The Caribbean Bar Association (“CBA”) held its 23rd Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at the Marriott Miami Biscayne Bay, in Miami, Florida. The Gala is the primary fundraiser for the CBA’s Scholarship Program, which funds paid judicial and public service internships for law students in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. This year, Juana Cetoute and Kishel Stubbs, students at FIU College of Law, and Abdel C. Reyes Torres, a student at the University of Florida School of Law, were recognized as scholarship recipients.
The theme for this year’s Gala was “Le J’ouvert: A Caribbean Diaspora Celebration.” CBA honored individuals and entities who have brought pride to and empowered the Caribbean-American community through excellence in their respective fields. Craig Aquart, AIA, RID, CSI—Principal, at McHarry Associates; Kim Vaughan Lerner LLP; FIU Law PATH Program; and Tricia “C.K.” Hoffler, Esq., President-Elect of the National Bar Association were this year’s honorees. In delivering her rousing and inspirational keynote address, Ms. Hoffler recounted her early experiences as a black litigation associate in a big law firm. She urged attendees to recognize that, although we see many more women and persons of color, in big law firms, much more work needed to be done to remove the vestiges of the then prevailing mindset that women or people of color were less qualified. During the Gala, attendees participated in a raffle to win a variety of prizes with all proceeds going towards Hurricane Dorian Relief. Attendees also made cash and cheque donations towards the relief effort.
The event was attended by judges, attorneys, elected officials, judicial candidates and community leaders from across the tri-county area, and featured entertainment by “Steel Away” and DJ Mark Swaby.
The Honorable Judge Lisette Ride, Magistrate Judge, US District Court, Southern District of Florida swore in the Caribbean Bar Association 2018-2019 Executive Board:
Tricia-Gaye L. Cotterell, President – Litigation Associate at Kim Vaughan Lerner, LLP in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Hilary Creary, Vice President– Principal at Hilary Creary, PA in Plantation, FL.
Nnamdi Jackson, Treasurer– Principal at The Law Office of Nnamdi S. Jackson, P.A. in Weston, FL.
Johanne Larosiliere, Secretary – Litigation Associate at Rogers, Morris & Ziegler LLP in
Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Loris Gayle, Board Member – Principal at Loris Gayle, P.A., Plantation, FL.
Ashley McKenzie, Board Member – Commercial Litigation Associate at Akerman LLP in West Palm Beach, FL.
Tshai Wright, Board Member – Partner, Nizahon-Wright Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Charise A. Morgan-Joseph, Immediate Past President– Trial Attorney, Zurich, North America, Hollywood, FL.
About the Caribbean Bar Association: Founded in 1994, the Caribbean Bar Association (“CBA”) is a South Florida voluntary bar organization that has grown from 25 to over 200 attorneys from the Caribbean-American community in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. CBA members work both in the public and private sectors and practice in several areas of the law, including, but not limited to, criminal and commercial litigation, administrative, family, immigration, business and corporate, labor and employment, insurance defense, medical malpractice, real estate, maritime, international, personal injury, land use/zoning law. For information, visit www.caribbeanbar.org or email us at [email protected]