Preventing Lawyer Harassment: California’s New Regulatory Approach
UC Berkeley School of Law (via Zoom)
Friday, April 22, 2022, 9 a.m. -11 a.m. (PDT)
(Zoom Room opens at 8:45 a.m.)
2 hours of Ethics or Bias CLE Credits are available
This program will cover the new California Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4.1, which takes a stricter approach to disciplining attorneys for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in both law practice operations and matters of legal representation. In a significant departure from the past, the new Rule grants the State Bar the power to investigate and to prosecute discrimination and harassment claims and further makes clear that failure to advocate corrective action also violates the Rule. This program is especially important for those who manage law firms and law departments.
Part 1: Overview of Rule 8.4.1
An interactive discussion about how to prevent harassment and discrimination and comply with California State Bar Rule 8.4.1 in law firm operations and client representations.
- Perspective from an advisor crafting Rule 8.4.1.
- Perspective from an investigator looking at whether a law firm has complied with the Rule.
- International perspectives from United Kingdom and French colleagues.
Carolina Bravo-Karimi, Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP, Management-side employment lawyer, Moderator.
Mark L. Tuft, Cooper, White & Cooper, who served on the California State Bar Commission crafting Rule 8.4.1.
Vida Thomas, Oppenheimer Investigations LLP, employment lawyer and a workplace investigations specialist.
Georgina Calvert-Lee, McAllister Olivarius, British Barrister leading her firm’s employment and equality law practice.
Laura Bourgeois, Litigation and Advocacy Officer, Paris-based NGO Sherpa, with an expertise in French discrimination and harassment law.
Part 2: Hypotheticals
Three hypotheticals will be given and discussed by our panelists during the program.
When & Where:
Friday, April 22 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. (PDT)
Virtual UC Berkeley School of Law
Regular Program Rate:
- University of California graduates
- Members and supporters of our partner bar associations
- Employees of government or non-profit organizations
- Persons who are unemployed
The fees cover access to materials that will be distributed in an electronic format.
All fees are quoted in US dollars.
For further information and inquiries on group rates, contact David Oppenheimer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vida has practiced law for more than 25 years. She started her career as an employment defense litigator. She also advised employers on all aspects of employment law and human resources management as governed by Title VII, the California FEHA, ADA, ADEA and other federal and state employment laws.
Vida serves as an expert witness in states and federal employment lawsuits and mediates litigation and non-litigation matters. She assisted employers in resolving employment claims, including but not limited to harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims; wrongful termination claims; failure to accommodate and statutory leave violations; whistleblowing claims; wage and hour violations; and invasion of privacy claims.
She also serves as a hearing officer in employee discipline appeal hearings.
Vida has conducted more than 200 workplace investigations and is experienced in complying with Title IX, Title 5, the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights. She has considerable experience investigating matters within a union setting and is particularly adept at investigating complex matters involving high-profile employers and individuals. A founding member of the Association of Workplace Investigators, she co-chaired the AWI Best Practices committee and helped establish the AWI Guidelines for conducting workplace investigations. She frequently trains attorneys, human resources professionals and EEO officers on how to conduct legally effective workplace investigations.
Vida also routinely conducts sexual harassment prevention training — including AB1825 compliance training — for state agencies and private companies. She teaches managers and supervisors how to implement legally effective performance reviews. She has conducted dozens of seminars on the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, employee drug testing and sexual harassment investigations. Clients have complimented Vida’s knack for making the law accessible, explaining complex legal concepts in a way that is both thorough and easy to understand. She believes training is most effective when it provides concrete, useful tips for navigating today’s complicated and highly regulated workplace.
- Litigation and Advocacy Officer, Sherpa
Laura currently works as a litigation and advocacy officer for Paris based NGO Sherpa. Sherpa aims to use the law to combat new forms of impunity linked to globalization, and hold economic actors accountable when they generate and profit from violations of human rights. Before that, Laura worked for several years as a business attorney at a major french business law firm, with a specific interest in international private law.
Laura is a law clinic alumni and now partner of law clinics, convinced of their importance. She is committed to the fight for women's rights, and joined the University of Berkeley’s Research Center for Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law a few years ago, to share the french perspective on the situation.
She also likes to play music and writes songs.
- Head of UK Practice and Senior Counsel, McAllister Olivarius
A barrister with a background in UK and US civil litigation, Georgina leads the UK employment and equality practice at McAllister Olivarius. Her practice focuses on discrimination, harassment and sexual violence law in employment, education, services and online.
Georgina has negotiated settlements for individuals and employers in many contexts and has become an advocate against the over-use of confidentiality clauses. She secures agreements without such a clause where the individual is opposed to it, and in some cases, the employer has then publicly eschewed the use of confidentiality clauses in settlements relating to harassment and bullying going forward. University College London is one notable example of this.
Outside the employment context, Georgina brought the first English High Court claim for intimate image abuse, on behalf of YouTube star, Chrissy Chambers, ending in payment of ‘substantial damages’ and transfer of copyright. More recently, she won a high-profile race discrimination claim on behalf of a British Sikh couple denied the opportunity to adopt. She has also brought multiple cases on behalf of survivors of sexual harassment and violence in higher education, arguing that university complaints processes, including their routine reliance on confidentiality, are discriminatory. With The 1752 Group, she co-authored Sector Guidance to Address Staff Sexual Misconduct in UK Higher Education, aiming to expose and resolve these inequalities.
- Managing Partner
Carolina Bravo-Karimi is a member of the firm's Employment Law group. Her practice is focused on representing employers in a variety of employment disputes, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wage and hour litigation. Representing both public and private entities, Carolina is an expert in handling complex matters and balancing the needs of several high-profile stakeholders.
Carolina also serves as Practice Chair of our recently launched Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Practice Group at the firm. Recognizing that intentional attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is essential to promote workplace cohesion, attract and retain talent, create business opportunities, and comply with the law, Carolina assists employers of all sizes in the creation, implementation, and management of their DE&I efforts.
Carolina also conducts workplace investigations, including those requiring Spanish fluency and multicultural understanding. She also regularly provides implicit bias, microaggression, equal pay, and anti-harassment training.
Additionally, Carolina has served as the Faculty Advisor for the Executive Moot Court Board and an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law.
Prior to joining Wilson Turner Kosmo, Carolina served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Louisa S. Porter of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.
Mark L Tuft
- Certified Legal Malpractice Specialist and Litigation Partner at Cooper, White & Cooper
Mark L. Tuft is a Certified Legal Malpractice Specialist (California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization) and a litigation partner with Cooper, White & Cooper LLP. He serves as outside counsel to lawyers, law firms, and public and private organizations on the law governing lawyers, including professional responsibility, professional liability, law firm mergers and dissolutions, attorney sanctions, and State Bar admission and discipline. He also acts as an expert witness and consultant in these matters. His practice includes legal malpractice, media law and related first amendment litigation. He also serves as an arbitrator and mediator in lawyer-client and law firm disputes. Mr. Tuft has served on several California State Bar Commissions on revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct and the State Bar's Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services. He is a former Chair and special advisor to the California State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and served on State Bar task forces on multi-disciplinary practice and amendments to the rules of professional conduct. Mr. Tuft has taught professional responsibility as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law and has lectured on legal ethics at U.C. Berkeley School of Law and Hastings School of Law. He served on the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco and formerly chaired its ethics committee. Mr. Tuft is a member of the ABA Center on Professional Responsibility and currently chairs its editorial board. He is a past president of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers and a member of the American Law Institute. Mr. Tuft is a frequent lecturer and writer on professional responsibility issues and has received several teaching awards. Mr. Tuft is coauthor of The Rutter Group California Practice Guide: Professional Responsibility.