American Bar Association
Business and Corporate Litigation: Women Business and Commercial Advocates Subcommittee

ABA Section of Business Law

Business and Corporate Litigation:
Women Business and Commercial Advocates Subcommittee

Who We Are

The Women Business and Commercial Advocates Subcommittee provides a forum for all attorneys in the committee to come together to celebrate and to support the advancement of women business litigators. This is one of the fastest-growing groups in the committee and provides a venue for business litigators to network with one another and learn from prominent women business lawyers and judges. The committee also seeks to increase the number of women who practice in business and commercial litigation by providing mentoring and programming geared toward women business advocates. In addition, the subcommittee annually hosts a program or reception recognizing and celebrating the accomplishment of women in the profession and particularly the judiciary. The group welcomes all attorneys who are interested in promoting participation of women business lawyers and judges in the legal profession.


WBCA Honors 3 Exceptional Business Lawyers in New Orleans

The Women’s Business and Commercial Advocates Subcommittee (“WBCA”) honored three outstanding women business litigators at the American Bar Association Business Law Section Spring Meeting in April 2017. The WBCA’s signature event is its annual reception recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of women in the profession. This year, the WBCA selected three prominent women business lawyers and judges as honorees, two of whom are notable members of the New Orleans legal community and a third who is truly “one of our own.”

2017 Spring Meeting Women Business and Commercial Advocates Reception: (L-R) Heidi Staudenmaier (BCLC Chair), Daniel Formeller (WBCA Subcommittee Co-Chair), Honoree Lynn E. Swanson, Honoree Sharonda R. Williams, Honoree Judge Gail Andler (BCLC Co-Vice Chair and WBCA Subcommittee Co-Chair), Melissa Damian Visconti (WBCA Subcommittee Co-Chair).

Sharonda R. Williams, Special Counsel at the Louisiana-based law firm Fishman Haygood LLP, was selected as an honoree for her distinguished career in public service and private practice. Before joining Fishman Haygood in 2015, Sharonda served as City Attorney for the City of New Orleans, the City’s Chief of Litigation, and as a skilled litigator in private practice. A woman of many talents, she even graduated from medical school before joining the legal profession. Sharonda is extremely active in her local community, including involvement with Bridge House and Grace House, which are nonprofit, long-term alcoholism and drug addiction treatment centers in the greater New Orleans area. She is also active in various segments of the legal community, including the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc.; the American Civil Liberties Union; the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana; and the National Association of Women Judges. Sharonda is committed to helping young lawyers develop their skills, and has served as a Trial Advocacy Instructor at Tulane University School of Law, and also as a guest lecturer and Skills Course Instructor at Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans.

Lynn Swanson, Managing Member of the New Orleans law firm Jones, Swanson, Huddell and Garrison LLC was also among the honorees. Lynn was recognized for her leadership, contributions to the profession, and for her stature as a role model for women seeking and pursuing a career as courtroom lawyers. Lynn’s early career was focused on representing plaintiffs in class action litigation. When she joined the Jones Swanson firm in 2004, she became instrumental in developing the firm’s commercial litigation practice. In that role she has been lead counsel in a number of high profile cases and has gained the reputation as a skilled trial lawyer and a worthy adversary. In accepting the Award, she commented upon the need for women courtroom lawyers to encourage and mentor younger women and to lend their experience and expertise to women who wish to engage in a trial practice. This award follows Lynn being named “Woman of the Year” by the New Orleans CityBusiness magazine in 2016 for her professional achievements and her contributions to the New Orleans Community.

Much to her surprise, The Honorable Gail A. Andler was selected as the final honoree. Judge Andler recently retired from the bench after more than twenty-three years of public service on the Orange County Superior Court, where she served ten years on the Complex Civil Litigation Panel. Before joining the court, she represented individuals and closely held corporations in business and real estate litigation, and also gained substantial jury trial experience as a prosecutor. Judge Andler has joined JAMS as a mediator, arbitrator and special master in a variety of disputes. Judge Andler is extensively involved in the legal community, including active roles in the ABA Business Law Section; the ABA Judicial Division; the American College of Business Court Judges; the National Conference of State Trial Judges; the American Board of Trial Advocates; and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. Judge Andler’s leadership has been a model for the enhancement of women in the legal profession, as she regularly mentors and encourages young lawyers and law students.

The WBCA was proud to celebrate the accomplishments Sharonda, Lynn, and Judge Andler have achieved in their careers. These women truly embody the spirit of the Subcommittee and are highly deserving of this recognition.

Meeting Photos

2017 Spring Meeting


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Sub-Committee Chairs:

Andler, Hon Gail
Formeller, Daniel
Visconti, Melissa

Sub-Committee Vice-Chairs:

Beauregard, Alyn
Greenlee, Paige
Letcher, Katherine
Wang, Mian

Committee Roster  

Programs, Meetings and Events

Section Events

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    2018 Business Law Section Spring Meeting

    Rosen Shingle Creek

    **PLEASE START ON THIS PAGE FOR REGISTRATION AND TO ADD TICKETED EVENTS (LUNCHES/DINNERS) TO YOUR REGISTRATION** TO ADD EVENTS TO AN EXISTING REGISTRATION: Click on Register Now, which will prompt you to log-in with your ABA credentials. After logging in, click on View Registration. ...

    Insolvency Explained: Bankruptcies, Assignments, Bulk Transfers, Receiverships, Probates, and Workouts


    Insolvency Explained: Bankruptcies, Assignments, Bulk Transfers, Receiverships, Probates,...

Regional Events

Programs and Materials


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Modified by Graham Hunt on June 23, 2017

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