March 2015 Issue, Volume VII
By: Trisha Widowfield

Judge WalshPast President of Miami-Dade FAWL, Judge Lisa Walsh, will be sworn in as the President of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) in October, 2015. Judge Walsh was appointed to the Miami-Dade Circuit Court in 2011 by Governor Rick Scott and was elected in 2012 to a full term that expires in 2019. Prior to her appointment to the Circuit Court, she served on the Miami-Dade County Court from 2008 to 2011.        


Judge Walsh considers her involvement as past President of Miami-Dade FAWL as a pivotal experience to prepare her for her new role at a national level.  She believes that her year as President gave her not only the experience, but also the confidence and belief that she could handle the helm of a national organization.  Judge Walsh sees her role as President of NAWJ as an opportunity to continue the principles she learned during her presidency of Miami-Dade FAWL in working collaboratively, capitalizing on others' talents and strengths, and inspiring others to enter into positions of leadership, whether at the local, state, or national level. 


In her presidential year, Judge Walsh and NAWJ will host the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) Biennial Conference in May, 2016 in Washington, D.C.  This is the first time in 20 years that the Biennial will be held in North America.  She considers this not only her biggest opportunity, but also her biggest challenge.  Judge Walsh and NAWJ will host between 700 and 900 judges from countries all over the world.  While she never had the privilege as an appellate lawyer to argue before the Supreme Court, Judge Walsh will have the honor of hosting and introducing Supreme Court Justices who will be participating in the conference as speakers and hosts. The conference theme is Women Judges and the Rule of Law: Assessing the Past, Anticipating the Future.  Given the challenges that many judges experience in their home countries, this conference will promote a discussion on rule-of-law issues with the goal of strengthening the consistent and equal application of the law. 


As Judge Walsh recognized at her reception hosted by Tomas Regalado, the Mayor of the City of Miami, her new position creates an enormous responsibility and opportunity not only for her, but also for our community at large.  We commend Judge Walsh for highlighting the best of Miami and Florida in her new role.  She hopes to increase representation from Florida in NAWJ for both judicial and non-judicial members and to continue to promote its mission and goals throughout the national legal community.  

2014-2015 Officers


Deborah Baker-Egozi



Ileana Cruz



Rebecca Ocariz



Katie S. Phang


Newsletter Editor

Lara Bueso Bach


Lauren Brunswick

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 Pe˝a

Joyce Rodriguez

Deborah Ross-Ocariz

Trisha Widowfield


By: Freddie Mack

On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, Miami-Dade FAWL hosted its annual Women Making History awards ceremony and reception at City National Bank in downtown Miami.  The Women Making History Award recognizes outstanding women whose work and leadership throughout the community exemplify and promote women's issues.  This year, Miami-Dade FAWL presented awards to two extraordinary women: Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis and Professor Mary Anne Franks.

Dr. Artis is the first female president of Florida Memorial University in the school's 135-year history.  Dr. Artis was introduced by Miami-Dade County Court Judge Tanya Brinkley.  Judge Brinkley praised Dr. Artis's passion, dedication, and warmth.  While Dr. Artis is relatively new to South Florida, she has already made an indelible mark on the community and in the lives of her students.  Dr. Artis herself joked that while she is a mother of three, she now considers herself a parent to the entire Florida Memorial University student body.  Several pre-law and criminal justice students from Florida Memorial University also attended the event to celebrate with Dr. Artis.


Professor Franks is an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Law, as well as the Legislative and Technology Policy Director of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative.  She was introduced by Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.  Ms. Rundle recounted Professor Franks's upbringing in "the most dangerous little town in America," and how Professor Franks's personal experience with gender discrimination while at Oxford University shaped her advocacy mission.  Professor Franks has spearheaded the movement to criminalize non-consensual pornography, or "revenge porn."  She has personally worked with legislative drafters in 27 states on this issue and is currently working with Congresswoman Jackie Speier on a federal criminal bill.  Professor Franks credited the support of community leaders like Ms. Rundle and Miami-Dade FAWL's Elisa D'Amico, co-founder of the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project, for the sea change in attitudes toward "revenge porn."


Miami-Dade FAWL thanks its generous sponsors for making this event possible, including City National Bank, K&L Gates LLP, Berger Singerman, Daily Business Review, The University of Miami School of Law, Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, and Damian & Valori LLP.


Women Making History
honoree Professor Mary Anne Franks, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Women Making History honoree Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, Miami-Dade FAWL President-Elect Ileana Cruz, and the Honorable Tanya Brinkley.
By: Lara Bueso Bach

Earlier this month, two Miami-Dade FAWL members took home awards presented to them by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (the "Chamber"). Member and Chapter Recognition Committee Chair Kristen Corpion and Board Member Elisa D'Amico were both named as finalists for the Chamber's HYPE Miami« Awards. The award luncheon was held at Jungle Island, and after a panel of judges voted, Kristen was awarded the HYPE Miami« "Rookie of the Year" award, and Elisa was awarded the "Difference Maker" award. The Chamber annually recognizes young professionals who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in their respective fields and community.


Miami-Dade FAWL nominated both Kristen and Elisa for their incredible talent and continued service to this community. Kristen, a general commercial litigation associate at Greenberg Traurig, has quickly established herself as a rising star in the legal community. She recently won Legal Services of Greater Miami's Third Annual Legal Eagle Closing Argument Competition and was named Best Closer in Miami-Dade County. She was the first woman and youngest attorney, ever, to win the Legal Eagle Closing Argument Competition. In addition to chairing Miami-Dade FAWL's Chapter Recognition Committee, Kristen also serves as the Co-Chair of the Dade County Bar Association's Rainmaker's Committee and Schools Committee. Notably, Kristen is the first attorney to take home HYPE Miami's« "Rookie of the Year" award.


Elisa, who was recently promoted to partner at K&L Gates, is a commercial litigator with a focus on internet affiliate marketing, technology law, and online consumer deception and fraud/unfair and deceptive acts and practices. Elisa is also the co-founder of the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project ("CCRLP"), a a globally recognized pro bono initiative that provides legal services to victims of cyber exploitation when their sexually explicit images are distributed online without consent. The K&L Gates CCRLP already has over 50 volunteers on three continents.  Along with University of Miami School of Law Professor Mary Anne Franks, Elisa also garnered the support of Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco to pass a resolution urging the Florida legislature to enact legislation criminalizing revenge porn. Thanks to their collective efforts, the Miami Beach Resolution passed unanimously on July 30, 2014.


Congratulations to Kristen and Elisa on their well-deserved recognition! 

Miami-Dade FAWL Board Member Elisa D'Amico
and Chapter Recognition Chair Kristen Corpion
at the Hype Miami« Awards Ceremony
By: Lara Bueso Bach
Florida Bar Board of Governor Jack
Hickey and The Florida Bar President Gregory Coleman

On March 5, 2015, The Florida Bar President Gregory Coleman joined Miami-Dade FAWL, the Dade County Bar Association, the Cuban American Bar Association, the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association, and the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association for a CLE presentation on challenges in the legal profession and opportunities for the future.  This was the first time in recent history the five voluntary bar associations collaborated for an event. 


The event was a resounding success with almost 100 attendees, including former Presidents of The Florida Bar, members of The Florida Bar Board of Governors, members and chairs of The Florida Bar committees, members of The Florida Bar Leadership Academy, local practitioners and members of the judiciary.  Mr. Coleman spoke on the access to justice issue of reaching underserved communities (i.e., moderate income individuals and small to midsize businesses) who cannot afford legal services.  He shared that several states are considering whether to allow non-attorneys to provide affordable assistance in certain areas of law such as dissolution of marriages.  Mr. Coleman noted that Florida's ethical prohibitions - some of the strictest in the nation - proscribe such non-lawyer aid.  He further discussed how new technology and businesses, such as LegalZoom and Avvo, have changed the legal landscape.  These businesses serve millions of consumers as they search for more DIY legal help.  Finally, Mr. Coleman advised that he and future Florida Bar Presidents have signed on to Vision 2016 for the purpose of considering rule changes affecting continuing legal education, bar admissions, and technology.  The event culminated with the presentation of a recognition award for Mr. Coleman by the five voluntary bar associations. 


Miami-Dade FAWL thanks all sponsors for supporting this event including: Grand Benefactors - Alvarez, Carbonell, Feltman & Da Silva P.L. and Kalla FlowersBenefactors - Foster Morales Sockel Stone, U.S. Legal Support, Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider + Grossman LLP and SM&GQ Law; and, Sponsors - Lott & Fischer, PL and Buchannon Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

Ileana Cruz, Lara Bueso Bach, Manny Crespo, Jr., Mirando Soto, Cynthia Duval, The Florida Bar 
President Gregory Coleman, Jason Murray, Rebecca Ocariz and Deborah Baker-Egozi
By: Lauren Brunswick

On March 12, 2015 a small group of attorneys participated with Judge Thornton and Judge Ward in the Miami-Dade FAWL Young Lawyers Committee's roundtable discussion on professionalism and practice. During the discussion, the judges emphasized their desire to see more women participating actively in the courtroom; specifically, they wish to see women speaking in court as opposed to supporting a male partner while seated at counsel's table.  They encouraged female attorney participants to seek out opportunities to develop their courtroom skills (e.g. by participating in Miami-Dade FAWL's deposition skills workshop or taking a position with the District Attorney's office), and expressed their wish that law firms provide more female attorneys with development opportunities in the future.   For example, Judge Ward noted that if a female attorney writes a motion, she should argue that motion in court.  


The judges provided a host of invaluable tips for courtroom practice:

  1. Respect opposing counsel and the court.  For instance, e-courtesy copies of motions and supporting documents should be provided well in advance of a hearing.
  2. Avoid getting emotional in court.  Judges tend to side with calm attorneys that speak in a steady tone.
  3. If opposing counsel is disrespectful, consider raising the issue with the court during a sidebar conference, especially if the court is unaware of the issue.
  4. Young attorneys should have confidence and should not be afraid to "own the podium."

The event was chaired by Maite De Barros of Ramon de la Cabada, P.A. and Lauren Brunswick of Shubin & Bass, P.A., and made possible by its generous sponsors: The Florida Bar's Young Lawyers Division and Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.

Professionalism Roundtable with practicing attorneys and Judges Thornton and Ward 


By: Liana Kozlowski & Ileana Cruz

Attendees (from front to back): Lauren Brunswick, Lisa Bobotas, Liana Kozlowski, Maite Garcia De Barros, Ileana Cruz, Martha de Zayas,

Marlene Garcia, Sheila Oretsky and Janeen Lofton

Think twice about turning down that speaking engagement you were offered - it could open the door to big business down the road.


This was the business development advice offered to the Miami-Dade FAWL members who attended the March 9, 2015 Corporate Counsel Liaison Committee's Table for 8 with Lisa Bobotas, Senior VP of Litigation and Legal Process for Sabadell United Bank.


Miami-Dade FAWL member Martha De Zayas agreed with Ms. Bobotas and - as the Assistant General Counsel for Carnival Corporation - she would know. To this day, Ms. De Zayas recalls a speech she heard at an employment law seminar when she first started working for Carnival. The speaker's message and confident tone left an indelible impression that prompted her to retain his legal services immediately. Nineteen years later, that speaker is still on the corporation's roster of outside counsel for employment litigation.


Ms. Bobotas noted that seemingly small encounters can amount to big opportunities. She encouraged Miami-Dade FAWL members to actively communicate with fellow practitioners, advising that "when an attorney has researched an area that is of interest in my field and they forward it to me, it shows me that they are tuned into our business model, are engaged in areas that impact the bank, and could be helpful to us if we needed representation."


After providing tips on capturing business, Ms. Bobotas exchanged thoughts with the group on best billing practices, strategies for developing a client base, and getting noticed at a firm. The bottom line for Ms. Bobotas is that lawyers who get their names out by publishing articles, speaking publicly about their practice, and following up with their budding networks are taking the right steps to building a successful career.


The Corporate Counsel Liaison Committee thanks Ms. Bobotas and Sabadell United Bank for generously sponsoring the event at their spectacular corporate offices on Brickell.


To be part of the Committee's next Table for 8 with the General Counsel of DACRA, on April 8th, and for information about other upcoming Miami-Dade FAWL events, visit our website.


By: Alicia Welch
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof attendees Lauren Brunswick, Alicia Welch
and Brendlyn Edwards

On March 19, 2015, a group of Miami-Dade FAWL members attended Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  The Miami Acting Company, including Miami-Dade County Judge William Altfield and a cast of other outstanding actors, performed the play at Pinecrest Gardens.  Miami-Dade FAWL truly enjoyed the performance.  


Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is one of Tennessee Williams' best-known works and won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1955.  The Miami Acting Company is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote awareness and the appreciation of the performing arts in Miami-Dade and surrounding communities through the presentation of live theatrical performances.  



Mack Co-Coaches UM School of Law's Bankruptcy Moot Court Teams
Miami-Dade FAWL member Freddi Mack served as co-coach of two teams from the University of Miami School of Law as they competed in the 23rd Annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition.  The Duberstein competition took place on March 7-9, 2015 and was hosted by St. John's School of Law in New York and sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute.


As part of the competition, each team had to write an appellate brief on bankruptcy issues relating to the dischargeability of student loans and thy had to argue both sides of the issues.  One of the University of Miami School of Law teams - comprised of 3Ls Jamey Campellone, Caitlin Griffin, and Adrienne Scheffey - finished in second place out of almost 60 teams.  In the final round, their team argued before a panel of federal district and circuit court judges, including Judge Adalberto Jordan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  Additionally, University of Miami School of Law 3L Leah Aaronson won the Best Advocate Award for her outstanding performance in preliminary oral arguments. 


Prior to competing in New York, the teams competed in the regional Cristol Kahn Paskay Cup competition, hosted by the University of Miami School of Law on February 21, 2015.  The team comprised of Aaronson, 3L Karla Albite, and 2L James Czodli won first place in the regional competition.  Aaronson also won runner-up for Best Advocate.


Coaches for the University of Miami bankruptcy moot court teams are: Patricia Redmond, Jeremy Evans, Quin Landon, Mack, Michael Rothenberg, and Annabelle Torgman.

Pena Joins Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

Miami-Dade FAWL Committee Chair Kelly Pena joined Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.  Kelly will focus her practice on employment litigation.  She is a 2013 graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and a former associate of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.  


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