Getting a Head Start on Pro Bono
On June 15, 2023, the Miami office of Hogan Lovells US LLP hosted the annual Getting a Head Start on Pro Bono Reception for Summer Associates with Put Something Back and Dade Legal Aid. The annual event included over 60 summer associates from local law firms, Cole Scott & Kissane, Duane Morris, Greenberg Traurig, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, McDermott Will & Emery, Nelson Mullins, Podhurst Orseck, Reed Smith, White & Case, and Wicker Smith, and featured judges speaking on the importance of providing pro bono legal services. Chief Judge Nushin G. Sayfie spoke on the importance of giving back to the less fortunate of the community in need of legal aid to a packed room of over summer associates, Legal Aid staff, firm members, and judges from different divisions.
“Big thanks to Karen Ladis and Hogan Lovells for their leadership on pro bono efforts in Miami. Engaging law students before they are lawyers is not only effective, it also serves to motivate and inspire the rest of us as we hear about pro bono experiences and witness the enthusiasm of the next generation of servant lawyers,” said Chief Judge Sayfie.
Hogan Lovells' Associates Daniel Balmori and Aaron Kramer Brosnan shared their perspectives on pro bono services and how much the clients appreciate their assistance. Firm pro bono partner, Al Lindsay said, “Hogan Lovells' culture of pro bono is one reason so many of our lawyers love practicing law. Seeing that same dedication and enthusiasm also reflected among the other firms in Miami instills great pride in our overall legal community. We greatly appreciate everyone coming out and celebrating the importance of starting pro bono early in a legal career.” In addition to Chief Judge Sayfie, Judge Kevin Emas of the Third District Court of Appeal, Judge Vivianne del Rio, Judge Christine Bandin, Judge Javier Enriquez and Judge Diana Vizcaino of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Bench, and County Court Former Administrative Judge Linda Singer Stein and Judge Julie Harris Nelson attended and spoke with guests on the importance of providing pro bono work in our community.
"Everyone had a great time and took away the importance of pro bono and giving back, and, as always, hosts Hogan Lovells and participating law firms set the highest example of doing so," said Karen Josefsberg Ladis, executive director.
Click here for link to photos https://www.dadelegalaid.org/getting-a-head-start-on-pro-bono/
31st Annual Family Seminar a Success
On Wednesday, May 24, 2023, Dade Legal Aid - Put Something Back, held the 31st annual Nuts & Bolts of Divorce Family Law seminar to recruit and train new pro bono attorneys to handle the growing numbers of family law cases in need of representation. The 31st annual Family Law Seminar kicked off with opening remarks by Chief Judge Nushin Sayfie on the Importance of Pro Bono and the need for attorneys to accept cases, followed by Perspectives from the Bench by the Honorable Samantha Ruiz Cohen, Administrative Judge, Family Division, and a discussion on Mediation by former Judge Sarah Zabel. The seminar included a panel on Professionalism featuring Robert Josefsberg, Esq., Gerald Kornreich, Esq., and Paul Lipton, Esq. Other notable speakers and topics included Ronald H. Kauffman, Esq., Jacqueline M. Valdespino, Esq., Marck Joseph, Esq., Geoffrey Valdes-Alba, Esq., and Cynthia Stafford, Esq., The speakers covered presented on How to Do an Initial Client Interview, The Roles and Responsibilities of the Guardian Ad Litem, Domestic Violence and Family Law, Changes to the Family Law Rules, and more. The seminar was moderated by co-chairs Amber Kornreich, Esq., and Brittany Bonner, Esq. The event included Put Something Back Pro Bono Awards presented to these outstanding Family Law Pro Bono Attorneys: Adrian Acosta, Esq., Patricia Mesa, PA, James Piccolino, Esq., Alex John Saiz, Esq., Peter J. Sautter, Esq., Brian W. Toth, and Francisco J. Vargas, Esq., who have provided over 2,000 hours combined on a variety of family, domestic violence and guardian ad litem cases. The seminar was free for all attorneys who agree to accept a family law case from Put Something Back. The seminar was generously sponsored by Family Law Software, Foster Morales, PLLC, BLANKROME, Valdespino & Associates, PA, Soberlink, Peak Legal, Accounting & Valuation LLC, Ronald H. Kauffman, PA, MAZE Resolutions, PA, Vasquez de Lara Law Group, OurFamilyWizard, Kornreich & Associates and Truist. Dade Legal Aid truly appreciates each speaker, sponsor and participant and thanks them for giving their time and talent to making this year’s seminar a success. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
11th Circuit Chief Judge Nushin Sayfie speaking on the Importance of Pro Bono
Marck Joseph, Esquire, of The Joseph Firm
The Honorable Samantha Ruiz Cohen presenting the Pro Bono Law Firm Award to Patricia Mesa PA.
DADE LEGAL AID- PUT SOMETHING BACK PRO BONO PROJECT HOSTING ITS ANNUAL NUTS & BOLTS OF DIVORCE FAMILY LAW SEMINAR
On May 24, 2023, Dade Legal Aid- Put Something Back Pro Bono Project is hosting its 31st annual Nuts & Bolts of Divorce Family Law CLE Seminar to recruit and train pro bono attorneys for family law cases. The seminar is free for attorneys who agree to handle a pro bono family law case from Put Something Back. Topics include: Initial Client Interview, How to Do a Divorce, Perspectives from the Bench, Role of GAL, Professionalism, Ethics, Technology, Time-Sharing, Paternity, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Domestic Violence, Mediation and much more!
“I am excited and humbled to participate once again in what has become one of the largest recruitment events for Put Something Back that benefits so many that may not otherwise have the representation needed to navigate the halls of Justice,” said Jacqueline M. Valdespino, Valdespino & Associates. “Please join us as we support the very system that makes our great country work: Equal Justice for All,” said Valdespino.
37th Annual View from the Bench Family Law Seminar
Miami, FL – On Friday, December 9, 2022, Dade Legal Aid/Put Something Back & the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Family Division together with First Family Law American Inn of Court and the Miami-Dade Bar Young Lawyers Section held its first in person seminar of 2022, “The 37th Annual View from the Bench Family Law Seminar,” featuring knowledgeable speakers as Honorable Nushin G. Sayfie, Chief Judge, Honorable Samantha Ruiz Cohen, Administrative Judge, Honorable Victoria del Pino, Associate Administrative Judge, Honorable George A. Sarduy, Associate Administrative Judge, Honorable Judge Diana Vizcaino, Honorable Judge Ivonne Cuesta, Honorable Judge Veronica Diaz, Honorable Judge Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos, General Magistrate Carlos Fernandez, Erika Ruiz , Family Court Services, Maria Gonzalez, Esq., of Maria C. Gonzalez, P.A. and Moderated by: Gerald I. Kornreich, Esq., Kornreich & Associates. The speakers covered exciting topics such as: Tips for Preparing for Your Case Management Hearing, Using CourtMAP to Its Maximum Potential, Laying the Foundation for the Admission of Videos & Photos, Updates on Family Court Services, Introduction of New Judge & Hot Tips from Administrative Judges, Family Law Rules Update, Family Lase Case Law Update, and the Ray Pearson GAL Awards Presentation & Pro Bono Awards to Judges.
The Courts presented the Ray Pearson Outstanding GAL of the Year Award to Katushca “Kathy” Grass for exemplary service. Past honorees were present and recognized by Nushin G. Sayfie, Chief Judge Chief and the Honorable Samantha Ruiz Cohen. "Thank you so much for all of your hard work in putting this event together and thank you for inviting me to participate. It was an honor. You may not know that I began my judicial career in Dependency Court. I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous benefit a GAL or AAL has on a case. When I was a judge in Dependency I said, almost daily, that I would not want to do my job without the GAL. I have no doubt that my judges & GMs in the Family and DV divisions feel the same way,” said Nushin G. Sayfie, Chief Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. “Gerald “Jerry” I. Kornreich was recognized for decades of service to this seminar and to Legal Aid and received the first annual Burton Young Exceptional Service Award. “I was thrilled to look out at a courtroom full of 140 people, including 22 Judges, all there to help children and families that can’t afford legal representation. It was overwhelming to be handed an award bearing the name of a legal icon who had been President of the Florida Bar and a board-certified lawyer but more importantly an example of professionalism and civility throughout his career,” said Mr. Kornreich. Also recognized was Madelin Diaz for her generous toy drive effort for Legal Aid client’s children.
The seminar had an excellent turn out and all who attended will be receiving Continued Legal Education credits. The training was FREE for all attorneys who accept a family law case from Put Something Back. Kornreich & Associates generously sponsored the featured breakfast.
“Thank you for reaching and for hosting such an amazing event, it was a privilege to be asked to participate. You folks are incredible,” George A. Sarduy, Associate Administrative Judge. “It is an event I make sure to attend every year! thank you for your hard work helping to put it all together!” Diane M. Trainor, Esq., Law Offices of Diane M. Trainor.
We are so grateful to our supporters, sponsor, and speakers. Thank you all for giving your time and talent and for making this year’s seminar a success. We hope to see you all again next year!
Vivianna Tijerino Volunteer Law Student
Ms. Tijerino interned at Dade Legal Aid following her first year at FIU Law in order to give back to the community. In her role as the Director of Mentoring Services for a non-profit, she developed her project management skills working with at risk youth to assist them with issues such as suicide, violence, and bullying.
“My volunteer work has solidified my desire to give back to my community. Dade Legal Aid provides the opportunity to effect change in many different areas of law. I want to be an advocate for people and help them defend themselves against the injustices that they face on an everyday basis, which drives my passion for the study of law. Dade Legal Aid provides the opportunity to do so.” Ms. Tijerino is a 2L at Florida International University College of Law.
Rene Padron Volunteer Law Student
Safespace Domestic Violence Awareness Walk
It was a wonderful event with a great turn out. I think that people really appreciated that both Dade Legal Aid's Domestic Violence and Family Departments were present to show support for the cause, and that we are always there to provide much needed services for the community. We care and give our continuing support to our partners and to the many survivors of domestic violence
Summer Internship at Dade Legal Aid
30th Annual Nuts and Bolts of Family Law Seminar
30th Annual Nuts and Bolts of Family Law Seminar
Miami, FL – On Wednesday, June 8, 2022, Dade Legal Aid - Put Something Back presented the 30th Annual Nuts and Bolts of Family Law Virtual Seminar to recruit pro bono attorneys. The seminar is generously sponsored by Truist Bank and Family Law Software, in conjunction with Miami-Dade Bar Family Court’s Committee and Young Lawyers Section. “We at Truist are proud to support Dade Legal Aid and believe in their mission,” said Erik C Alexander, Vice-President, TruistWealth Legal Specialty Group, an annual sponsor of Legal Aid programs. Featured Speakers include Welcome Remarks by Chief Judge Nushin G. Sayfie of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit; An Update on Family Court Proceedings - Honorable Samantha Ruiz Cohen, Administrative Judge, Family Division; Professionalism - Honorable Christina Marie DiRaimondo, Family Division; Motions for Contempt - Jordan Abramowitz, Esq., Abramowitz & Associates; New Alimony Statute - Maria C. Gonzalez, Esq., Maria C. Gonzalez, PA; Attorney's Fees - Jacquie Valdespino, Esq., Valdespino & Associates PA and Catherine Rodriguez, Esq., Filler Rodriguez, LLP. Bar Family Court Committee Co-Chairs Brittany Bonner, Esq., Filler Rodriguez, LLP and Amber Kornreich, Esq., Kornreich & Associates, and Vice-Chair: Marck Joseph, Esq., The Joseph Law Firm, will be moderating. Those who attend will earn 4.5 CLE Florida Bar CLE (4.5 General, including 1.0 Ethics & .5 Professionalism). Attendance is free for all attorneys who agree to accept at least one pro bono family law case from Dade Legal Aid/Put Something Back.
Do not miss this fantastic opportunity to gain experience and from the experts! For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dade Legal Aid Receives AOJ Grant
Congratulations to Dade Legal Aid on receiving a grant from The Florida Bar Foundation to provide greater access to justice for those in need in our circuit. The Administration of Justice grant began on April 1, 2022 and will expand resources to make an even greater impact in our community, providing many more opportunities to be of service. Thank you to the Foundation for funding this worthwhile project!
A Special Thank You to Our Supporter Melanie Hyer of Pro Estate Realty
I support Legal Aid because...
"It is so important to have a resource for all people in our community to have legal representation. Legal Aid makes a big difference in the lives of people, who without them would not have a voice! I have been sponsoring the Probate & Guardianship Committee of DCBA for over 15 years. I am amazed by how many Attorneys from our community make a difference with Pro Bono cases to help individuals who really need help handling Estates & Guardianship issues. Legal Aid and our Local Attorneys are unsung heroes in our community that deserve more recognition for the good they are doing to help regular citizens navigate complex legal issues."
All my best,
36th ANNUAL VIEW FROM THE BENCH FAMILY LAW SEMINAR
Miami, FL - On November 5, 2021, it was a “family affair” with over 150 attorneys, judges, general magistrates, bar leaders, and court employees participating in the 36th Annual View from the Bench Family Law seminar. In his welcoming remarks, Gerald I. Kornreich shared his excitement with the new format and was grateful for all of the effort and innovation that went into planning the event. Kornreich, along with his daughter and Partner Amber Kornreich, Esq., spent many hours planning, recording and formatting the event. Former Chief Judge Joel Brown expressed his gratitude for the dedication spent putting this seminar together for the past 36 years and the importance of accepting pro bono cases. “By accepting pro bono cases from Put Something Back you provide valuable services to the legal profession, enhance the opinion of the legal profession, and provide access to the courts and much needed representation to those who cannot afford it. You also obtain tremendous personal satisfaction by accepting a case.” Eleventh Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Nushin Sayfie and the Honorable Samantha Ruiz-Cohen, Administrative Judge of the Family Division, presented the Ray Pearson Guardian ad Litem Awards to Nora Rotella, Esq., (2020) and Amber Glasper, Esq. (2021). Chief Judge Nushin Sayfie recognized the previous 31 Ray Pearson GAL Award Winners and thanked everyone present for taking pro bono cases. “Congratulations to all who participated in a truly wonderful CLE. It was not only well done, there was such a spirit of friendship and collegiality. I can’t wait for next year’s program!” said Sayfie. Judge Scott Bernstein, former Administrative Judge of the Family Division, gave his congratulations and encouraged all attendees to take a pro bono Guardian ad Litem or Family case from Put Something Back and described the impact that pro bono attorneys make when they accept cases. “There is always the need for more attorneys to take cases,” said Bernstein. Gerald I. Kornreich, Esq., who has been organizing the seminar with Dade Legal Aid for the past 36 years, moderated the new judges panel featuring Judge Christina DiRaimondo, Judge Marlene Fernandez-Karavetsos, Judge Spencer Multack, Judge Victoria del Pino and Judge Veronica Diaz. Additional speakers included former Administrative Judge Sandy Karlan, Court Administrator Eugene Carral, Nancy St. Phard of Family Court Services, Karen J. Ladis, Esq. of Legal Aid, Judge Samantha Ruiz-Cohen, and former Chief Judge Bertila Soto. The last presenters were Maria C. Gonzalez, Esq., who provided the annual Case Law Update and former General Magistrate Robert Jones on Legislative and Rules Update. This seminar was free to all attorneys who agreed to accept a pro bono case from Dade Legal Aid - Put Something Back and would not be possible without the leadership and support of Gerald I. Kornreich, Esq. and Amber Kornreich, Esq., of Kornreich and Associates, the Family Division of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, the First Family Law American Inn of Court and the Miami Dade Bar Association.
Dade Legal Aid Receives $25,000 Grant from Peacock Foundation, Inc.
Dade Legal Aid in Miami-Dade County has received a generous grant from Peacock Foundation, Inc. to support its Guardianship Protection Project for Youth and Elderly People with Disabilities. Throughout its distinguished history, Peacock Foundation, Inc. has assisted hundreds of non-profit organizations like Dade Legal Aid in their missions to improve the lives of South Floridians. Kristen Feuer, Esquire, will serve as the Lead Attorney for Dade Legal Aid’s Project. Feuer joined the organization in 2006 as a Child Advocacy Attorney representing teenagers in the foster care system. In addition to handling complex guardianship cases for older foster teens and adults in need of guardianship legal representation, she will recruit and mentor countless pro bono and staff attorneys. A thoughtful and dedicated champion of the rights of those unable to speak for themselves, she is a member of the Dade County Bar Association Probate and Guardianship and Juvenile Courts Committees. Feuer is a frequent lecturer and has received numerous awards and accolades for her innovative legal strategies and excellence. In 2013, Feuer was a recipient of the “Circuit Team Award” from the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office for exemplary teamwork and advocacy.
Community Service Award
Erik C. Alexander, Vice-President, TruistWealth Legal Specialty Group, is a Miami native with over 27 years of private banking experience and decades of community service. In addition to supporting the mission of Dade Legal Aid - Put Something Back, his service includes devoting countless hours on the Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America, South Florida Council, and on the Disaster Workforce for the American Red Cross where he aids in disaster and humanitarian relief. We are truly grateful to Mr. Alexander and Truist for constant support and participation in pro bono recruitment seminars, programs and events.
Terrence Biddulph Citizenship Award
Last October, we lost one of our biggest supporters and champions - Terrence Biddulph of IberiaBank First Horizon. “Terry” spent over 35 years attending and promoting Dade Legal Aid and PutSomething Back events and was a true friend and supporter to everyone he encountered. To honor his legacy, we proudly present Idalberto “Bert” DeArmas, Senior Vice President, Iberiabank First Horizon, with the Terrence Biddulph Citizenship Award. Mr. DeArmas has over 35 years of financial planning and banking experience and has supported Put Something Back and the legal community for years. Bert is always there to lend a helping hand to support initiatives such as Battle of the Legal Bands and Speeding Lawfully Spin Challenge. We are so grateful to him and to IberiaBank First Horizon for their exceptional commitment.
Outstanding Law Student Award
Alexander Maza, a second-year law student at St. Thomas University School of Law, volunteered 180 hours during his summer internship at Put Something Back assisting with screening and referring pro bono cases, conducting legal research, and updating status of ongoing pro bono cases. The work that he performed was exceptional, and we are honored to present him with the Outstanding Law Student Award. Maza received his Bachelor's of Business Administration in Finance from FIU and is grateful to have an internship at Dade Legal Aid - Put Something Back and the opportunity to help people in need, especially those impacted by the pandemic who are enduring additional hardship.
Dade Legal Aid Launched Class VI of its 2021 Leadership Academy
Amidst a pandemic, Dade Legal Aid launched Class VI of the Dade Legal Aid (“DLA”) Leadership Academy bringing together diverse young leaders of our community whose distinguished resumes reflect their accomplishments as well as their concerns for the profession. They have excelled in their areas of practice, accepted pro bono cases, hosted events, and pledged to do more for the community. The goals of the Academy are to enhance the members’ leadership skills and civic engagement by connecting Fellows with Legal Leaders of influential firms, members of the judiciary and clients in need. During the year, Fellows will develop a deeper understanding about issues facing Dade Legal Aid clients and the indigent in our community. Meet our 2021 Fellows:
- Pheonix Barker, Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, P.A.
- Beau Blumberg, Deutsch, Blumberg & Caballero, P.A.
- Frank Florio, Gunster
- Brianna Hathaway, Jones Day
- Freddy Kasten, Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell, P.A.
- Eric Kay, Kozyak Tropin Throckmorton LLP
- Klugy Mathurin, Nelson Mullins
- Kayla Mosquera, Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP
- Karissa Peralta, Florida Guardian ad Litem Program
- Alex Perez, Wadsworth, Margrey & Dixon PLLC
- Michael's Deborah Saint-Vil, Catholic Legal Services, Inc.
- Kimberly Slaven, Zebersky Payne Shaw Lewenz, LLP
- Jeremy Solorzano, Solorzano Law PLLC
- Nathalie Sosa, Law Clerk, The Honorable Paul Huck
- Mahalaxmi Subramanian, Reorg Research, Inc.
- Ingrid Benson-Villegas, Walton Lantaff Schroeder & Carson LLP
Dade Legal Aid (“DLA”) provides a critical safety net of legal services for the indigent of Miami-Dade County in the areas of Family Law, Domestic Violence, Guardianship, Children & Foster Youth Advocacy, Bankruptcy, Housing, Foreclosure Defense, Probate, Nonprofits, Legal Clinics for the Self Represented, Venture Law, Taxation, CLE Educational Trainings and Community Workshops. For more information, please contact Stephanie Grosman, Staff Attorney, at 305-579-5733 ext. 2224 or email@example.com.