David Dinielli to Join Southern Poverty Law Center

Munger, Tolles & Olson partner David C. Dinielli will join the Southern Poverty Law Center as Deputy Legal Director effective June 3, 2013. Mr. Dinielli will oversee the organization’s LGBT Rights Project and Emerging Issues Project.

“Everyone at the Center is incredibly excited that David will be joining us,” said Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “His litigation skills are matched only by the size of his heart and his commitment to advancing the rights of those who are so often marginalized in our country. I know that he’ll help the Center reach new heights.”

At Munger Tolles, Mr. Dinielli has worked on major antitrust, copyright and pro bono cases. His work has included extensive work in the area of LGBT rights. He has helped lead the team defending SB 1172, California’s ban on “therapy” intended to change the sexual orientation of minors, serving as co-counsel with the LGBT advocacy group National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). He also co-counseled with NCLR in the California Supreme Court challenge to California’s Proposition 8. In addition to NCLR, he has worked with the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the ACLU of Southern California and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network on initiatives and litigation involving the rights of youth, same-sex couples and military families. Mr. Dinielli has received several recognitions for this work, including the Free Speech/LGBT Award and the LGBT Award from the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, and a commendation for “unwavering commitment to LGBT justice” from NLCR.

“David is joining an organization with a deep and historic commitment to human rights,” said Sandra Seville-Jones, Munger Tolles managing partner. “While we are sorry to see him leave, this is an absolutely wonderful opportunity for him to continue his work in an area of law in which he is passionate and to be a national leader in this area.”

Mr. Dinielli is a graduate of Harvard College and earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan where he earned his degree magna cum laude and was Managing Editor of the Michigan Law Review. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Cynthia Holcomb Hall, Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, during the 1994-1995 term. He joined Munger Tolles in the fall of 1995 and became a partner in 2002.

SPLC is at the forefront of LGBT rights issues, taking legal action to combat public school policies that create a hostile environment toward gay students, advocating for parents’ rights, and releasing an anti-bullying documentary that has 50,000 copies in distribution nationwide. The Emerging Issues Project is aimed at seeking relief for emerging civil rights and economic issues that affect minorities and the poor in the South.

SPLC is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. Founded by civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. in 1971, SPLC is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups. It is based in Montgomery, Ala., the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement.

For more than 50 years, Munger Tolles has been a full-service law firm known for trying bet-the-company cases and negotiating deals that shape our corporate landscape. Our 185 lawyers represent clients in a broad range of complex and high-profile matters in the areas of corporate, litigation, real estate and bankruptcy.