OCBA member Mary-Christine "M.C." Sungaila, a partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP and member of Haynes and Boone’s Appellate Practice, has been elevated to chair of the Board of Overseers for the RAND Institute for Civil Justice (ICJ).
The RAND Institute for Civil Justice supplies government, private decision-makers and the public with objective, empirically based, analytic research on legal issues. The organization analyzes trends and outcomes, identifies and evaluates policy options, and brings together representatives of different interests to debate alternative solutions to policy problems. For example, the RAND ICJ has recently published a number of reports on cybersecurity, autonomous vehicles, healthcare insurance, compensation for widespread losses, wildfire risks in California and its impact on the homeowners’ insurance market, and workers’ compensation in California.
The institute builds on a long tradition of research characterized by an interdisciplinary, empirical approach to public policy issues and rigorous standards of quality, objectivity, and independence.
“The Board of Overseers plays a crucial role in the institute’s mission of making the civil justice system more efficient and more equitable,” said RAND ICJ Director James M. Anderson. “Having a well-respected lawyer like M.C. Sungaila chair the board will bolster our ability to accomplish key objectives.”
The Board of Overseers, which comprises a balanced group of senior corporate officials and general counsels, senior partners of major law firms (both plaintiffs' and defense lawyers), consumer and labor organization executives, senior members of the judiciary and leading academic scholars, advises the staff on the development of new research projects; consults researchers on issues of impartiality and autonomy in reporting results; and helps to build support for the institute and its mission.
Sungaila previously served as vice-chair of the ICJ Board. Her successor as vice-chair is Teresa Wynn Roseborough, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of The Home Depot, Inc.
Sungaila has continuously led or served on community boards since 1995, including Opera Pacific, Break the Cycle, International Association of Defense Counsel, and the Orange County Bar Association. She also was recently elected to the Board of the Pacific Symphony, the largest orchestral institution founded in the U.S. in the last half-century, and the Board of Trustees of the World Affairs Council, Orange County, an organization that educates citizens on important and critical issues concerning world affairs.
She has been honored for her sustained commitment to community service and pro bono work, receiving recognition from groups as diverse as California Women Lawyers, Alpha Phi International Fraternity, the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and Coastline Community College Foundation. In 2017, she was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, whose recipients include seven U.S. Presidents, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, leaders of industry, artists and others whose work has made a lasting impact on humanity, for her combined professional achievements and humanitarian and pro bono work.
In addition, her various articles on effective amicus briefing, appellate brief writing, and gender issues have been cited in more than 45 law review articles, treatises and blogs, and appear as required reading on law school course syllabi throughout North America. Her commentary has appeared in a variety of publications ranging from the ABA Journal and National Law Journal to the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.