February 2015 Issue, Volume VII
By: Deborah Baker-Egozi

On February 8, 2015, the Miami-Dade FAWL Board of Directors hosted its annual Past President's Reception at Bocce Bar in Midtown.   Several Miami-Dade and State FAWL Past-Presidents attended, including Judge Gill Freeman, Judge Sarah Zabel, Kristy Johnson, Julie Kane, Stacey Koch Lieberman, Dyanne Feinberg, Allison Hockman, Judge Abby Cynamon, and Marisol Gomez-Decena. Every year, Miami-Dade FAWL gathers together with its state and local chapter past Presidents to discuss current issues and express appreciation for the past Presidents' continued involvement with the organization and its mission.  


Past President Marisol Gomez-Decena, President Deborah Baker-Egozi, and past Presidents Judge Gill Freeman, Stacey Koch Lieberman, Judge Sarah Zabel and
Julie Braman Kane
Past Presidents Allison Hockman, Judge Abby Cynamon, Julie Braman Kane, President Deborah Baker-Egozi and past President Kristy Johnson
2014-2015 Officers


Deborah Baker-Egozi



Ileana Cruz



Rebecca Ocariz



Katie S. Phang


Newsletter Editor

Lara Bueso Bach


Lauren Brunswick

Sherril Colombo

Elisa D'Amico

Madelin D'Arce

Brendalyn Edwards

Courtney Engelke

Mallory Gold

Emilie Kennedy

Linda Leali

Jody Shulman

Alicia Welch

Talia Zucker


Committee Chairs

Ardith Bronson

Stephanie Casey

Kristen Corpion

Kristin Drecktrah

Lindsay Haber

Lisa Lehner

Kate Maxwell

Stephanie Moot

Kelly Peņa

Joyce Rodriguez

Deborah Ross-Ocariz

Trisha Widowfield

By: Kristen Corpion

Community recognition is often a factor when applicants are considered for many leadership positions. Historically, qualified women are less likely to apply for and receive community awards. To combat that trend and to support Miami-Dade FAWL members in receiving recognition for their accomplishments, Chapter Recognition Committee Chair Kristen Corpion has established the Miami-Dade FAWL Awards Database. The Awards Database provides Miami-Dade FAWL members with a list of award and recognition opportunities, a description of the awards, general information about the deadlines to apply, and where to apply. Miami-Dade FAWL members can use the following link to access the Database. Miami-Dade FAWL also assists its members in applying for awards and recognitions, contact Miami-Dade FAWL President, Deborah Baker-Egozi for more details.

Please direct inquiries about the Awards Database to Kristen Corpion.

By: Deborah Baker-Egozi

Miami-Dade FAWL past-President and past-President of The Florida Bar Edith Osman has been selected to receive the Daily Business Review's Lifetime Achievement Award.  The Daily Business Review is honoring attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession in Florida.  Ms. Osman and the other recipients will be honored on April 14, 2015 at the Professional Excellence Awards Ceremony at the Coral Gables Country Club.  Ms. Osman is also a past recipient of countless honors and awards, including the  David W. Dyer Professionalism Award of Miami-Dade County Bar Association, the Inaugural Rosemary Barkett Achievement Award, the Miami Dade County In The Company of Women Award, and Miami-Dade FAWL's highest honor, the Mattie Belle Davis Award.  Ms. Osman has served as a mentor to many Miami-Dade FAWL presidents and she continues to work with the Board in an advisory role.  We congratulate her on this well-deserved award.

By: Kelly Peņa

On February 15, 2015, Lauren Brunswick and Kelly Peņa, Co-Chairs of the Young Lawyers Committee of Miami-Dade FAWL, partnered with Lawyers for Children America to host the First Annual Valentine's Celebration for Foster Youth at Tropical Park.  Over 200 guests were in attendance, including current and former foster youth, foster parents, guardians, lawyers, volunteers, and members of the judiciary.  The event featured outdoor entertainment for the children, including a bounce house and face painter, and delicious food from Miami Party Grill food truck.  The weather was great, the food was delicious, and everyone had fun.


Miami-Dade FAWL thanks its generous sponsors for making this event possible, including The Florida Bar, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, Misha's Cupcakes, Miami Party Grill, the South Florida Paralegal Association, Esquire Deposition Solutions, Ricoh, DLE Process Servers, Danny Pena, and DMD & Associates.

Foster youth and attendees enjoying lunch
provided by Miami Party Grill
By: Lara Bueso Bach

Twenty-four young lawyers participated in Miami-Dade FAWL's Third Annual Litigation Skills Workshop, a two-day intense training on deposition skills led by local judges and practitioners. The goal of the two-day program is to assist young lawyers in improving their deposition skills by using a "learning by doing" format.  The program began with a kick-off cocktail CLE on February 4, 2015 on Overcoming Gender Bias in Depositions hosted by Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.  The panel was moderated by Judge Jacqueline Hogan Scola and included panelists Melanie Damian, Tiffani Lee, Detra Shaw-Wilder, and Jayne Weintraub.  Panelists discussed the importance of commanding respect and staying composed in depositions despite any gender bias obstacles.  


The workshop continued on February 5th and 6th with one-on-one instruction by Judges Gill Freeman, Tanya Brinkley, Beatrice Butchko, Diane Ward, and practitioners Cynthia Hibnick, Rebecca Ocariz, Katie Phang, Maria Rubio, Detra Shaw-Wilder, and Jayne Weintraub.  The program commenced with short lectures followed by break-out sessions where participants took turns taking and defending the depositions of different types of witnesses.  The participants were then provided individualized feedback by at least two instructors on how to improve their deposition techniques.   


On February 5th, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A. hosted a lunch CLE on Dealing with Difficult Opposing Counsel During Deposition.  The panel was moderated by Chief Judge Bertila Soto and included panelists Angela de Cespedes, Julie Braman Kane, Alexandra Bach Lagos, and Kadisha Phelps. During this CLE, participants were advised of tactics to employ when confronted with abrasive and bullish adversaries.  For example, attendees were provided various suggestions to combat such behavior such as using retired mediators to govern depositions, memorializing any abusive conduct on the record, certifying any remaining issues post deposition, and ultimately, involving the judge when appropriate.


Miami-Dade FAWL thanks all participants, instructors and sponsors for putting on another successful 17.5 CLE-credit workshop.

Dealing with Difficult Opposing Counsel panelists Julie Braman Kane, Alexandra Bach Lagos, Kadisha Phelps, and Angela de Cespedes (not pictured moderator Chief Judge Bertila Soto)
Overcoming Gender Bias in Depositions panelists Jayne Weintraub, Melanie Damian, Detra Shaw-Wilder, and Tiffani Lee (not pictured moderator Judge Jacqueline Hogan Scola)


By: Elisa D'Amico
Paige Rivkind, Barbara Cabrera,
Jennifer Felipe and Elisa D'Amico
On February 17, 2015, Miami-Dade FAWL Board Member Elisa D'Amico and K&L Gates LLP hosted an annual CLE ethics training in collaboration with the University of Miami School of Law Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program (PREP).  The program, entitled Legally Social: the ethical use of social media in attorney advertising and the practice of law, was moderated by Jan L. Jacobowitz, Esq., Director of PREP. The CLE program was presented by law students and PREP fellows Jennifer Felipe and Paige Rivkind, and PREP intern Barbara Cabrera.


During the CLE program, Felipe, Rivkind, and Cabrera each presented a hypothetical and then encouraged participants to discuss the ethical implications of certain actions and elements of the situation. Participants learned about the ethical issues attorneys face in the course of advertising and marketing via social media networks, as well as investigating jurors and witnesses by examining social media activity.  They also learned about the obligations and limitations of attorneys concerning social media and discovery. Considering the hypotheticals were loosely based on the 2001 film "Legally Blonde," there was a lot of laughter and a good time had by all.


Jacobowitz moderated this cutting-edge program, incorporating recent case law and new ethics opinions and rules. Because the format provided an interactive forum, participants did not just sit back and observe; rather, everyone contributed to the discussion and played an integral role in this collaborative learning program.


Miami-Dade FAWL is extremely grateful to Jan Jacobowitz, the University of Miami School of Law and its incredible PREP fellows and intern.

By: Lauren Brunswick
Mentor Judge Sarah Zabel and mentee Callan Martinez

On February 11, 2015, Miami-Dade FAWL's hosted a Speed Mentoring Follow-Up Happy Hour at Batch Gastropub in Brickell. The event was a follow-up to Miami-Dade FAWL's Speed Mentoring Event in October where law students were paired with an attorney or judge mentor based on conversations with prospective mentors at the event. 


At the happy hour, attendees had the opportunity to reconnect with their assigned mentor or mentee(s) and make new connections. Miami-Dade FAWL was honored to have several members of the judiciary in attendance, including Judge William Altfield, Judge Richard Hersch, Judge Sarah Zabel, and Judge Martin Zilber.  

By: Stephanie Casey
Judge Darrin P. Gayles

On Friday, February 13, 2015, Miami-Dade FAWL Federal Court Liaison Co-Chair Ardith Bronson hosted a members-only luncheon with U.S. District Court Judge Darrin P. Gayles at Toro Toro in Downtown Miami. At the luncheon, Judge Gayles spoke about his transition from the state court bench to the federal bench, and shared his insights into what makes an effective advocate in either court system.  As a recently invested judge on the federal bench, Judge Gayles also shared information about how he conducts his cases, including what practitioners should expect when they appear before him, from coordinating scheduling matters to preparing for trial.  His biggest pieces of advice for those appearing before him in federal court:  be prepared and do not assume you will get a continuance.  Judge Gayles also talked about the importance of professionalism in the practice of law, from dressing appropriately to treating other attorneys with respect.  For those members that could not make it to the luncheon, Judge Gayles has graciously accepted an invitation to speak at the upcoming Miami-Dade FAWL and Federal Bar Association CLE program on federal court practice tips for the state court practitioner.   Judge Gayles will be joined on the distinguished panel by Judges Robert N. Scola and Beth Bloom.   

By: Ileana Cruz
Front row: Lisa Capote, Arnaldo Perez, Jennifer Olmeda-Rodriguez and Marlene Garcia
Back row: Miranda Soto, Sheila Oretsky, Ileana Cruz, Abby Lewis-Fishkin, Alexandra Bach Lagos and Lauren Brunswick
How does Carnival select law firms to serve as outside counsel or lawyers for its in-house legal department? Sharing tips on such topics with Miami-Dade FAWL's at a Table for 8 on February 11, 2015, made for an illuminating conversation with Arnaldo Perez, General Counsel for Carnival Corporation. A graduate of the University of Miami and Columbia Law School, Mr. Perez has served Carnival's legal needs for over 20 years. 

Mr. Perez shared that one of the most important things he looks for when retaining a law firm as outside counsel, other than top notch legal acumen, is prompt responsiveness. He wants to know the firm is on top of things. Mr. Perez noted that Carnival typically selects outside counsel through personal references. So, his advice to lawyers looking to increase their book of business or secure an in-house position was the same:  network! Get your name out there to create channels of communication with other lawyers and potential clients. In giving this advice, Mr. Perez noted how networking events like our Table for 8 are helpful to in-house lawyers because it gives them the opportunity to meet lawyers that they would not otherwise get the chance to become familiar with. That is what makes Miami-Dade FAWL's Table for 8 events special: They enable people to get to know each other in a casual and convivial setting. 

The Corporate Counsel Committee has scheduled a number of upcoming Tables for 8 events. Our next Table for 8 will be hosted by Sabadell United Bank featuring Lisa Bobotas, Senior Vice President, Litigation and Legal Process on March 9, 2015. For more information on the Corporate Counsel Liaison Committee's upcoming events, visit our website.
Bach Secures Significant Daubert Victory 
Miami-Dade FAWL Newsletter Editor Lara Bueso Bach of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP was part of a team, led by partner Ed Soto, that secured a significant Daubert victory for its client Procter & Gamble in a multidistrict litigation In re Denture Cream Products Liability Litigation.  On January 28, 2015, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Judge Altonaga granted Procter & Gamble's motion to exclude all of plaintiffs' general causation experts, thereby foreclosing plaintiffs' ability to present expert causation evidence in support of their case. 
D'Amico Promoted to Partner at K&L Gates LLP
Miami-Dade FAWL board member Elisa D'Amico was promoted to partner at K&L Gates LLP.  Elisa assists clients with complex litigation issues, and is co-founder of the firm's Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project, for which she was selected as one of the Miami Herald's "20 Under 40" for 2014. Elisa was recently selected as a finalist for the Daily Business Review's Attorney of the Year.  The Attorney of the Year will be announced on April 14, 2015 at the Coral Gables Country Club.
Segura Promoted to Partner at Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell
Miami-Dade FAWL member Monica Segura was promoted to partner at Rumberger, Kirk and Caldwell.  Monica practices in the areas of construction law, casualty defense, chemicals, asbestos and toxic tort defense, products liability and premises liability defense.

Strauch Joins the Law Office of Haydee De La Rosa-Tolgyesi
Miami-Dade FAWL member Annette Strauch joined the Law Office of Haydee De La Rosa-Tolgyesi, GEICO General Insurance Company Staff Counsel.  Annette handles all litigation aspects of personal injury protection cases. 

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