USINPAC raises a toast for Indian American Vijaya Gadde on her appointment as Twitter General Counsel

Vijaya Gadde, who has led Twitter’s corporate affairs for the past two years, has been named general counsel at the company, after corporate counsel Alex MacGillivray announced on his personal Web site Aug. 30 that he is leaving the position as Twitter gets ready to go for an expected initial public offering in 2014.

Gadde specialized in corporate and securities law at the Silicon Valley firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for 10 years, before leaving to work at computer routing company Juniper Networks. The Indian American joined Twitter in July 2011.

Civil libertarians have praised MacGillivray, who worked at Google before joining Twitter, for championing the rights of users and rebuffing requests for information about its users, The New York Times reported. The company fought a court order in 2011 to reveal names of WikiLeaks supporters and told users that their information was being sought.

MacGillivray — better known as Amac — said he would continue in an advisory role.

On his personal blog, he wrote, “I’m looking forward to engaging my various Internet passions from new and different perspectives, seeing friends and family without distraction, and just goofing off a bit. We should all do more of that.

According to the Times, Gadde said she is “honored to work with the @twitter legal and @safety teams as we continue to defend our users around the world.”

The Times also reported that Twitter has boosted efforts to increase revenues by recruiting senior marketing executive Kate Jhaveri from Facebook.

Analysts said that Twitter would face a key challenge to balance business interests and its advocacy of free speech.

The company’s public policy department will now report directly to chief executive Dick Costolo, rather than to the new general counsel, as it had in the past, a company spokesman said.

Source: IndiaWest

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Sunil Kulkarni on his appointment as Santa Clara County Judge

Governor Jerry Brown has appointed Sunil R. Kulkarni, who since 2011 has served as a senior counsel in the litigation group at the University of California, to Santa Clara County Superior Court.

A resident of Palo Alto, Calif., Kulkarni, 41, becomes the first South Asian American state judge appointed in Northern California, according to the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California.

(Indian American Paul Singh Grewal in 2010 was appointed a magistrate judge in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Magistrate judges are federal judges.)

Kulkarni told India-West Aug. 30 that he was “thrilled to get the call” from the governor’s office about the appointment, and has practiced “a wide variety of litigation” in the office of General Counsel at the University of California, including civil litigation, administrative hearings, copyright law, patents and labor issues.

Born in Los Angeles, Kulkarni, 41, grew up in King City, Calif., in southern Monterey County.

He has a B.S. from U.C.-Berkeley and a law degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law.

The Indian American attorney was a law clerk for Judge Oliver W. Wagner in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California from 1996-97 and held various positions at Morrison and Foerster LLP from 1998-2011, including partner and associate.

“We’re extremely proud that (Gov. Brown) has chosen to appoint the first South Asian state court judge in Northern California, and that this historic appointment has been given to someone who is a pillar in our community,” said Akshay Verma, co-president, SABA-NC.

“It is inspirational to see someone as deserving as…Kulkarni appointed to the bench. His appointment reflects an evolving judiciary that reflects the communities that it serves. SABA-NC hopes that more deserving South Asian attorneys will follow in…Kulkarni’s footsteps and aspire to become a member of the bench.”

He fills a vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Marcel B. Poche. A Democrat, Kulkarni will receive a salary of $178,000 per year.

A member of SABA-NC, Kulkarni served as endorsements co-chair and vice president of that organization. He was on the board and treasurer of Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto from 2009-2013, served as volunteer mediator for the Northern District of California since 2011, and was a temporary judge for Santa Clara County traffic court since November 2012.

Married, he and his wife, Sujata Patel, a psychiatrist at Stanford University, have two girls, Asha, 7, and Leela, 4.

There has been a flurry of recent appointments and nominations of South Asians to the judiciary in California and the U.S.

They include Rupa S. Goswami, who was appointed by Gov. Brown to Los Angeles County Superior Court in July (I-W, July 19); Alka Sagar, who was named a federal magistrate judge for the Central District of California (I-W, Aug. 30); and Vince Girdhari Chhabria, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to the U.S. District Court for Northern California (I-W, Aug. 3).

These developments come on the heels of Skikanth “Sri” Srinivasan’s historic appointment and confirmation by the U.S. Senate in May to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (I-W, May 31), considered the second most powerful court in the nation.

Asked about the fact that more South Asian Americans are advancing in the legal and judicial fields, Kulkarni told India-West that he believes it is because “South Asians in my generation” are “more open about law as a career.” Many in earlier cohorts, he pointed out, came to the U.S. as engineers, medical doctors or business professionals.

The younger generation is far more likely to view law as “a new paradigm” for a career, Kulkarni added.

Source: IndiaWest