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Dade Legal Aid Salutes the 2013 Pro Bono Award Honorees

Dade Legal Aid salutes these outstanding individuals for their extraordinary commitment and selfless donation of their time and talent to make “Access to the Courts a Reality for All.” Dade Legal Aid truly appreciates the efforts of its 6,000 dedicated lawyers, 200+ law firm stakeholders and local law schools for providing protection to children, families, victims and other vulnerable residents.

It doesn’t take a lot to make the world better, it just takes you!

Joel Brown, Retired Chief Judge – Access to Justice Award
Joel Brown, Retired Chief Judge, and now a partner with Freidin Dobrinsky Brown & Rosenbaum, forged a remarkable alliance with Dade Legal Aid over the years to provide protection and representation for underprivileged individuals, children and families by urging all attorneys to take one or more cases from Put Something Back.. Throughout his term on the bench, he emphasized the importance of pro bono work. It was his privilege to partake in pro bono recruitment and training efforts. The “Access to Justice Award” truly defines his tireless efforts for decades.

Terrence G. Biddulph – Richard C. Milstein Excellence Award
Mr. Biddulph or “Terry” spends all of his time promoting and attending Dade Legal Aid events to help the less fortunate and to make this community a better place to work and live. Terry is a mentor and friend to all who know him and is a true legal legend in our community. Congratulations on your years of exemplary service to the bench and bar. We are truly honored to name Terry the 15th recipient of the Richard C. Milstein Lifetime Achievement Excellence Award.

Jason Jones – Bankruptcy Law Award
Mr. Jones, a partner in Bilzin Sumberg’s Restructuring & Bankruptcy Group, represents debtors, trustees, secured and unsecured creditors and creditors’ committees. As President of the Bankruptcy Bar Association, he enthusiastically accepts cases, sponsors seminars, mentors others and staffs clinics and also leads a creative collaboration of Judges, Practitioners, Professors, Students and Mentors in partnership with Dade Legal Aid.

David Mangiero – Bonnie L. Cooper Probate & Guardianship Award
In her memory, the DCBA Probate & Guardianship Committee dedicates this award to of Bonnie Cooper. While so many members are truly deserving of this prestigious award, David Mangiero, a partner with Palmer, Palmer & Mangiero, is this year’s recipient. He has assisted with over 20 guardianship cases demonstrating his devotion to providing pro bono services.

Christina A. McKinnon– Family Law Award
Ms. McKinnon of the Law Offices of Christina A. McKinnon, P.A., actively partakes in countless challenging causes benefiting the community. She devotes her firm’s practice to the areas of family law and personal injury fervently working on behalf of her clients. She handles everything from divorce, domestic violence, child support, custody and visitation cases and coordinates numerous cle seminars to recruit and train others.

Mark Stein – Innovative Project Award
As Chair of “Legal Tune Ups for Non Profits” and a partner at Higer Lichter & Givner, Mr. Stein, who specializes in Intellectual Property and Corporate Law, helped launch this clinic which engaged over 40 attorneys from the business and corporate community to participate. The project has assisted 60 non profits and is an annual event in conjunction with Dade Legal Aid, UM School of Law and The Business Law Section of The Florida Bar. Special thanks to Myles Cochran for his instrumental participation.

Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida –
Outstanding Bar Association- Stella Chu, President
The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida (APABA), is dedicated to diversity and services and is extremely supportive to Dade Legal Aid and the indigent community, staffing pro se clinics, taking cases and hosting a fundraiser. This coalition helps to provide stability to families and minorities in need of legal assistance. We salute APABA’s efforts and thank President, Stella Chu, of Sedwick Law, LLP, for her vital leadership.

David Rothman – Child Advocate of the Year Award
Mr. Rothman of Rothman & Associates zealously advocates on behalf of children who are defenseless and often caught in the criminal justice system. He performs pro bono with compassion and integrity and no case is too difficult for him to handle expending hundreds of hours annually. These qualities and his numerous contributions to the youth of our society are deserving of special recognition.

Susan J. Rubio Rivera – “MUJER” – Community Partner Award
Ms. Rubio Rivera, Executive Director of MUJER (Women United in Justice & Education Reform), is an outstanding community partner for recognizing the needs of the South Dade Community and mobilizing resources and creating partnerships that impact a positive delivery system in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Suzette Russomanno – Young Lawyer of the Year
Ms. Russomano, YLS President and an Associate with Sedgwick, leads by example. She accepts cases, co-sponsors seminars and clinics and is a guiding light in our next generation of legal leaders. During her tenure as President, the YLS has received local, statewide and national attention for their extraordinary accomplishments and achievements in the areas of innovations, excellence and community service.

Mark E. Fried – General Civil Award
During the past decade, Mr. Fried, of Mark E. Fried, PA, has handled more than 25 pro bono cases for clients focusing on a variety of civil cases including foreclosures and not for profit matters. His practice is primarily immigration law, yet he gladly takes all types of civil cases and is always ready, willing and able to go the extra mile to help pro bono clients.

Felipe Plechac-Diaz – Outstanding Law Student of the Year

University of Miami School Third Year Law student, Mr. Plechac-Diaz has contributed substantially towards the Bankruptcy Pro Bono Assistance Clinic by accepting cases, helping at seminars and staffing clinics.


Maxine Long – Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Award

Special recognition goes to Maxine Long, a Shareholder with Shutts & Bowen, Recipient of the 2013 Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Award for extraordinary contribution to the provision of pro bono legal services. 


     Sookie Williams, DBR; Terrence Biddulph & Patrick Morris, Sabadell United;  Joshua Coller  & Michael Benowitz, VERITEXT; BAGEL EMPORIUM & GRILLE; David Fried & Chelsea Nunez, Trial Graphix

We count on all members of the community for their support and goodwill.  These outstanding citizens go above and beyond to sponsor Dade Legal Aid events year round.


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