Contact: Antonio “Tony” Arocho, Esq.
Phone: (202) 223-4777

March 18, 2013 

Washington, DC — The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the national association of Latino attorneys, judges, law professors and law students, congratulates and supports Thomas Perez on his nomination by President Obama to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. Perez currently serves as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In that capacity, he has focused on upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans. He previously served as the Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. From 2002 until 2006, he was a member of the Montgomery County Council in Maryland. He was the first Latino ever elected to the Council, and served as Council President in 2005. Earlier in his career, he spent 12 years in federal public service, most of them as a career attorney with the Civil Rights Division. Perez was a law professor for six years at University of Maryland School of Law and was a part-time professor at the George Washington School of Public Health. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University, a Master’s of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. 

“The HNBA salutes Thomas Perez as he reaches a new height in his legal career,” said HNBA National President Peter M. Reyes, Jr. “His years of dedicated, productive service have set a high standard in the legal profession. As the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, his parents taught him the importance of education, hard work and public service. Perez became the first lawyer in his family and has continued his family’s tradition of service.” Reyes added “The HNBA strongly supports the timely Senate confirmation of the highly qualified Thomas Perez as our next Secretary of Labor.”  

About the Hispanic National Bar Association

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 100,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding four decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.



HNBA Executive Director Position Opening

LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
JOB TITLE: HNBA Executive Director

REPORTS TO: The HNBA President; serves at the pleasure of the HNBA Executive Committee and Board of Governors

The position of Executive Director for the Hispanic National Bar Association (“HNBA” or “Association”) is immediately available for a qualified person. The Executive Director will serve as the Chief Operating Officer of the Association and must have the highest integrity and leadership skills. Because the Executive Director is charged with conducting and overseeing all aspects of the day to day affairs of the Association, the Executive Director must have the stature, credibility, tact, judgment and written and oral communications skills required to represent the HNBA in interactions with members, government officials, sponsors, media representatives, members of the HNBA Board of Governors (“Board”) and others. The successful candidate will also have the management and business skills and integrity required to manage the HNBA’s National Office and staff, finances and other core functions. The Executive Director must be proactive and make timely recommendations to the President, the Board and the Executive Committee on a whole host of issues.

The Executive Director shall have the following education and professional experiences and demonstrated understanding of and/or commitment to the Hispanic community and legal issues affecting Hispanics in the U.S.:

The HNBA Executive Director will assist the President in implementing the Association’s priorities, policies, goals and objectives as established by the Board of Governors, the Executive Committee, and as set forth in the Association’s Bylaws. The Executive Director will also manage the Association’s facilities, personnel, finances, and records in order to implement the Association’s policies and to administer the day-to-day business of the Association by management of the HNBA National Office, its programs, services, and activities.







To apply, please fill out the HNBA Executive Director Job Application and return to HNBA National President Peter M. Reyes, Jr. at  and President-Elect Miguel Alexander Pozo at

2012 HNBA Board of Governors Call for Nominations

Individuals interested in serving on the HNBA Board of Governors are invited to submit materials to the Nominations Committee by Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Under the HNBA Bylaws, on April 30, 2012, the HNBA must announce the slate of candidates nominated by the Nominations Committee (Amended and Restated Bylaws, Article XI, § 5 (a)).  The bylaws also provide for nominations of officer candidates and regional presidents by petition, provided the petitions are submitted by no later than May 31, 2012.  The petition process will be explained in the April 30th notice as required by the Bylaws, Article XI, § 5(a) and (b).

CALL FOR CANDIDATES: The HNBA is seeking candidates to stand for election by the membership to the offices specified below.  Unless otherwise stated, the term of each office is one year beginning at the conclusion of the 2012 Annual Convention on August 25, 2012.  If you are interested in being considered by the Nominations Committee, please notify the Nominations Committee in writing as soon as possible, but no later than April 25, 2012.

Consistent with prior practice, each candidate should provide: a résumé; a letter stating the position he/she is interested in; a brief synopsis of his/her reasons for running; prior service to the HNBA (if any); certify that he/she is an HNBA Regular Member in good standing; and certify that he/she usa duly licensed attorney in good standing in the bar of a state or territory of the United States. 

If you have not paid your HNBA dues for calendar year 2012, please visit and pay them immediately to ensure you are in good standing.

Materials must be sent to the HNBA Nominations Committee, care of Benny Agosto, Jr., HNBA President (, with a copy to Diana Sen, Immediate Past President (, and Peter M. Reyes, Jr. President-Elect (, no later than 10:00 a.m. (ET) on April 25, 2012.  **LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED**

The following positions on the Board of Governors during the 2012-2013 bar year are subject to election by the membership:

Executive Committee Positions:                                                                                                                                                                     

President-Elect: During his or her term, the President-Elect is required to perform such duties as the President or Board of Governors may assign. At the conclusion of his or her term, the President-Elect ascends to the Presidency of the HNBA.  To be eligible for this office, a candidate at a minimum must have served on the HNBA Board for no less than three (3) years as an Officer, Regional President, or Affiliate Member Representative.  A candidate must also have been admitted to practice law and in good standing at the bar of a state, commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States or the District of Columbia for a minimum of seven (7) years as of the time of his or her nomination.  If there are no candidates who meet the qualifications for President-Elect, the Nominations Committee will prepare a roster of candidates for consideration by the Executive Committee.

Vice-President of Membership: is responsible for all membership matters and benefits.

Vice-President of Regions: oversees the Regions including communications with the Regional Presidents and Affiliate Members, increasing Region activities, and having regularly scheduled meetings with Regional Presidents and Affiliate Member Representatives to further advance the purposes of the Association.

Vice-President of External Affairs: acts as the HNBA’s liaison with non-affiliated groups and organizations, including creating initiatives and developing programs with these organizations to benefit the Membership.

Vice-President of Programs: is responsible for creating initiatives and developing and implementing programs for the benefit of the Membership.

Vice-President of Sections and Committees: is an ex-officio member of most Sections and Committees of the HNBA, and acts as the Board of Governor’s liaison with all Section and Committee chairpersons.

Secretary: receives all Board of Governors reports, prepares, publishes, and keeps the minutes of all meetings of the Membership and all meetings of the Board, maintains the roster of all Officers and other members of the Board, certifies official copies of such minutes and Bylaws and provides notice of all meetings of the Board and the Membership.

Please note that a Vice-President and Secretary are not eligible to seek election to the identical office if they have already served two terms, but they may run for other offices (e.g. an individual who has previously served as VP of Membership for two terms may not run for the same office, but may run for VP of Regions or for Regional President).  Former National Presidents of the HNBA are ineligible to run for President-Elect.

Regional President Positions:                                                                                                                                                                        

In addition to being Regular Members in good standing and duly licensed and in good standing in the bar of a state or territory of the United States, candidates for Regional President must live in the region they seek to serve.  Among other things, Regional Presidents act as the HNBA’s primary liaison and develop and implement HNBA programming in their respective regions.
As a result of a Bylaws change that staggers the Regional Presidents’ tenure and extends their terms to two years, candidates are sought to serve a two-year term (Aug 2012 to the end of the 2014 Annual Convention) as Regional President for each of the regions specified below:

REGION II                    NY
REGION IV                  DE, PA
REGION VI                  NC, SC
REGION VIII                FL
REGION X                   KY, OH, TN
REGION XII                 AR, LA, OK, TX
REGION XIV               AZ, NV
REGION XVI               AK, ID, MT, OR, WA
REGION XVIII              Southern CA

**Regional Presidents from HNBA Regions I, III, V, VII, IX, XI, XIII, XV, XVII, and XIX are not up for election this year.

To vote in the 2012 Election, you must pay your HNBA dues by May 31, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST!  Go to to renew!

Hispanic National Bar Association to Host its Third Annual Midyear Corporate Counsel Conference & 17th Annual Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition

                                                                        Contact: Emily Bengtson
Phone: (202) 223-4777

March 28, 2012

Hispanic National Bar Association to Host its Third Annual Midyear Corporate Counsel Conference & 17th Annual Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition

Jersey City, NJ – Bienvenidos, welcome to “New Jersey: Gateway to America.”  As it celebrates its 40th Anniversary, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) proudly announces its 3rd Annual Midyear Corporate Counsel Conference, which will be held this week from March 28-31, 2012 in Jersey City, New Jersey.  The four-day super conference will take place at the Westin Newport Jersey City located at479 Washington Boulevard,Jersey City,New Jersey.

“The HNBA’s 2012 Midyear Conference promises to be a hugely successful event, not only because of the impressive programming, but also because this year marks the 40th Anniversary of the HNBA,” said Benny Agosto, Jr., HNBA National President. “In celebration, the Midyear leadership has put together a landmark conference that will offer all of our members and guests an extraordinary lineup of educational programs, networking opportunities, and destination receptions. This Conference is not to be missed.”

The Midyear Conference will provide a unique setting to connect Corporate America and the HNBA, offering opportunities for outside counsel to meet counsel from numerous Fortune 500 Companies. Participants will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to take advantage of invaluable educational and networking programs provided throughout the Conference.

The HNBA Board of Governors, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Midyear Conference Co-Chairs Miguel Alexander Pozo, Esq. and Nuris E. Portuondo, Esq. and HNBA Regional President Anna Maria Tejada, Esq., Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey (HBA-N) President Daniel Mateo, Esq., and are thrilled to welcome you to the Garden State!

During the day, the HNBA is proud to offer a robust agenda featuring continuing legal education (CLE) panels on the most relevant legal topics and some of New Jersey’s and the nation’s top leaders and policy makers. Guests can also take advantage of the HNBA Corporate Speed Networking and Corporate Connection Pilot Program, which is designed to apply speed networking concepts to facilitate business opportunities; the General Counsel Discussion, “Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession,” where guests will hear from the General Counsel of five major American companies; a panel discussion on federal law enforcement priorities with three current U.S. Attorneys; the HNBA Latina Commission Executive Leadership Program; and the HNBA & HBA-NJ Women’s Leadership Conference, co-sponsored by the Latina Commission.

In addition to the many educational aspects of the Midyear Conference, the many exciting highlights will include a reception at the historic Ellis Island Immigration Museum featuring keynote speaker United States Senator Robert Menendez, and a spectacular, sold-out Gala which will feature keynote remarks by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

This year’s Conference also boasts an impressive roster of keynote speakers and panelists:  Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy; Susan Blount, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Prudential Financial; Carlos Ortiz, General Counsel of Goya Foods, Inc.; Sam Reeves, Senior Vice President and Division General Counsel of Wal-Mart; SEC Commissioner Troy Paredes; U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wifredo Ferrer; U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul Fishman; U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz; and many others. Please visit to take a look at the complete agenda and list of panels and speakers.

“We wish to thank all of our sponsors, but in particular our Platinum Sponsors, JPMorgan Chase, Prudential Financial, Lowenstein Sandler PC, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Wells Fargo for their leadership and tremendous support,” said Miguel Alexander Pozo, Esq., HNBA National Finance Director and 2012 HNBA Midyear Conference Co-Chair.

In conjunction with the Midyear Conference, the HNBA will conduct its 17th Annual Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition, bringing together law students from the nation’s top law schools, co-sponsored by The HNBA Legal Education Fund. Now in its seventeenth year, the Competition offers the opportunity for students from law schools across the country to brief and argue a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court before panels of distinguished federal and state court judges, as well as experienced attorneys and law professors. The Competition also provides students with invaluable networking opportunities with the attendees at the Midyear Conference, including judges, professors, in house and outside counsel, and other professionals.

“This milestone event would simply not have been possible without the continued support of our many sponsors who have joined us in our promise to deliver a record-breaking, dynamic conference,” said Nuris E. Portuondo, HNBA Deputy Regional President and 2012 HNBA Midyear Conference Co-Chair. “We hope that you will join us in celebrating the HNBA’s 40 years of serving as the national voice for the Hispanic legal community and community-at-large,” said Anna Maria Tejada, Esq., HNBA Region III President and 2012 New Jersey Leadership Team Co-Chair.

Finally, today the HNBA will lead a volunteer community service project in the Jersey City Public Schools to promote careers in the law.  A group of lawyer volunteers from the Young Lawyers Division of the HNBA and the Young Lawyers Committee of the HBA-NJ will spend the afternoon with students, but equally important, the HNBA will also award a $10,000 check to the Jersey City Public Schools to assist with their pipeline initiatives and to assist the school provide additional resources to promising students who are interested in careers in the law.

Guests may continue to register on-site at the Westin Hotel inJersey City. For questions about the Conference or to register, please contact Erika Lopez-Tello, HNBA Events Director, at


About the Hispanic National Bar Association

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 100,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding four decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.


HNBA 2012 Top Lawyers Under 40 Awards

Nominate an HNBA member for our 2012 HNBA “Top Lawyers Under 40″ Award!  This award celebrates and highlights the accomplishments and contributions of HNBA members under 40 years of age. The Award will honor achievers who have demonstrated professional excellence, integrity, leadership and commitment to the legal and Latino community.  HNBA members from all segments of the profession and all regions of the country are eligible for the Award.  Recipients will be honored at the HNBA Midyear Conference being held in Jersey City, NJ during the Gala Dinner on Saturday, March 31, 2012.  Recipients will also be profiled on the HNBA website and in one or more HNBA publications such as HNBA’s Newsletter, Noticias.

To nominate your favorite rising stars, please complete the Nomination Form for each person you want to nominate and e-mail it, along with the candidate’s resume or biography, to by 6:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, January 18, 2012.  You may also include up to two recommendation letters (limited to 350 words or less each), but the letters are optional.  To be eligible for the Award, nominees must be licensed attorneys, HNBA members in good standing, and under the age of 40 as of December 31, 2011.  The nominator must also be an HNBA member in good standing.  Self-nominations will not be considered.  Members of the HNBA Board of Governors are ineligible. 

Please help us highlight our very best younger lawyers.  Submit a nomination today!

To register for the 2012 Midyear Corporate Counsel Conference and 17th Annual Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition, click here.


Top Lawyers Under 40 Awards Criteria and Selection

Nomination Form

The Hispanic National Bar Association Proudly Welcomes 2011-2012 Leadership

Zuraya Tapia-Hadley,, (202) 223-4777
Emily Bengtson,, (202) 223-4777

September 9, 2011

The Hispanic National Bar Association Proudly Welcomes 2011-2012 Leadership

Benny Agosto, Jr. takes the helm as the first Texas attorney to be HNBA President


Washington, DC – The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is pleased to announce its newly installed Board of Governors for 2011-2012. Benny Agosto, Jr. takes the helm of the national association as its 38th president to serve in the post since the founding of the HNBA in 1972. Deeply committed to community, scholarship, and making a difference, Agosto is a member of many bar associations throughout Texas, such as the Houston Bar Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and sits on the board of directors for several of them well.  Mr. Agosto is a founder of the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas (MABATx) Foundation.  To date, the MABATx Foundation has raised over $100,000 in scholarships. Agosto is also a co-founder of the HNBA’s Legal Education Fund along with his colleagues Román D. Hernández and Omar Vargas.  The Legal Education Fund is the HNBA’s only 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Mr. Agosto is currently a partner with Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend. He is also a regular commentator on legal issues in print and television media and has been highlighted as a Latino Leader by Latino Leaders Magazine, Hispanic Business Magazine, and other national publications and organizations.

“I am honored to carry on the legacy of service and excellence in the HNBA. I look forward to all that we will achieve this year, ‘The Year of the Advocate’,” stated Mr. Agosto. “The incoming board brings together individuals who have a history of service to the community.  Together with my distinguished colleagues on the Board, I will advocate for Hispanics in regards to the fair and equitable administration of justice, promote diversity and equitable hiring practices, and continue the advancement of all Hispanics in the national legal community through professional development, advocating for the appointment of qualified Latinos to the federal bench and Executive branch, and through charitable work for Latino students and children,” concluded Mr. Agosto.

“I look forward to working with the Board of Governors under the leadership of Benny Agosto for a successful year advocating for diversity and providing the necessary support and resources to the HNBA’s growing membership,” said Zuraya Tapia-Hadley, HNBA Executive Director.

The following individuals were sworn in on Saturday, September 3, 2011 as the HNBA’s newly elected Board of Governors:

President:  Benny Agosto, Jr., Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend (Houston, TX)

President-Elect: Peter M. Reyes, Jr., Cargill, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN)

Treasurer: Jorge Barcelo, CCI Control Components, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA)

Secretary: Christina Vigil, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Albuquerque, NM)

VP of External Affairs: The Honorable Celeste Villarreal, Austin Municipal Court (Austin, TX)

VP of Membership: Liz Lopez, Barnes & Thornburg LLP (Washington, DC)

VP of Programs: Lawrence Valdivieso, Verizon (Los Angeles, CA)

VP of Regions: Karina Ayala-Bermejo (Chicago, IL)

VP of Sections and Committees: Cynthia Mares, Regulatory Counsel, Colorado Supreme Court (Denver, CO)

National Policy Director and White House Liaison: Claudine Martinez, Vice President and General Counsel, MCT Industries, Inc. (Albuquerque, NM)

National Finance Chair:  Miguel A. Pozo, Lowenstein Sandler PC (Roseland, NJ)

General Counsel:  Pedro Torres-Diaz, Jackson Lewis (Miami, FL)

Immediate Past President: Diana Sen, LatinoJustice PRLDEF (New York, NY)


Regional Presidents:

Region I (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT): Rene Ortega (Hartford, CT)

Region II (NY): Gelvina Stevenson (New York, NY)

Region III (NJ): Anna Maria Tejada (Jersey City, NJ)

Region IV (DE, PA): Ed Lanza (Wilmington, DE)

Region V (DC, MD, VA, WV): Juan Sempertegui (Washington, DC)

Region VI (NC, SC): Leticia Padilla-Morales (Raleigh, NC)

Region VII (AL, GA, MS): Dara Fernandez (Birmingham, AL)

Region VIII (FL): Teresita Chavez-Pedrosa (Miami, FL)

Region IX (IL, IN, MI, WI): Leopoldo Lastre (Chicago, IL)

Region X (KY, OH, TN): Melinda Molina (Columbus, OH)

Region XI (IA, MN, MO, ND, SD): Melisa Lopez Franzen (Minneapolis, MN)

Region XII (AR, LA, OK, TX): David Maldonado (Dallas, TX)

Region XIII (CO, KS, NE, WY): Meshach Rhoades (Denver, CO)

Region XIV (AZ, NV): Tom Tollison (Phoenix, AZ)

Region XV (NM, UT): Roxie Rawls DeSantiago (Albuquerque, NM)

Region XVI (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA): Jesse Valdez (Bellevue, WA)

Region XVII (Northern CA, HI): Helen Santana (San Francisco, CA)

Region XVIII (Southern CA): Donald Urrabazo (Los Angeles, CA)

Region XIX (Puerto Rico): Ricardo Aponte Parsi (San Juan, PR)


HNBA Affiliate Organizations:

  1. Broward County Hispanic Bar Association
  2. Colorado Hispanic Bar Association
  3. Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association
  4. Dallas Hispanic Bar Association
  5. Delaware Hispanic Bar Association
  6. Dominican Bar Association
  7. Georgia Hispanic Bar Association
  8. Hispanic Bar Association of Austin
  9. Hispanic Bar Association of Central Florida
  10. Hispanic Bar Association of DC
  11. Hispanic Bar Association of Houston
  12. Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan
  13. Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey
  14. Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County
  15. Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania
  16. Hispanic Bar Association of Virginia
  17. Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois
  18. Hispanic Lawyers Association of Louisiana, Inc.
  19. Hispanic Ontario Lawyers Association
  20. Latina Lawyers Bar Association
  21. Latina/o Bar of Washington
  22. Latino Bar Association of Las Vegas
  23. Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County
  24. Long Island Hispanic Bar Association
  25. Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association
  26. Maryland Hispanic Bar Association
  27. Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys
  28. Mexican American Bar Association of Houston
  29. Mexican American Bar Association of L.A. County
  30. Mexican American Bar Association of Texas
  31. Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association
  32. National Prosecutors Association
  33. New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association
  34. Oregon Hispanic Bar Association
  35. Puerto Rican Bar Association (NY)
  36. Puerto Rican Bar of Florida
  37. Puerto Rican Bar of Illinois
  38. San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association
  39. San Francisco La Raza Lawyers
  40. Santa Clara County La Raza Lawyers Association
  41. Tampa Bay Hispanic Bar Association


Dallas Daily News: Hispanic Lawyers Convention Next Week Will Tackle Thorny Issues

From the Dallas Daily News, August 26, 2011

By Mercedes Olivera

In this age of Facebook and social media, how do you pick a jury that you hope will be unbiased?

It’s a question many lawyers increasingly face in this digital era we live in. And it’s one that José Baez will be asked at the four-day annual convention of the Hispanic National Bar Association in Dallas next week.

Baez was involved in what has been described as “the social media trial of the century.”

He was the attorney who represented Casey Anthony, the mother accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. Anthony was acquitted, and Baez became an instant success story.

Baez will be introduced by Geraldo Rivera at a Friday plenary session that will also feature Todd Robinson, deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of State.

A quick look at the agenda reveals that this session is just one of 45 events and workshops featuring high-profile individuals and hot-button issues — all by design.

“We think it’s important to learn about the issues we have to grapple with every day,” said Diana Sen, HNBA president. “We want to make sure our lawyers are equipped to tackle these issues because a lot of them are not clear-cut. They’re very complicated, and many attorneys will give very different opinions.”

The 50-person planning committee, co-chaired by Dallas Associate Judge Teresa Guerra-Snelson and Dallas lawyer Christie M. Villarreal, has succeeded in attracting an array of experts, ranging from the federal and national levels to the state and local arenas.

Janet Napolitano , U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, will speak at the opening plenary session on Thursday morning. She is sure to be peppered with questions about the Obama administration’s new ruling that undocumented immigrants who are facing deportation but have no criminal record will be allowed to stay in the country.

Thursday afternoon, the issue of sanctuary cities, which Gov. Rick Perry declared an emergency item in the state’s recent emergency legislative session, will be discussed by Dallas Police Chief David Brown, state Rep. Rafael Anchía and Dallas City Council member Delia Jasso.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is Friday’s luncheon speaker, and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is the keynoter at a reception at Cowboys Stadium that evening.

The birthright citizenship issue of the 14th Amendment and human trafficking are also on the agenda. So is an all-day youth symposium, featuring Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzmán.

It’s worth noting, too, that Latinas are playing a prominent role in this convention. Not only are the two co-chairs, the executive director and the president all women, but a luncheon Thursday will feature the work of the organization’s commission on the status of Latina lawyers.

Sen’s goal as president was to make this “The Year of the Latina,” given that a paltry 1.3 percent of all lawyers in the nation are Latinas, she said.

“Diversity is tantamount to the success of our country,” she said, “and we need to ensure that all voices are heard at the volume reflective of our population numbers.”

The Hispanic National Bar Association to Hold 36th Annual Convention in Dallas

Contact: Zuraya Tapia-Hadley
Phone: (202) 223-4777

August 22, 2011

The Hispanic National Bar Association to Hold 36th Annual Convention in Dallas


DALLAS, TX – The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is honored to bring together hundreds of lawyers, judges, and students from across the country at the 36th Annual Convention from August 31st through September 3rd, 2011, in Dallas. The Texas Senate and House of Representatives, City of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (DHBA), and convention co-chairs Hon. Teresa Guerra Snelson and Christie M. Villarreal are thrilled to welcome HNBA guests to Texas!


This spectacular event will convene over 45 panels bringing together practitioners and leading experts to discuss the most salient issues and trends in the legal profession, with CLE accreditation in all states. The HNBA is also pleased to hold the third annual Judicial Forum, offering compelling discussions on judiciary topics and the experiences of accomplished federal and state judges. Many of the programs at this convention are one of a kind, such as the Hispanic General Counsel Roundtable Luncheon, a truly elite corporate powerhouse and the first-ever group of this kind to be comprised entirely of Latinos; the HNBA Latina Commission Awards Luncheon, the only bar association specifically geared towards examining the status of Latinas in the legal profession; and the nation’s largest Career Fair for Hispanic law students and legal professionals, with opportunities to meet representatives from some of the country’s biggest-name law firms, corporations, and government agencies.


In addition to the career fair, law students will have the opportunity to attend workshops on job searching, resume writing, and interview skills. The convention’s Youth Symposium gives high school and college students who are considering a career in the law invaluable tools and guidance from successful legal professionals. “With a population that is 40% Latino, Dallas is the perfect setting for an event geared towards bringing together and enhancing the Hispanic legal community,” said Diana Sen, HNBA President. “This convention celebrates the high caliber and accomplishments of Hispanic legal professionals, promotes our goal of engaging and fostering the next generation of lawyers, and demonstrates the strength of our community.”


Throughout the convention, guests will hear from key national figures including the Honorable Janet Napolitano, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; the Honorable Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice; U.S. Senator from Texas John Cornyn; Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio; Jose Baez, lead attorney of Casey Anthony; and the Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna, the first Hispanic ever to sit on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and past HNBA President; and many others.


The HNBA will also present awards for outstanding contribution to the Hispanic legal community to the following honorees: Sarah Saldaña, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Texas (Latina Attorney of the Year); Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice (Latino Attorney of the Year); the Honorable Martha Vasquez, U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico (Latina Judge of the Year); the Honorable Albert Diaz, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Latino Judge of the Year); Gelvina Rodriguez Stevenson, Region II – New York and Teresita Chavez Pedrosa, Region VIII – Florida (Regional Presidents of the Year); Bowen Hispanic Law Student Association, University of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR (Law Student Organization of the Year); Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association (HNBA Affiliate of the Year); AT&T and Target Corporation (Corporate Partners of the Year); Natacha Carbajal (HNBA Presidential Award); Joaquin Avila (Ohtli Award); and the Honorable Ricardo Urbina, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (HNBA Lifetime Achievement Award).


Following each day’s programming, evening activities will allow guests to enjoy the finest local music, food, and attractions. On Wednesday, August 31st, the Honorary Host Committee will kick off the convention with a welcome reception at Neiman Marcus, offering private shopping and a fashion show featuring collections by Hispanic designers. On Thursday, September 1st, law students will receive a special welcome at a reception at the Dedman School of Law-SMU. Guests will enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime visit to the field at Dallas Cowboy Stadium, where convention sponsor AT&T will host a reception on September 2nd. Other events include meals, cultural presentations, an exclusive visit to the largest collection of Spanish art outside of Spain at the Meadows Museum of Art, and an elegant closing gala.


This event is a truly unique opportunity to enhance your professional value and learn valuable skills, network and build relationships with some of the most notable legal professionals and national leaders in the country, and above all, enjoy the best of the beautiful city of Dallas! The 36th Annual Convention promises to be a big success and great fun for all who attend.


The HNBA and our convention host, the DHBA, look forward to seeing you in Dallas!

Hispanic National Bar Association Applauds Department of Justice Challenge of Alabama H.B. 56

Contact: Zuraya Tapia-Hadley
Phone: (202) 223-4777

August 4, 2011

Hispanic National Bar Association Applauds Department of Justice Challenge of Alabama H.B. 56

Washington, D.C. – The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) commends the United States Department of Justice for its decision to file a preliminary injunction against the State of Alabama’s H.B. 56. The law, which creates a state-enforced immigration status verification system that seeks to criminalize immigrants in all areas of society from housing to school to employment, is a flagrant violation of federal immigration law. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found the law to be unconstitutional under preemption principles and filed a lawsuit against Alabama.

The Department of Justice’s action against Alabama’s H.B. 56 is consistent with its case against Arizona’s notorious S.B. 1070. Similar in many respects to S.B. 1070, H.B. 56 mandates that state law enforcement verify the immigration status of any individual seeking public benefits, healthcare, employment, education, transportation, or housing. These laws not only conflict with federal immigration law, but also undermine and interfere with the exclusive power of the federal government to enforce that law, thereby violating the U.S. Constitution.

Among numerous concerns with laws like Alabama H.B. 56 and Arizona S.B. 1070, both the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have noted that these policies put heavy burdens on local law enforcement and federal agencies and divert necessary resources from real threats. Additionally, H.B. 56 blatantly goes against federal education policy. One of H.B. 56’s provisions mandates an immigration status verification of all students and their parents before they can be enrolled in public schools, which could discourage families from enrolling their children at all. Accordingly, the Department of Education has also been involved in the Department of Justice’s decision to file suit against Alabama.

“H.B. 56 is nothing more than an egregious attempt to intimidate and criminalize immigrants, and violates constitutional rights as well as federal law,” said Diana Sen, HNBA President. “The Department of Justice has rightfully taken issue with the many ways in which this law is problematic, not least of which is the fact that a state-by-state patchwork of laws is not the solution to our current flawed immigration system. HNBA applauds the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder for their commitment to investigate and take action against unconstitutional proposals such as this, and we reiterate our support for comprehensive, effective federal immigration reform.”

Hispanic National Bar Association Urges U.S. Senate to Confirm the Hon. Adalberto Jordán to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Contact: Zuraya Tapia-Hadley
Phone: (202) 223-4777

August 3, 2011

Hispanic National Bar Association Urges U.S. Senate to Confirm the Hon. Adalberto Jordán to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Washington, D.C. – The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) commends President Barack H. Obama for his nomination on Tuesday of Judge Adalberto José Jordán to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. HNBA endorsed Judge Jordán having conducted due diligence and concluded that he is exceedingly qualified to join the bench of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Jordán has an impressive resume and is highly respected for his experience and integrity.  The HNBA encourages the U.S. Senate to move expediently to confirm this well-deserved nomination.

“It is high time that a Latino judge be appointed to the Eleventh Circuit, which serves one of the fastest-growing Latino population areas in the United States,” said Diana Sen, HNBA President. “Judge Jordán is a model of integrity, justice, and service and is an excellent choice for this appointment. The HNBA applauds President Obama’s nomination and the positive message this nomination sends to the Latino community and the legal profession as a whole.”

Judge Jordán has earned a widely admired reputation as a lawyer and a judge throughout the course of his strong career. Born in Cuba and a naturalized U.S. citizen, he attended the University of Miami and the University of Miami School of Law, where he graduated second in his class. After graduating, he completed clerkships with the Honorable Thomas A. Clark on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and then the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor of the Supreme Court of the United States. He then worked at Steel Hector & Davis LLP in Miami, where he was made partner in five years and specialized in appellate practice. Thereafter, Judge Jordán served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and then as the Chief of the Appellate Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. Following his tenure at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he was nominated to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by President Bill Clinton. He was confirmed by the Senate with an overwhelming vote of 93-1, a striking reflection of his highly regarded character.

In addition to Judge Jordán’s impeccable record and skill as a judge, he has also demonstrated a commitment to community service and involvement. He teaches as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law and at Florida International University College of Law, and has performed notable pro bono work.

HNBA’s due diligence revealed clearly that Judge Jordán is a distinguished lawyer and judge, and is exceptionally well qualified to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The HNBA firmly supports his nomination to the bench by President Obama and urges the U.S. Senate to immediately confirm Judge Jordán to the Eleventh Circuit.