OHBA's 10th Annual Award Dinner Recap
Our guest speaker will be David Lopez, General Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Our Paul J. De Muniz award winner is Kevin Díaz, National Director of Legal Advocacy for Compassion & Choices.
The Paul J. De Muniz Professionalism Award
Each year the OHBA honors an individual who elevates the practice of law by a combination of the following:
- Exemplary professionalism
- Significant contribution to the justice system and the public
- Exceptional courage in the face of adversity
- Outstanding service to the bench and bar
- Outstanding service to the people of Oregon
- Exceptional volunteer work and community service
- Outstanding efforts in providing free or low cost services to the poor
- Significant contribution to advancing legal education in Oregon
- Dedication to mentoring students and legal professionals
- Exemplary dedication to the OHBA
- Exemplary service to the Latino community
THE OREGON HISPANIC BAR ASSOCIATION'S
PAUL J. DE MUNIZ PROFESSIONALISM AWARD DINNER
TO BE HELD ON FEBRUARY 16, 2016
David Lopez was sworn in as General Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on April 8, 2010. He was nominated by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the Senate on December 22, 2010. He was confirmed a second time by the Senate on December 3, 2014. Mr. Lopez is the first EEOC field trial attorney to be appointed as the agency's General Counsel. He has served at the Commission in various capacities for the past 20 years, including as Supervisory Trial Attorney in the Phoenix District Office and Special Assistant to then-Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas.
As General Counsel, Mr. Lopez runs the Commission's litigation program, overseeing the agency's 15 Regional Attorneys and a staff of more than 325 lawyers and legal professionals who conduct or support Commission litigation in district and appellate courts across the country. During his tenure, Mr. Lopez has cultivated "one national law enforcement agency," encouraging the EEOC's litigators nationwide to operate more collaboratively and cohesively with each other and other internal partners.
Under his leadership, the EEOC's trial program has been extremely successful. Since fiscal year 2013, the EEOC won 13 out of 17 jury trials, including significant verdicts involving race discrimination such as in the case against AC Widenhouse, where the 4th Circuit upheld a $243,000 jury verdict for the EEOC. Also, among the notable victories is the $240 million jury verdict – the Commission's largest award ever – in Henry's Turkey Service, a case brought on behalf of over thirty intellectually disabled men. Significant appellate victories in EEOC enforcement actions include New Breed Logistics (court affirms $1.5 million sexual harassment and retaliation verdict); Boh Brothers (plaintiffs can prove same-sex harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act with "gender stereotyping" evidence); Houston Funding ("lactation" discrimination violates Title VII as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act); United Airlines (employers may have to reassign disabled employees noncompetitively as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA); Baltimore County (making older workers contribute more to pensions violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act); and Serrano & EEOC v. Cintas (Commission can bring "pattern or practice" suit under section 706 of Title VII).
Mr. Lopez has also served as Co-Chair of the committee that developed the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan for 2013 to 2016. He is the Chair of the Commission's Immigrant Worker Team, a group tasked with strengthening and coordinating EEOC's enforcement and outreach on employment discrimination issues affecting immigrant and other vulnerable workers.
In 2014, the National Law Journal named Mr. Lopez one of "America's 50 Outstanding General Counsels," and the magazine, Diversity and the Barrecognized Mr. Lopez as a "Latino Luminary" for his work as a civil rights attorney and as General Counsel. In 2011, Hispanic Business named Mr. Lopez to its list of 100 Influentials in the Hispanic community.
Before becoming General Counsel, during his 12 years in the EEOC's Phoenix District Office, Mr. Lopez successfully tried several novel and noteworthy cases. He won significant jury verdicts against Alamo Rent-a-Car (the first "post-9/11 backlash" religious accommodation case brought by the EEOC), and Go Daddy (a national origin (Moroccan), religion (Islam), and retaliation case), to name a few.
From 1991 to 1994, Mr. Lopez was a Senior Trial Attorney with the Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section, of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Between 1988 and 1991, Mr. Lopez was an Associate with Spiegel and McDiarmid in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Lopez graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988 and graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University in 1985, with a B.S. in Political Science.
National Director of Legal Advocacy for Compassion & Choices
Kevin Díaz is the National Director of Legal Advocacy for Compassion & Choices. His work focuses on improving health care and expanding choice at the end-of-life. Born in Perú and raised in Oregon, Díaz earned degrees at the University of Oregon and the University of Washington School of Law.
Previously Mr. Díaz has served as the Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon as well as an advocate for immigrants with a particular focus on issues affecting migrant and seasonal farm workers. Throughout his 20-year career in public interest law he has worked to protect the liberty and enhance the dignity of individuals who, for one reason or another, have been treated unfairly.
Mr. Díaz currently is a board member of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette and is a member of the executive committee of the Oregon State Bar Constitutional Law Section. In the past he was a member of the Oregon Law Enforcement Contacts Policy and Data Review Committee, a board member of the Hispanic National Bar Association, and is a past President of the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association.