Advancing LGBT Civil Rights

National Legal Panel

Saturday, May 3, 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
The University of the Arts, Connelly Auditorium

211 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA


The lead litigators in Pennsylvania’s three marriage cases provide background, updates and insights as well as an overview of marriage equality and recognition suits from across the nation.

Adam Romero , Esq. (Moderator)
Senior Counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy Scholar of Law
Williams Institute

Adam Romero is Senior Counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy Scholar of Law at the Williams Institute. He successfully represented the plaintiffs in Cooper-Harris v. USA, the first case to declare unconstitutional federal laws barring the recognition of same-sex marriages in the context of veterans benefits. 

Mark Aronchick , Esq. (Panelist)
Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller

Mark Aronchick, partner, Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, serves as lead counsel in Whitewood v. Wolf, a federal marriage equality lawsuit filed against Pennsylvania in July 2013 on behalf of 21 residents. Aronchick was the youngest city solicitor in the history of Philadelphia and the first to serve simultaneously as president of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation and vice chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Robert C. Heim , Esq. (Panelist)
Dechert LLP

Robert C. Heim, partner, Dechert LLP, serves as lead counsel in Ballen v. Corbett. The suit seeks state recognition of marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples by the Montgomery County (Pa.) clerk in summer 2013. Heim was appointed by the late Chief Justice of the United States William H. Rehnquist to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules; he recently completed a second term. Heim is a former chancellor of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Eric Kraeutler , Esq. (Panelist)
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Eric Kraeutler, partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, serves as lead counsel in the case of Palladino v. Corbett. The federal suit was filed in August 2013 on behalf of a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts who seeks recognition in Pennsylvania, where they now reside. Kraeutler has argued cases before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Ninth and Federal Circuits as well as before state appellate courts.

Thomas W. Ude , Jr. (Panelist)
Senior Staff Attorney
Lambda Legal

Thomas W. Ude Jr. is senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal. He coordinates the organization's activites to address issues such as government misconduct, employment discrimination, recognition of same-sex relationships and parent-child relationships, and transgender rights. His work includes cases such as Taylor v. Rice, Lambda Legal’s challenge to the State Department’s ban against hiring anyone with HIV as a Foreign Service Officer.

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