. Her areas of responsibility include risk management, ethics and compliance programs, SEC-reporting requirements, M&A and other transactional-related legal activities, and all legal support of global operations. She is also a member of AECOM’s Executive Leadership Team at the enterprise level.

Prior to joining AECOM in 2015, Ms. Christofferson was Managing Partner at O’Melveny & Myers, LLP, in Los Angeles — a position she held since 2008. During her 22-year tenure at the firm, she represented clients in a number of industries, including power, energy and oil and gas. She began her career as a judicial clerk for the Honorable W. Matthew Byrne, Jr., of the U.S. District Court, Central District of Los Angeles. She was also co-owner of the Los Angeles Sparks Women’s National Basketball Association team from 2006 – 2013.


Hon. Jacqueline Connor (Ret.)

ADR Services, Inc.

Hon. Jacqueline Connor (Ret.) is a full-time mediator at ADR Services, Inc. Following a distinguished 25 year career on the Los Angeles Superior Court, where she developed a strong reputation for settlement and gained national recognition as an expert on jury trials and juror behavior, she now mediates business, employment, personal injury, real estate, medical malpractice, products liability, and consumer rights disputes. She is a frequent speaker on topics relating to jury trials, trial practice during the age of smartphones and social media, and many other subjects pertaining to litigation practice. Judge Connor has been named “Judge of the Year” by multiple organizations, one of the Top 100 lawyers in the state, and in 2013 was designated one of California’s Top 50 Rising Stars in ADR



Katessa Charles Davis

Shareholder, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Katessa Charles Davis is a shareholder in the Los Angeles office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P. C.   Ms. Davis is responsible for all aspects of employment litigation matters on behalf of employers and management, including trials and arbitrations.  Ms. Davis has tried to verdict in state and federal court employment matters involving gender, race, and disability discrimination and harassment, as well as retaliation and wrongful termination.  Ms. Davis provides preventive counseling to clients concerning personnel and employment matters.

Ms. Davis is a past President of the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation, a past Trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and a past President of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. Ms. Davis is a member of the Labor and Employment Law Sections of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She is also a past member of the Executive Committee of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California.



Presiding Justice Lee Smalley Edmon    

California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Three     

Presiding Justice Lee Smalley Edmon joined the Second District Court of Appeal on January 5, 2015.  In 2000, she was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court and served for the years 2011 and 2012 as the court’s first woman Presiding Judge.  Justice Edmon has served on numerous court-related committees, both locally and statewide, including serving as a member of the California Judicial Council.  Justice Edmon frequently writes and lectures on civil procedure topics and is a current edition author of The Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide: Civil Procedure Before Trial.  Justice Edmon is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and was a partner at Dewey Ballantine LLP before her appointment to the bench.  As a lawyer, she was active in many local bar organizations, including serving as President of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and on the boards of numerous legal service organizations.  Justice Edmon has also been active in the American Bar Association and served as President of the American Bar Endowment and as a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.  She is currently national cochair of the Judicial Intern Opportunity Program of the ABA’s Section of Litigation and is Chair of the State Bar’s Rules Revision Commission (which has proposed comprehensive revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct).


Matthew Fawcett

Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, NetApp

As senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary for NetApp, Matt Fawcett is responsible for all legal affairs worldwide, including corporate governance and securities law compliance, intellectual property matters, contracts, and mergers and acquisitions. He led the transformation of NetApp’s legal department into a globally-recognized, high-performance organization with a unique commitment to innovation.

As one of the leading voices on the intersection of law, technology, and business, Matt was named “One of America’s Top 50 General Counsels” by the National Law Journal and is widely recognized for redefining the role of legal counsel in the modern corporation. He is both a frequent speaker and author on the topics of innovation in the legal industry and leadership and management issues broadly.  Some of his recent articles can be read here.

Before joining NetApp, Matt was the senior vice president and general counsel of JDS Uniphase Corporation, where he ran a worldwide legal organization, managing dozens of acquisitions and strategic transactions and the legal affairs of the company.

Matt serves on the Boards of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, is on the General Counsel Steering Committee for the National Association of Corporate Directors, and serves on a variety of advisory boards, including for Nasdaq, Thomson-Reuters, and Acritas.

He received his J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.


Hon. Elizabeth R. FefferMZ1_0034

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.



Deborah Fox

Principal, Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson, PLC

Deborah Fox is Chair of Meyers Nave’s Trial & Litigation and First Amendment Practice Groups. Her practice includes trial and appellate work in both state and federal courts, as well as proceedings before regulatory agencies. Deborah’s complex litigation experience includes multi-party and multi-district cases, civil litigations intertwined with pending criminal actions, and matters involving extensive electronic information. She has handled matters relating to land use, zoning, inverse condemnation, environmental claims, coastal issues, federal preemption, public records, and civil rights claims for violations of substantive and procedural due process and equal protection. Deborah is also one of California’s leading attorneys on First Amendment issues affecting the public sector. Deborah is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell, is a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, and is named among Martindale-Hubbell’s list of “Top Rated Lawyers in Land Use and Zoning” and “Register of Top Rated Lawyers: Women Leaders in the Law.”


Jeanne A. FugateJeanne 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


David Hyman

General Counsel Netflix

David Hyman has served as Netflix General Counsel since 2002.  He also serves as the Company’s Secretary.

David is responsible for all legal affairs and government relations of Netflix.  David and his team handle a wide variety of issues, including content acquisition, marketing, partner licensing, intellectual property, finance, securities, corporate governance, litigation, consumer protection, privacy, real estate and employment.

Prior to Netflix, David was the General Counsel of Webvan, Inc., having previously held the role of senior corporate counsel.  Prior to Webvan, David was with the law firm of Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco and prior to that, David was with the law firm of Arent Fox in Washington, DC.

David earned his JD and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Virginia.



Andrew C. Kassner 

Chief Executive Officer, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Andrew C. Kassner is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Drinker Biddle, responsible for overseeing the firm’s management, strategic direction and commitment to client service. Andy was elected Chairman in 2014 after serving as the firm’s Executive Partner for 10 years, during which the firm grew from 360 lawyers primarily located in the mid-Atlantic region to a national firm of more than 600 attorneys in offices from coast-to-coast.

Andy is a well-known restructuring lawyer who chaired the firm’s Corporate Restructuring Practice Group for almost 20 years. His practice is concentrated in workouts, complex Chapter 11 cases and related bankruptcy litigation.


Jane C. Koehl

Chief Operating Officer, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Jane C. Koehl is the Chief Operating Officer of the firm and serves as a key strategic partner to the firm’s Executive Leadership. Jane is responsible for the firm’s day-to-day operations, which includes oversight of the Administration, Business Development & Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Partner Recruiting and Real Estate functions. Jane serves on the firm’s four person Executive Team and is an active member of Drinker Biddle’s Women’s Leadership Committee.

Prior to joining Drinker Biddle, Jane served as Global COO for a Global 20 law firm and held other senior strategic operations positions at its legacy firm, including a key role in growth and integration strategies during the firm’s global expansion.

Jane brings a unique client perspective to her COO role, having served as Executive VP, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for MemberHealth, Inc., a Medicare Part D insurer, and later as Senior VP, General Counsel and Compliance Officer – Part D for Universal American Corp., a Fortune 1000 Medicare insurer.



Jessie Kohler

Panish Shea & Boyle LLP

Jessie Kohler is an attorney at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP specializing in employment law, including cases involving wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, misappropriation of trade secrets, and wage and hour violations. In addition to her work as an attorney, Ms. Kohler is responsible for the overall management of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP. Prior to joining her current firm, Ms. Kohler was a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP where she served as the firm’s hiring partner in Los Angeles.

Ms. Kohler has successfully tried cases involving claims of harassment, discrimination, breach of contract, whistleblower retaliation and unpaid overtime. She is one of the few attorneys in the country who has tried multiple wage and hour class actions to verdict or judgment. She was co-lead counsel in a high-profile multi-district litigation matter alleging nationwide overtime claims, and she has coordinated multiple national class and collective actions.

Ms. Kohler is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Southern California School of Law. Ms. Kohler serves on the Board of Public Counsel and on the Board of Trustees of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.



Justice Nora M. Manella

California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District     

Justice Nora M. Manella has served for twelve years on the California Court of Appeal. For over seven years she served as a judge of the United States District Court. For five years she was the United States Attorney for the Central District of California.  For eight years she was a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles. For four years she served as a state court trial judge. Her state judicial appointments were by Governors Deukmejian, Wilson and Schwarzenegger. Her federal nominations were by President Clinton.

Justice Manella graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College and received her J.D. Order of the Coif from U.S.C. where she was an editor of the Law Review. She clerked for the legendary Judge John Minor Wisdom on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and served as counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. For four years she practiced law with O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

She has been a featured speaker in the U.S. and abroad and is the recipient of numerous awards. While serving as U.S. Attorney, she was named by the National Law Journal one of the “50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in the United States.”


Ina McGuinness    

Senior Vice President,  Abernathy MacGregor

Ina advises client on event-driven stakeholder engagements such as initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, crises, litigation, as well as innovative, high-impact approaches to ongoing communications with business audiences.

Ina  has written articles on topics including: “Communicating your Capital Allocation Strategy in Times of Trump,” and most recently spoke on a panel addressing “Spin-Offs and Carve-Outs: Tackling Complex Legal Issues while Slicing and Dicing the Target Company for the Benefit of Buyer and Seller.”

She has also been a moderator of educational audio and webinar seminars for Bulldog Reporter’s IR University covering topics including: “More Powerful IR Presentations,” “Breaking Down Earnings Guidance,” and “Scripting your CEO and CFO for the Quarterly Earnings Conference Call.”  Ina received a B.S. in Business Administration from Southeast Missouri State University.

Ina serves on the Los Angeles Campaign Committee for the 2020 Women on Boards campaign. She also volunteers with the non-profit Books Bonanza which seeks to improve the reading and comprehension skills of less advantaged children.


Justice Eileen C. Moore

California Court of Appeal  

Judge Eileen C. Moore sits on the California Court of Appeal. In a former life, Justice Moore served as a combat nurse in the Army Nurse Corps. She was awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Cross of Gallantry with Palm.  She is a member of Vietnam Veterans of America. Since 2008 she has chaired the Judicial Council’s Veterans Working Group for California Courts. She has volunteered as a mentor for veterans in Veterans Treatment Courts. In 2015 she received a Benjamin Franklin award for her book, Gender Results


Margaret M. Morrow  

President and CEO, Public Counsel    

Margaret M. Morrow is the President and CEO of Public Counsel, which serves over 19,000 children, families, veterans, consumers, immigrants, and community organizations every year.  Its policy advocacy and impact litigation affect thousands more people living in poverty.

Prior to joining Public Counsel, Morrow served as a federal judge for eighteen years.  She was appointed to the United States District Court for the Central District of California by President Clinton on March 8, 1998.  While on the bench, Morrow spearheaded efforts to build a new federal courthouse in Los Angeles, which opened in October 2016.  She received her B.A. degree magna cum laude with honors from Bryn Mawr College in 1971, and her J.D. degree cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1974.

Morrow is a past president of the State Bar of California, the first woman to hold that position.  She also served as president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and its Barristers Section.  Morrow is an Emeritus Trustee of Bryn Mawr College, and served on the Commission to Draft an Ethics Code for Los Angeles City Government.

During her career, Morrow has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Jurist and Shattuck-Price Awards from the Los Angeles County Bar Association; the Bernard E. Witkin Amicus Curiae Award from the Judicial Council of California; the Ernestine Stahlhut Award from the Women Lawyers’ Association of Los Angeles; and the Maynard Toll Award from the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.



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.



Debra Albin-Riley

Partner, Arent Fox LLP

Debra Albin-Riley is a partner at Arent Fox, a full-service, national law firm recognized for providing litigation, regulatory, and transactional counsel to clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations and start-ups, to trade associations and foreign governments. Debra is a skilled trial lawyer who has served as first chair or lead attorney on high-profile federal, state, and appellate matters in courts and tribunals throughout Northern and Southern California, as well as jurisdictions and courts across the country. Debra regularly handles high-stakes and bet-the-company litigation, taking matters to trial or skillfully negotiating positive resolutions prior to trial for her clients. Debra is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and has been rated a “Top Women Lawyer” in California by the Daily Journal. She has served as the Chair of the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and is on the Board of Directors for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.


Chris Silbermann

Managing Director, ICM Partners

Chris Silbermann is the Managing Director of ICM Partners, a talent and literary agency representing clients in the fields of motion pictures, television, music, publishing, live performance, branded entertainment, public speaking and new media.  In addition to running the day-to-day management of the agency, which encompasses a team of more than 500 employees in Los Angeles, New York and London, Chris personally guides the careers of some of the most influential creative voices of our generation.  Mr. Silbermann is very active in local, state and national politics.  He initiated the ICM Politics Department, the first of its kind within a major agency, dedicated to voluntary client and employee awareness and activism through grass roots involvement and US Senate level interaction and dialogue.  Mr. Silbermann and ICM Partners are actively involved in helping their communities through foundation grants, generous charitable giving and employee volunteer days of service.  Mr. Silbermann is Chairman of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), which raises hundreds of millions of dollars through a plethora of fund raising initiatives including its signature semi-annual Stand Up To Cancer national event telethon.




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.


Jill R. Sperber 

Mediator & Arbitrator, Judicate West

Serving exclusively as a neutral for nearly a decade, Jill Sperber has been involved in the mediation and/or arbitration of more than 500 disputes, including complex and high stakes commercial matters ranging from employment, insurance, and real estate cases to anti-trust, intellectual property, and securities matters. Ms. Sperber’s ADR experience and business and legal acumen distinguish her as a neutral who excels at exploring all settlement possibilities and facilitating creative and equitable resolutions. Prior to founding Sperber Dispute Resolution, Inc. and affiliating with Judicate West, Ms. Sperber honed her mediation and arbitration skills as a neutral in the Irell & Manella Alternative Dispute Resolution Center following her business litigation practice with Irell & Manella and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and clerkships with the Central District and Ninth Circuit Courts



Bryan Stockton

Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mattel, Inc.

Bryan Stockton is a global consumer products executive with more than 35 years of experience creating brand and shareholder value. Most recently, Stockton served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mattel, Inc., the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys, through January 2015.  With annual revenues in excess of $6 billion, operations across 40 countries, 31,000 employees, and products sold in more than 150 countries worldwide, Mattel’s brands include Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, Matchbox®, Monster High®, Thomas & Friends®, MEGA® Brands, and American Girl®.

Stockton has also been an active Board member and advisor.  He served on the Board of Bob Evans Farms, Inc., a $1.6B family style restaurant chain and consumer products brand serving on the Compensation and Finance Committees from 2006 to August 2012; held a variety of senior leadership roles on the Toy Industry Association, including two years as Chairman; was a member of the Board of Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA from 2001 to April 2010; served as Chairman of World Trade Week Southern California 2003.  He currently serves as a member of the President’s Advisory Council at Otis College of Art & Design; UCLA Anderson School Board of Visitors as a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Strategic Planning and Initiatives Committee; member of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee as well as Secretary for United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games hosted in Los Angeles. Stockton and his wife live in Los Angeles.


Lisa VonEschen L&K-554


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.


Montage Beverly Hills

225 N Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210


Registration & Breakfast

8:00 am

Introduction by Chairs and Advisor

8:30 am

#metoo in the Legal Profession

8:30 am - 9:30 am

Lawyers should know better, but, unfortunately the MeToo movement is just as relevant in the law as it is to the entertainment and other industries responding to a decades long history of sex abuse and harassment in the workplace.  This panel will bring front and center the very important conversations being had between both women and men in the legal industry.



Linda Kornfeld, Partner, Blank Rome LLP


 Linda M. Burrow, Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP

 Jill R. Sperber, Esq, Mediator and Arbitrator, Judicate West

Lisa Von Eschen, Partner, Lamb and Kawakami LLP




Developing Skills Essential to Success

9:30 am - 10:30 am

Successful leaders are equipped with tools and skills to understand and interpret financial statements, books and records. Financial statements provide a view in corporations’ past and present performances and a look into the corporation’s future potential financial strength.  This session will provide an overview on how to conduct a financial review, and read the various financial statements, spot financial trends, identify areas of concern as well as growth patterns.


Dawn Haghighi, General Counsel, Privacy and Compliance Officer, PVC Murcor Real Estate Services



Katherine J. Blair, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Jane C. Koehl, Chief Operating Officer, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP

Ina McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Abernathy MacGregor

There are downloads available for this session. Jump to Downloads section »

Networking Break

10:30 am - 10:50 am

Women in the Courtroom

10:50 am - 11:50 am

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, Panish Shea & Boyle



Katessa Charles Davis, Shareholder, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Deborah J. Fox, Principal, Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson, PLC  

Jeanne A. Fugate, Partner, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP

Debra Albin-Riley, Partner, Arent Fox LLP

Amy Fisch Solomon, Partner, Girardi | Keese

Empowering Women to Lead our Legislature

11:50 am - 12:30 pm

Introduction of Video Presentation – Val McGinty, Founder and President, Fund Her

Video Presentation:  Jamie Lee Curtis and Fund Her

Presentation of Award:  Making a Difference:  Women Leadership in Law Award 2018 Presented to Jamie Lee Curtis


Keynote Luncheon - Women in the West Wing

12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

Women in the West Wing a chat with White House Counsel  Kathy Ruemmler moderated by Dawn Haghighi

We will discuss an array of topics including leadership, her time in the White House, the importance of giving back and developing others.

Males from the C-Suite

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm

While it may seem unconventional to have a male-focused panel at a Women Leadership event, we believe it will be holistically valuable to hear the perspectives of male corporate decision-makers.  These impressive C-Suite leaders from across industries will share how they and their organizations have succeeded in supporting women and their thoughts on how we can continue the momentum.  You will not want to miss this event!


Cheryl D. Orr, Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP



Matthew Fawcett,  Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, NetApp

David Hyman, General Counsel, Netflix

Andrew C. Kassner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP

Chris Silbermann, Managing Director, ICM Partners

Bryan Stockton, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mattel, Inc.

Networking Break

2:45 om - 3:00 pm

Changes, Challenges, and Chances: Different Paths Taken by Different Women at the Top of Their Game

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

From a partner to in house, in house to partner, partner or in house to consultant or other glide paths beyond or out of actual practice, practitioner to board member or mediator.



Stacy D. Phillips, Partner, Blank Rome LLP



Carla Christofferson, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, AECOM

Hon. Jacqueline A. Connor (Ret.), ADR Services, Inc.

Justice Nora M. Manella, California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District

Judge Margaret Morrow, President & Chief Executive Officer, Public Counsel

Women on the Bench

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Jessie Kohler, Panish Shea & Boyle



Hon. Deborah S. Brazil, Los Angeles Superior Court

Presiding Justice Lee Smalley Edmon, California Court of Appeal,  Second Appellate District

Hon. Elizabeth R. Feffer, Los Angeles Superior Court

Justice Eileen C. Moore, California Court of Appeal

Reception on the Terrace Level

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm





Event Partners

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