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CMCP Annual Business Conference
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10/5/2011 to 10/6/2011
When: Wednesday & Thursday, October 5th & 6th
Where: Los Angeles Marriott Downtown
333 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California  90071
United States
Contact: Bari Williams

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" Congratulations on a uniquely successful event. Several associates have told me that the event was inspirational,
and I felt the same way. While I enjoyed other similar events,
CMCP's was much more intimate and personal -
and I think CMCP reached a new level of recognition
as a force to be reckoned with.
Anna Segobia Masters, CMCP Board member and Winston & Strawn partner
Article by Tambry Bradford, Sr. Associate, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP
Photography by George Brandon, Partnership Development Leader, Morris Polich & Purdy LLP
Thanks to the generosity of CMCP's many sponsors, and the tireless efforts of the 2011 Conference Committee members and CMCP staff, on October 5, 2011, hundreds of in-house counsel, outside counsel, judges, and others committed to the advancement and inclusion of minority attorneys within the profession gathered for two days of networking and continuing legal education at CMCP’s 22nd Annual Business Conference.
Executive Director's Welcome Message - Click Here
The conference began with a "No Bosses Allowed” luncheon.
All non-partner and non-manager attorneys were invited to attend this lunch hosted by CMCP’s Executive Director, Marci Rubin. Marci inspired attendees with her own personal story – the rise from a modest upbringing to Deputy General Counsel of Wells Fargo, and encouraged attendees to take risks and step outside of their comfort zones. Marci focused on the importance of being a leader, and discussed the different ways in which an individual can lead. Marci left attendees with a challenge: "If not you, then who?”
" Marci, I found my voice this year, thanks in part to your inspiring words at the "No Bosses Allowed” lunch. Every time I started to censor myself and come up with excuses not to talk, I just spoke my mind. As a result, I did not hesitate when I saw Michele Coleman Mayes, and we had the most wonderful discussion about diversity and helping people to understand that it is about so much more than the bottom line. I shared with her this quote from Albert Einstein that I had read about: 'Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.' Thank you for helping to make sure that people stand up and take notice of what really counts. "
Preeti K. Singh, Associate, Tucker Ellis & West LLP

Breakout Sessions
Following the luncheon, conference attendees were given an option of attending one of three break-out sessions.Created by CMCP's 2011 Conference Committee, these sessions provided a great opportunity for CMCP member speakers to show their skills and for audience participation: "Does Tweeting Beat Meeting?", "New Beginnings", and "Wrongdoing in the Workplace."
All Rise: Advocacy in Action...
Attendees next had the opportunity to observe outstanding advocates on both the trial and appellate levels present arguments on key legal issues raised in the case of Quon v. City of Ontario. Justice Jeffrey Johnson, Justice Victoria Chavez and Judge Upinder Kalra provided feedback on best practices, including the common mistakes made by advocates in opening statements.
CMCP Salutes a Great Group of GC's & Deputy GC's!
The day ended with the General Counsel Reception. The welcome was given by John Yslas (below), Partner at Foley & Lardner, CMCP's GC Reception Host.
Mark Zemelman (right), General Counsel of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Co-Chair of the CMCP Board, spoke about the importance of diversity in the legal profession. In outlining the innovative and progressive policies that he has implemented at Kaiser to help ensure the inclusion of minority attorneys among those providing legal services to Kaiser, Mark provided encouragement to the minority attorneys in attendance looking to develop their practices, and set an example for other General Counsel.
Left to right: Jim Potter, Del Monte Foods; Marc Goodman, Pepperdine University; Andrew Chang, DreamWorks Animation; Javade Chaudhri, Sempra Energy; Robin Sangston, Cox Communications; Karen Patrulakis, University of California; Michele Coleman Mayes, Allstate Insurance Co.; Bob Normile, Mattel; Camilla Eng, JM Eagle; Don Alvarado, Smart & Final; Hal Clarke, Wells Fargo; Mark Zemelman, Kaiser; Huyn Park, PG&E; Mike Bennett, Walmart; Kate Duchene, Resources Global Professionals
Corporate Connections
The second day of the conference began with Corporate Connections (sponsored by Microsoft), a unique program designed to match in-house counsel from public agencies and corporations with diverse outside counsel practicing in an area of law that fits a particular need within the agency or corporation. This year, representatives from more than 25 public agencies and corporations dedicated their time to these 15-minute interviews in order to meet and identify talented minority attorneys for future legal work.
22nd Annual Awards Luncheon
Corporate Connections was followed by the 22nd Annual Awards Luncheon. PG&E Corporation, Crowell & Moring, and Lafayette & Kumagai were honored for their commitment to diversity and outstanding client service.
(Click to see the Awards section below for more on these recipients).
Michele Coleman Mayes (left), Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Allstate Insurance Company, provided an inspirational keynote address, identifying critical questions that diverse attorneys need to answer for themselves as they grow and develop their practices: What are my strengths and weaknesses? What’s said about me when I’m not in the room? Am I willing to take risks? Do I have mentors? Am I being a mentor? Do I have a sponsor? Do I belong to outside organizations? Do I know what my priorities are, and am I setting my own priorities? What are my prejudices? And perhaps most importantly, do I like what I do? In conclusion, Michele encouraged participants to "take stock, credit, and risks, take a hand and take a stand.”
Amanda Groves, Partner and Diversity Chair at Winston & Strawn LLP, CMCP's Awards Lunch host, gave the welcome remarks.
From the Desk of the General Counsel
Next was the panel discussion entitled "From the Desk of the General Counsel,” sponsored by Paragon Legal. Moderated by Richard Amador of Sanchez & Amador LLP, leading corporate General Counsel discussed their views on the current state of diversity within the legal profession, the challenges that continue to exist, and the steps we must collectively take to address those challenges in the future. At the end of this panel, Richard asked all law firm associates who had never met a GC to stand and come to the front of the room, providing one of many CMCP conference connecting opportunities.
Left to right: Jim Potter, Del Monte Foods; George Cheeks, MTV Networks; Michele Coleman Mayes, Allstate Insurance Co.; Javade Chaudhri, Sempra Energy; Robin Sangston, Cox Communications; Russell Swartz, Southern California Edison
Courageous Counsel - Celebrating Women in Law
The conference ended with a reception celebrating women in law and the recent publication of the book "Courageous Counsel: Conversations with Women General Counsel in the Fortune 500,” written by Michele Coleman Mayes and Kara Baysinger, Partner at SNR Denton.
"I just wanted to say thank you for everything you did to put together last week’s conference. I recently joined CMCP, and this was my first annual conference. I met some amazing attorneys and people. Aside from the connections I made, I walked away inspired and excited to make a change."
Asha Dhillon, individual CMCP member and Partner at JONESBELL LLP

Connecting in New Ways!
CMCP, MCCA, & NAMWOLF connect at CMCP's
22nd Annual Business Conference
Joe West, Jason Brown & Marci Rubin on stage at the CMCP Conference Awards Lunch, acknowledging the synergies among the 3 organizations and their intent to more closely coordinate CMCP, MCCA and NAMWOLF activities in California to maximize benefits for their mutual members and supporters.
And directly for our members and guests, CMCP provided many new opportunities this year for participation, engagement & connection...
Three associates won the No Bosses Lunch drawing to attend the
Awards Lunch with a General Counsel:
Richard Chen, Fisher & Phillips LLP with Camilla Eng of JM Eagle
Danielle Hinton, Hanson Bridgett with Dave Smith of San Diego Gas & Electric
Amy Pennington, Carroll, Burdick & McDonough with Mike Bennett of Walmart
"I wanted to tell you that I thought your idea to partner an associate with a GC for lunch was fantastic! What a great opportunity you provided to those associates! It is easy to tell people to network and meet but it is often hard for an associate to break into that conversation. I always feel re-energized and motivated after the CMCP conference, thank you for that."
Cassandra Mougin, individual CMCP member and Senior Counsel,
Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz
Rupa Shah of Seyfarth Shaw LLP won the "talk with a GC or Deputy GC" drawing -- and joined the GC group as "GC for the Evening"...
During the GC Reception program, Rupa's name was drawn from among the business cards of the 16 associates who believed after the No Bosses Allowed Lunch that they could & should take advantage of all the conference opportunities to meet new people, and took the CMCP challenge to talk during the first 30 minutes of the GC Reception with at least one GC or Deputy GC they had not previously met.
Drop-In Diversity Dialogue hosted by Mike Bennett, General Counsel of Litigation, Walmart
CMCP's first, but definitely not last, informal roundtable discussion on Diversity in the Legal Profession was a great success. Participants particularly enjoyed the small group format and the participatory nature of the discussion.
CMCP Sent Advance Information to Help Attendees Get the Most from Conference Participation, including...
Making the most out of Corporate Connections interviews, with the new Ten Commandments for Corporate Connections for Outside Counsel and Five Fabulous Facts for Corporate Connections for In-House Counsel
The benefits of the entire conference "as one huge opportunity to learn and connect" -- in the hallways, at the receptions, during the panels, and whether or not participating in Corporate Connections interviews
Many attendees have expressed their appreciation for this advance information.
" To CMCP Staff... It was really wonderful seeing you at CMCP’s Annual Business Conference this year. I just wanted to thank you not only for putting on another exceptional program, but for all the help, support, and guidance you have provided along the way. Your commitment and dedication to diversity, and the world of opportunities you help to create through your organization and events are very much appreciated. "
Preeti K. Singh, Associate, Tucker Ellis & West LLP
And many law firms were pro-active in using the information -- making sure all their attorney attendees had copies, reminding them that wherever they were at the conference there were connections to be made, and encouraging their attorneys to attend the entire conference and actively participate.

2011 John Essex & Guy Rounsaville In-House Counsel Diversity Award
PG&E Corporation was a very early diversity proponent. They were one of only two San Francisco companies in 1992 to participate in the Gay Pride Day Parade. PG&E Legal has been involved in CMCP from inception, as well as with many of our diversity partners. And always active participants.
Among the many things PG&E has done to move the diversity bar is to create a great diversity team. This team put together a matrix of diversity organizations, and then assigned a liaison for each organization responsible for attending events, getting to know the organization and providing introductions to other PG&E attorneys. They formed a summer law student intern program to help develop young lawyer’s skills. It has been highly successful in large part due to the efforts of Darren Roach and Tanya Willacy, both here today.
And PG&E has the tireless and wonderful Nicole Harris who links it all together – coordinating summer programs with PG&E’s outside counsel, getting students to volunteer at diversity events for CMCP and other organizations, introducing everyone to anyone.
And then there’s PG&E’s truly committed and warm-hearted general counsel Hyun Park – a CMCP Board member and the PG&E law department leader who both leads and also knows when to get out of the way and let his people lead.
Diversity in the PG&E Law Department is a team effort. Congratulations to the entire team.
Hyun Park accepts award from CMCP Board members Deborah Broyles & Jimmy Nguyen

2011 Minority-Owned Law Firm Client Service Award
In 1994, Gary Lafayette & Susan Kumagai formed one of the first minority business law firms with a clear goal of providing corporations with the same high quality legal work as large majority firms.
As a small minority-owned firm, they have consistently met that goal – paving the way for the many minority business firms we see today. They did that in large part by keeping their clients’ needs and desires always ‘top of mind’ – by excelling at client service.
In the words of PG&E, this year’s corporate diversity winner, "Lafayette & Kumagai have outstanding skills and extensive employment law knowledge – allowing them to prepare the same quality legal defense as large employment firms. They achieve good results at significantly lower costs. We at PG&E appreciate the great service from this high-caliber minority-owned law firm.”
"Having had the opportunity to partner with this firm in cases, I echo PG&E’s sentiments” commented CMCP Board Co-Chair Deborah Broyles in presenting the award.
Highlights and Phtos from CMCP 22nd Annual Business Conference
Gary Lafayette & Susan Kumagai accept award from CMCP Board members Deborah Broyles & Jimmy Nguyen

2011 Drucilla Stender Ramey Majority-Owned Law Firm Award
Every majority law firm has diversity initiatives. Virtually every majority law firm wins diversity awards. Virtually every majority law firm gets on one lit or another as a ‘great place to work’ for women, minorities or whatever else is the flavor of the day. Crowell & Moring is among those.
But – every majority law firm does not actively and visibly promote its diversity commitment and values within the firm. And especially not with the clear consistent messages used by Crowell & Moring. Not just through words – but also by the firm’s actions.
They recognized the need for increased diversity in the firm’s senior ranks, and asked Sara Holtz, former General Counsel of Nestle and the first woman chair of ACCA, to lead a year-long development program for a dozen women partners with a goal to getting them into the firm’s senior ranks. Everyone on the firm’s Diversity Counsel monitors the professional development of minority attorneys, helping make sure they get the attention they need. The firm holds regular small group diversity dialogues, and created a ‘Celebrating Diversity’ speaker series. Attorneys at all levels are invited to participate.
Outside the firm, Crowell & Moring shows up and participates, partners and associates together. They initiate activities with groups like CMCP and promote those events.
And they don’t believe they’ve done anywhere near enough. When CMCP told the firm they were receiving this award, Kay Martin, a partner in the San Francisco office, said "We’re so honored and proud. We try so hard. But we still have so far to go.”
Janet Levine & Van-Dzung Nguyen accept award from CMCP Board members Deborah Broyles & Jimmy Nguyen
See for more on the firm’s diversity efforts.

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