Overcoming Blind Spots & Unconscious Bias to Create a Culture of Inclusion

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 60 minutes
Recorded Date: June 13, 2017
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  • What is unconscious bias?
  • Evaluation bias
  • Interrupting Unconscious Bias
  • Warning signs
  • Possible solutions
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: June 13, 2017


Unconscious bias plagues many professions here in the U.S. and globally, and the legal industry is one where bias is pervasive. A sense of social responsibility among lawyers is growing in the wake of Trump’s proposed executive orders, making exposure of blind spots within the legal office a more common occurrence. During this session the speakers will discuss various forms of bias and the strategies needed to overcome the mental shortcuts and assumptions people too often make in the legal industry. You will hear examples of bias-breaking activities your office or department can utilize.

This program was recorded on June 13th, 2017.

Provided By



Timothy Elder

TRE Legal Practice

Tim Elder is a civil rights litigator focusing on disability discrimination cases. Prior to establishing the TRE Legal Practice, he was associated at Brown, Goldstein & Levy as a Disability Rights Fellow. He has helped secure injunctions against testing entities for their failure to accommodate disabled students, negotiated groundbreaking settlements with publically traded companies, tried employment discrimination claims before juries and argued before federal trial and appellate courts.

Tim graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. During law school, he externed with the Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. He also clerked for the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center in San Francisco, where he worked on complex employment discrimination cases and represented low-income workers at administrative hearings. In 2008, Tim was awarded the TenBroek Fellowship for commitment to disability rights, and in 2010, Tim was a recipient of The Daily Record’s VIP by 40 Award, which recognizes younger professionals in Maryland for their professional accomplishments, civic involvement, and impact of achievement.

Tim regularly presents on the topic of disability law. He holds leadership positions in the American Bar Association and the National Association of Blind Lawyers. Through his civic involvement, he actively works to promote diversity within the legal profession.

Mazda Antia

Cooley LLP

Mazda K. Antia is a Litigation Partner at Cooley LLP in San Diego. Mazda serves on the firm's hiring and diversity committees.

Mazda has represented technology, social media, retail, communications, healthcare, investment, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and others companies in consumer class actions across the country. These cases have included claims for false advertising, unfair competition, consumer privacy statutes, violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, RICO, and other state and federal consumer protection laws.

Mazda's healthcare litigation experience has included the defense of health plans, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, healthcare manufacturers and suppliers, pharmacy benefit managers, and eHealth companies at the trial and appellate level. He has also successfully defended healthcare companies in cases involving the False Claims Act, RICO related litigation, antitrust and unfair competition claims. Mazda has handled sensitive internal investigations and investigations related to government and regulatory inquiries regarding corporate compliance issues, drug reimbursement and marketing issues, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Mazda currently serves on the board of the ABA's Immigration Justice Project. He's a past president of the South Asian Bar Association of San Diego and former advisory board member of the Family Health Centers of San Diego.

Prior to joining Cooley, Mazda served as a judicial law clerk to Chief Judge William J. Zloch of the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Terrance Evans

Duane Morris LLP

Terrance J. Evans is a partner in the Trial Practice Group of Duane Morris in San Francisco. He concentrates his practice in representing the financial services industry, which includes international, national and community banks; loan service companies; and insurance companies. During his career, Mr. Evans has both recovered and saved clients of the firm tens of millions of dollars in settlements, judgments and extrajudicial procedures. Mr. Evans is also a member of the firm's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and serves as the West Coast Vice Chair of the Duane Morris Banking Practice Group.

With respect to the insurance industry, Mr. Evans concentrates his practice in complex commercial litigation and policy interpretation and analysis. He has represented commercial primary, excess and umbrella insurers in a wide range of multimillion-dollar cases, including declaratory relief, bad faith, rescission, subrogation, indemnity, additional insurance, interpleader and reformation actions. Mr. Evans has served as national coordinating counsel and monitoring counsel for insurance companies evaluating multi-jurisdictional claims where the exposure was estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Mr. Evans has negotiated settlements in dozens of multimillion-dollar cases, litigated in more than ten states, and has participated in more than 100 mediations, mandatory settlement conferences, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution for matters in both federal and state courts. Mr. Evans has also successfully represented clients in appellate matters, including matters before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Evans has spoken at insurance coverage seminars, business development workshops, and diversity conferences around the country. Additionally, he has been very involved in the firm's pro bono efforts.

Mr. Evans has been recognized both locally and nationally for his professional accomplishments. In 2016, he was appointed to the Minority Corporate Counsel Association's (MCCA) Next Generation (N-Gen) Advisory Board, formed of in-house and law firm attorneys to assist with MCCA's efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession nationwide. In 2012, Mr. Evans was appointed as co-chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee. In 2010 and 2008, he was honored by the American Business Trial Lawyers of Northern California for his dedication and professionalism. In addition, he was named one of the top 100 minority associates in the United States for 2007 by the Stakeholder Organization. Mr. Evans has also received special honors from the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, the Young Black Scholars Program, the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, the American Legion and many other organizations.

Leslie Spencer

Ropes & Gray LLP

Leslie Spencer, co-chair of the firm's diversity committee, is a partner in the IP litigation practice. She works with clients on intellectual property matters involving software, networking, security, financial technology (“FinTech”) and other emerging technologies. She has over 15 years of experience litigating patent disputes in district courts, including through Markman hearing, trial and appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She is a registered patent attorney, and appears before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Leslie also counsels clients regarding IP asset protection, IP transactions and freedom-to-operate opinions.

Prior to practicing law, Leslie worked for financial services and e-commerce companies, and supervised the development of a smart card-based secure transaction system.

Deanna Kwong

IP Litigation Counsel
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Deanna has over ten years of experience in intellectual property, specializing in complex patent litigation and strategic intellectual property advisement. She has additional experience in general commercial, trade secrets, consumer class action, and antitrust litigation.

Deanna has managed software, internet, hardware, semiconductor, wireless, cloud computing, client/server-related and other patent matters at all stages, from pre-filing analysis and preparation through initial pleadings, fact discovery, expert discovery, and pretrial through mediation, settlement, and/or trial to appeal. She has litigated in all major patent litigation venues in the U.S., including in the E.D. Texas, N.D. California, D. Del., and ITC. I have PTAB proceedings experience as well. She has negotiated and drafted settlement agreements and have handled due diligence for transactional matters.

Deanna has first chair trial experience, with a trial victory resulting in all charges against her client dismissed, and has successfully briefed and argued two Ninth Circuit appeals as lead counsel.

Deanna has an active pro bono practice and is active on diversity initiatives.

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