Gloria Allen represented several San Diego women in their sex harassment suits against former Mayor Bob Filner.
Gloria Allen represented several San Diego women in their sex harassment suits against former Mayor Bob Filner. Photo via Lawyers Club

Famed litigator Gloria Allred, who helped several women win lawsuits against former Mayor Bob Filner, will speak this month at a San Diego legal club’s annual event.

“It is an incredible honor to have Gloria Allred, a pioneering advocate for women’s rights, attend Lawyers Club’s Annual Dinner and take the stage as our keynote speaker this year,” said club president Shannon R. Finley.

Event co-chairs Mikhak Ghorban and Christine Fitzgerald are credited with securing the Allred appearance June 22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 1 Park Blvd..

For its 50th anniversary celebration last year, the club made up mainly of female attorneys heard virtually from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Other past speakers have included journalist Dahlia Lithwick, activist Cecile Richards, California’s Kamala Harris, Professor Anita Hill and former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Georgia’s Stacey Abrams had to bow out of the 2020 event amid the COVID pandemic.

With the theme “Limitless,” the event is open to the public and begins with a no-host reception at 5 p.m. The dinner program begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $255 a person for the general public, $180 for members and $130 for student members.

Full tables are discounted to $1,800 for tables of 10.

Club president Finley added about Allred: “Her dedication to fighting for justice and equality serves as an inspiration to all and her presence will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on those who attend.”

In July 2013, the Los Angeles-based Allred appeared at a San Diego news conference with Irene McCormack Jackson — Filner’s communications director and his first named accuser.

On Friday the 13th in August 2013, former 10-term congressman Filner resigned as mayor after nine months in office. Nearly 20 women stepped forward with tales of harassment, making famous the term “Filner headlock.”

The San Diego City Council later approved a $250,000 outlay to settle the McCormack Jackson lawsuit that led to Filner’s fall.

Ironically, one of the candidates who sought Filner’s job was Nathan Fletcher, himself now embroiled in a sex harassment suit.

At the June 22 dinner, the Lawyers Club will present four awards:

  • Judge Wendy Behan of San Diego Superior Court will receive the Belva Lockwood Award, which honors outstanding contributions to Lawyers Club and is named for the first woman attorney to be admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court (in 1879).
  • Anna M. Romanskaya, a partner at Stark & D’Ambrosio, LLP, will receive the Community Service Award in recognition of her local community activities that have served to improve the status of women and to promote equality.
  • Alexandria Hopson, an attorney at Mercury Insurance, will receive the C. Hugh Friedman New Lawyer Award, which recognizes members in practice seven years or less who are champions in advancing Lawyers Club’s mission and demonstrating leadership and professionalism within the San Diego legal community.
  • And George W. Brewster Jr.— who now serves on the Advisory Board, recently served as a co-chair of the 50-year anniversary committee, and previously served on the Lawyers Club board for seven years — will receive the Charles A. Bird Ally Award, which recognizes an individual who self-identifies as a male and exemplifies a lifetime commitment to Lawyers Club’s mission and shares the organization’s values of justice, inclusion, and progress.

Finley also will pass the gavel to president-elect Audrey Surridge during the program.

In her book “Fight Back and Win,” Allred writes: “I start every day with the knowledge that helping people and fighting for justice is my duty, and that nothing worthwhile comes without sacrifice, self-discipline, and courage.”

Allred is a founding partner of the law firm of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg, with offices
in Los Angeles and New York. Her firm claims to handle more women’s rights cases than any other private law firm in the nation.

She is the recipient of the President’s Award from the National Association of Women Lawyers and the President’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism, presented to her in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan at the White House.

She is a three-time Emmy nominee for her commentaries on KABC-TV in Los Angeles. Her nationally syndicated television show, “We the People with Gloria Allred” was also
nominated in 2012 for a Daytime Emmy.

In 2014 Ms. Allred received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Trial Lawyers for her role in combating injustices and winning new rights, particularly for women and minorities.

In 2017 Netflix announced “Seeing Allred,” an original documentary about Allred and her work. “Seeing Allred” launched globally on Netflix in February 2018, and is still streaming on Netflix.