1 The Dade County Bar Association In this issue: 10th Minority Mentoring Picnic Page 2 Roadblocks for Victims of Medical Negligence Page Installation Gala Page 4 Skill Development Through Public Service Page 6 A Century of Service to Miami-Dade County Programs and Services That The Adam Walsh Act: Immigrants Beware Help You Grow Your Practice, Page 7 Gain Experience & Give Back Bulletin President s Message Leslie Smith A judicial robing ceremony has all the hallmarks of a great film. Chief Judge Bertila Soto says presiding over the circuit s judicial investitures is the best part of her job. From my vantage point, I have to agree with her. A judicial robing ceremony has all the hallmarks of a great film. From the set, the historic Courtroom 6-1 in all of its coral rock, gold leaf and beamed splendor, to the cast, the Judges of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit solemnly congregating on one of the side of the courtroom, the family and speakers on the other, and the packed gallery of friends and colleagues. And finally, the star: the newly appointed or elected Judge surrounded by all of them in the role of a lifetime. But like a great film, a judicial investiture also has a fantastic script. Its words have the power to make you both laugh and cry, and fill even you with pride, both for the achievements of the Judge being honored and in our judicial system and those who labor within it. If you haven t been to a judicial investiture, you re really missing out on one of our profession s finest rituals. Let me just share a few highlights from three of the investitures I ve been honored to attend during the past few weeks. the ceremonies for Judges Teresa Mary Pooler, Alan Fine and Ivonne Cuesta were all memorable and touching. Each had a unique flavor that reflected the Judge s own personality. Judge Pooler s ceremony was fun and lighthearted. This is a woman who clearly enjoys life and a good laugh, while tackling her role as a jurist with dedication and fervor. It was a family celebration, from the invocation given by her Aunt Kathleen Keating, a catholic nun, to the remarks of her sister, retired Judge Catherine Pooler. Her sister, with great affection, recalled events from their childhood with humor and kept everyone in stitches. But to underscore their sisterly bond, she closed by presenting the Judge with an oversized photograph of themselves as children. Judge Alan Fine s ceremony also underscored the importance of family. Surrounded by his lovely wife Victoria and JuLY 2013 their three children, the usually composed Judge Fine was caught completely off guard. Senior U.S. District Judge Alan Gold, another family relation, made the most of the moment. Many years earlier Judge Gold had been presented with a crystal gavel from Judge Fine s father, who had received it from his uncle, a much-lauded New Jersey Superior Court Judge. When presented with the gavel, Judge Fine s father had only one request of Judge Gold to please keep it in the family. Needless to say, there wasn t a dry eye in the courtroom as Judge Gold shared the story and handed the family heirloom over to Judge Fine. Judge Ivonne Cuesta s ceremony was a testament to perseverance and the pursuit of freedom. As young girl, Judge Cuesta and her mother Emma left everything behind in Cuba for the chance of a better life in the United States. After being rescued at sea by the Coast Guard, seven year old Ivonne was handed a coke and an apple upon her arrival in Key West. Not having seen them before, she asked her mother what they were. Freedom her mother told her, those are symbols of freedom. So it was only fitting that one of the many of Judge Cuesta s mentors, supporters and friends who packed the courtroom that day, Judge Don Cohn, reminded those in attendance of the power of symbols. To underscore the point, Judge Cohn presented Judge Cuesta with a shadow box containing a can of Coke and a decorative glossy red apple. As these stories make clear, every investiture is special. It is a celebration for the judge, their family and their friends. It is also an opportunity to learn some new things and some very personal things about the women and men who preside in our courts. If you haven t been to an investiture lately, or ever, do yourself a favor and make the time to attend one. Like a great film, you ll bear witness to a poignant combination of comedy and drama. So come join me at Courtroom 6-1, you ll be so glad you did!
2 DADE COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION Board of Directors Officers M. Leslie Smith, President Herman J. Russomanno, III, President-Elect Jason M. Murray, Vice President Jeffrey A. Rynor, Secretary Jordan A. Dresnick, Treasurer Group One Pedro M. Allende Eric P. Hockman Jonathan Kaskel Natalie Rico Kayla Riera-Gomez Caitlin M. Trowbridge Group Two Zascha Blanco Abbott Elizabeth Ferry Monica F. Rossbach Adam J. Shapiro Effie D. Silva Gilbert K. Squires Group Three Stephanie L. Carman Jeff P. Cynamon Eric A. Hernandez Tiffani G. Lee Katie S. Phang Sabrina Puglisi Group Four David Alschuler Grobert B. Boyers D. Andrew Byrne Steven E. Eisenberg Lisa Berlowe-Lehner Regory P. Sreenan Group Five Jerome J. Kavulich Glenn B. Kritzer Richard M. Leslie Antonio Martinez, Jr. Jacquelyn P. Needelman Flora E. Seff Timothy M. Ravich, Aba Delegate Young Lawyers Section Board of Directors Officers Ethan Wall, President Geri Satin, President-Elect Joshua L. Wintle, Secretary Jacqueline C. Ledon, Treasurer Directors Brandon J. Arkin Samir Ghia Pierre Gooding Daniela Gordon Schuyler A. Smith Joshua E. Speilman Evian White Directors Daryl A. Bloomberg Gregory d Incelli Jenna Fischman Berit Griffin Lacey Hofmeyer Mandy Mills Stuart J. Weissman The Bulletin Committee Jane W. Muir, Chair Mihai Vrasmasu, Vice-Chair 123 NW First Avenue #214 Miami, Florida Matthew J. Ridgely, Executive Director Johnnie M. Ridgely, Executive Director ( ) Ex Officio Sookie Williams November 9 to Mark the Tenth Minority Mentoring Picnic By: John W. Kozyak Hundreds of law students from each school in Florida will be traveling to Miami for the 10th Minority Mentoring Picnic. All Dade County Bar members interested in mentoring a minority law student, should consider attending. More than 3,500 minority law students, judges, lawyers and their guests attended last year to support diversity and to enjoy themselves. Approximately sixty bar associations and law firms set up sponsorship tents to provide information about them to attendees. The DCBA has regularly supported this mentoring effort and will definitely have a tent this year. the Picnic is a low-cost, high impact program. Mentors are not expected to spend extravagantly and they are not responsible for finding employment for the student. Instead, the mentors are encouraged to take students with them to meetings, to help them with course selection, resume building and networking skills. Some mentor-mentee relationships have turned into lifetime friendships. For example, I often refer to one of my former mentees as my Haitian- American daughter, and I couldn t be more proud of her. If you come to the picnic and are interested in becoming a mentor, you can put on a red need mentee sticker and look for students with blue need mentor stickers, or you can ask one of the picnic ambassadors to help you find a student. You may also go sign up in advance of the picnic and I will try to introduce you to a student by phone or . Applications for mentors and mentees, as well as many photos, videos, and testimonials, are available on my website, org, and I encourage you to check it out. You will quickly note that this is a fun, family-oriented event with activities for children and some inundated us with the myth that the civil justice system is not trustworthy and/or that it is damaging our economy. But the facts are not consistent with the tort reform message. As I have pointed out previously, juries are not out of control and the civil justice system is causing little, if any, increased costs. In fact, the civil justice system is an essential aspect of a public policy seeking safety and excellence in medical care. What is certain is that every time the great programs for the students to interact with bar leaders, judges and lawyers. Attendees are also treated to some of the best, most diverse food imaginable. We have paella, arroz con pollo, barbecue ribs, jerk chicken, lamb and two large pigs roasted by Ray Abadin. there is nothing I enjoy more than talking about our minority mentoring program and our picnic, so please visit our website and come to our 10th Minority Mentoring Picnic, and feel free to give me a call. Please encourage lawyers and law students you know to also come. We are actively recruiting law students from outside Florida to also come to this picnic this year, so help us spread the word. I guarantee they will go home with a mentor and lots of great memories. John Kozyak is the Chair of the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation, and founding partner of Kozyak, Tropin & Throckmorton in Coral Gables. He may be reached at (305) Florida Legislature Adds More Roadblocks for Victims of Medical Negligence By: Stuart N. Ratzan So, it s over. Another legislative session. For the 15th time in 15 years, the Florida Legislature debated tort reform, seeking to restrict or eliminate the rights of Floridians maimed or killed due to medical neglect. This year they did it again, passing more legislation. Thanks in large part to a state representative named Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, the Florida legislature made it more difficult for patients injured due to medical neglect to bring claims or to succeed in claims for money damages. For some, this is a good thing. Doctors, hospitals, and the liability insurance companies who insure them are obviously content. Those who believe that greedy trial lawyers and runaway juries are a threat to our economy, welfare, and health care system, are also content. For years, big business, big insurance, and the health care industry have The civil justice system is an essential aspect of a public policy seeking safety and excellence in medical care. legislature makes it more difficult to bring a case, the civil justice system grows less capable of dispensing justice, and less capable of protecting us or giving us safer medical care. Expert Witnesses this year, the new law makes it more difficult to retain expert witnesses to testify about what went wrong. Ignoring the fact that medicine is interdisciplinary and interdependent, the Bill just passed now prohibits overlapping medical specialties from offering expert opinions about what went wrong in a case. Even if two physicians are trained to perform the exact same procedure the exact same way, and even where they work together, hand in glove, on the procedure or the patient s condition, they cannot opine on the care rendered if their background or training is in different specialties. In a world where negligence and wrongdoing have no consequences, negligence and wrongdoing thrive. in hospital quality assurance committees throughout the country, Continued on Page 3 2 DCBA BULLETIN JULY 2013
3 I Get By with A Little Help from My Talented Board of Directors By: Ethan Wall The members of the Young Lawyers Section s board of directors work tirelessly to serve you, our membership, and our community. Our board of directors dedicate countless hours to preparing engaging member service programs intended to provide you with an enriching and rewarding bar experience, and community service programs designed to help make our community flourish. Our board of directors sacrifices time with their friends, family, and loved ones to help make you bar experience worthwhile. that is the reason I am so proud that the American Bar Association recently awarded our Young Lawyers Section five enriching grants, more than any other young lawyer section in the entire country, to promote the meaningful public service and member service projects of our section. Thanks to the hard work of our board of directors, we will be able to host a Community Law Day to provide legal advice to low income members of our community, a Horizons Resume Workshop and Career Panel to help underprivileged teenage girls in realizing their dreams, our annual They Had a Dream program to teach civil rights to local elementary and middle school students, a Homeless Outreach Clothing Drive to benefit children living at the Chapman Center, and a Mentoring Mixer designed to connect young lawyers with leaders in our community. As I reflect on this outstanding accomplishment, I am certain that the reason for the success of our Young Lawyers Section is the hard It is truly the hard working board members who deserve recognition for all of the wonderful accomplishes of our bar association. work of our talented board of directors. While the President is often the first person recognized for the Section s success, it is truly the hard working board members who deserve recognition for all of the wonderful accomplishes of our bar association. In order to demonstrate my appreciation for the meaningful service of our talented board of directors, I intend to highlight one of our amazing board members each month in a new Board Member Spotlight section of the Bulletin. Each of them deserve more credit for their meaningful service to our bar association. I hope that by shining the spotlight on you, the members of our bar association will understand as well as I do how important you are to our community. I am grateful for each and every one of you. Ethan Wall practices social media, Internet, and intellectual property law at Richman Greer, P.A. in Miami and may be reached at Board Member Spotlight: Josh Wintle Josh Wintle serves as the Secretary of the Young Lawyers Section Board of Directors. Josh collaborates with the board and works on the Section s innovative programming. He is also responsible for organizing the Section s member service and community service programs, transcribing accurate minutes of board of director meetings, and preparing notices and agendas for Section activities. Josh also receives about fifty phone calls and s from Ethan during the course of any given week to make sure the Section stays on track. Josh previously served as the Section s Secretary and chair of the CLE and Sports committees, where he was principally responsible for planning the Section s annual Charity and Kickball tournaments. He serves as the President of the South Miami Kendall Bar Association and practices personal injury law with Panter, Panter, & Sampedro, P.A. Josh earned his bachelor s degree from the University of Florida and graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Josh studied computer programming, earned an advanced degree in Decision and Information Sciences, and served as a computer programmer and analyzed for the largest privately owned retail company in the United States. From Page 2 such physicians give their advice and opinions about each other s care all the time. They publish peer-reviewed literature together all the time. But in Florida courtrooms, they are now muzzled. So a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon may be trained to perform spinal surgery the exact same way for the exact same patient, but as it relates to each other, they are muzzled. A chest surgeon and a cardiologist, both trained to do catheterization type procedures, can work together, can publish together, can treat the exact same condition with the exact same procedure, but in a Florida courtroom, they are muzzled. Difficulty Finding Experts All of this is cynically constructed to make it harder for patients to find experts. Already constrained by the so-called conspiracy of silence in which physicians are naturally reluctant to testify against their colleagues, plaintiff s lawyers and their clients now have an even smaller pond from which to find qualified experts. There is no rational basis for this legislation. It is, instead, a mean spirited attempt to stack the deck further against the injured patients and their lawyers. indeed, the irrational nature of this legislation is proven in the American Medical Association s model statutes published and disseminated for state legislatures and lobbyists throughout the country. The AMA itself recommends legislation that allows for testimony by health care providers about the standard of care so long as they have appropriate experience treating the condition or performing the procedure. The AMA goes out of its way to prevent arbitrarily limiting the expert to same specialty; the AMA recognizes, as it should and as the Florida legislature should, that modern medicine and the standard of care are about the disease, condition or procedure, not what title or specialty a given physician was trained in long ago. Communication with Treating Doctors the other aspect of the new law is to allow ex parte communications with patients treating physicians. Where it used to be that the defendant doctor s lawyer could not speak with the patient s treating physicians outside the presence of the patient or her lawyer, the new law will allow this practice. Privacy rights have been sacrificed in order to further stack the deck against the injured patient. the Florida legislature finds favor in these types of laws. They, and many of their constituents, still believe in the tort reform myths. They fear, or find political refuge in, the bogeyman, which to them is greedy trial lawyers or the runaway jury. The real spectre is no fantasy, but instead a very real, and very dangerous problem: unsafe medical care. One hundred thousand people a year die in hospitals due to medical malpractice. Many more suffer catastrophic injures like quadriplegia, amputations, brain injuries, loss of organs, and blindness. When is the last time the Florida legislature did anything to protect patients? To enhance and increase safety at Florida hospitals? Has it ever? It is high time we found a new way of thinking and a new way of doing business in Tallahassee. Stuart Ratzan practices in the areas of catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death. He is a former board member of the Florida Bar Association s Board of Governors and past president of the Florida Bar s Young Lawyers Division. He may be reached at ratzanlawgroup.com. 3
4 2013 Installation Gala Sets Record for Attendance On June 1, 2013 the Dade County Bar Association hosted it 97th Annual Installation Gala at the Mandarin Oriental. Leslie Smith was installed as the 97th President of the Association along with Officers and Directors of the Association and the Young Lawyers Section s new president Ethan Wall. Former president Timothy Ravich served as master of ceremonies, as Edith Osman was honored as the recipient of the Dyer Award, the Association s highest honor. Longtime DCBA supporter Terry Biddulph presented title sponsor Sabadell United Bank s Community Service Award to Judge Jennifer Bailey. Guests were able to enjoy the Miami Heat game as well as a live band, the Old Skool Gang. DCBA Board Members and YLS Board Members being sworn. Long-time DCBA supporter Terry Biddulph presented title sponsor Sabadell United Bank s Community Service Award to Judge Jennifer Bailey Leslie Smith, DCBA President Edith Osman, Dyer Award Recipient Judge Robert Scola, Jr., swearing in Ethan Wall as President of YLS Garrett Biondo, DCBA Past President 4 DCBA BULLETIN JULY 2013
5 Edith Osman, Chief Judge Bertilia Soto, Pamela Perry, Judge Gil Freeman, Judge Jeri Cohen and Judge Ellen Leesfield The Old Skool Gang played funk and soul hits, as guests danced the night away. Tiffani Lee, Zascha Blanco Abbott, Stephanie Carman, YLS Past President and Effie Silva Over 400 guests attended this year s annual Installation Gala. DCBA Past Presidents Judge Joel Brown and Gilbert Squires Timothy Ravich, DCBA Past President Judge Donald J. Cannava finding his place card Suzette Russomanno, YLS Past President and Ethan Wall, YLS President Gregory d Incelli, Kristin Etengoff, Mayra Joli, Steven Befera, DCBA Past President Guests cheered for the new DCBA President, Leslie Smith Title Sponsor Sabadell United Bank Justice Carlton Fields Greenberg Traurig, LLP Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton One Biscayne Tower Advocate Stephen N. Zack & Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP Russomanno & Borrello, P.A. Pamela Perry, Judge Ellen Leesfield and Melanie Damian Judge Lester Langer, Sharon Langer, Adele Stone and Jack Stone The Dade County Bar Association Gratefully Acknowledges the Support of the Sponsors of the 2013 Annual Installation Gala Partner Akerman Senterfill, LLP The Biondo Law Firm, P.A. Cypen & Cypen Hogan Lovells US LLP Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske, P.L. Barrister Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A. Higer Lichter & Givner Holland & Knight LLP Jeannie Reporting Podhurst Orseck, P.A. Rossman, Baumberger, Reboso, Spier & Connolly. P.A. U.S. Legal Support Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A. Amicus Stanley M. & Susan Rosenblatt Ross & Girten SunTrust Edith Osman, Judge Gil Freeman and Timothy Ravich, DCBA Past President Counselor William E. Davis, P.A. Hickey Law Firm, P.A. Law Offices of Benedict P. Kuehne Lash & Goldberg LLP In Kind Champion Legal Graphics & Video Daily Business Review USI Affinity 5
6 Skill Development Through Public Service By: Christopher Cheek Helping others through pro bono advocacy is not only a professional obligation, but it is also a potent tool for professional growth. Ignore just for a moment the hopefully obvious benefits to your community, the legal profession, and the Court that pro bono service represents. Consider only the potential for skill development. When a case goes to trial, clients justifiably expect an experienced team. But, for many litigators, trials are scarce. How does a junior attorney become an indispensible member of the trial team without the opportunity to meaningfully participate in trials? Acquire Advocacy Skills For newer members of the bar, a pro bono case with the Volunteer Lawyers Project for the Southern District of Florida (VLP) can be a powerfully positive step toward proficiency in essential advocacy skills. Based on both personal experience and anecdotal evidence, I regard it as one of the quickest and most reliable routes to trial experience for a civil litigator in a private firm. through the CM/ECF distribution list, the VLP offers a steady stream of trial ready cases to members of the Southern District. Almost exactly one year after I was admitted to the Florida Bar, I responded to one of these s and agreed to take on my first pro bono trial. Roughly six months later, thanks to copious support from the VLP, my firm, and my mentor, I had a two-day prisoner s civil rights jury trial under my belt. unlike many civil cases encountered in private practice, the cases screened by the VLP settle relatively infrequently. What s more, the pro bono attorney can undertake a limited engagement. In my case, a shareholder at the firm and I entered the case after discovery had closed; we appeared only for the limited purpose of trying the case. in this instance, I had the lion s share of responsibility for the trial and no input on the (already completed) discovery. Such an assignment contrasts with the typical associate s discovery intensive work. The trial experience gave me a better appreciation for the role of discovery in litigation. In moments of hubris, I imagined that the factual challenges in our case-in-chief would have been remedied by the discovery that I would have served. Trial Preparation As trial approached, I confronted the unfamiliar feeling of preparing for an argument that I did not think that we had a very good chance of winning. I believed that my client had been wronged, but the claims were not well articulated and the time to amend the client s pro se pleadings was long past. Meditating on our chances for success at trial prompted me to consider the attorney s role as an officer of the court. Even if a (winning) plaintiff s verdict might not have been probable, my mentor and I still had a tremendous opportunity to positively impact the trial. First, our presentation of the case could aid the Court in the efficient administration of justice. Second, we could enable our client s meaningful access to the courts. Third, by treating the jurors, the forum, the judge, the litigants, and opposing counsel with respect and courtesy, we could maintain the Southern District s standards of professionalism. Fourth, we had a chance to make a positive impression on a judge and court staff who we would likely encounter again. A pro bono case can be a powerfully positive step toward proficiency in essential advocacy skills. Reflecting on the case following a defense verdict (read: a loss for our client), I believe that we did achieve some measure of the hoped for impact. Most important, our client had his day in court and his family witnessed two attorneys zealously advocating on his behalf. Increased Confidence i came away from my first jury trial with increased confidence in my improving skills and a greater sense of autonomy. I did not have the opportunity to interview jurors following the verdict, but I received invaluable feedback from another source. A couple of days after the trial concluded, the judge who presided over the case generously met with me to offer his impressions and critiques. Of course, I cannot know what motivated this judge to take the time to offer his guidance. But, I suspect that the fact that I was a new member of the bar who had just completed a pro bono trial factored into the judge s willingness to share his unique insight with me. Not surprisingly, there were many areas for improvement for our discussion. some mistakes from this trial will not be repeated again. Next time, nothing will be left to chance with regard to witness logistics: I will re-confirm that the state corrections officers have cleared prisoner transport details with their federal counterparts. I recognize other mistakes especially those of the courtroom technology variety as a part of the trial lawyer s learning curve. Little else moves an inexperienced attorney along that learning curve like trying a case. Volunteering by taking a VLP case is a boon to the bar, and to your development. Christopher Cheek practices in the business litigation and trade regulation group of the Miami office of Carlton Fields, P.A. with a focus on matters concerning commercial lending, construction disputes, and environmental law. com For additional information regarding the Volunteer Lawyers Project, search under the Attorney Resources tab of the Southern District of Florida website or contact one of the Volunteer Lawyers Project Assistants at (305) DCBA BULLETIN JULY 2013
7 The Adam Walsh Act: Immigrants Beware By: LIVIU LUNGU The Adam Walsh Act has amended the immigration laws by prohibiting American citizens and permanent residents who are convicted of certain sexual offenses against minors from having a family-based visa petition approved on behalf of any beneficiary, unless an immigration officer determines that the petitioner poses no risk to the beneficiary. The declared Congressional intent is to protect unwary foreign nationals from the possible dangers of entering into family relationships with convicted sexual offenders. The classic example is that of an American citizen convicted of sexual abuse of a child who then marries a foreign national and wishes to bring the spouse to the United States as a permanent resident. An interesting scenario, however, appears when the couple has been married for a long time, the foreign national spouse is already in the United States, albeit without lawful immigration status, and the government decides to initiate removal proceedings. An Unintended Consequence of the Adam Walsh Act if the foreign national seeks cancellation of removal for non permanent residents as a form of relief, the government has been known to raise the issue of whether, under the Adam Walsh Act, the foreign national may claim the American citizen spouse as a qualifying relative in order to show prima facie eligibility for the defense. in support of its opposition, the government makes the fairly creative argument that not only does the Adam Walsh Act limit the right of the American citizen spouse in the context of a visa petition but its scope also covers removal proceedings by excluding the American citizen spouse from the definition of qualifying relative for purposes of cancellation of removal. The premise of such an argument is that permitting the American citizen spouse to retain the status of qualifying relative is the functional equivalent of allowing him or her to circumvent the restrictions of the Adam Walsh Act because the immigration benefit conferred on the foreign national spouse by a grant of cancellation of removal is identical to that conferred by an approved familybased visa petition. Getting Back on the Right Track the government s argument is flawed for a number of reasons. First, the government reads into the Adam Walsh Act a provision that does not exist. The amendments brought by the Adam Walsh Act to the Immigration and Nationality Act have been specifically enumerated by Congress and are limited to (1) prohibiting certain American citizens and permanent residents from successfully petitioning for their foreign national relatives and (2) making it easier to remove foreign nationals who fail to register as sex offenders. Nowhere has Congress The Adam Walsh Act has not altered the definition of qualifying relative for purposes of cancellation of removal. mentioned anything about also wanting to change the definition of qualifying relative for purposes of cancellation of removal for nonpermanent residents. Therefore, the Congressional intent regarding the impact of the Adam Walsh Act on the immigration laws is unambiguous and the government s interpretation of it is erroneous. But even if, for the sake of the argument, we were to assume that Congress left anything open to interpretation, the government s position is equally erroneous because it stands for the proposition that Congress specifically created only a limited bar in the expressly addressed context of family-based visa petitions while allowing the assumption that it also intended an absolute bar in a context it has not even mentioned. To give Congressional intent such a meaning is to go against the basic principles of statutory interpretation. Lastly, the government s premise is flawed because it is based on the idea that a grant of cancellation of removal offers the foreign national the same immigration benefit as an approved family-based visa petition. In reality, however, cancellation of removal is different from a familybased visa petition in all aspects ranging from jurisdiction, procedure, eligibility requirements and conferred benefit. To elaborate on the issue of benefit, a grant of cancellation of removal directly confers on the foreign national the status of permanent resident. On the other hand, an approved family-based visa petition is just one of the eligibility prerequisites for adjustment of status to that of a permanent resident. Liviu Lungu is an attorney at the Law Office of Liviu Lungu, P.A. located in downtown Miami and practices in the area of immigration law. He can be reached at (305) Probate & Guardianship Committee Presents Awards On June 6, the Probate & Guardianship Committee held its annual awards luncheon sponsored by Gibraltar Private Bank. The committee recognized several attorneys as well as members of the probate and mental health clerk s office, judicial assistants and case managers for their outstanding contributions to the probate bench and bar over the last year. The Maria Korvick Service Award was presented to Joy Carr, Esq. in recognition of her unselfish and long standing contributions to the community as an assistant state attorney, over 15 years of service as an advocate for indigent defendants in Baker Act and Marchman Act proceedings and as a private attorney. Ms. Carr s efforts involved thousands of volunteer hours as well as countless hours of pro bono service. The Bonnie Cooper Award for pro bono service was given to David Mangiero, Esq. for his tireless service and support of Legal Aid s Guardianship Department. Robert Moschell, Esq. received a Special Service award for his service as chair of the Internal Procedures and Technology sub-committee and efforts implementing e-filing in the probate division. Judge Maria Korvick, Kathleen Hoague, Assistant State Attorney, Joy Carr, and Eric Virgil, Chair of the Committee. 7
8 DCBA Opportunities Dade County Bar Association 123 N.W. First Avenue Miami, Florida PRSRT STD U.S.POSTAGE PAID SOUTH FLORIDA, FL PERMIT NO Members Opportunities to Get Involved 33 Committees Opportunities to Serve the Profession 100 CLE Programs Opportunities to Increase Your Knowledge More Than 250 Events a Year Opportunities to Increase Your Referral Network Mark your Calendar July 11 Passing of the Gavel Ceremony: Chief Judge Frank A. Shepherd Location: Third District Court of Appeals Time: 3:00 pm July 26 Litigating with the All Stars Winning with Experts, Evidence, Frye and Daubert Location: Banker s Club Time: 12:00 noon Member Admission: $55 in advance Non-Member Admission: $65 Last Minute Admission: $75 July 30 Marlins Lawyer Appreciation Night Location: Marlins Stadium Time: 4:00 pm Admission: TBA August 7 Legal Line Location: Dade County Bar Association Time: 6:00 pm August 16 Investiture of Fleur J. Lobree Location: Dade County Courthouse Time: 12:00 noon August 23 Bankruptcy Committee Seminar Location: Banker s Club Time: 9:00 am Member Admission: TBA Non-Member Admission: TBA September 4 Legal Line Location: Dade County Bar Association Time: 6:00 pm September 19 Investiture of Margret G. Kerr Location: Dade County Courthouse Time: 12:00 noon September 24 Appellate Court Committee Breakfast with Judge Thomas Logue Location: TBA Time: 8:00 am Admission: TBA September 27 Put Something Back: Autism Seminar Location: Lawson Thomas Courthouse Time: 8:30 am Admission: TBA HAVE A GREAT summer! For more information visit 8 DCBA BULLETIN JULY 2013