• Tuesday, May 07, 2019 12:37 PM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)


    Gwendolyn Sawyer Cherry was born in Miami, Florida in 1923. For approximately 22 years, she taught in the Dade County (now Miami-Dade) Public Schools. She became a pioneer of the State of Florida's legal profession. She received her undergraduate degree from Florida Agricultural Mechanical University (“FAMU”). She later returned to FAMU to obtain her Juris Doctorate degree and serve as a professor at its law school. She was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1965. She was the first Black woman to practice law in Dade County, Florida. She was one of the first nine attorneys who initially served at Legal Services of Greater Miami in 1966. In 1970, Ms. Cherry was elected as a state representative, becoming the first Black woman to serve as a legislator for the State of Florida.

    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 as they relate to the social, economic, political and moral needs of the community.

    The Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association is committed to investing in the future of the legal profession. This year we have scholarships available to current law students that will assist them in buying books for class or for bar review.

    The 2019 Scholarship Application is now available for law students attending law school in Miami-Dade or Broward counties.


    1.  Must be enrolled at a law school in Miami-Dade or Broward County, Florida.

    2.  Must complete the scholarship application and essay.

    Winners of the GSCBWLA Book Awards will be announced at the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association’s Scholarship, Awards & Installation Banquet on June 13, 2019.

    Applications MUST be postmarked by Friday, May 31, 2019 to Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association at PO BOX 02631, Miami, Florida, 33101 or sent via email at

  • Thursday, May 02, 2019 1:06 PM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

  • Thursday, May 02, 2019 12:57 PM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

    ABA Section of Family Law

    2019-2020 Fellowship Program


    Applications due May 15, 2019!


    The ABA Section of Family Law is seeking applications for its Fellowship Program from family attorneys who demonstrate financial need and (1) meet diversity criteria, or (2) work in legal services or non-profit legal organizations whose work centers around providing free or low-cost family legal services to individuals in traditionally underserved diverse communities.

    The Section is currently recruiting interested applicants for up to five (5) fellowship positions. This is a two (2) year program and will begin in September 2019 and end in August 2021. The attorneys selected to participate in the fellowship program must attend each FLS conference for the next two (2) years beginning with the Fall 2019 CLE Conference in Austin, TX September 25-28, 2019. More information about the Fellowship Program can be found here

    Send your completed application to Cynthia Swan by email: by 11:59pm CT on May 15, 2019. 

  • Monday, April 15, 2019 12:17 PM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

    United States Magistrate Judge

    The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of one (1) full-time United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Florida at Fort Lauderdale. The term of office is eight years.

    Vacancy of U.S. Magistrate Judge - Fort Lauderdale 
    Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on May 24, 2019. (Posted 04/10/2019)

    Administrative Order 2019-14
    In re Appointment of Federal Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel Regarding the Upcoming Magistrate Judge Vacancy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    Administrative Order 2011-50 
    In re Procedures Governing Contact with District Judges During Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Process

    Official Application for Vacancy

    Applications must be submitted only by applicants personally to; by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 24, 2019.

  • Monday, April 15, 2019 12:09 PM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

    April 4, 2019
    CONTACT: Kristen Wilson, 
    The Florida Bar
    TELEPHONE: 850-561-5757

    Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc. Board of Directors:  Three lawyers and two non-lawyers to serve three-year terms commencing July 1, 2019. This 15-member Board assists the legal community in securing counseling and treatment for emotional and chemical dependency problems for lawyers.

    Persons interested in applying for these vacancies may 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 no later than the close of business on Friday, April 26, 2019.  Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of the required application.  The Board of Governors will review all applications and may request telephone or personal interviews.


  • Wednesday, April 03, 2019 8:27 PM | GSCBWLA Admin (Administrator)

    Written by: Julie Harris Nelson

    Tallahassee, FL - From the shadows of the Florida Capitol emerge a small group of dynamic ladies from the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association.  On March 11, 2019, four members decided to take on the Capitol and participate in the legislative process with the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL).  Specifically, the GSCBWLA legislative goal was to gain unwavering support for creation of a Death with Dignity Act,  eliminate  Solitary for Youths and expand the hate crime definition to include  gender and disability.  Our plates were full.  For now, we share our highlights from the Capitol in hopes to inspire and encourage YOU to participate in lobby days with us, in 2020.  This year was simply amazing!

    Our very own GSCBWLA Chapter President, Melba Pearson, greets everyone at the Criminal Justice Reform Lobby Day on the stairs of the Florida Capitol 


    Janeen Lofton, GSCBWLA Legislative Director; Julie Harris Nelson, GSCBWLA Community Service Chair; and Melba Pearson, GSCBWLA President met with Representative Dotie Joseph

    The GSCBWLA Phenomenal Four at the FAWL Legislative Reception pictured with Jennifer Shoaf Richardson, FAWL President

    Melba Pearson, GSCBWLA President, pictured with Senator Jason Pizzo and Janeen Lofton

    Julie Harris Nelson, Board Member/ Community Outreach Chair, pictured with Ashley Moody, Florida Attorney General

    Janeen Lofton pictured with Attorney Benjamin Crump

    Retired Judge Simone Marstiller (Secretary/Office of the Secretary/Florida Department of Juvenile Justice) pictured with Janeen Lofton, Julie Harris Nelson, and Athena Pearl Riley, Immediate Past President for FAWL Okaloosa Chapter

    Stephanie Chaissan FAWL (Miami- Dade Chapter Rep.) pictured with Iris Elijah, Gwen Graham (Former Florida State Representative), Julie Harris Nelson and Janeen Lofton

  • Monday, March 11, 2019 4:59 PM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

    11th Judicial Circuit of Florida

    For Immediate Release

    March 6, 2019

    Contact:  Eunice Sigler, Director

    Office of Government Liaison & Public Relations

    Phone (305) 349-7189 Fax (305) 349-7190 Cell (786) 348-7381

    eCourtesy is e-volving into courtMAP!




    In an effort to increase access to the courts and streamline common case management functions, the Eleventh Judicial Circuit is pleased to announce the upcoming pilot rollout of courtMAP – a new online case management and access platform within the Circuit Civil Division starting on March 11, 2019.

    courtMAP combines eCourtesy, a 10-year-old system for electronically submitting documentation for hearings, with an online scheduling system that allows parties to self-schedule motion hearings, specially set hearings and trials based on an online display of available dates and times – all from any web-connected computer. Confirmations will occur automatically by email.

    The new system uses technology infrastructure from Broward’s Court Management System, an advantage for attorneys and staff who work in both circuits and will already have some operational familiarity with the system.

    “courtMAP takes court communications, scheduling and transparency into the 21st Century,” said the Honorable Jennifer D. Bailey, Administrative Judge of the Circuit Civil Division.

    The pilot will be deployed in the following four sections of the Circuit Civil Division, with plans for future expansion in the near future:

    Judge Antonio Arzola (Section 24)
    Judge Rodolfo Ruiz (Section 02)
    Judge William Thomas (Sections 20 and 44)

    For more information, a user manual and access to training videos, visit the courtMAP page on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Website.

    #          #           #

    Upcoming Demonstrations:

    The Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida will hold a demonstration of courtMAP this coming Tuesday, March 12th, as detailed below, and anticipates holding additional demonstrations on subsequent Tuesdays in order to assist attorneys in gaining familiarity with this very user-friendly system.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 12pm to 1pm

    Demonstration on courtMAP

    Courtroom 6-1

    Dade County Courthouse

    73 West Flagler Street

    Miami, FL 33130

  • Thursday, January 31, 2019 11:42 AM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

    Lawyer applicants are being sought to fill two vacancies on the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. A joint screening committee of Florida Bar Board of Governors members and Board of Bar Examiners members will recommend six nominees for two lawyer vacancies at its May 24 meeting. The nominations will then be forwarded to the Supreme Court to fill two five-year terms commencing Nov. 1 and expiring on Oct. 31, 2024. Members of the public are invited to volunteer on or before March 22 for one three-year term on the Florida Board of Bar Examiners. Anyone interested in applying for this vacancy may download the “Questionnaire for Public Member Vacancy” or call the Bar at 850-561-5757 to obtain the questionnaire.

  • Monday, January 28, 2019 10:51 AM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)


    January 23, 2019
    CONTACT: Harout J. Samra, Chair;
    3rd District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission 
    TELEPHONE: 305-423-8500

    The 3rd District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission has been asked to provide Gov. Ron DeSantis with nominees for the vacancies in the 3rd District Court of Appeal resulting from the elevations of Justice Barbara Lagoa and Justice Robert J. Luck to the Florida Supreme Court. The JNC seeks and encourages a broad, diverse and qualified pool of applicants.

    Anyone interested in applying must deliver a complete original application to:

    Harout J. Samra, Chair

    3rd District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission

    c/o DLA Piper LLP

    200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2500

    Miami, FL 33131

    The deadline for submitting an application is 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

    Instructions for submission:

    • The complete original and signed application must be submitted by the deadline. A photograph is encouraged but not required. To assist the Judicial Nominating Commission in its review of applications, all questions in the application must be fully and completely answered. In addition, applications should include current and accurate contact information for judges, co-counsel, opposing counsel and references. If there is requested information missing from an application, the Judicial Nominating Commission will consider the applicant’s lack of effort in submitting a complete application.
    • In addition to the original application, applicants must provide an electronic copy in PDF format of the original application and an electronic redacted copy in PDF format of the original application redacting information exempt under Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes or other applicable public records laws. Please send both electronic copies by email to each of the nine commissioners listed below. The electronic copy will not be accepted in place of a timely submitted original application.

    Potential applicants are advised that the commission intends to hold interviews from March 6 through March 8, 2019. These dates are subject to change. Applicants receiving interviews will be separately notified of the exact date, time and location of the interview. Separate public notice will be provided when the interview schedule is approved by the commission.

    Members of the bench, the Bar and the public are urged to contact the members of the commission concerning applicants for judicial positions.

    The commission members are:

    Harout J. Samra, Chair

    DLA Piper LLP

    200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2500

    Miami, FL 33131-5341

    Telephone: 305-423-8534



    Richard D. Lara, Vice-Chair

    Spanish Broadcasting System, Inc.

    7007 NW 77th Ave.

    Miami, FL 33166

    Telephone: 305-644-4824



    Adam M. Foslid

    Greenberg Traurig LLP

    333 S.E. 2nd Ave.

    Miami, FL 33131

    Telephone: 305-579-0553



    Eric A. Hernandez

    Hernandez Lee Martinez LLC

    9190 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 204

    Miami Shores, FL 33138

    Telephone: 305-842-2101



    Lindsey Lazapoulos Friedman

    United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida

    99 NE 4th St.

    Miami, FL 33132



    Michael A. Pineiro

    Marcus Neiman Rashbaum & Pineiro LLP

    2 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 1750

    Miami, FL 33131

    Telephone: 305-400-4268



    Raquel A. Rodriguez

    McDonald Hopkins, LLC

    Southeast Financial Center

    200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2600

    Miami, FL 33131-5324

    Telephone: 305-704-3990


    Justin J. Sayfie

    Sayfie Law Firm

    401 E. Las Olas Blvd., 14th Floor

    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

    Telephone: 954-954-523-2427



    Robert A. Spottswood

    Spottswood Companies, Inc.

    506 Fleming St.

    Key West, FL 33040

    Telephone: 305-294-6100



  • Monday, January 28, 2019 10:46 AM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)


    January 25, 2019
    CONTACT: Hayden P. O’Byrne., Chair;
    11th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission 
    TELEPHONE: 305-539-3381

    The 11th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is extending the deadline for applications to fill the vacancies in the 11th Judicial Circuit created by the elevation of Judge Eric Hendon and Judge Bronwyn Miller. The commission requests that interested candidates submit an application for consideration. Applicants must meet the qualifications for circuit court judges described in Article V, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution. Applicants must submit three copies (3) of their application by 5 pm on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019 as follows. (Note: All prior applications will be considered without the need to re-apply.)

    The original unredacted paper application shall be delivered to:

    Hayden P. O’Byrne

    K&L Gates, LLP

    200 S. Biscayne Blvd. 39th Floor

    Miami, FL 33131-2399

    The original unredacted application shall be emailed in .pdf format to:

    A redacted .pdf of the application shall be emailed to Personal information not subject to public disclosure — such as the Social Security number — shall be redacted as permitted by Section 119.071 of the Florida Statutes.

    Untimely applications will not be considered. The filename for .pdf applications should be as follows “19.1.18 FIRSTNAME LASTNAME Circuit Application (redacted /unredacted).”

    Applicants are invited to provide the chair with a one-page sheet listing the date, location and time of hearings or trials that they would want the commissioners to observe. The one-page disclosure sheet is not mandatory and can be provided to the chair at any time before the interview day. No information other than the date, location and time should be provided on the one-page sheet.

    Applications may be downloaded from the Florida Bar’s website at and the Office of the Governor at Applicants should include a recent photograph.

    NOTE TO APPLICANTS: To assist the Judicial Nominating Commission in its review of applications, all questions must be fully and completely answered. Applications must include current contact information, including email addresses, for judges, co-counsel, opposing counsel, and references to facilitate the background investigation that will be conducted by the members of the commission.

    The 11th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission will confer at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, to schedule interviews. A room will be made available to members of the public (K&L Gates, LLP, 200 S. Biscayne Blvd. 39th Floor, Miami, FL 33131) who wish to attend.


    Hayden P. O’Byrne (Chair)

    K&L Gates

    Southeast Financial Center, Suite 3900

    200 S. Biscayne Blvd.

    Miami, FL 33131

    Tel.: 305-539-3381


    Walter James Harvey (Vice Chair)

    School Board Attorney’s Office

    1450 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 400

    Miami, FL 33132

    Tel.: 305-995-1304/Fax: 305-995-1412


    Scott M. Dimond

    Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A.

    Offices at Grand Bay Plaza

    2665 South Bayshore Drive, PH 2B

    Miami, FL 33133



    Robert H. Fernandez

    Gunster Law Firm Brickell World Plaza

    600 Brickell Ave., Suite 3500

    Miami, FL 33131

    Tel.: 305-376-6000/Fax: 786-425-4119


    Daniel S. Fridman

    White & Case LLP

    Southeast Financial Center

    200 S. Biscayne Blvd., Suite 4900

    Miami, FL 33131

    Tel.: 305-995-5264


    Christine Hernandez

    United States Attorney’s Office

    99 N.E. 4th St.

    Miami, Fl. 33132

    Tel.: 305-961-9001


    Paul Huck, Jr.

    Jones Day

    600 Brickell Ave.

    Brickell World Plaza, Suite 3300

    Miami, FL 33131

    Tel.: 305-714-9700/Fax: 305-714-9799


    Jorge A. Mestre

    Rivero Mestre, LLP

    2525 Ponce de Leon Blvd. Suite 1000

    Miami, FL 33134

    Tel: 305-445-2500


    Robert R. Pardo

    Robert R. Pardo, P.A.

    7700 N. Kendall Drive, Suite 512

    Miami, FL 33156

    Tel.: 305-596-7794/Fax: 305-596-5854


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