MABA. newsletter. Mexican American Bar Association. Artwork by Jose Ramirez Volume 9, Issue 1

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1 MABA Artwork by Jose Ramirez newsletter Mexican American Bar Association 2013 Volume 9, Issue 1 MABA is committed to the advancement of Latinos in the legal profession and the empowerment of the Latino community through service and advocacy.

2 2 Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County The President s Message H H H H H H H H H 2013 EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS & TRUSTEES Greetings Fellow MABistas, Thank you for making our 2013 Installation and Awards Gala Elizabeth P. Uribe 2013 MABA President such a successful and memorable event. Our "Breaking Barriers" theme was fitting given the climate of change within our community and legal profession. To this end we set forth to honor individuals who have broken barriers and have helped others break barriers as well. I would like to congratulate our honorees once again: District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Benito Juarez Attorney of the Year; Enrique Arevalo, Frank E. Muñoz Lifetime Achievement Award; Mercedes Marquez, Edward Roybal Public Service Award; the UCLA Law Fellows Program, Justice Cruz Reynoso Community Service Award; and Judy Perez, MABA Spirit Award. The night started with the Grammy award winning Mariachi Divas who serenaded us with their beautiful music and tantalizing voices. Political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz served as the night's emcee and our guests were given the opportunity to purchase signed prints from Lalo, including his famous Sonia Sotomayor themed Lil Judge Lopez. Of course, the night could not have been complete without the Latin Jazz beats of Mestizo who energize our crowd year after year. The installation also serves as an opportunity for our members to come together to reunite with old friends, make new ones and collectively celebrate the accomplishments our members and our community have achieved. The event could not have been made possible without the contributions and generous support of our sponsors, including our signature sponsor, Union Bank. Breaking Barriers theme will continue in our goals and event planning throughout the year. On February 28th we hosted our annual Law Students/Judges/Attorney mixer held at Loyola Law School. We had a GREAT turnout and a special THANK YOU goes out to the Latino Judges for attending the event and providing invaluable guidance to our law students and attorneys. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to sign-up and participate in our mentorship program See President, page 4 EXECUTIVE BOARD Elizabeth P. Uribe, President Law Office of Elizabeth P. Uribe Erick Solares, President-Elect California Department of Transportation, Gladdys J. Uribe, Vice-President Law Office of Enrique Arevalo Sean Andrade, Secretary Baute & Tidus, LLP Felipe de la Torre, Treasurer Office of the Alternate Public Defender Maria Ramirez, Newsletter Editor Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office Cindy Panuco, Membership Director Hadsell Stormer Keeny Richardson & Renick LLP BOARD OF TRUSTEES Alejandro Becerra Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell Elizabeth Alamillo Law Office of Enrique Arevalo Miguel Duarte Law Offices of Miguel Duarte Juan Ramos Law Office of Juan Ramos Shelley Dominguez Los Angeles County District Attorney s Office Pamela Villanueva Office of the Public Defender Humberto Guizar Law Office of Humberto Guizar Pete Navarro Law Offices of Pete R. Navarro Sergio C. Tapia Office of the Alternate Public Defender Araceli Campos MALDEF Jennifer Macias Student Trustee Maria Torres Executive Administrator 2013 MABA BOARD EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS & TRUSTEES MAIN OFFICE Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County 714 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite 450 Los Angeles, CA Tel: Fax:

3 Fellow MABistas! I send you 365 thanks! For that was the number of days you gave me the privilege of serving as President of this venerable organization. It was great seeing many of you throughout It was a banner year for MABA. I am proud of the fact that MABA was one of the first organizations to not only endorse Jackie Lacey in her bid to become the first woman District Attorney of Los Angeles County, but with your support, we put our money where our mouth is and kicked off her first fundraiser of the general election. MABA filed an Amicus Brief with California s Supreme Court in support of Sergio C. Garcia, an undocumented law school graduate who passed the State Bar, but has been denied a license to practice law due to his legal status. It was followed by a joint MCLE with LACBA. That case is still pending before the court. MABA returned to Mexico by way of the Yucatan days! Peninsula, where we participated in a symposium with members of the Yucatan Supreme Court. There are many stories to be told and relationships that were forged in 2012, but I am honored to have collaborated with organizations such as Langston, LACBA, KABA, MCBA, APABA, JABA, SCCLA, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles and many more to empower the Latino community. I look forward to another banner year in 2013 with Elizabeth P. Uribe at the helm of MABA. Again, thank you for the honor of serving you. Sinceramente, Rigoberto J. Arrechiga 2012 MABA President I look forward to another banner year in 2013 with Elizabeth P. Uribe at the helm of MABA Legal Fair District Attorney Jackie Lacey and the 2012 MABA Board The Yucatan Supreme Court Rigo Arrechiga, Jackie Lacey and Josh Groban

4 4 Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County President Continued from page 2 and be a mentor to a law student. It is truly important and vital that we invest in our law students as they are the future of our organization. With this in mind we have launched our Federal Judicial Externship program and three law students have been selected to participate in this inaugural year. Our goal is to ensure that we provide opportunities for our students and that the program grows in the years to come. The LRIS committee has also been working aggressively to revamp and revive our referral program. We have met with the California State Bar and are working in conjunction with them to ensure that our program is successful and beneficial for our members. Our new website is also in the works and will be unveiled soon. The new website will serve as an important tool for our organization and the community at large. We are also working with the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) to expand the MABA Records collection. The collection contains photographs, membership records and events documents. We are in need of additional donations or loans and are also searching for MABistas who would like to contribute and provide an oral history of MABA. We plan to have a mixer and unveiling of the project in the Fall. I look forward to seeing you and working with you throughout I encourage you to participate in our events, committees and be active participants of MABA. Our immediate upcoming events include our 5th Annual Softball Tournament scheduled for May 4th at Whittier Narrows Park and our Spring Mixer scheduled for April 25th. Also, mark your calendars and stay tuned for more details on our trip to CUBA scheduled for November En Solidaridad, Elizabeth P. Uribe 2013 MABA President ELIZABETH GIBBAR CPA MBA, CMA Bookkeeping by Cox MABA PAST PRESIDENTS 2012 Rigoberto J. Arrechiga 2011 Victor Acevedo 2010 Judy Perez 2009 Mario Trujillo 2008 Pete Navarro 2007 Efrain Aceves 2006 Claire Cifuentes 2005 Alan R. Diamante 2004 Edward Ortega 2003 Maribel Medina 2002 Cristina Perez-Gonzalez 2001 Luis Rodriguez 2000 James E. Blancarte 1999 Arnoldo Casillas 1998 M. Leslie Stearns 1997 Maria Villa 1996 Yvonne Flores 1995 Enrique Arevalo 1994 Martha Melendez 1993 Martha Romero 1992 Raul Granados 1991 Raul Ayala 1990 Marcia Gonzales-Kimbrough 1989 Debra Gonzales 1988 Monica Jimenez 1987 Gustavo Barcena 1986 Armando Duron 1985 Carlos Zaragoza 1984 Jaime Cervantes 1983 James E. Blancarte 1982 Honorable Carlos Moreno 1981 Esther Valadez 1980 Oscar Parra 1979 Daniel Garcia 1978 Honorable John Martinez 1977 Honorable Ben Aranda* 1976 Lawrence De Fuentes* 1975 Frank Munoz* 1974 Stanley Delnick 1973 Honorable Joseph Armijo* 1972 Ernest Gallego 1971 Honorable Victor Chavez 1970 Oscar Munguia* 1969 Lorenzo Pereyda* 1968 Manuel Aranda (resigned) 1967 Manuel Valenzuela* 1966 Martin Castillo 1965 Honorable Ray Cardenas 1964 Herman Sillas 1963 Manuel S. Martinez* * Deceased

5 5 Sergio Garcia: An Argument for Fairness By Juan Ramos, MABA Trustee ABCs of U-Visas By Maria Ramirez, Newsletter Editor As the largest Latino voluntary local bar association in California, the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (MABA) represents the interests of the Latino community, promotes the administration of justice, and maintains the honor and dignity of the profession. Included in these objectives is the advancement of Latinos in the legal profession - regardless of immigrant status. That is why MABA submitted an amicus brief in support of Sergio Garcia. Sergio Garcia is at the doorstep of becoming a lawyer. He graduated from law school, passed the bar exam and was determined to possess good moral character by the Committee of Bar Examiners. The final step in getting his law license is for the California Supreme Court to approve his application. The issue the Court is considering is whether to approve Sergio Garcia's moral character may not be enough to obtain his law license in California application given that he is undocumented. MABA's amicus brief argues that the state's interests are best served by an attorney admissions policy that does not exclude State Bar applications on the basis of immigrant status. Sergio s parents came to this country when he was 17 months old and returned to Mexico when he was 9 years old. Sergio and his parents came back to the United States when Sergio was 17 years old. Sergio paid his way through college and law school. He has never received public benefits to which he is not entitled, has no criminal record, pays his taxes and serves his community. Sergio is hard-working, selfsufficient and contributes to this society. In short, he is a model "citizen." However, being a See Argument, page 8 The U nonimmigrant visa was created in 2000 for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and specified crimes of violence and allowed these crime victims to apply for visas to remain in the United States for a period of up to three years, including an opportunity to including but not limited to police reports, witness statements, transcripts, and court documents. The recollections of victim witness advocates, district attorneys, and any other person involved in the case will also be considered. receive legal residency. The Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act was aimed at protecting women and children from crimes they were frequently victims of. The form required to apply for a U-Visa is entitled Form I-918 Supplement B, U Nonimmigrant Status Certification and can be filled out by the victim or their legal representative. The Los Angeles County District Attorney s (LADA) Office s policy on U-Visa Certification can be found on its website at The Office s Bureau Directors have been designated as those authorized to issue U-Visa Certifications for the District Attorney. Certification requests to the LADA will only be considered if the case was filed The U-Visa application requires a certification by law enforcement that the victim has provided assistance in the investigation and/or prosecution of the crime and has not refused to provide information or assistance. by the LADA and the case has been concluded. Victims and/or their legal representatives should submit their requests to the specific prosecutor or office where the case was prosecuted so that a memorandum to the Qualifying Crime: } Domestic violence } Sexual assault } Rape } Torture } Kidnapping } False imprisonment } Extortion } Human trafficking } Prostitution } Felony assault } Manslaughter } Witness tampering } Murder } Obstruction of justice } Perjury } Female genitalia mutilation } Attempt, Conspiracy, or Solicitation of any of the above. The victim should include any and all relevant documentation to support their application, Bureau Director can be prepared. In making their final See Visa, page 8

6 MABA members Mark A. Davis, Cristina Perez and Humberto Gray Rigoberto Arrechiga 2012 MABA President and Elizabeth P. Uribe 2013 MABA President Elizabeth P. Uribe, Yvonne & Efrain Aceves, and Adriana & Michael Felix 53rd Annual Installation & Gala Adrian Cid Uribe, Elizabeth P. Uribe and former Justice Carlos Moreno Judy Perez, MABA Spirit Award recipient Charles Claver, Vice President & Priority Banking Manager for Union Bank 2013 MABA Board at the 53rd Anniversary All photos taken on this page were taken by

7 UCLA Law Fellows and Alumni Leo Trujillo-Cox, Executive Director UCLA Law Fellows, Cruz Reynoso Community Service Award Recipient MABA Mexico President Irma Cano and Elizabeth P. Uribe Terrie Coady, Elizabeth P. Uribe and Adrian Cid Uribe Enrique Arevalo, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and Claudia Menjivar Cindy Panuco, Elizabeth P. Uribe and Gladdys Uribe D.A. Jackie Lacey and Efrain Aceves 2007 MABA President All photos taken on this page were taken by

8 8 Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County Visa Continued from page 5 decision, the Bureau Director will consider the following information: } The victim s role in the case and the extent of the victim s injury; } Facts supporting the victim s assistance to the prosecution on the case; } The victim s criminal history and gang membership; } The original charges filed; } The charges the defendant was convicted of; } The stage of proceeding during which the conviction occurred; and } The sentence imposed. Whether to grant certification is completely discretionary on the part of the agency. It is important to keep in mind that the prosecution has discovery obligations that may necessitate turning over U-Visa Certification requests that are made during the pendency of the case. Generally, post-conviction certification requests do not need to be turned over to the defense in the case. The following organizations provide assistance with U-Visa applications in Los Angeles County: } Asian Pacific American Legal Center } CARECEN } Immigration Center for Women and Children } Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles } Los Angeles Center for Law & Justice } Neighborhood Legal Services } Southwestern Immigration Law Clinic Argument Continued from page 5 model "citizen" and being determined to possess good moral character may not be enough to obtain his law license in California if immigrant status - a fact over which he has had no control - is determined to be a disqualifying factor. Sergio committed no crime when his parents brought him to this country as a minor, based on the Unites States Supreme Court decision in Plyler. In holding that undocumented children have a right to free public education through high school, the court in Plyler noted that a discriminatory burden cannot be placed on a legal characteristic over which an individual has no control. Sergio surely has had no control over his undocumented immigrant status. Moreover, he has done all he can within his control to work within our country's immigration policy framework, but the lack of an updated comprehensive federal immigration policy in over a quarter of a century has kept Sergio from moving forward. Sergio's citizenship application is still pending after 17 years. The federal DREAM Act, introduced in 2001, has not been passed. And the recent federal executive order establishing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) does not cover Sergio since he is over 33 years old. Sergio surely has had no control over his undocumented immigrant status. But the DACA memo notes that children brought to this country lack the intent to violate the law and that immigration laws are not to be blindly enforced without considering individual circumstances nor used to remove productive young people. The lack of a comprehensive, updated federal immigration policy has not prevented California from treating its citizens, including undocumented childhood arrivals, fairly. Our State Legislature has shown an intent to provide exemplary undocumented immigrant students opportunities beyond high school. In 2001, in-state tuition was provided to undocumented immigrants that meet certain criteria. In 2011, our legislature approved the California Dream Act, which provides access to private and public aid for state colleges to qualified undocumented immigrant students based on merit and need. Now, our State Supreme Court is being asked whether it will approve the law license application of model individuals that will contribute and enhance our profession, or whether it will penalize such individuals for a status over which they have no control. The answer should be clear and obvious.

9 9 Featured Mabista CARLOS IRIARTE REACHES NEW HEIGHTS By: Pete Navarro The prognosis was dire as 17-year-old Carlos Iriarte lay comatose and on life support after brain surgery. So dire that a priest was summoned to administer last rites. Carlos was on a promising walk as a college soccer player about to start his first year at UCLA, when while playing for a summer club team on September 17, 1989, received a fierce elbow to the head that caused an epidural hematoma. Left paralyzed by the brain injury, the doctors predicted that if he survived beyond three days he would have extensive brain damage. Carlos survived the first three nights, and snapped out of the coma, though his right side remained paralyzed and his short term memory gone for a period of time. The ensuing weeks and months were challenging. He suffered a series of brain seizures and the medications he was on were taking their toll on his liver. The idea that Carlos was to resume his undergraduate studies at UCLA, graduate early, enter law school and begin practicing law at 24, would have been unfathomable to his doctors when he was struggling for his life as a teenager at UCLA Hospital. Today, Carlos practices criminal law and is associated with Suite 450 of the Petroleum Building in downtown Los Angeles. An avid soccer player, runner, rock and mountain climber, last summer Carlos reached new heights - figuratively and literally - by climbing Tanzania s Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa s tallest mountain at 19,340 feet. After recovering from his near death experience Carlos was determined to experience life to its fullest by physically challenging his body s limits. So far he has run numerous marathons, half-marathons, triathlons and has ascended the tallest West Coast mountains including Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. Carlos is currently searching for his next new height to reach. MABA JUDICIAL EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM Michael M. Felix, Esq. MABA is proud to continue to once again fulfill its mission statement of being committed to the advancement of Latinos in the legal profession. This year MABA is proud to have launched the MABA Federal Judicial Externship Program a program where MABA has formed relationships with three Federal Latino Judges to choose and accept three Latino/a law Jesse Blancarte Teresa Gutierrez Alex Patterson See Program, page 10 The 3 above photos were taken by

10 10 Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County $1.5 MILLION IN TOTAL SCHOLARSHIP GIVING SET AS GOAL FOR MABF S ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP & AWARDS GALA By Christopher David Ruiz Cameron, Gala Director The $1.5 million mark in total scholarship giving is expected to be reached by the Mexican American Bar Foundation at this year s twenty-second Annual Scholarship & Awards Gala. The black-tie optional event is set for Saturday, June 8, 2013, at the elegant Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. This year s Guests of Honor include: United States Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson, who will celebrate his 90th birthday and his 45th year on the federal bench by receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award; Guggenheim Partners LLC, which is receiving the Community Service Award; Martha Saucedo, Executive Vice President of Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc., who is receiving the Professional Achievement Award; and Ruiz Foods Inc., makers of foods bearing the El Monterrey label, which is receiving the Latino Entrepreneurial Business Award. The mission of the Mexican American Bar Foundation, a Section 501(c)(3) charitable corporation established by MABA lawyers and judges, is to enhance the diversity of the legal profession through education by supporting the dreams of young women and men of Latino heritage who are pursuing careers in the law. Most scholars are the daughters and sons of low-income immigrants. They have overcome tremendous obstacles to pursue their educations. Typically, they are the first members of their families to attend college, and of course, professional school. Working without high-priced staff or significant overhead, the Foundation has awarded nearly $1.3 million, primarily in the form of 292 scholarships to 246 individual law students, plus stipends to law graduates studying for the bar examination. Except for the direct costs of the Gala, over 90 cents of every dollar spent is designated for scholarships. Scholars are selected based on academic achievement, community service, leadership, financial need, and success in overcoming hardships. Tables of ten are available at the following levels: Foundation Partner, including two premium tables, plus two scholarships named for the sponsor and a program ad ($25,000); Event Co-Sponsor, including two premium tables, plus one scholarship named for the sponsor and a program ad ($15,000); and Platinum ($7,500), Gold ($5,000), and Silver ($3,750), each of which includes one premium table and a program ad. As many as 500 guests are expected to attend. For more information, including a complete list of sponsorship opportunities, contact either Gala Director Christopher David Ruiz Cameron at (213) and or Gala Assistant Alma Vitela at (213) and Or visit the Foundation on the web: Past MABA President Rigo Arrechiga, MABF Gala Director Christopher David Ruiz Cameron, MABA President Elizabeth P. Uribe, and Trustee Juan Ramos

11 11 Program Continued from page 10 students to serve as Judicial legal externs this summer. The Federal Judicial Externship program originated from the hard work of MABA Board member Cindy Panuco, who was herself a Federal Judicial Extern. The program was launched in December of 2012 when the application process was opened to any Latino/a law student in the United States who desired to serve as a Judicial Extern for a Federal Judge this summer. MABA received over 35 applications from Latino/a law students here in Los Angeles and from students as far away as New York. A committee comprised of MABA President, Elizabeth Perez-Uribe, MABA President-Elect Erick Solares, MABA Board Member Cindy Panuco, and former MABA Board member Michael M. Felix narrowed down this list of applications from 35 applicants to 16 applicants who were interviewed by the committee. Of those 16 applicants interviewed, the committee narrowed down the list to five applicants whose names and applications were submitted to the three Judges who personally interviewed the applicants and made their final selections. The Hon. Philip S. Gutierrez selected law student Jesse Blancarte as his extern, the Hon. Richard A. Paez selected law student Teresa Gutierrez as his extern, and the Hon. S. James Otero selected Alex Paterson as his extern. These law students will serve during summer Traditionally, Federal judicial externships are unpaid positions which make it difficult for law students of color to apply due to financial obligations. MABA, in conjunction with the Law Offices of Michael M. Felix, is proud to be able to provide each law student with a stipend of $1,000 to assist them with their expenses this summer. Prior to starting the Federal externship program the law students will have extensive training to prepare them for their duties as Federal judicial externs. If you are a Judge and would like to participate in the MABA Judicial externship program we ask that you MABA at: We look forward to growing this program and providing more Latino/a law students opportunities to excel in the legal community. Calendar of Events May 4 5th Annual Softball Tournament May 23 Annual Spring Mixer June 8 Community Legal Fair July 26 Annual Golf Tournament August 17 Post-Conviction Defense MCLE September 26 Fall Mixer October 24 Annual Judges Night October Deadline for 2014 Board Candidacy Intent & Statements November MABA Trip to Cuba November MABA Elections for working together with MABA. Proudly Housing MABA s Main Office.

12 Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County 714 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 450 Los Angeles, CA 90015

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