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Conference Held to Focus on Role of Women in U.S. Politics

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s eighth annual Women and the Law Conference brought together a powerhouse roster of female politicians and political scientists Feb. 29 to examine the role gender plays in American politics.

Former U.S. Attorney Carol Lam spoke to the crowd about trustworthiness and expertise, two important traits that she said define the word credibility. Lam oversaw prosecution of the Randy “Duke” Cunningham military corruption case and was later fired alongside seven other U.S. attorneys amid a slew of controversy regarding White House politics.

“I think what happened during the past year was the Justice Department ended up, regrettably, in my point of view, having not a lot of credibility,” said Lam, who now serves as legal counsel and senior vice president for Qualcomm Inc.

Lam, who has rarely given her opinion about the firings in public, pointed to credibility gaps between politicians’ actions and how they play out.

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Lam refused to go into detail about her statements following the speech. She also touched on her decision to take two weeks of maternity leave following the birth of her first child, and had advice for young law students.

“Don’t let others’ expectations of you exceed what you’re capable of doing,” she advised the crowd.

Other speakers at the event were former state Sen. Dede Alpert; former assistant to President Carter Midge Costanza; San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis; City Councilwoman and former mayoral candidate Donna Frye; U.S. Attorney Karen Hewitt; and former U.S. Rep. Lynn Schenk.

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Nominations Now Accepted:

The San Diego County Bar Foundation says it is accepting nominations for the 2008 Distinguished Lawyers Memorial.

The memorial was founded in 1989 to recognize deceased lawyers and judges of the San Diego County Bar who demonstrated superior legal skills and high ethical standards throughout careers, plus outstanding dedication to the welfare of the community.

Nomination forms, due March 15, can be found online at www.sdcbf.org.


Send news about legal services to Heather Chambers,

hchambers@sdbj.com

, or call (858) 277-6359, ext. 3125.

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