The e-Newsletter from the Hispanic National Bar Association

November 24, 2015 Edition

Dear HNBA members and supporters:

These last weeks have been tough for all of us who care deeply about the equal treatment and dignity of every human being.

Voters in Houston, Texas defeated the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (“HERO”). HERO would have prohibited discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation on the basis of race, age, gender, pregnancy, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or military status. The opponents’ campaign, however, focused on fear mongering against LGBT individuals. It is unfortunate that Houston voters were misled by ignorance and discrimination.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would not pursue federal civil rights charges against Border Patrol agents involved in the death of Mexican immigrant Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas. On May 28, 2010, Mr. Hernández-Rojas was arrested for unauthorized entry, surrounded by a dozen agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and beat and tased as he and bystanders begged for mercy. He died a few days later. When the federal investigation stalled for years, the HNBA pushed the Department of Justice to file charges or at least to explain the delay. Citing insufficient evidence to prosecute the case, the Department of Justice closed its investigation and issued no charges. This is a real disappointment.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision to temporarily block implementation of President Obama’s most recent executive actions on immigration, preventing millions of immigrant families from qualifying for deportation relief. It is a travesty that the Fifth Circuit did not take into consideration the harm caused to these families, and chose instead to focus on the cost of driver’s licenses to the state of Texas. (…) To read full message, please click here.

Robert T. Maldonado
HNBA National President


HNBA Congratulates Longtime Member and Supporter Horacio Gutierrez for Being Named Microsoft’s New General Counsel 
The former HNBA Regional President will head legal affairs for the largest software company in the world.

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Hispanic National Bar Association congratulates HNBA member and friend Horacio Gutierrez for his promotion as General Counsel and Corporate Vice President for leading tech company Microsoft. Gutierrez has served as deputy general counsel at Microsoft since 2006 and has been with the company since 1998. As general counsel, he will head Microsoft’s large team of legal, regulatory and corporate affairs professionals throughout the globe:

“The HNBA is proud that such an active  and committed member of the HNBA family continues to rise through the ranks of the corporate legal and tech community,” said HNBA National President Robert T. Maldonado. “This is a great accomplishment. Horacio serves as a role model to Latino law students and lawyers across the country. As the HNBA drills down on technology this year, we are fortunate to have Horacio in this new position at Microsoft. We commend Horacio not only for his professional achievements, but also for his dedication to advancing the cause of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. His contributions have been invaluable. We know he will succeed in this new endeavor and wish him all the best.”

To view full press release, please click here.




Submit a CLE Panel Proposal
We will recognize the way in which technology touches us all, in ways large and small, and affects our lives, businesses and the practice of law. Every business today is a technology business, and we all must develop tools to deal with the rapid growth of information technology. Preference will be given to those CLE proposals that are technology focused. Please submit your proposal to

 Proposal Deadline: Dec. 1, 2015

Register at the Early Bird Rate

Registration for the 2016 HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference & Moot Court Competition is now open!

PLEASE NOTE: In order to register for the Conference, you must be an active, dues paid HNBA member. If you are not already a member, click here to join.
 Early Bird Deadline: Dec. 19, 2015

Nominate a Rising Star

The HNBA’s “Top Lawyers Under 40” Award celebrates and highlights the accomplishments and contributions of HNBA members who have distinguished themselves in the legal profession. The Award honors lawyers who have demonstrated professional excellence, integrity, leadership, commitment to the Hispanic community, and dedication to improving the legal profession. HNBA Members from all segments of the profession (including private practice, government, public interest, academia, and corporate legal departments) are eligible for the Award. For more information, please click here.

 Nomination Deadline: Dec. 21, 2015

Moot Court Competition

The Annual Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition brings together over 30 teams of Latino law students from the nation’s top law schools to argue a case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. This year the competition will take place at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV during the Corporate Counsel Conference. For more information, please click

 Team Registration Deadline: Jan. 8, 2016

NHLA Board Meeting - Washington, DC

HNBA President-Elect Pedro J. Torres-Díaz attended the Board Meeting of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, held on October 8, 2015, in Washington DC. Democratic Presidential Candidate Senator Bernie Sanders addressed the NHLA Board and answered its questions on important issues affecting the Latino community.

HNBA Exhibits at the 2015 Annual Corporate Counsel Conference - Boston, MA
Thank you to everyone who visited the HNBA Booth last month! The HNBA National President, Robert T. Maldonado, HNBA President-Elect, Pedro Torres-Díaz, and HNBA VP of Membership, Anjie Cabrera were among the team promoting future events as well as membership recruitment.

HNBA President's Welcome Reception - Houston, TX

Last month HNBA Region XII and HISBA hosted a meet and greet reception for HNBA National President, Robert T. Maldonado, as well as a "kick-off" for the planning of the 2016 HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference and 21st Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court Competition in Las Vegas. This event was graciously sponsored by Oakstone Human Capital, LLC.

2015 NAPABA Annual Convention - New Orleans, LA

Congratulations to NAPABA for the success on their Annual Convention! Left picture: HNBA National President, Robert T. Maldonado, NAPABA President, Jin Hwang, National LGBT Bar President-Elect, Eduardo Juarez, and HNBA President-Elect, Pedro J. Torres-Díaz. Right picture: HNBA Secretary, Elia Diaz-Yaeger, HNBA National President, Robert T. Maldonado, ABA President, Paulette Brown, and HNBA President-Elect, Pedro J. Torres-Díaz.

Inaugural National Hispanic Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair - Houston, TX
HNBA National President, Robert T. Maldonado, was honored to be
one of the keynote speakers at the the Inaugural National Hispanic Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair in Houston, Texas on November 7, 2016.

2015 Equal Justice Awards - Washington, DC

HNBA Executive Director, Alba Cruz-Hacker and HNBA Latina Commission Co-Chair, Erica Mason had the honor to attend the 2015 Equal Justice Awards hosted by HBA-DC. Congratulations to HBA-DC President, Juan Sempertegui on a successful year!

Latino Lawyers in Tech: Challenges and Opportunities in Silicon Valley - Menlo Park, CA

On November 12, 2015, HNBA, Facebook, and Littler hosted a panel discussion featuring some of the most accomplished Latino attorneys in Silicon Valley and the Tech Industry. Colin Stretch, Vice President & General Counsel at Facebook, Inc., gave opening remarks while HNBA National President, Robert T. Maldonado moderated the panel. Panelists included Sergio Garcia (GC of Zeltiq), Lucas Huizar (Head of Legal Affairs, CircleUp), Johanna Ravelo (AGC of Facebook), Manny Alvarez (GC of Affirm) and Ed Lopez (Past President, HDMI).

Elia Diaz-Yaeger, Shareholder at Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard, was selected as one of the 2015 City Business Woman of the Year honoree.

This year fifty honorees for the 2015 class of CityBusiness “Women of the Year” were selected, and honored on November 12, 2015, highlighting their professional and community achievements. On a national level, Ms. Diaz-Yaeger remains involved with the HNBA as the National Secretary

Benny Agosto, Jr., Partner at Abraham Watkins,  received the 2015 Outstanding Public Service Award at the South Texas College of Law (STCL) Alumni Association Annual Meeting and Luncheon on October 30, 2015. This award is presented annually to an STCL alum for outstanding work in a public service position. 

Mr. Agosto has a long record of service to the Hispanic community. He served as President of the HNBA and is the current President of the Legal Education Fund of the HNBA. The Legal Education Fund is a not-for-profit organization that promotes programs to help underrepresented students and legal professionals learn about opportunities in the legal profession. 

  • November 30, 2015 - “Tamarindo Nights Networking Event” with the Dominican Bar Association at Greenberg Traurig LLP. To learn more and RSVP, please click here
  • December 9, 2015“Encuentro Navideño” Puerto Rican Bar Association meets the not for profit organizations. To learn more and RSVP, please click here.
  • December 16, 2015Holiday Party hosted by the HNBA Region II (NY) Young Lawyers Division. To purchase tickets, please click here.

Region III (NJ)
Congratulations to Michael Jay Plata, Esq., HBA-NJ President, who was honored with the Good Scout Award,  by the Northern Jersey Boy Scouts Council – the Scoutreach Program - on October 26, 2015, at the Robert Treat Hotel. 

For those interested in supporting the Scoutreach Program in Northern New Jersey, please register and/or donate

October 31, 2015 - The HNBA booth raffled gym memberships which were donated. The raffle was held at the conclusion of the event with the names of new members who enrolled at the picnic. It was an excellent opportunity to network and encourage mentoring relationships, as well as serve as an effective membership drive.

November 12, 2015 HNBA Region VIII held a Reception “Celebrating Florida’s National Leaders” at the historic and beautiful, Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. All Florida HNBA members who were honored at the HNBA Annual Convention in Boston were recognized as leaders of the HNBA. The honorees included Wifredo Ferrer (Latino Lawyer of the Year); Pedro J. Torres-
Díaz, Irene Oria, Raquel Matas, Maria Dantes Sanchez, Karel Suárez, and the University of Miami. A special recognition was also presented to Martha Mora for her service in the HNBA Latina Commission and other Regional HNBA related events and programs. 

Upcoming Events:
  • December 2, 2015 - Law School Sin Límites (LSSM) Kickoff Reception 
  • December 14, 2015 - Region VIII Holiday Celebration graciously sponsored by Mass Mutual Financial Group

Region X (KY, OH, TN)
After many months of planning and outreach, HNBA Region X held its Inaugural Gala on October 22nd and it was a great success! 

There were over 160 attendees from all over the country, including HNBA National Leadership. The Gala was intended to be Region X’s major fundraiser and it was aimed at supporting the mission of the HNBA in Region X and all region initiatives that are planned for the following year. 

The night commenced with a cocktail network reception show casing the work of the HNBA Latina Commission.  Thereafter, attendees transitioned to a formal dinner program where Robert T. Maldonado, HNBA National President, gave opening remarks and led the formal portion of the evening which included a distinguished panel of nationally recognized attorneys that discussed being a change agent to impact diversity numbers in all facets of the legal community as well as an award ceremony recognizing local minority leaders. Afterwards, attendees mixed in mingled the night away while listening to a live Cuban band.

Region X President, Christian Gonzalez, credits the success of the night to the hard working lawyers and law students that volunteered their time to make the evening a success and support form National HNBA Leadership. He also noted that the outreach from the region’s business community in sponsoring the event served to provide the financial foundation to support Region X’s growth


Region XIX (PR)
Region XIX Establishes HNBA School Chapters in Puerto Rico - On November 5, 2015, Grymarys De Jesús Afanador, HNBA Regional President (Region XIX), hosted an initiation ceremony for over 50 new HNBA law student members in Puerto Rico. We are pleased to announce that we have created three new school chapters in the following universities: Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and the University of Puerto Rico. The ceremony was held at the United States District Court, District of Puerto Rico, presided by the Chief Judge, Honorable Aida Delgado Colón. Our President-Elect, Pedro J. Torres-Díaz, participated in the event and shared with the law students his experience as a leader of the HNBA.

During the event we experienced the commitment and enthusiasm of the students to work with and for the HNBA. We are extremely pleased and excited for the results of the efforts of the leadership in Puerto Rico, and we thank the Deans of the three law schools for the support received and allowing the HNBA to be part of the university’s student organizations. This was a great accomplishment for the HNBA in Puerto Rico and it will have a positive impact for the organization.

Hispanic Bar Association of DC
HBA-DC Sends Letter to the U.S. Senate Urging Opposition to S. 1814, The Stop Sanctuary Cities Act 
The Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia joins a broad spectrum of state and local governments, law enforcement, advocacy, and religious organizations in strong opposition to S. 1814, the Stop Sanctuary Cities Act, and similar pending bills.  While the purported intent of the Stop Sanctuary Cities Act is to make America’s communities more secure, the bill, like the other pending bills, will have the opposite effect.  These bills harm community public safety efforts, raise serious constitutional questions, and pose the threat of unwarranted discrimination. The complete letter can be viewed her

HBA-DC'S Annual Mentorship Program Reception
On October 22, 2015, HBA-DC hosted its annual mentorship program reception at White & Case. Attendees learned about the program, and many signed up to be mentees or mentors. U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph (Rudy) Contreras provided keynote remarks and gave insight on how to develop an effective mentor-mentee relationship. By the end of the evening, over 70 law students had signed up for the program. Pictures from the event can be viewed on our Facebook page

HBA-DC'S  An Evening with Jessica Herrera-Flanigan
On October 29, 2015, HBA-DC hosted an evening with Jessica Herrera-Flanigan at the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP.  Attendees heard about Jessica's career path and the lessons she's learned. Jessica also shared advice for young lawyers to keep in mind as they progress in their careers. The event was the final of our 2015 An Evening With Series that previously featured Judge Jimmie Reyna, Dean Claudio Grossman and Robert Raben. Event pictures can be viewed on our Facebook page 

HBA-DC Hosts Successful 2015 Equal Justice Awards Reception
On November 6, 2015, HBA-DC hosted its annual Equal Justice Awards at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC.  The event, attended by close to 300 guests including judges and attorneys, provided HBA-DC an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of our awardees which included: Alfred Baltazar Baca, Judge Ricardo M. Urbina Lifetime Achievement Award; Mónica Palacio and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Award and Marina A. Torres, Rising Star Award. In addition, HBA-DC awarded two scholarships administered by the HBA-DC Foundation, to Maricela Lechuga and Verónica García. Event pictures can be viewed on our Facebook page 

Upcoming Events:

 HBA-DC Holiday Party & Toy Drive
Join us to
celebrate the year’s accomplishments! The holiday party and toy drive is co-sponsored by the South Asian Bar Association of DC. A new toy or $10 donation is requested to support Mary's Center, a non-profit health clinic serving immigrant families. Dress in your holiday attire and take a holiday picture with our photographer!
When: Tuesday, December 3, 2015, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Where: The Park on Fourteenth, 920 14th Street, NW




Meet the 2015-2016 HNBA Sections and Committee leaders. Thank you again for your commitment. Congratulations!

If you are interested in joining a section or committee, please contact Liz Krupa, VP of Sections and Committees, at

December 4-5, 2015
San Francisco, California

March 19, 2016
Las Vegas, Nevada

May 20, 2016
Washington, DC

July 15-16, 2016
Miami, Florida

March 16-19, 2016

Las Vegas, Nevada
View video!

Early Bird Deadline: Dec. 19th

PLEASE NOTE: In order to register for the Conference, you must be an active, dues paid HNBA member.

September 7-10, 2016
Chicago, Illinois

Registration will open in late March.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to register for the Convention, you must be an active, dues paid HNBA member.


Renewal season is approaching for a number of our members. Please don't forget to pay your dues.

Not a Member? Don't miss out on great member only benefits.  Click here to learn more and  join!

The work of the HNBA remains critical to the continued growth and development of our members and the Hispanic community, and we ask that you partner with us in these efforts. To view sponsorship opportunities, click here.



HNBA Members can save up to 30% on shipping

UPS is pleased to help HNBA members save time and money through special services and shipping discounts. We put the power of logistics to work for you every day by providing speed, outstanding reliability and technology tools so you can focus on your business – not your shipping. To get started, click here.




This service aims to assist our members with their business development needs. HNBA MEMBERS please update your extended member profile today and see your business grow.

The NLRS also aims to help our sponsors and the general public with their hiring/recruiting needs. Take advantage of this great platform and search for an attorney by areas of practice, location, states of admission, name, and more.

Start today!




La Voz en el Derecho (“the Voice in the Law”) is a new initiative of the Hispanic National Bar Association to cultivate knowledge and understanding of the American legal system within the Hispanic community. Through online Podcasts that are available on the HNBA’s website, our community will be able to listen to distinguished Latino lawyers, judges and officials share their experiences and explore a legal topic of interest to the community.  We will learn where the laws that protect us come from and how they work. 

Enjoy our Podcasts!




The HNBA Career Center is the exclusive resource to provide professional services to our national members who seek assistance with their own professional advancement. It is also a way for our partners and sponsors to achieve their recruiting needs from among the best and brightest diverse candidates.

Take a look today!




To submit articles, announcements, and upcoming events for publication in the HNBA's E-Noticias, please e-mail   



The primary purpose of the HNBA-LSD is to create opportunities for students to thrive in law school and subsequently become successful members of the legal profession. To this end, HNBA-LSD orients its activities and programs around skills development, job placement, and networking.

If you are a student and would like to get involved or have questions, please contact Karel Suarez, HNBA Law Student Division President, at



Constance Baker Motely National Student Writing Competition
The American Constitution Society proudly announces its 11th annual 
Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition. This annual competition for law students is an opportunity to submit for publication all papers furthering a progressive vision of the Constitution, law, and public policy. The deadline for this year's competition is February 12, 2016.

LEADS Fellowship Program
1L Students

Franczek Radelet, a labor and employment boutique law firm in Chicago, is pleased to continue its
LEADS Fellowship Program designed to increase the placement of diverse lawyers at our law firm and in private practice generally. Franczek Radelet’s Legal Education for the Advancement of Diversity & Scholarship (LEADS) is an intensive eight week summer program designed for first and second year law students with the goal of providing concentrated labor and employment experience to diverse law students and developing a pipeline of highly qualified, diverse candidates for potential future employment at Franczek Radelet. 
The deadline is January 9, 2016, for 1L students.




Keep up to date with HNBA events across the country! Click here to view online calendar.

If you would like to add your event or program to the HNBA online calendar, please submit here.

*Subject to approval.





Please contact the HNBA National Office today.

Tel: (202) 223-4777



Copyright © 2015 Hispanic National Bar Association, All rights reserved.