Maria D. Garcia, President

Maria D. Garcia is Of Counsel at Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, and focuses her practice on health care law and commercial litigation.  She has extensive experience in managed care litigation and advising health care providers on various legal issues. She received her B.A., magna cum laude,  from Florida International University, where she majored in Political Science.  She earned her Juris Doctor from Florida International University College of Law
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Jorge L. Piedra, Immediate Past President

Jorge L. Piedra is a trial lawyer. Trained and mentored by some of Florida’s top trial lawyers, Mr. Piedra enjoys a reputation as one of the finest commercial litigators in South Florida.
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Frances Guasch de la Guardia, President-Elect

Frances Guasch De La Guardia is a partner in the Appellate Practice Group in the Holland & Knight Miami office. She practices in the areas of commercial and insurance appellate litigation and trial support in both state and federal courts. Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Guasch was lead appellate in-house counsel for State Farm Insurance Company’s Miami office from 1998 to 2006.
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A. Dax Bello, Vice President

As part of Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain, P.A., Attorney Bello represents clients throughout Miami, Florida, and beyond. With years of experience, he takes a personal approach to the clients he represents and devotes extensive time, energy, and resources to each and every case.
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Miriam Soler Ramos, Vice President

Miriam Soler Ramos was appointed to serve as Coral Gables City Attorney in 2017. Ms. Ramos is the chief legal officer and general counsel for the City, serving as counsel to the City Commission, City Officials, and City Departments, providing legal opinions and interpretations on behalf of the City, and supervising the City Attorney’s Office and outside counsel. Ms. Ramos is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in City, County, and Local Government Law.
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Giselle Gutierrez, Treasurer

Giselle Gutierrez is an attorney with Stearns Weaver Miller in the Miami office. She focuses her practice on labor and employment law and commercial litigation.
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Nory Acosta-Lopez, Secretary

Ms. Acosta-Lopez received her B.B.A. in Legal Studies, cum laude, with a minor in Spanish from the University of Miami School of Business.  She then received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law.  Ms. Acosta-Lopez was awarded the Marco A. Vazquez Lit Skills Memorial Scholarship for her achievements in the University of Miami School of Law’s Litigation Skills program.  She was also an active law student member of the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA) and Florida Association of Women Lawyers (FAWL).  During law school, Ms. Acosta-Lopez clerked for the Hon. Judge Amy Steele Donner in the Family Division, and the Hon. Judge Leslie Rothenberg in the General Civil Division, as well as working with a sophisticated litigation and corporate advice firm in Coral Gables, Florida. Ms. Acosta-Lopez has focused her practice on representing both large and small business clients with numerous issues, including banking issues, commercial foreclosures, UCC-related matters, negotiable instruments, real estate disputes, corporate law, and labor/employment matters.

Candice Balmori, Director

Candice Balmori is an associate at RG Law Group in Doral, FL. Prior to joining the firm, as a student attorney with the Tulane University Law School’s Juvenile Litigation Clinic, Ms. Balmori argued before the Louisiana Supreme Court on behalf of a juvenile’s constitutional right to a trial by jury. See In re State ex rel. A.J. 27 So.3d 247 (La. 2009).
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Amanda Fernandez, Director

Ms. Fernandez practices in the areas of Complex Business Litigation, Labor and Employment Litigation, Receivership and Securities Litigation, and Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights.  Ms. Fernandez is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Prior to joining Damian & Valori LLP as an attorney, Ms. Fernandez was a law clerk with the firm.  Ms. Fernandez was also a Certified Legal Intern with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office and Villanova’s Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic.

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Javier A. Ley-Soto, Director

Seasoned general counsel with almost 10 years’ experience managing cases on behalf of large public entities. Strong advocate and advisor to agency leaders and staff with expertise in budget management, handling various aspects of litigation in both state and federal court and overseeing general counsel functions and transactional matters as well as providing effective agency representation and legal solutions.

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Kristina G. Maranges, Director

Kristina G. Maranges is an attorney with the Healthcare Litigation and White Collar Defense and Compliance practice groups in the Miami office of Broad and Cassel.  Her areas of expertise include healthcare system operations, peer review litigation, Government investigations and federal white collar criminal matters.

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Daniel Mendez, Director

Daniel is a third generation attorney who joined the firm in 2014. Daniel concentrates his practice on estate planning, probate and guardianship administration and litigation, and civil litigation. Prior to joining the firm as an attorney, Daniel worked as a law clerk for several years and served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Maria Korvick, the administrative judge in the Probate Division for Miami-Dade County. Daniel graduated from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School before attending the University of Florida where he received his undergraduate degree. He went on to attend law school at St. Thomas University where he graduated with honors.

Michael Piñeiro, Director

Michael Pineiro is a partner at Marcus Neiman & Rashbaum LLP, a white collar criminal and civil litigation boutique.  Mr. Pineiro’s practice focuses on complex business litigation, government enforcement defense, internal investigations, and federal white collar criminal matters.
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Olivia C. Rodriguez, Director

I currently serve as Senior Counsel for Bupa Latin America, a leading international health insurance company. Bupa is a private insurance provider for policy holders who reside in Latin America and the Caribbean.  I currently manage Bupa Latin America’s relationships with outside counsel and provide support in the areas of health insurance, litigation, contracts and employment law.
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Haydee Sera, Director

Haydee is an associate in the Firm’s Municipal Government Law practice, where she provides general representation to municipalities on a broad range of issues such as elections, ethics, public records, and sunshine law, including shade-sessions. As counsel to local municipalities, Haydee drafts and reviews proposed legislation, resolutions, and agreements on a variety of matters. Haydee also provides counsel to elected officials on legal matters, including compliance with state and local ethics laws.

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