Seven Attorneys to Be Honored at Bar’s Annual Membership Luncheon Dec. 16
December 13, 2021, San Francisco—Four attorneys will be honored with Awards of Merit by the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) for their dedication to the organization in 2021. In addition, three members will be honored with Outstanding Barristers Awards.
Those being recognized with Awards of Merit include:
Krista S. Johnson
Kevin Benedicto, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Kevin Benedicto has been an active member of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF) for approximately five years. He has given many hours of his time to draft and work on statements, letters and draft legislation on matters such as Senate Bill 2, a bill that increases accountability for law enforcement officers who commit serious misconduct and illegally violate a person’s civil rights, and AB1452, Be the Jury, a bill that established a Pilot Program in San Francisco Superior Court to pay low to moderate income jurors $100 per day for jury duty in criminal court cases. Kevin is also the co-chair of the CJTF Bail Reform Sub-committee and a respected member of the Elimination of Bias Committee.
Additionally, Kevin engaged his law firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (MLB), on a pro bono basis on behalf of the CJTF to write an opinion letter advising city leaders on various police reform measures related to labor negotiations with the San Francisco Police Department’s union. MLB drafted, on behalf of BASF, several public letters that BASF sent to city leaders on these police reforms. MLB continues to represent and advise BASF on its ongoing efforts to encourage criminal justice reform. Kevin played a crucial role in engaging MLB to assist in defending various lawsuits alleging ADA violations against businesses in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Lane Barrasso, Paul Hastings
Lane Barrasso is an associate in the Real Estate practice of Paul Hastings in its San Francisco Office. Lane and his colleagues represented The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) on a pro bono basis during its move from 301 Battery Street to 201 Mission Street in San Francisco during the pandemic. Lane was the key advisor, researcher and negotiator for BASF during this nearly nine month process. Lane was involved in countless meetings and was incredibly responsive to BASF during this time, in particular when BASF negotiated complicated lease terms. His professionalism, generosity and willingness to help BASF during such a challenging time was instrumental in the organization’s success.
Steve Berkman, Paul Hastings
Steve Berkman is a partner in the Real Estate practice of Paul Hastings in its San Francisco Office. Steve and his team represented The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) on a pro bono basis during its move from 301 Battery Street to 201 Mission Street in San Francisco during the pandemic. This was the second time in eight years Steve personally assisted BASF with his expertise and legal advice on a move and lease negotiation. Steve is the leader of the team that supported BASF through these critical processes. Steve has worked on some of the largest real estate deals in the City of San Francisco and BASF is honored and humbled that he contributed to the organization in this generous way.
Krista S. Johnson, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
Krista Johnson is a special counsel in the Labor & Employment practice group in the San Francisco Office of Sheppard Mullin. Krista has provided legal advice on a pro bono basis to The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) for more than four years in various employment-related matters. Always willing to provide her advice, she is thorough and responsive. Since March of 2020, Krista has been an vital resource for employment matters related to the pandemic, including issues related to return-to-work, vaccinations, statutes and policies related to COVID and more. Her generosity and expertise are invaluable to BASF.
The following members are being recognized with an Outstanding Barristers Award by the Barristers Club:
Kelly Matayoshi, Farella Braun + Martel
As President of the Barristers Club in 2020, Kelly Matayoshi gracefully met the challenges BASF faced by organizing more than a dozen COVID-19 related programs, covering subjects including everything from MCLE programs about substantive novel legal issues to cooking classes, bringing the community together throughout the pandemic. She led the Barristers' fight against racial injustice, creating a series of 10 programs in five months featuring leaders in the San Francisco Police Department and local criminal justice community to educate not only the legal community but also the public on topics like 'Know Your Rights' training and qualified immunity.
She facilitated the partnership with the Minority Bar Coalition, which led to the creation of the diversity task force, culminating in the first ever diversity conference being held in 2020. Hearing the needs of her fellow Barristers, she helped foster a leadership development series as well as a judges panel, illuminating the path forward for young attorneys.
Jamie Wells, Scale
Jamie Wells has been a dedicated leader in the Barristers Club community by serving in numerous leadership roles. She served on the Barristers Board of Directors from 2018 until 2020. Along with her role as a board member, Jamie has been involved with numerous Barristers sections and committees. Since 2016, Jamie has been involved with the Professional Development section, which provides programs related to practical skills for newer attorneys. Even after her term as a board member ended, she remained on the Professional Development section Executive Committee. Jamie was also a member and chair of the committee overseeing the Barristers Annual Meeting, a half-day conference focused on practical skills that can be used by new attorneys. Despite COVID-19, Jamie was able to organize the first virtual Annual Meeting in 2020 which drew attendees from all over California. The Barristers Club is thankful for Jamie’s many contributions over the years and is proud to recognize her this year as an Outstanding Barrister.
Carole Okolowicz, Carlson, Calladine & Peterson
Carole Okolowicz is the current co-chair of the Barristers Litigation Section and she has organized a number of CLE programs for the Barristers Club. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Carole quickly organized a panel related to business interruption claims and whether COVID-19 related claims would be covered by insurance. Then when the debate regarding the role of police and other law enforcement became a hot topic, Carole organized a CLE program to discuss qualified immunity and its effect on law enforcement, public offices, agencies and the victims of police misconduct. Along with putting together her own CLE programs, she has supported members of the Barristers Litigation section Executive Committee in putting on programs and events. This has resulted in the Barristers Litigation section having another successful year and putting on programs that are relevant and useful to BASF members and the greater legal community.
The awards will be presented at the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Annual Membership Luncheon and Installation of Officers on Dec. 16, 2020.
The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of attorneys, law students, and legal professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF enjoys the support of more than 7,500 individuals, law firms, corporate legal departments, and law schools. BASF provides a collective voice for public advocacy, advances professional growth and education, and attempts to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and respect in the practice of law.