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Justice Ginsburg came to Barndiva for a special wedding

Monday, August 20th, 2012 | Posted by


BY CHRIS SMITH/The Press Democrat

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was at Healdsburg’s savored Barndiva on Saturday night, and not simply for dinner.

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice officiated at the wedding of two exceptionally bright San Francisco attorneys, who met while serving as law clerks to Ginsburg in 2008 and 2009.

“They were just stellar people,” said Barndiva owner Jil Hales. She said the bride and groom “were obviously thrilled to have her here. Her affection for the couple was very clear.”

The bride, Miriam Lapin Seifter, 30, graduated magna cum laude from Yale, earned a master’s degree in environmental policy from Oxford and received a law degree magna cum laude from Harvard.

Miriam Lapin Seifter

She’s now a litigation associate at the San Francisco law firm of  Munger, Tolles & Olson.

The groom, Robert Michael Yablon, 34, currently a senior litigation associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, also in San Francisco, was an honor student at the University of Wisconsin and a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He earned his law degree at Yale.

Yablon clerked also, in 2009 and ’10, for Supreme Court  Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“You’d think people with educations like that might be geeky,” said Barndiva’s Hales. “No. They were very cool.”

More than 100 people attended the wedding and celebration dinner. Hales was deeply impressed by Ginsburg, who is 79 and became only the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court when President Clinton appointed her in 1993.

“She’s a very elegant person,” Hales said. “She was just charming.”

Robert Michael Yablon

The justice work a black robe over her suit as she married the couple in the Barndiva gardens, beneath an open-sided chuppa, a Jewish canopy representing a home open to the support and love of all.

Hales said Seifter was stunning in a fitted white, strapless gown. Her bridesmaids were in yellow gowns. Yablon and his groomsmen wore off-white linen. The abundant flowers were yellow and white.

Dancing followed the dinner that took place outdoors in Barndiva’s studio garden, beneath arched steel canopies and hanging passion vines.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience after the speeches,” Hales said.

She said it was impressive that the justice legally melded the two lives “by the power vested in me by the laws and Constitution of the United States.”

“We were proud that they chose Healdsburg,” Hales said.


  • Anonymous

    Thank God for tourists. Lord knows no locals would go there to be treated the way they treat guests.

    • Deb Jackson

      Really? I spent Mother’s Day there with daughter and friends, and had a wonderful time – from Santa Rosa. I think this is cool!

  • http://www.mariekeyes.com miko carson

    “You’d think people with educations like that might be geeky” hahahaha! that’s so awesome! lol BARNDIVA = the coolest :)

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