• Monday, March 12, 2018 12:01 AM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

    The Business Law Section Fellowship Program

    The Business Law Section of The Florida Bar (the “Section”) consists of numerous active committees and an Executive Council with more than 60 members. The Section is committed to recruiting young lawyers and diverse lawyers to join, participate (and ultimately serve in leadership positions) in the Section.

    The Section has implemented a Fellowship Program to provide a two-year subsidy to six qualified applicants who express an interest in becoming active in the substantive work and leadership of the Section. During their participation in the Fellowship Program, selected Fellows will receive leadership training and work closely with leading attorneys in the Business Law field. At the end of their Fellowship term, we are confident all Fellows will find the program enhanced their personal and professional development. 

    The Inclusion/Mentoring/Fellowships Committee is a diverse group of members of The Florida Bar, including judges, academics and private practitioners who are charged with the task of fostering an inclusive environment within the Business Law Section so that all members are motivated to contribute to the goals of the section and succeed professionally. In fulfilling the charge of fostering a more inclusive environment, the committee serves as a key strategist for increasing the number of diverse members of The Florida Bar involved in section activities and plumbing the educational pipelines into the profession for greater diversity. The committee is a catalyst for professional development and leadership opportunities within the section for diverse members. Through its work and programs, the committee provides a forum for members to address diversity and inclusion issues and build networks for change in our section and the legal profession.

    Please click here for more information about the Fellowship and the Application.

    • Communication & Marketing Committee: Co-Chairs: Christina Taylor and Michelle Suarez, Members: Tori Anderson, Iris Elijah
    • Networking CommitteeCo-Chairs: Christopher Broussard and Jorge Fors, Jr., Members: Cole Gale, R. Stephen Sandiford
    • CLE CommitteeCo-Chairs: Tiffany Brown and Erica Johnson,             Members: Giacomo Bossa, Antoine Dumas
    • Mentoring Program: Development of the IMF Mentoring Program: Co-Chairs: Sara Paris and Candace Balmori, Members Nicholas Horner, Samantha S. Rhayem, Iryna Ivashchuk
    • Current Projects

      BLS Scholars Program – Sponsor a Law Student From Your Alma Mater

    Please welcome our BLS Scholars!

    Congratulations to each of our BLS Scholars!  We will have 18 designated BLS Scholars from 11 of the 12 Florida law schools, Ave Maria, Barry, FSU, Florida Coastal, FIU, FAMU, Nova, St. Thomas, Stetson, UF and UM, in attendance at this year’s Retreat.  Indeed, our exceptionally diverse class of BLS Scholars are among the top students from their respective law schools.

    Pictures and resumes of our Scholars can be found here.

    BLS Mentoring Program

    The Business Law Section's Mentoring Program seeks to connect recently graduated law students and young lawyers with experienced attorneys within our membership to provide guidance on career and professional development and growth. Learn more here

    Sponsorship of Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation

    The Business Law Section of the Florida Bar is a sponsor of the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation and its annual Minority Mentoring Picnic.  The Section hosts a tent at the picnic where members greet students and discuss the benefits of membership in the Section as well as the value of mentoring for law students and new lawyers.

  • Thursday, February 15, 2018 10:25 PM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

    February 6, 2018
    Darla Marsters,
    The Florida Bar
    (850) 561-5667

    Lawyer applicants are being sought to fill three vacancies on the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, the administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Florida that handles matters of bar admission. A joint screening committee of Florida Bar Board of Governors members and Board of Bar Examiners members will recommend nine nominees for three lawyer vacancies at its May 18, 2018, meeting. The nominations will then be forwarded to the Supreme Court to fill three five-year terms commencing Nov. 1, 2018, and expiring on Oct. 31, 2023.

    Attorney members must have been a member of The Florida Bar for at least five years. They must be practicing lawyers with scholarly attainments and have an affirmative interest in legal education and requirements for admission to the Bar. Appointment or election to the bench at any level of the court system will disqualify any applicant. Law professors or trustees are ineligible.

    Board members of the Bar Examiners must be able to attend approximately ten meetings a year in various Florida locations. Members should be willing and able to devote the equivalent of 3-4 days’ work a month, or up to 350 or more hours per year on Board business, depending on committee assignments. Actual travel expenses connected with the meetings and examinations are reimbursed.

    Persons interested in applying for this vacancy may click here to download the Application for Special Appointment or should call Bar headquarters at (850) 561-5757, to obtain the application form. Completed applications must be received by the Executive Director, The Florida Bar, 651 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-2300 or submitted via e-mail to no later than the close of business on Monday, March 26, 2018. Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application. A joint committee of Florida Bar Board of Governors and Florida Board of Bar Examiners members will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews.


  • Thursday, February 08, 2018 9:29 PM | GSCBWLA Admin (Administrator)

    Fisher Island has been home to the likes of Oprah and Mel Gibson and is only accessible by ferry or boat, but most people don’t know that Fisher Island was originally first owned by a black man – real estate developer Dana A. Dorsey. He was South Florida’s first African-American millionaire and later sold the island in 1919 to Carl Fisher who was developing Miami Beach. Dorsey was the son of former slaves who moved from South Georgia to Miami in 1896 working as a carpenter for the Henry Flagler Florida East Coast Railroad. With only a fourth grade education, he purchased one parcel of land in Overtown, built a rental home on the land, reinvested the rental income to build and rent more as far north as Ft. Lauderdale, and later sold land to the City of Miami for a park for Blacks. Dorsey also owned Miami’s first black-owned hotel, Dorsey Hotel, and also owned the Negro Savings Bank.

  • Thursday, February 01, 2018 8:34 PM | GSCBWLA Admin (Administrator)

    During the 1950s and 1960s, Miami beachfront hotels welcomed prominent African American entertainers to perform for all white audiences. Due to segregation, Black entertainers and sports figures, like Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Muhammed Ali, could not sleep or book a reservation at the very hotels for which they drew sold-out audiences. As a result, the local Hampton House Motel in Brownsville became the “premiere getaway for Black Americans visiting segregated Miami.

    The Hampton House also served as the hotbed for civil rights and social justice in South Florida. Legendary social activists Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often held press conferences and met with local and national civil rights leaders at the Hampton House. It is reported that Dr. King also delivered an early version of his “I Have a Dream” speech during an event at the Hampton House before it made history on the National Mall in 1963.

    Under the leadership of Dr. Enid C. Pinkney, the first African American president of the Dade Heritage Trust, the Hampton House was designated a Historic Site and now serves as the community hub with office and event space for community groups and rehearsal space for musicians. To learn more about the Historic Hampton House visit

  • Thursday, August 11, 2016 3:54 PM | Loreal Arscott

    On August 1, 2016, GSCBWLA, in collaboration with the Dade County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the South Florida Chapter of the National Action Network, Inc., hosted the 2016 Judicial Candidates Forum at New Birth Cathedral of Faith.  If you missed this event, click here to review the Program Booklet which contains additional information regarding the candidates.    

  • Friday, July 01, 2016 2:00 PM | GSCBWLA Admin (Administrator)

    Join the Association or Renew your GSCBWLA Membership and be ready for everything the GSCBWLA has to offer in 2016-2017!

    Dues Information:

    • Affiliate - $85.00 (USD) 
    • Judiciary - $45.00 (USD) 
    • Law Student – No Fee
    • Lawyers practicing fewer than 5 years - $50.00 (USD) 
    • Lawyers practicing 5 years or more - $65.00 (USD) 

    Please Join or Renew Your Membership HERE and be ready for everything the GSCBWLA has to offer in 2016!*

  • Friday, July 31, 2015 8:48 AM | GSCBWLA Admin (Administrator)

    The Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association is honored to announce that Florida Bar President Ramón Abadin appointed Cynthia Johnson-Stacks as the Chair of the Board of Legal Specialization and Education. The Board of Legal Specialization and Education is a 17-member board that oversees the Bar's board certification program, continuing legal education accreditation and compliance.

    Cynthia Johnson-Stacks is a Founding Member and Past President of the Women Lawyers Division, National Bar Association, currently known as the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association. She is a leader in the legal community serving on judicial nominating commissions responsible for recommending lawyers to serve on the federal and state trial benches and the state appellate bench. Cynthia Johnson-Stacks has been appointed by Florida’s United States Senators to serve on the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Committee, Southern District Conference.

    Currently, she serves as the Section Chief of the Social Services and Public Health Trust section of the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s Office. She has experience in many areas, including public transportation, municipal finance, incorporation of new municipalities and annexation of unincorporated areas to existing municipalities, tort liability defense, intergovernmental agreements between municipalities and the County, and ad valorem taxation. She has served as legal advisor to the Mayor’s Office and has advised Charter Review Task Forces, the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority, the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust and various county boards.

    She is board certified in city, county and local government law. Cynthia Johnson-Stacks has been recognized by the Florida Bar as an expert in City, County and Local Government Law since 1998. She is an AV rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell. She was selected by the President of the Florida Bar to serve as a member of the City, County and Local Government Certification Committee, which reviews applications of lawyers for board certification, conducts peer review, and writes and grades examinations for board certification in the local government practice area. And, she is recognized as a Florida Legal Elite Top Government Attorney.

    Cynthia Johnson-Stacks is a proven leader in the legal community exemplifying professionalism, integrity, and excellence. The Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association congratulates Founding Member and Past President Cynthia Johnson-Stacks on her appointment.

  • Saturday, June 20, 2015 10:19 AM | GSCBWLA Admin (Administrator)




    Black Bar Associations Launch Judicial Diversity Initiative


    The Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association, Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association, Caribbean Bar Association, Haitian Lawyers Association, T.J. Reddick Bar Association, and F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association are launching a joint committee focused on increasing diversity in the judiciary.

    The 2014 Report of the Special Task Force to Study Enhancement of Diversity in the Judiciary and on the Judicial Nominating Commissions, convened by former Florida Bar President, Eugene Pettis, found that “Blacks and Hispanics tend to have less confidence in the courts than whites. . . . [T]he lack of diversity among judges undoubtedly serves as a major contributing factor.”  The importance of a diverse bench is especially critical in the wake of several high-profile police incidents in South Florida and across the nation, including the alarming findings of the Miami Beach and the Fort Lauderdale Police Departments of racially-insensitive communications among officers who are charged with serving, protecting, and enforcing the law. 

    Moreover, the statistics warrant change.  Miami-Dade is one of the most diverse counties in the State of Florida. Yet there are no Black Women who serve on the Circuit Court Bench for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County and only two (2) Black Women who serve the Miami-Dade County bench.  Of the 123 judges who serve Miami’s circuit and county benches, only 10 (8%) are black while over 500,000 (19%) of Miami-Dade’s overall population consists of individuals who identify as black or African-American.  In Broward County, the most diverse county in the state, of the 90 judges in circuit and county courts, only 6 (7%) are Black. In Palm Beach County, of the 54 judges in circuit and county courts, 5 (9%) are Black.  As of late 2014, Governor Scott had appointed only two black judges to the Circuit Court in any of Florida’s 20 Circuits. Moreover, between November 2012 and April 2014, Scott failed to appoint a single black judge among 65 appointments. 

    The initiative will focus on four critical areas in order to foster diversity in the judiciary and increase the number of Black judges in the state: (1) Research of key facts and statistics related to diversity on the bench; (2) Recruitment of potential diverse, talented candidates for the judiciary; (3) Development of potential candidates through various support features; and (4) Effective advocacy on behalf of diversity. 

    # # #

    About the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association

    Formerly known as the Black Lawyers of Miami, for over thirty years, the Ferguson Bar has served the Miami-Dade community by cultivating excellence and inclusion in the legal profession, promoting diversity in legal education through financial assistance and mentorship and advocating for equal access, equal opportunity and equal justice in the legal system.

    About Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association

    The Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association (GSCBWLA), formerly the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division Dade County Chapter, was formed in 1985.  The association’s mission is to address the concerns of women lawyers, and to address the legal, social, and economic needs of the Black community, and the community-at-large.  For over thirty years, the association has been a network of attorneys dedicated to community service and the professional development of its members.

    About the Caribbean Bar Association

    The Caribbean Bar Association represents lawyers and members of the larger Caribbean-American community in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.  The mission of the Caribbean Bar Association is to serve and support the legal profession and to promote good relations among lawyers, the judiciary, and the Caribbean-American community. 

    About the Haitian Lawyers Association

    The Haitian Lawyers Association (HLA) is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote excellence, professionalism, equality and diversity in the legal profession and among our members and to facilitate the administration of justice while striving to protect and promote the general welfare of the Haitian-American community and other minority residents in the South Florida area.

    About the T.J. Reddick Bar Association

    On November 12, 1982, a group of social engineers formed the T.J. Reddick Bar Association because Blacks were not being afforded equal access into law firms as attorneys or partners, court appointments in civil or criminal cases, appointments to judgeships, or respect as attorneys in Broward County, Florida. Today, the Association has broadened its purpose and is dedicated to promoting the professional excellence of Black lawyers in Broward County, increasing the enrollment of minority students in college and law school, and promoting the general welfare of all citizens in Broward County.

    About the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association

    The F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association,  is a voluntary bar association located in Palm Beach County. In the late 1970’s a group of Black attorneys from West Palm Beach began meeting informally on a monthly basis at a local restaurant. Among them were the Honorable Edward Rodgers, the Honorable Catherine Brunson, the Honorable Moses Baker, William Holland, T.J. Cunningham, Sr., F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. to name a few. Because of the positive impact Frank Malcolm Cunningham had as a member of the organization and in the community, after his death in 1978 the organization was formally named F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr., Bar Association.

    For media inquiries please contact: Loreal A. Arscott, Media Chair, (305)416-2221

    Click here to download this press release.

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