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Meeting Minutes

September 28, 2017

Caribbean Bar Association and Haitian Lawyers Association Joint General Meeting/CBA Election Meeting/Ethics CLE Presentation Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ 6:30 p.m. Bast Amron LLP (SunTrust Tower) 1 SE 3rd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33131 I. Welcome/Greeting/Introduction –Lody Jean, HLA President II. Remarks on the state of the Bar – Florida Bar President Michael Higer A. President Higer spoke on the following issues: a. Provided post-hurricane Irma updates for the state of Florida and admired the response by attorneys to the crisis, including pre-disaster information b. Pro Bono opportunities for attorneys to assist, and also to get necessary hurricane relief c. Extension of deadlines for attorneys to pay dues and CLE requirements d. Member benefits and services, technology, inclusiveness, health & wellness, and constitutional revision committee i. Significance of mental health aspect of practice and the statistics showing lawyers fare worst mentally among professions e. Effect of mental health issues on lawyers’ ability to represent clients f. Lesser stigma for physical disabilities versus mental health issues III. Remarks – Devona Reynolds Perez, CBA President A. Judicial Diversity Initiative goals: a. Purpose – to increase diversity on the bench b. Friend Olympics -- method to encourage lawyers to engage with other attorneys in a fun social setting. c. Memorial for Beranton Whisenant, colleague and member of JDI d. Mental Health Symposium d.e.Reception for new judges and support for local attorneys running for judge IV. Announcement of CBA Election Results – Nnamdi Jackson - (Elections Committee: Carol Green von Kaul, Schuyler Smith, Nnamdi Jackson) A. Board Members a. Hilary Creary b. Nikeisha Pryor c. Jamel Marshall B. Treasurer: Anna-Bo Emmanuel C. Secretary : Tricia Gaye-Cottrell D. Vice President : Serena Witter E. President-elect: Charise Morgan-Joseph V. Upcoming Events – Devona Reynolds Perez A. Opioid Community Event on Saturday, September 30 B. CBA Gala a. 21st Annual Scholarship and Award Gala on Saturday October 28, 2017 at the Conrad Miami in Brickell b. Sponsorships are still available C. Leadership Academy a. Applications due in early December D. Introduction of our Guest Speaker – Altanese Phenelus, HLA Vice President E. Roundtable Discussion with Guest Speakers: You Be The Judge BRIAN L. TANNEBAUM, BAST AMRON Brian is the firm’s General Counsel and practices in the areas of Ethics and White Collar Defense, representing law firms as well as future, current, and former lawyers and legal professionals in matters before the Florida Bar and Board of Bar Examiners as well as in civil and criminal courts. Specific ethics matters include Bar Admission Hearings, Grievance Defense from the initial complaint to argument before the Florida Supreme Court, Reinstatement and Readmission matters, Sanctions Hearings, Legal Malpractice Defense, partnership disputes and dissolutions as well as ethics opinions. He has been counsel in over 50 Florida Bar matters at The Florida Supreme Court level and has been appointed in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida as a Special Master a. The recent passing of local lawyers and the effects of mental health issues in the community b. How to handle Bar complaints c. Lawyer disciplinary process d. Top 3 subjects of bar grievances i. Failure to communicate ii. Diligence 1. Additional consideration for public defenders iii. Getting arrested 1. Must report within 10 days of a disposition for misdemeanor 2. For felonies, must report within 10 days of charges being filed e. Future of the Supreme Court in relation to bar grievances – conservative-leaning F. Adjournment – Devona Reynolds Perez, CBA President, and Lody Jean, HLA President

May 25, 2017

The joint general meeting on May 25 with the Florida Muslim Bar Association and the Anti-Defamation League evoked honest and lively discussion about ways to quash religious intolerance and racial discrimination.
The meeting ended with a call to action for everyone to challenge the increasingly xenophobic political environment. The meeting minutes are included below.


I.	Call to Order: 6:32 p.m. by Devona
	A.	Present: (Board) Devona, Niyala, Charise, Jamel, Serena
II.	Moment of Silence in remembrance of the passing of Beranton 
	Whisenant, Jr., Esq. 

III.	Devona - Announcements and Welcome; recognition of past presidents 
		Sherelle Francis and Annika Ashton; recognition of board members

IV.	Committee Reports -- 
	A.	Mentoring and Scholarship Committee / Young Lawyer Section
		i.	Devona recognized the scholarship recipients
	B.	Membership and Professional Development- Niyala
		i.	Encouragement for membership, and welcome to guests
	C.	Judicial Diversity Incentive/JNC -Devona
		i.	Devona explained the purpose of the JDI and introduced 
			Annika as a founder of the initiative; she also encouraged
			the FMBA to get involved
		ii.	FMBA member and soon to be CBA member, Christopher Benjamin 
			(former Wilkie D Ferguson and FMBA president) announced that he 
			is considering running in 2018; CBA member H. James Curry gave his 
			experience as having applied to the JNC and run for election)
V.	Program
	A.	FMBA President Faequa Khan gave introductions and welcome
	B.	All guests and members introduced themselves and talked about their 
	C.	Presentation and Discussion - Solutions for Tolerance and Inclusiveness
	in an Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Muslim and Anti-Semitic Climate
		Panelists: Yasir Billoo, Esq., Florida Muslim Bar Association
		Lonny Wilk, Anti-Defamation League, Associate Regional Director	
		Moderated by: Niyala Harrison, Esq
		1.	Lonny presented the history of the hate crimes and legislation; 
			Yasir opened the discussion for finding solutions
		2.	Members and guests asked questions about making the South Florida 
			community more inclusive, religious education, community tolerance,
			and multi-faith organizations in which people can get involved.
		3.	Certain mosques have open houses on Ramadan which invite guests 
			to observe, eat dinner, and ask questions during the holiday
		4.	Broward County declared May to be Muslim heritage month. 
			Miramar has declared June the same.

VI.	Next Board Meeting - June 5 2017 

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

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