Insight Center: News

California Connections


Kassem Lucas and Tambry Bradford at the CMCP 24th Annual Business Conference.

When the Los Angeles Health Care Services team of lawyers joined Pepper in July, one of the essential relationships they wanted to transition was their sponsorship and support of the California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP), the premier diversity organization for lawyers on the West Coast. CMCP was formed in 1989, and is dedicated to promoting diversity in the legal profession by providing attorneys of color with access and opportunity for business and professional development.

Mark Kadzielski, the new partner heading up Pepper’s Health Care Services Practice, obtained firm sponsorship of CMCP’s 24th Annual Business Conference. Tambry L. Bradford, special counsel in the Commercial Litigation Department of Pepper’s Los Angeles office has been actively involved in CMCP for several years. Bradford is co-chair of CMCP’s Newsletter Committee and served on the Planning Committee for CMCP’s 2012 Annual Business Conference. Through her continued involvement, Ms. Bradford has developed a strong relationship with CMCP Executive Director Marci Rubin, former deputy general counsel at Wells Fargo, who has served as a wonderful mentor, and has provided Bradford with unique opportunities for inside access to many of the in-house counsel for the corporations involved in CMCP.

Bradford was joined by Kassem L. Lucas at this year’s Annual Conference held in Los Angeles on September 25th and 26th. Kadzielski attended the General Counsel Reception with Bradford and Lucas, where they had an opportunity to talk with a senior executive of a major West Coast health care provider. The conversation focused on Pepper’s many diversity programs, including the firm’s partnership and collaboration with Villanova Law School, for which Pepper received the George B. Vashon Innovator Award from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) – a high honor that is “given to in-house legal departments, law firms, and bar associations that have led the way with innovative best practices to assist diverse attorneys.”

An exciting aspect of every year’s CMCP Conference is “Corporate Connections,” a series of 15-minute interviews between in-house and outside counsel. This year, Bradford interviewed with Karen J. Petrulakis, the chief deputy general counsel of the Regents of the University of California, as well as Leon Bass, Jr., Southern California Edison’s director and managing attorney for commercial litigation. (Mr. Bass is the son of Dr. Leon Bass — who visited Pepper’s Philadelphia office earlier this year to make an inspirational presentation). Bradford was also able to share her recent move to Pepper with other connections made through CMCP, including the general counsel of a large, California-based bank, who was very excited to hear about Bradford’s recent experience in banking and financial litigation with Orange County commercial litigation partner Alan Kessel, as it will potentially create a future opportunity to provide legal services to the bank. Bradford concluded this year’s conference by accepting an invitation from Marci Rubin to join her for dinner with the senior vice president and general counsel of an international retailer, several members of his team, and a CMCP board member.