Miami-Dade FAWL
July, 2015, Vol. XXXVI, Issue 2 
U.S. Legal Support's Calder and Shulman Found "Make a Difference Miami," 
to Raise Both Awareness and Funds for Miami-Dade's Pro Bono Legal Services Organizations
by: Elisa D'Amico

The Founders and their Vision

Michele Calder and Jody Shulman, both of U.S. Legal Support, always have exhibited a true passion to help those in need. Somehow, in addition to their "day jobs," they manage to make a showing at most events around town, whether legal, cultural, or social. And recently, they brought a new idea to life and launched their own organization entitled "Make a Difference Miami." Their organization has two key goals:

  1. to raise money from both the legal and business communities; and
  2. to bring awareness about the importance of fundraising for Miami-Dade's pro bono legal-services organizations.

Michele and Jody believe that by banding together and showing strength in numbers, we will help those in need to truly make a difference in Miami.


The Inspiration and the Promise

Throughout the past year, Michele and Jody were awed and inspired by the hard work of Legal Services of Greater Miami and Dade Legal Aid. As a result, they decided to start a grassroots effort to not only raise funds, but also to raise awareness of the need for both of these legal services organizations. The springboard for "Make a Difference Miami" was hearing former Florida Bar President Eugene Pettis voice his strong belief that the business community should step up to the plate and help legal services organizations. Michele and Jody understood that swift action was needed, and "Make a Difference Miami" was born.

Michele and Jody have agreed to personally donate $1 to "Make a Difference Miami" through May 31, 2016, each time a U.S. Legal Support court reporter is employed to cover a deposition or hearing for a Miami-based law firm that is part of either Michele or Jody's portfolio. Even better, U.S. Legal Support is matching those donations!


Jody said: "We realize this was an enormous undertaking, but someone had to take the first step. Michele and I decided that each month we will personally donate to both organizations. Although we are only two people, we feel that it is important we try, no matter how small of an impact it will make. Maybe the community will join forces for such a worthy cause."

The Community Being Served

Legal Services of Greater Miami and Dade Legal Aid provide pro bono legal services to over 35,000 individuals in Miami-Dade County annually. But, this number represents only a small percentage of those individuals who actually need free legal help. Michele and Jody recognized that, especially in light of recent financial blows to pro bono legal services, focusing on fundraising efforts is critical. Miami-Dade FAWL congratulates Michele and Jody on this tremendous accomplishment. We are so proud to see you make your dream a reality, and we are even prouder that you are doing something that will help so many people in our community.

If you are inspired by the work of Michele and Jody, and if you want to make a difference in Miami, please visit the "Make a Difference Miami" website at, or on "like" its Facebook page, or follow the organization on Twitter.


 Miami-Dade FAWLThe Women's Chamber of Miami-Dade County, and The Daily Business Review, have all committed to making a difference...who's next?

For more information about "Make a Difference Miami" or to inquire whether your law firm booking a court reporter will trigger a donation, email Michele or Jody at


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 Peņa

Stephanie Casey
Jody Shulman
Brendalyn Edwards
Alicia Welch
Courtney Engelke
Talia Zucker
Mallory Gold
Two Miami-Dade FAWL Members, Hon. Jason E. Dimitris and Ayana N. Harris, Are Named as Finalists for Seat on Miami-Dade Circuit Court Bench
by: Elisa D'Amico

Of the six finalists named by the Eleventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) for a seat on the Miami-Dade Circuit Court Bench, two are Miami-Dade FAWL members. 


Hon. Jason E. Dimitris has sat on the Circuit's County Court bench since 2013 and Ayana N. Harris has been an assistant federal public defender for the Southern District of Florida since 2008. Both were named as finalists for the Miami-Dade Circuit Court seat left vacant by the resignation of Hon. Victoria S. Sigler, who served on the Circuit Court bench for 15 years, previously having served as a County Court Judge for five years.

 Hon. Jason E. Dimitris
Ayana N. Harris

The JNC is chaired by Christine Hernandez-Baldwin of the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. Any Miami-Dade FAWL member who wishes to write a letter of support for either of these two member-candidates should send the letter to Ms. Hernandez-Baldwin and/or the members of the JNC; a contact list is available here.

Did you miss the 35th Annual Miami-Dade FAWL Installation & Awards Dinner at Jungle Island?

Check out the coverage by our event Media Sponsor, the 
in this slideshow: click here.

Bert Ocariz, Hon. Beatrice A. Butchko, and Hon. Milton Hirsch
Google and Microsoft
Will De-Index Revenge Porn and Remove Links to Revenge Porn Images From its Search Engines, a Huge Victory for Victims and Advocates
by: Elisa D'Amico

Individuals who discover that their intimate photographs and/or videos have been distributed and disseminated online without permission are now able to get search results that point to "revenge porn" removed by both Google and Microsoft. These new policies will not remove the actual images from websites, but the de-indexing will prevent a victim's search results from being flooded with nonconsensual pornography.

On Friday, June 19, 2015, Amit Singhal, Senior Vice President of Google Search announced the new removal policy on the company's Google Public Policy Blog:

...revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims-predominantly women. So going forward, we'll honor requests from people to remove nude or sexually explicit images shared without their consent from Google Search results. This is a narrow and limited policy, similar to how we treat removal requests for other highly sensitive personal information, such as bank account numbers and signatures, that may surface in our search results.

Microsoft soon followed suit and on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft's Chief Online Safety Officer, announced its removal policy on the Microsoft On the Issues Blog:

Unfortunately, revenge porn is on the rise across the globe. It can damage nearly every aspect of a victim's life: relationships, career, social activities. In the most severe and tragic cases, it has even led to suicide ... Much needs to be done to address the problem. As a first step, we want to help put victims back in control of their images and their privacy. That's why Microsoft will remove links to photos and videos from search results in Bing, and remove access to the content itself when shared on OneDrive or Xbox Live, when we are notified by a victim. 

Victims or their agents can submit removal requests online by filling out this Google form and this Microsoft form.
Miami-Dade FAWL's membership period runs from July 1 through June 30 of each year, so all memberships expired oJune 30, 2015.

Click here to join, renew, or view the Membership Policy concerning any new memberships or renewals submitted prior to March 1.

Email with any questions or concerns, including to check the status of your membership.
Miami-Dade FAWL Honored with The Florida Bar's "Diversity Leadership Grant Outstanding Program Award" for Organizing and Hosting Call to Action Diversity Summit
by: Elisa D'Amico

The Florida Bar's Diversity & Inclusion Committee presented Miami-Dade FAWL and the Dade County Bar Association (DCBA) with its "Outstanding Program Award" at The Florida Bar's Annual Conference in Boca Raton on June 26, 2015.

Miami-Dade FAWL Directors and Co-Chairs of the Accessibility Committee Courtney Engelke and Stephanie Moot organized the inaugural Call to Action Diversity Summit, held on November 7, 2014. Along with Disability Independence Group, Inc., Miami-Dade FAWL and the DCBA hosted the Summit, which focused on the inclusion of persons with disablities in bar-related activities. The event hosts asked each voluntary bar organization in Miami-Dade County to send a representative to the Summit, which was sponsored, in part, by a grant from The Florida Bar. Panelists Herman Russomanno III (former DCBA President), Courtney Engelke, Stephanie Moot, and David Baghdassarian, educated attendees from voluntary bar organizations on how to develop best practices to ensure that persons with disabilities can fully participate in hosted events.
Panelists and participants at the inaugural Call to Action Diversity Summit
in November 2014

The first of its kind, the Summit marked an important step forward in the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all bar-related events. Miami-Dade FAWL is proud to be at the helm of such an important issue and is excited to see its programming recognized by The Florida Bar.

Congratulations to Courtney and Stephanie, and thank you to all panelists, sponsors, supporters, and participants.

2015 Leesfield/AAJ Law Student Scholarship Awarded to Alysia Castillo
by: Rebecca Ocariz

Alysia CastilloIra Leesfield
Alysia Castillo is the 2015 recipient of the Leesfield/AAJ Law Student Scholarship. Beginning in 1994, the scholarship has been awarded each year and recognizes law students who exemplify a high commitment to trial advocacy and public justice.   


Alysia attends UNT Dallas College of Law and expects to graduate in 2017. She is committed to helping her community through the Dallas Public Defender's Office (Exoneration Unit) while serving as Director of UTA Volunteers, Health and Homelessness.


Alysia always has had a passion for helping the less privileged. She spent her adolescent years in a military family, witnessing the many challenges faced by those who have served out country. That experience fuels her interest in a legal career representing veterans and their families.


The AAJ/Leesfield Law Student Scholarship Program was created in partnership with the American Association for Justice,  Miami-Dade FAWL Member Ira Leesfield, and the Leesfield Family Foundation.

Miami-Dade FAWL Members Have 
Discounted Tickets to the
Adrienne Arsht Center!

Miami-Dade FAWL has teamed up with the Adrienne Arsht Center to provide members with better access to programming. Taking advantage of the Miami-Dade FAWL special benefits is so easy.

Just enter our special code "FAWL" online to get discounted tickets to upcoming shows and more!

Membership Spotlight

Stephanie CarmanKimberly DonovanAyana N. Harris

Alexandra Bach LagosStephanie MootJennifer Olmedo-Rodriguez
The Daily Business Review has announced as its 2015 class of Rising Stars "a selection of South Florida lawyers under the age of 40 who are making a difference in the community and who will continue to do so in the future." Six of the 40 honorees--who have all made significant impacts on behalf of their clients and for their communities--are Miami-Dade FAWL members. The Miami-Dade FAWL member-honorees are: Stephanie Carman, commercial litigation counsel with Hogan Lovells US LLP; Kimberly Donovan, a commercial litigation partner with Squire Patton Boggs; Ayana N. Harris, assistant federal public defender, Southern District of Florida; Alexandra Bach Lagos, a litigation partner with Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.; Stephanie Moot, commercial litigation associate at K&L Gates LLP; and Jennifer Olmedo-Rodriguez, a commercial litigation shareholder with Buchanan Ingersoll Rooney PC.


Lara Bueso BachElisa D'AmicoAngela Lipscomb

Lara Bueso Bach, Miami-Dade FAWL Treasurer and associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Elisa D'AmicoMiami-Dade FAWL Newsletter Editor and partner at K&L Gates LLP, and Angela Lipscombmember of the law firm of Lipscomb, Eisenberg & Baker, PL., were all chosen to receive the 2015 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's "40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of South Florida." All honorees were chosen for having "demonstrated excellence in the legal field and contributions to the community."



Ardith BronsonJody Shulman

Ardith Bronsoncounsel at DLA Piper LLP (US) and Jody Shulman, of U.S. Legal Support, were recently appointed to serve three-year terms on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee "H." Ardith and Jody are both members of the the Miami-Dade FAWL Board of Directors. Ardith currently serves as Chair of the Publications Quality Control Committee and Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee. Jody serves as Chair of the Judicial Reception Planning and Sponsorship Committees.


Miami-Dade FAWL is planning some great events, including stepping out of the courtroom and into the theatre to experience some of Broadway's finest shows as they hit the Adrienne Arsht Center.

More detailed information will follow, but here is a sneak preview of what is on the horizon...



August 13 at La Loggia:
Table for Eight lunch with Circuit Court Judge Jacqueline Scola (Click here)


August 15 at Sugarcane:
Table for Eight brunch with County Court Judge Laura Stuzin (Click here)


The Miami-Dade FAWL calendar of upcoming events is available online here.


Miami-Dade FAWL is a voluntary 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.
Newsletter Editor
Elisa D'Amico
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