Becoming Notorious: RBG’s Impact on Litigations and Dissents

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 63 minutes
Recorded Date: October 21, 2020
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  • RBG background
  • Ginsburg's legacy and strategy to combat unequal treatment
  • Voter suppression
  • Politicization of the Supreme Court
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Conclusion
Runtime: 1 hour, 3 minutes
Recorded: October 21st, 2020


Before Justice Ginsburg was the Notorious RBG, she was a self-proclaimed "flaming feminist litigator." As the co-founder of the ACLU Women's Rights Project, she helped fight for the legal recognition of gender equality — while giving credit to important work that came before her, including of black queer theorist and legal scholar Pauli Murray. She brought those same values to her work as a justice, whether in the majority in cases like U.S. v. Virginia or, more often at the end of her life, in dissent in cases like Shelby County v. Holder.

Learn how Ginsburg's own life experiences, from pregnancy discrimination to an egalitarian marriage, shaped her jurisprudence on gender and sexuality, racial justice, voting rights and beyond. The authors will be joined by current president of ABA, Patricia Lee Refo, and past president, Paulette Brown, to discuss Ginsburg’s influence on Supreme Jurisprudence.

This program was recorded on October 21st, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Shana Knizhnik

Staff Attorney, Manhattan Criminal Defense Practice
The Legal Aid Society of NYC

Shana graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2015, and is currently clerking for Federal Court of Appeals Judge Dolores Sloviter on the Third Circuit. At NYU, she was an Articles Editor for the New York University Law Review and served on the boards of OUTLaw and the Coalition on Law and Representation. She has interned at the ACLU, The Public Defender Service for DC and The Legal Aid Society. After her clerkship, she will begin her career as a public defender.

Paulette Brown

Senior Partner, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Locke Lord, LLP

Paulette Brown is a member of the labor & employment practice group of Locke Lord LLP and is the Immediate Past President of the American Bar Association. Throughout her career, she has held a number of positions, including in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and as a Municipal Court Judge. For the past 30 years, Paulette has engaged in the private practice of law, focusing on all facets of labor and employment and commercial litigation. She has defended employers in cases involving discrimination on the basis of age, sex, marital status, sexual harassment, disability, race and national origin. Paulette has received results in class action employment discrimination cases based upon race and wage and hour claims. She is also experienced in all aspects of workplace training and collective bargaining.

Paulette litigates in both federal and state courts, as well as arbitration forums for both unionized and non-union employees. She is a certified mediator for the United States District Court, District of New Jersey and a member of the Employment AAA Panel. Paulette is a frequent lecturer on labor and employment issues and issues related to electronic discovery and serves as Chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. She is also a member of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyer and American Law Institute. Additionally, Paulette has been recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of the prominent women and minority attorneys in the State of New Jersey and by the National Law Journal as one of "The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America." She has been listed as a NJ Super Lawyer since its inception and for the past three years as one of the top 50 women lawyers and one of the top 100 lawyers. Ms. Brown has also repeatedly been named by US News as one of The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Commercial Litigation. Paulette also received DRI's Pioneer Diversity Award and the NJ State Bar Association's Excellence in Diversity Award, and she was honored with the Spirit of Excellence and Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards by the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession. In 2014, Paulette was honored by the Rutgers Law-Camden Black Law Students Association for exemplifying the values advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Patricia Lee Refo

Snell & Wlimer, LLP

Trish Refo is the President of the American Bar Association. Her practice is concentrated in complex commercial litigation and internal investigations, with extensive experience in professional malpractice defense, commercial and business torts, financial institutions litigation, class actions and trade secret litigation. She chairs the firm's Professional Liability Litigation group. Trish is a sought-after speaker at international, national, state and local continuing legal education conferences. A thought leader on litigation and trial issues, Trish has been named one of the most influential women lawyers in the country. She has served as Chair of the ABA House of Delegates and the ABA Section of Litigation. Trish served on the Arizona Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence, and is a former member of the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence of the United States Judicial Conference.

Irin Carmon

Senior Correspondent
New York Magazine

Irin Carmon is a senior correspondent at New York magazine. She is the co-author of Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (2015) which spent three months on the Times' bestseller list. "That I responded so personally to it is a testimony to Ms. Carmon's storytelling and panache," the paper's staff book critic, Jennifer Senior, wrote of Notorious RBG.

In 2017-8, Carmon teamed up with the Washington Post and reporter Amy Brittain to break the news of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Charlie Rose, as well as CBS's knowledge of his conduct. That work won a 2018 Mirror Award from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

Previously, she was a national reporter at MSNBC and NBC News, reporting on gender, politics, and the law, and a staff writer at Salon and at Jezebel. Her reporting and commentary has appeared across print, radio, television, and digital platforms. She speaks frequently across the country on women's leadership and rights.

In 2011, she was one of Forbes' 30 Under 30 in Media. She graduated from Harvard, magna cum laude with highest honors in literature, in 2005.

Robyn Griffin

Senior Managing Director
The Huntington National Bank

Robyn Griffin is currently Managing Director in the National Settlement Team at Huntington National Bank. Robyn is a thought leader in her industry and led the launch of the Bank’s west coast office in 2014. She is responsible for creating strategic brand development and is lead producer and head of business development for her team at Huntington, generating 50% growth year over year since joining the bank.

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