Orange County Women
 Lawyers Association
For Women Lawyers and Those Who Support Their Advancement


  • Monday, August 22, 2022 12:45 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    This e-mail is to inform you a “Special Cycle” proposal has been posted to the California Courts web site, at

    Civil and Small Claims


    Rules and Forms: Name and Gender Change Forms for Minors to Implement Assembly Bill 218 and Assembly Bill 421

    Summary: The Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee is proposing revisions and additions to Judicial Council forms and the revocation of one form used to request recognition of a change of gender and change of name. Proposed forms implementing statutory changes in Assembly Bill 218 (Stats. 2021, ch. 577) were circulated for comment between April and May 2022. Among other things, AB 218 made significant changes to requirements for petitions for recognition of gender change for minors (removing the requirement for consent by, or notice to, a minor’s parents) and added a new category of petitioners who may make such petitions on behalf of minors, placing certain requirements on them.

    Shortly after comment on the proposed forms closed, the Legislature enacted Assembly Bill 421 (Stats. 2022, ch. 40), urgency legislation that modifies AB 218’s provisions in significant ways. Because AB 421’s amendments immediately went into effect upon signing by the Governor, they need to be incorporated in the proposed forms before the forms go into effect in January 2023. The proposed forms for minors’ petitions have all been further revised to reflect these statutory changes, and have been reorganized to make them clearer.

    Deadline: Comments must be submitted by Monday, September 19, 2022 at, 5:00 PM (Pacific Time)

    Judicial Council of California

    455 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102-3688

    415-865-7957, Fax 415-865-4391,

  • Monday, August 22, 2022 12:41 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    OCWLA is proud to be a member of the newly established Unity Bar! We are thrilled to be working with our fellow bar organizations to work together to achieve diversity in the legal profession. Join us to celebrate this new group at the Inaugural Orange County Unity Bar Mixer, on September 8, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

    Registration Here

  • Thursday, June 30, 2022 11:15 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)


  • Wednesday, June 29, 2022 12:52 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

  • Wednesday, May 04, 2022 11:51 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Hello OCWLA Community!

    Welcome to the sweet and merry month of May! To further OCWLA’s mission to raise awareness of discrimination and bias against women, our members took a stand for equality at our sold out Equal Pay Day event! OCWLA made a further stand against discrimination when it signed on to CWL’s Amicus Brief filed in the landmark case, Meland v. Weber. I am also thrilled to announce that OCWLA launched a Discussion Forum to help members connect with each other. I am proud that these actions further the advancement and successes of women everywhere.  

    Exciting News!

    OCWLA Launches A Discussion Forum: OCWLA continues to take action that will connect members in new ways. This month, I am thrilled to announce that members can access a Discussion Forum to share referrals, mentorship, and provide professional resources. Simply log in to your OCWLA account to access the Discussion Forum. Instructions for accessing the forum can be downloaded here. 

    OCWLA Takes A Stand For Inclusion: OCWLA was given the opportunity to sign on to the Amicus Brief that CWL filed in the landmark case, Meland v. Weber. OCWLA recognized it was important to support efforts that sought the inclusion of women on corporate boards. We are proud that OCWLA is associated with this effort to achieve diversity and equality for women. See OCWLA’s name in the Amicus Brief on page xii.

    Gala Updates

    Become A Gala Sponsor: Join us at the Gala on October 12, 2022, at Shady Canyon Golf Club from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. as OCWLA honors 2022 Judge of the Year Judge Debra Servino, 2022 Attorney of the Year Antoinette Balta of Veterans Legal Institute, and the recipient of the Advancement of Women award Community Legal Aid SoCal. You can support these amazing honorees with a Gala Sponsorship.

    Upcoming Events

    Summer Coffee Meetup: Kick off the summer with other OCWLA members at our Summer Coffee Meetup! Join us from 8:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on May 5, 2022, at Corner Bakery in Tustin Marketplace. This is a no cost event, so there’s no reason not to come!

    Connect With Other Book Lovers: This month, Retired Judge Linda Miller will lead the group as we read The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis. This amazing apartment in New York hold many mysteries waiting to be solved. Join us on May 23, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. at Mimi’s Café in Tustin. Register here.

    Donate In A New Way: This month, give back to the community by participating in OCWLA’s Blood Drive. The event will be held at The Bowers Museum on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donors receive free parking and $5 off General Admission on the day of their donation. Thanks to Past President Allyson Thompson for organizing a new way for OCWLA members to help others. More Information. 

    Summer Membership Mixer: Invite your friends to the Spring Membership Mixer! We love meeting new people! This event will take place on the evening of June 14, 2022. More details to come/Save the date.

    Our Empowering April

    Equal Pay Day MCLE: There is no event more important than Equal Pay Day in acknowledging the disparate earnings between men and women in an effort to end this arbitrary practice. Thanks to Treasurer Caroline Djang and Secretary Tracy Hughes for putting together a dynamic who presented on the best practices for salary negotiations. 


    Book Club: I was thrilled to lead April’s Book Club selection, Man’s Search For Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. This powerful autobiography by Holocaust survivor inspired our group.

    Get Involved!

    Make An Immediate Impact: You can advance women in the legal profession, raise awareness of discrimination and bias, and support charitable organizations by becoming an Annual Sponsor of OCWLA. Sponsors receive recognition and connect with OCWLA members at several events throughout the year. Thank you for your interest in supporting this amazing organization!

    Share Your Recent Achievements: We love learning more about our members! Our Featured Member Series is a great way for members to introduce themselves to the membership and share their recent accomplishments. Nominate yourself or another spectacular OCWLA member today.

    Mentoring Opportunities: We are pleased to announce that OCWLA has partnered with OCBA to provide mentoring opportunities for both mentors and mentees. Sign up by May 20, 2022 to attend the Spring Mentoring Café. Learn more here.

    Let’s Celebrate Each Other!: OCWLA’s Everyday Hero Award recognizes members of our profession who have made a positive impact in the community through their hard work, generosity, and commitment to justice. To nominate an Everyday Hero, send the nominee’s contact information and a brief description of why they are a hero to Executive Director Kaity Van Amersfort at

    Join Us!: We would love to have you join OCWLA! Renew your membership today to become a part of this active and dynamic group! Discounted and/or complimentary membership rates are available for judges, government attorneys, attorneys with less than five years of practice, and law students.

    Become A California Women Lawyers Member: Over forty years ago, OCWLA aligned with California Women Lawyers, which in 1974 established itself as the only statewide women lawyers organization. The mission of both OCWLA and CWL is the advancement of women in the legal profession through collaboration and leadership. Join today!

    Recognizing OCWLA’s Members

    Welcome New Members!: Welcome Caroline Nam, Khorshid Hajsoleymani, Charnell Gilchrist, Monica Calvillo-Chao, Meghan Murphey, Anum Arshad, Zijing Han, Suzanne Picariello, Kathrynn Benson, Kori Gearhart, Danielle Struwe, Kayla Phillips, and Cindy Boun. We are thrilled that you joined OCWLA! We look forward to meeting you at the next event.

    Dana Heyde, OCWLA President

    Cottle Keen Lopiccolo & Heyde, LLP

  • Monday, May 02, 2022 3:19 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    OCWLA Takes A Stand For Inclusion: OCWLA was given the opportunity to sign on to the Amicus Brief that CWL filed in the landmark case, Meland v. Weber. OCWLA recognized it was important to support efforts that sought the inclusion of women on corporate boards. We are proud that OCWLA is associated with this effort to achieve diversity and equality for women. See OCWLA’s name in the Amicus Brief on page xii.

  • Friday, March 26, 2021 6:22 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Attention OCWLA Members

    From: ADR Committee of the Central District of California

    The Court would like to invite any qualified members of OCWLA to apply for membership on the Court’s Mediation Panel.  The Central District’s Mediation Panel is comprised of experienced federal litigators who are also trained mediators. These qualified and impartial attorneys assist the Court in encouraging the fair, speedy, and economical resolution of civil actions pending in this district. The members of the Mediation Panel provide an invaluable service to the Court, to litigants, and to the community. Mediators settle hundreds of cases that would otherwise consume scarce judicial resources. To serve as a Panel Mediator, an attorney must be a member in good standing of the Bar of the United States District Court, Central District of California, with at least ten years of legal practice experience, substantial experience with or knowledge of civil litigation in federal court, significant expertise in one or more designated areas of law, and training in mediation through a court-approved program.

    Additional information about the Panel is available on the Court’s website at Panel Mediators are appointed by the Court in certain civil cases, and each mediator volunteers his or her preparation time and the first three hours of a mediation session. Thereafter, if the parties choose to continue the mediation, the mediator may charge his or her market rate. As a member of the Mediation Panel, mediators also have access to Court-provided MCLE events and networking opportunities. Applications are due by April 30, 2021, for consideration this year. The application form may be downloaded here:

    Completed forms should be submitted to

  • Friday, December 04, 2020 12:22 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    UCI is in need of volunteer judges for a collegiate mock trial tournament hosted by UC Irvine, taking place on Jan. 9th & 10th, entirely online via Zoom. This elite event will feature some of the best teams from across the country. 

    They are especially interested in recruiting female attorneys as judges. Over half of all undergraduate mock trial competitors are young women, but less than a quarter of our current judging pool is female. We want to show our outstanding female competitors that they are welcome in the field of law, and we believe that greater representation of women on our benches helps to further that mission.

    You can sign up to judge by clicking HERE. Please sign up by Dec 20th so we know if you're joining us! 

    The trials: The trials are under three hours long and will require no preparation. There will be two days of trial with each day consisting of a morning round (~8:15 - 11:15 AM Pacific Time) and an afternoon round (~12:45 – 3:45 PM Pacific Time). You can judge as many or as few as you like. If you have any attorney friends or colleagues who would like to judge, please let us know so we can pair you together.

    The case: This year’s case is a civil matter featuring a fatal poisoning at a winery during a wedding rehearsal dinner. The charge, evidence and witnesses available vary across the rounds, which makes each trial unique and interesting.

    How to judge a Zoom Mock Trial: We will be hosting a 30-minute Zoom judge training session before the tournament weekend. In that meeting, we will explain your role, how to use Zoom when judging the trials, how to complete an online ballot, etc. No other preparation is required to judge (i.e., you don’t need to read any part of the case ahead of time).

    Signing up: If you’d be willing to help us out as a judge, we’d really appreciate it. We need volunteers like you in order to make this event a success for the students.

    Here’s the link to sign up:

    Also, if you have any colleagues who might be interested in judging, please let us know so we can share our information with them. 

    Thank you for your time!


    Emily Shaw

    UCI Mock Trial Coach

  • Monday, July 27, 2020 5:35 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    VP, Senior Corporate Counsel - Litigation

    Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) is calling for a VP, Senior Corporate Counsel - Litigation in Seattle, WA. or Irvine, CA.

    For more info:

  • Monday, March 02, 2020 7:59 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    OCWLA Community,

    Orange County Women Lawyers Association's 45th year is well under way.  We look forward to seeing you at one of our many upcoming events as OCWLA continues its EmpowHer™ women in the legal profession.
    February Recap:
    In February, OCWLA hosted its Welcome to the Decade Wine Tasting Mixer at Orange County Winery.  Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, LLP, and our Gold Sponsors Call & JensenJAMS, and Rutan & Tucker.
    In addition, OCWLA's Executive Director, Amelia Montgomery, was recognized with OCWLA's Presidents Award for her 10 years of service as the Executive Director.  Thank you Amelia for all you have done for the organization!
    OCWLA volunteers with different organizations throughout the year.  As the first event of the year, OCWLA members assisted Family Legal Assistance at CHOC Children's to assist families with the preparation of legal documents regarding legal consent. 
    Upcoming Events:
    Thursday, March 5 - Join OCWLA to celebrate International Women's Day with LawWorks and Harvard Law School Women's Alliance!  OCWLA is proud to serve as a co-sponsor to this no cost event.

    Friday, March 13MCLE - Tips from the Bench: What Judges Want You to Know - Hon. Kathleen O'Leary and Hon. Maria Hernandez divulge the top things they want all lawyers to know.  The program will navigate through trial tips as well as preserving the record on appeal.  In addition, at this lunch, members are encouraged to bring clothing donations to WHW's 9th annual Suits for a Cause collection.  

    Monday, March 30 - The March book club book is Radium Girls by Kate Moore.  This no host group continues to meet at Mimi's Café in Tustin for casual conversation about the monthly books.  There is no charge for members to attend.  

    Tuesday, March 31 - MCLE - Equal Pay Day: Obtaining Your Next Pay Raise or Promotion! - Join OCWLA for its annual Equal Pay Day luncheon.  This year's event will focus on pay raises and promotions.  All attendees are encourage to wear red as a symbol of the deficit in pay between men and women.  

    Thursday, April 16 - Chicago The Musical - Join OCWLA members in determining whether the murderesses of Cook County Jail are guilty or not!  Seats are located in the Orchestra Terrace at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.  In order for OCWLA to obtain group pricing, tickets must be purchased before March 10, 2020.  OCWLA will arrange for members to meet in advance of the show for networking.  

    SIGNATURE EVENT: Wednesday, April 22 - Women Judges Reception - This annual event celebrates the women of the Orange County bench!  Members are encouraged to mix and mingle with members of the bench with a special judicial bingo.  The event is expected to sell out - be sure to register early!  If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact

    SIGNATURE EVENT: Save the Date: OCWLA's 45th Annual Gala will be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at Pelican Hill Resort.  If you are interested in sponsoring the Gala, please contact
    I look forward to seeing you at one or our upcoming events!
    Michelle A. Philo
    Michelle A. Philo
    OCWLA President

    Orange County Women Lawyers Association, P.O. Box 6130, Newport Beach, CA 92658
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