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Free Webinar: Navigating Disability in the Practice of Law and the Administration of Justice: Tools For Eliminating Bias in the Legal Profession
August 30 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Free event! 1.5 hours of Elimination of Bias Self-Study MCLE credit available.
Presented by the CLA Racial Justice Committee. Co-Sponsored by the Elimination of Bias Committee of the San Francisco Superior Court.
Please join us for an in-depth discussion with two pioneers in the legal profession who have navigated disability and achieved greatness. The Honorable Judge Andi Mudryk, Sacramento Superior Court, is the first openly transgender person in California history to be appointed to serve on the bench. She has battled debilitating brittle bone disease throughout her life and has spent decades fighting for the fair treatment of people with disabilities. She will discuss her path to the bench and the challenges she faces in the Courtroom today. Judge Mudryk will be joined by Thomas M. Berliner, a Partner at Duane Morris LLP, and one of the highest profile water rights lawyers in the United States. Mr. Berliner has overcome paralysis following an accident to co-found the San Francisco office of Duane Morris LLP and receive national recognition for his legal prowess. Introductory remarks will be made by Honorable Judge Suzanne R. Bolanos, who Chairs the SF Superior Court Elimination of Bias Committee. Judge Bolanos will be joined by Terrance J. Evans, a Partner at Duane Morris LLP, who serves on the San Francisco Superior Court Elimination of Bias Committee and is Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the CLA Racial Justice Committee, Vice Chair Elect of the CLA Board, and Director of Region IX of the National Bar Association. Mr. Evans will moderate the discussion.
Honorable Judge Andi Mudryk of the Sacramento County Superior Court
Judge Andi Mudryk of the Sacramento County Superior Court is the First Openly Transgender Judge Appointed to the Bench in California. Judge Mudryk has served as Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Rehabilitation since 2020 before her elevation to the bench, where she served as Chief Counsel from 2018 to 2020. She was Director of Litigation and Policy Advocacy at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County from 2017 to 2018 and Executive Director at Disability Rights Advocates in 2017. She served in several positions at Disability Rights California from 2006 to 2017; including Deputy Director; Director of Litigation; and Managing Attorney. Mudryk was Director of Litigation and Advocacy at the Arizona Center for Disability Law from 2002 to 2006. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School. Mudryk is the first openly transgender individual appointed to the bench in California. She is a person with a disability; brittle bone disease. Mudryk fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Benjamin G. Davidian.
Thomas M. Berliner, Esq.
Thomas M. Berliner focuses his practice on water, energy, environmental and governmental/municipal law and previously chaired the firm’s Water Resources and Renewable Energy and Sustainability Groups. He is one of the original founders of Duane Morris’ San Francisco office and was its first managing partner.
Mr. Berliner’s practice includes advising public entities and private clients on all aspects of water supply, hydropower, energy development, renewable and sustainable energy practices, natural resources and environmental compliance and litigation. Mr. Berliner serves as general and special counsel to both agricultural and urban water supply agencies. He also advises municipalities, special districts, private individuals and companies on municipal affairs and government procurement. Mr. Berliner represents clients before local, state and federal agencies on administrative, regulatory and legislative matters.
In the area of pro bono, Mr. Berliner provides counsel regarding water issues to Community Water Centers, including legal issues involving disadvantaged communities in California’s Central Valley, and NatureBridge, especially with regard to the National Education Science Center in the Sierra Nevada adjacent to Yosemite National Park. He also represents the George Washington High School Alumni Association in connection with preserving historic murals.
Prior to joining Duane Morris, Mr. Berliner was General Counsel to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC), where for nearly 20 years he advised the PUC and San Francisco’s Mayors, Boards of Supervisors and various operating departments on matters pertaining to water and energy utilities and municipal affairs. He is a board member of the Water Education Association, President of the Board of Governors of the California Water Political Action Committee and member of the Association of California Water Agencies.
Mr. Berliner is a graduate of the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where he was a founder of the Hastings International and Comparative Law Journal, and a graduate of the University of California at Davis.
Honorable Judge Suzanne R. Bolanos of the San Francisco Superior Court
Judge Suzanne R. Bolanos was appointed to the Superior Court of California in September 2003 by Governor Gray Davis. She is the first Latina judge in San Francisco County. Currently Judge Bolanos presides over civil trials. In addition, she was recently appointed by the Chief Justice to serve on the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. Previously she was assigned to criminal trials and preliminary hearings.
Judge Bolanos was an Assistant United States Attorney from 1997 to 2003 and worked in both the criminal and civil divisions of the U.S. Attorney’s office. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s office, Judge Bolanos served as a Special Assistant for Domestic Policy to Vice President Gore. During her tenure at the Vice President’s office, Judge Bolanos advised the Vice President on civil rights, immigration, and education issues.
Before joining the executive branch, Judge Bolanos served as Counsel to Senator Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. Judge Bolanos has practiced law with the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C. and began her career as a staff attorney with the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational FundMALDEF).
Judge Bolanos is a Bay Area native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and the Yale Law School, where she was elected to the law review. During her tenure with the Court, Judge Bolanos has served on the Executive Committee of the Court as well as the Court Technology Committee and various other administrative committees. Judge Bolanos is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the San Francisco Law Library. In addition, Judge Bolanos co-chairs the annual Color of Justice program at the Court designed to encourage students of color to pursue a career in the law and the judiciary.
Judge Bolanos has received numerous commendations for service to the Latino community. In 2004 she was selected as the Woman of the Year by the National Latino Peace Officers Association and in 2005 received the Distinguished Leader Award from the San Francisco Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. In 2006 Judge Bolanos received the Unity Award from the Minority Bar Coalition of Northern California in recognition of her service to the minority legal community. Judge Bolanos is a lifetime member of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and served on the planning committee for the HNBA’s 2006 Annual Convention in San Francisco. She is also a Member of the California Latino Judges Association, the National Association of Women Judges, San Francisco La Raza Lawyers and many other community organizations.
Terrance J. Evans, Esq.
Terrance J. Evans is a Partner in the San Francisco and Los Angeles offices of Duane Morris LLP, where he serves as the Co-Leader of the firm’s Banking and Financial Services Practice. Mr. Evans is also the Co-Chair of the Duane Morris San Francisco Diversity and Inclusion Committee. His practice is focused on representing clients in federal and state trial and appellate courts across the United States including the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Evans also regularly counsels clients regarding racial justice and diversity and inclusion issues. He has led dozens of diversity trainings for judges, lawyers, law students, and members of the community around the United States.
Mr. Evans is Director of Region IX of the National Bar Association, the largest Black Bar Association in the world. Mr. Evans is Vice Chair-Elect of the California Lawyers Association, the largest voluntary state bar association in the United States. Mr. Evans is the Immediate Past President of the Charles Houston Bar Association, the oldest Black Bar Association in California. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the CLA Racial Justice Committee; Immediate Past Chair of the Litigation Section of the California Lawyers Association; Co-Chair of the American Bar Association ICLC Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Member of the Bar Association of San Francisco Judicial & Finance Committees; and he is the first Black man elected to serve as a statewide representative on the Board of the California Lawyers Association. Mr. Evans has spoken at more than 180 diversity, equity, and inclusion programs and civil rights programs in partnership with more than 65 law schools, bar associations, colleges, universities, high schools, law firms, churches, and other organizations. Mr. Evans also frequently appears on national and local television and radio discussing issues ranging from the United States Supreme Court and California courts to important legislation and civil rights issues.
In 2016, Mr. Evans was honored by the National Bar Association as one of the top African American attorneys in the USA under age 40. In 2017, he was honored by the Charles Houston Bar Association for his work promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. In 2018, Mr. Evans was honored by the Minority Bar Coalition for his contributions to promoting diversity and inclusion throughout California. In 2019, Mr. Evans was honored by New Dawn Vallejo for his work promoting diversity and inclusion and pro bono legal services. In 2020, Mr. Evans was recognized by Chambers for his efforts to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the United States. In 2021, Mr. Evans was honored by the Bar Association of San Francisco and Justice and Diversity Center for his diversity and inclusion work in Northern California and throughout the United States. In 2021, Mr. Evans was also honored by American Lawyer Magazine as a Trail Blazer.
In 2022, Mr. Evans was honored by the Los Angeles Times as being one of the foremost leaders on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in the State of California. In 2022, Mr. Evans was also honored by the Minority Bar Coalition for a second time for his efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the United States. During his legal career, Mr. Evans has raised more than $500,000 for scholarships for underprivileged students. Mr. Evans has also created five annual scholarships that have provided tens of thousands of dollars to underprivileged students in the Asian, Black, Hispanic, Native American, and LGBTQ Communities.