Our 36th Annual Installation and Awards Dinner is tomorrow - will you be there?
MAY/JUNE 2016, Vol. XLIV, Issue 10

All memberships expire on June 30, 2016 and can be renewed online.  Click here to renew today!

By: Kelly Peña

This year marks the 50th anniversary of  Miranda v. Arizona , and just under 50 years and two months after this case was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States, Miami-Dade FAWL had the honor of hosting its annual Law Day CLE program.

This year, attendees were fortunate enough to hear longtime Miami-Dade FAWL member and constitutional scholar Judge Milton Hirsch opine on one of the most well-known Supreme Court decisions,  Miranda v. Arizona.

At the program, cleverly entitled "Miranda: More than Words,"  following an introduction by Judge Leslie Rothenberg, J udge Hirsch delivered an incredibly insightful message to attendees which included myriad historical facts about Miranda. He presented competing theories and interpretations of Miranda, discussing ts overall importance in the legal system, an accused's due process rights, and the prevention of coerced confessions.

Miranda was no small feat: the case involved 14 briefs amounting to over 700 pages; an oral argument involving 10 lawyers arguing for more than seven hours over 3 days; and resulted in a 280-page transcript. Miami-Dade FAWL is grateful to  Judge Hirsch and Judge Rothenberg for educating and inspiring the program attendees. We'll see you all next year at Law Day 2017!

Ileana Cruz, President

Rebecca Ocariz, President-Elect

Katie S. Phang, Secretary

Lara Bueso Bach, Treasurer

Elisa D'Amico, Newsletter Editor

Deborah Baker-Egozi,  Immediate-Past President

Ardith Bronson
Stephanie Moot
Lauren Brunswick

Kelly Peña

Stephanie Casey
Jody Shulman
Courtney Engelke
Alicia Welch
Mallory Gold
Talia Zucker
Diana Mendez
Stephanie Chaissan

Freddi Mack
Edith Osman
Julissa Rodriguez

Stephanie M. Chaissan has been named a shareholder at Fowler White Burnett, P.A.  Stephanie focuses her practice on commercial litigation, representing plaintiffs and defendants in actions arising out business disputes, officer and director liability, breaches of fiduciary duty, breaches of contract, and construction claims.  In addition to Miami-Dade FAWL, Stephanie is a member of The District of Columbia Bar, and the Virginia State Bar, the Dade County Bar Association, and the Junior League of Miami.

Freddi Mack, Miami-Dade Events Committee Chair and associate with K&L Gates LLP, was an integral part of a cross-office K&L Gates team that recently won approximately U S$4.3 million for the Republic of Ecuador in its efforts to collect on the multimillion dollar judgment that Interamerican Asset Management Fund Limited (IAMF), owned by the Republic, won in 2015 against three brothers from one of the country's wealthiest families. Following a lengthy court process, in November 2015, IAMF successfully domesticated a judgment from the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council in London in Florida. Ms. Mack successfully argued a key discovery motion before the court and was the sole associate present at a two-day trial in May 2016 wherein the Florida court ruled that IAMF was entitled to recover the US$4.3 million from the defendants in the lawsuit, jointly and severally, in partial satisfaction of the underlying Privy Council  judgment. The trial and the result was covered by the Daily Business Review: here.

Edith Osman, Past President of The Florida Bar, Past President of both statewide FAWL and Miami-Dade FAWL, and shareholder with Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A., was elected as the "Florida State Delegate" in the American Bar Association. Ms. Osman currently is the ABA delegate who has held the most leadership positions in both the Florida Bar and the ABA, and is the delegate with the most seniority in the Florida delegation; she has served for 17 years, all by appointment of The Florida Bar Board of Governors. Within the  ABA House of Delegates (HOD), each state is assigned a certain number of delegates based on the number of ABA members who reside within that state. Many voluntary bar organizations (i.e., the DCBA) have state delegates and many sections also have delegates within the HOD. Any delegate from Florida becomes part of the Florida delegation, which has its own caucus and sits together in the Florida section at all HOD meetings. The State Delegate is charged with heading up the delegation, running the caucuses, and acting as the liaison between both The Florida Bar and the ABA.  The State Delegate also has a seat on the ABA Nominating Committee, which elects the ABA officers. 
Julissa Rodriguez , Co-Chair of Miami-Dade FAWL's Table for 8 Committee and shareholder with Greenberg Traurig, P.A. and Chair of the Miami office's Appellate Practice, recently became Florida Bar Board Certified in Appellate Law. Ms. Rodriguez focuses her practice on  state and federal appeals and trial support, specializing in all types of litigation.

A Look Inside the Ladies Empowerment & Action Program (LEAP)
Mahlia Lindquist is an attorney and the Executive Director for LEAP, a pre- and post-release program for incarcerated women. LEAP is looking for mentors, volunteers and new board members for its incredible program.

The below blog post is an excerpt of a post that Mahlia initially wrote for her own website reflecting on her experiences with LEAP. She was kind enough to share it with us in the hopes that it might inspire some of our Miami-Dade FAWL members to volunteer their time. If, after reading this, you are interested in learning more about LEAP or volunteering, please contact Mahlia at mahlia@leapforladies.org

...  I am outside the [Homestead Correctional Institute], waiting to meet a woman who has been incarcerated for almost five years. I am mentoring her as part of LEAP.
Thirteen fellow mentors and I cluster at the entrance to the prison. We are dressed conservatively, with only our driver's license and car keys, per prison rules.  The prison officials were expecting us, yet kept us waiting half an hour in the blazing sun before letting us in. They did not explain the delay, nor I suppose, should they. We had an appointment at a prison, not dinner reservations. 
Still, it seemed inconsiderate. I felt powerless at not being able to demand to speak to a manager. However, even for visitors, in prison there's nothing to be done except submit. 
I considered how much more degrading it must be for the prisoners. While the prison guards have a thankless task, my sympathies were more with the convicted felons than the guards trying to make a living. I imagine that's because it's easier for me to empathize with the inmates. I can't envision being a prison guard, it's not something I would actually choose. But, as for being a prisoner... "there but for the grace of God...."
When we finally got in, an officer provided us with our own personal panic button. If pressed, the guard explained, the prison would go on lock down and send security to our rescue. She also cautioned us not to accidentally sound the alarm. The guard's admonishment launched us into a state of anxiety, as we imagined being the idiot to accidentally put the entire prison in a state of emergency. Or worse, a situation that would justify panic.
Walking across the grounds to meet our charges, we passed inmates who looked on curiously, said hello, and politely stepped aside to let us pass. My anxiety over the panic button subsided, only to be replaced by a new one -- fear of failure.
LEAP participants at graduation from the program
What on earth did I have to offer an incarcerated woman studying to be an entrepreneur? Other than a two person law firm, I have never run a business, and my only experience with criminals was to put them behind bars. I never felt so unqualified for a job since I arrived home with my first newborn. Surely, someone trying to start a new life after prison deserved better than me.
The women were seated at desks and looked the mentors with giddy anticipation. As we were paired up, it was a cacophony of talk, lots of girl talk: "oooh, I love your pants!" ..."cute haircut."
Because the inmates do not have access to the internet, they were to explain their business plan and be prepared with a list of questions for their mentors to research. While there was business talk, the women mostly seemed to bask in having a special someone genuinely interested in their life.  I got to mentor "Beth," 37, who planned to open a hair salon. Beth was already licensed to cut hair, and is also good with make-up and wanted to combine beauty services. She asked me to look into the licensing requirements for doing permanent make-up.
I do not claim to have learned everything about Beth. However, I do know Beth regrets what she did and genuinely wants to lead a good life when she gets out. I also know that Beth is not a lost cause, and was terrified of how she would get by post-prison. Beth was released a couple of months ago. While it hasn't been easy, thanks to LEAP she has not relapsed, is working, and still plans to open her salon some day.

Honorable Milton Hirsch Declares Florida Death Penalty Statute Unconstitutional
In an 18-page decision issued on May 9, 2016, long-time Miami-Dade FAWL supporter and member,  Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch declared Florida's new death penalty law (Florida Statute Section 921.141) unconstitutional. His ruling followed a recent overhaul to the state's capital punishment system by the legislature in March, 2016 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Hurst v. Florida, 14-7505, 577 U.S. ___ (2016).

The Miami Herald ran an editorial piece about this decision (Fla. v. Karon Gaiter) on May 10, 2016, available here. And The Miami Herald also posted Judge Hirsch's decision online. Judge Hirsch is a gifted scholar and writer, and Miami-Dade FAWL is lucky that he is such a strong supporter of our organization.
Miami-Dade FAWL Celebrates and Honors
the Career of Judge Gill Freeman

On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Miami-Dade FAWL honored and celebrated esteemed jurist and longtime Miami-Dade FAWL member Hon. Gill S. Freeman.

Miami-Dade FAWL Past Prsident Judge Gill Freeman has been a Circuit Court Judge since her appointment to the bench in 1997. She presently is assigned to the Family Division. Judge Freeman was the first judge to serve in the Complex Business Litigation Section of the Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County. The Hon. Gill S. Freeman has been a Circuit Court Judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit, Miami-Dade County since 1997. She is presently assigned to the Family Law Division of the 11th Judicial Circuit and was previously assigned to the Complex Business Litigation Section of the Circuit Court for a term of 5 years. Judge Freeman was the first judge to serve in that capacity in Miami-Dade County. She practiced commercial and family law for 20 years prior to her appointment to the bench. Judge Freeman has been a champion of women's issues for over 30 years, including holding the position as Chair of the Florida Supreme Court's Fairness and Diversity Standing Committee (1999-2011). Miami-Dade FAWL has awarded her the Miami-Dade FAWL Mattie Belle Davis Award, and State FAWL has awarded her the Rosemary Barkett Award.

The event was held at ZEST Miami, where guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres, craft beer, and wine while toasting to Judge Freeman's amazing work over the years. Photographer Harvey Bilt captured the celebration with some beautiful photographs.

Congratulations once again to Judge Freeman, from your Miami-Dade FAWL Family.

Miami-Dade FAWL's Character & Fitness Series: Yoga at Peacock Park

By: Claire Armagnac

On April 9, 2016, a group of Miami-Dade FAWL members participated in a yoga class led by Susan Singer of Prana Yoga. The class included a variety of poses, meditation, and deep breathing. At the end of the class, everyone made their best attempt at "tree pose" for a photo.

The class was a stress-reliever and a great way to start a Saturday.
Thanks to those who helped plan the event and to Susan for donating her time. If you missed the event but would like to take a class with Susan, she teaches weekly at Prana Yoga.  This event was part of Miami-Dade FAWL's Character & Fitness Series. Be on the lookout, in the FAWL Friday, for more health and wellness themed events!

Ethical Issues in Social Media: UM Law Students
Present CLE Program to Miami-Dade FAWL

By: Elisa D'Amico

Every semester,  Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program (PREP) Director  Jan Jacobowitz and students visit with attorneys at various bar associations to present interactive legal ethics CLE programs. Miami-Dade FAWL has hosted a successful UM Law PREP social media program for the past few years, and this year was no different.

Both the attending attorneys and presenting students were able to engage in thoughtful discussions, creating both an enjoyable and valuable experience for everyone. In addition to Miami-Dade FAWL, the PREP students presented at the Cuban American Bar Association as well. At both sessions, the topics discussed were "hot topics" that included updates to social media discovery rules, attorney advertising and professionalism, and cyber security.

UM Law PREP students Daniel Hentschel, Ivana Alvarez, Dalisi Otero, Miami-Dade FAWL Officer Elisa D'Amico, and PREP Director Jan Jacobowitz
On April 14, 2016, K&L Gates LLP hosted this year's program entitled "Ethical Issues in Social Media." PREP Director Jan Jacobowitz brought along three of her students to present to Miami-Dade FAWL: Ivana Alvarez, Dalisi Otero, and Daniel Hentschel. The students had prepared immensely three hypothetical examples that incorporated each of the "hot topics." And the students also prepared a take-home flyer for attendees citing the applicable professional responsibility rules, in the hopes that attorneys could and would use this flyer if an issue ever came up. For example: students presented on the topic of whether it was forbidden for lawyers to "friend" judges on Facebook, and explained that the main problem here would be a violation of the judicial canons (by the judges). As a secondary matter, lawyers have a duty to act ethically and cannot aid a judge in violating a canon. Attendees questioned this rule, though, since many of the attorneys present had contact information for judges in their mobile phones, and were fri ends.

What was very apparent, was that the ethical rules around social media are dynamic and ever-changing. We look forward to next year's program where there are bound to be countless changes from where we are today.  Thank you to Jan Jacobowitz, Ivana, Dalisi, and Daniel, and to the entire PREP program for your amazing work. And of course, thank you to K&L Gates for the space and for lunch!

Read about the work the PREP students have been doing on the UM Law website here
Judge Dimitris addressing event attendees (Robbins-Udell Images)
Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome,  Im Cabaret,
au Cabaret, to Cabaret

By: Freddi Mack

On April 13, 2016, Miami-Dade County Court Judge Jason E. Dimitris hosted the third and final installment of this season's Miami-Dade FAWL's Broadway series at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Before enjoying the evening's performance of Cabaret, Judge Dimitris and guests discussed various topics related to community-mindedness, a topic very dear to our host's heart.

Judge Dimitris began by talking about his time as a volunteer firefighter in Jericho, New York, explaining how he felt tremendously inspired by the way his community would come together in trying times. He also spoke about his work as both an EMT and as a teacher. In fact, Judge Dimitris revealed that he made the decision to go to law school because of his passion for teaching and his desire to benefit the education system. There is no denying that Judge Dimitris has dedicated his life to service; he even spent some time as  Inspector General and Chief of Staff for the Florida Department of Children and Families. Along the way,  Judge Dimitris also developed a love for the courtroom as a state and federal prosecutor and, ultimately, as a judge.

He encouraged the event's attendees not only to work hard to achieve success at their careers, but also to find ways to get involved with the people and places around them, whether through volunteering with natural disaster relief organizations, exploring public works, or even just frequenting local establishments and utilizing community resources. 
Miami-Dade FAWL would like to thank Judge Dimitris, as well as Adam, Craig, and Calin of the Adrienne Arsht Center, for making our Cabaret outing a night to remember!

Check out the Miami-Dade FAWL Insider panel below for details on summer shows and our members-only discount code. Enjoy!

Miami-Dade FAWL is a volunteer bar association dedicated to actively promoting the advancement of women in the legal profession, expanding the leadership role of its members in the community at large, and promoting women's rights.
To all readers:  It's time for me to pass the torch. Stay amazing! -EJD
Elisa D'Amico, Newsletter Editor | Miami-Dade FAWL