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PREP ABA Awards PREP the Gambrell Professionalism Award By Professional Responsibility and Ethics Fellows The American Bar Association (ABA) has recognized the University of Miami School of Law’s Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program (PREP) and its Director, Jan L. Jacobowitz, as a recipient of this year’s E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award. The E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards are the leading national awards recognizing programs and projects contributing to the understanding and advancement of professionalism among lawyers. The ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism presents the awards annually. This year the award was presented during the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago on August 3rd. “The Committee was particularly impressed with the program’s unique amalgam of an extraordinary ‘real-world’ experience for their student instructors and valuable legal-learning benefits for the recipient local legal organization and firms,” said Dennis R. Honabach, Chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Professionalism.





Through the program, Jacobowitz guides students in developing and presenting interactive continuing legal education ethics training for the legal community. Students collaborate in a manner that is analogous to an ethics law firm; however, they do not offer legal advice, but rather provide education and facilitate discussion of compelling legal ethics issues. Dennis Honabach stated that PREP “offers a model for law schools in communities with a concentration of legal organizations to partner with such a program.”

PREP’s programming originated as an outgrowth of a collaborative effort with the nonprofit legal community to provide training on ethics issues arising in the context of serving the public interest. Today, PREP has not only become an invaluable resource to the nonprofit community, but also has expanded to present ethics training to lawyers working throughout the legal profession.

Dennis R. Honabach, former Chairman of the Standing Committee on Professionalism and Jan Jacobowitz

“PREP provides a unique opportunity for synergy between our law students and the legal community,” said Jacobowitz. “The program facilitates lively discussion about the importance of professionalism and ethics in the practice of law. I am deeply honored to be a recipient of the prestigious E. Smythe Gambrell Award and look forward to sharing it with all of the students whose dedication and hard work are reflected in this national recognition.” The Gambrell Awards were established in 1991 and are named for E. Smythe Gambrell, ABA and American Bar Foundation president from 1955 to 1956. Gambrell founded the Legal Aid Society in Atlanta, where he practiced law from 1922 until his death in 1986.



Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program

PREP’s 2011-2012 CLE Ethics Trainings PREP continued to connect with the bar and bench community this year by providing its signature customized CLE trainings to the Bench & Bar. Notable new additions this year were the

Bar Associations & Law Firms

Coral Gables Bar Association and a national webinar for State Farm attorneys across the country. This year’s trainings included:

Nonprofit Legal Service Providers & Public Sector Americans for Immigrant Justice (formerly Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center)

Bankruptcy Bar Association (BBA) Dade & Broward Bressler, Amery & Ross

Catholic Charities Caribbean Bar Association Coral Gables Bar Association

Dade Legal Aid Society (Left to right) Shayla Waldon; Nicole Grimal, BBA Dade County Brown Bag Chair; Patrick Poole

(Left to Right) Charles Muniz and Amanda LeCheminant, Catholic Charities

Cuban American Bar Association

Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office

Dade County Bar Association

Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office

Florida Association of Women Lawyers Gwen Cherry Bar Association State Farm’s In-house Law Firms National Webinar

(Left to right) Justin Ortiz, Attorney Christopher Hopkins, Matthew Friendly, West Palm Beach Bar Association

(Left to right) Nykeah Cohen and Daniela Torrealba, Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office

West Palm Beach Bar Association White & Case

(Left to right) Amanda LeCheminant, Jillian Tate, Kelly Rains, White & Case


Legal Services of Greater Miami

(Left to right) Kamal Sleiman, Tom Headley, Susan Dechovitz, Garret Lorentz (Tom and Susan are senior trial counsel ASA’s), Miami-Dade State’s Attorney’s Office

PREP PREP on the Cutting Edge: Launching Its Blog— Legal Ethics in Motion

By Matthew J. Friendly, Steven E. Chaykin Fellow For over a year, students have discussed the idea of PREP (Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program) creating a blog to provide a student perspective on hot button issues in the field of legal ethics and professional responsibility. After working diligently for months to make this dream a reality, a group of PREP students launched, which was introduced to the world in March 2012. Since its launch, PREP students have begun posting and providing perspective on many hot button topics, such as legal outsourcing, new forms of attorney advertising, and the role of social media in litigation. As a founding member of LegalEthicsinMotion, the most rewarding aspect of creating the blog has been to provide a forum for discussion of important legal ethics issues. It allows students to provide their perspective and engage in a virtual dialogue with others inter-

ested in these issues. I am proud to say that of the websites devoted to exploring these topics, none are created by law students and focused on the law student perspective in the same fashion as Additionally, the site will highlight and showcase the many wonderful presentations that PREP delivers throughout the academic year at forums such as Legal Aid, the Dade County Bar Association, and White & Case. There are also exciting ideas in the works to make the blog more interactive and widespread, including polls, videos, and an inaugural PREP Legal Ethics debate, to be filmed and placed on LegalEthicsinMotion. Be sure to check out to keep up with PREP and read about the latest in the world of legal ethics and professional responsibility.

PREP Students Participate in the Anti-Defamation League’s Summer Associate Program By Shayla Waldon, Akerman Senterfitt Fellow Each year, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reaches out to area law firms, as well as the Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program (PREP) at the University of Miami School of Law, to engage students to participate in the ADL’s Summer Associate Research Program (SARP). PREP has participated in SARP for the past three years, and PREP students have written scholarly articles on a variety of civil rights and constitutional issues to assist the ADL in using the power of the law to eliminate discrimination and the spread of hate throughout the community and the nation at large.

I participated in the program for the first time this year, and chose to write on a topic especially close to my heart—religious freedom, specifically how Florida courts have applied our state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, where a person claims a “substantial burden” on his religious freedom. The topic was closely related to the Establishment Clause article I wrote for my law journal this past year. Completing the task was fairly daunting, as I wrote my article while happily busy as a summer associate at Akerman Senterfitt in the firm’s West Palm Beach office. Above all, I truly enjoyed writing the article, which was my small part within the ADL’s larger mission.

Professionalism and Ethics on an International Level

By Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program Fellows The Center for Ethics & Public Service hosted visitors from the Middle East and North Africa on April 25, 2012. The visit was part of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), which is administered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in coordination with World Learning. One of the leading professionalexchange programs, the IVLP is designed to build understanding between the U.S. and other countries through carefully designed visits that reflect the participants’ professional interests and support of U.S. foreign policy goals. Selected by American embassies abroad, international visitors come to the United States to meet and confer with their professional counterparts and to gain appreciation of the ethnic, cultural, political and socio-economic diversity of the U.S. The visitors discussed ethics and transparency in government with a group of students. This is the third time that the center has participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program. “It is fascinating to discuss ethics and legal issues with our foreign visitors,” said Jan Jacobowitz, director of the PREP program. “It is a cultural and educational experience for our students that often transcends the traditional classroom experience.”



Historic Black Church Program

The Oral History Program By Historic Black Church Program Fellows

The Historic Black Church Oral History Project signals an unprecedented campus-community partnership intended to preserve the rich cultural and social history of faith-based communities of color in South Florida, support university-wide interdisciplinary collaboration, and educate a new generation of high school, college, and graduate students about the crucial leadership role of Historic Black Churches in Afro-Caribbean-American communities. In the 2011-2012 academic year, three third year law student fellows led a research team of first and second year law student interns in an effort to document the important history of George Washington Carver High School, now a Middle School, in Coconut Grove Village West (“the West Grove”) in cooperation with students and faculty from Ransom Everglades School, the University of Miami’s School of Communication and Otto G. Richter Library Department of Special Collections, the George Washington Carver Alumni Association, and the Coconut Grove Ministerial Alliance. When asked to reflect on how the Project has personally impacted her own legal education and training, former law student fellow Erica Gooden stated, “I have learned from the Oral History Project that there are innovative ways to serve a community. I also learned that collaboration allows you to effectively serve a community.”

(Left to right) Intern Alexa Diambois and Fellow Erica Gooden

Each week during the academic year, the Oral History Project team explored the themes of cultural and social history, particularly the unanticipated effects of desegregation and integration on the Coconut Grove community, with high school students from Ransom Everglades School. Ransom students participated in interviewing Jim Crow era Carver graduates, presented their archival findings at a weekly on campus seminar, and produced a written report for publication. In addition, the Project team worked closely with students and faculty from the School of Communication to record and film the interviews, as well as with University librarians to create an archival exhibit. During the Jim Crow era, Carver was one of the only schools in Miami-Dade County open to Afro-Caribbean-American students. In examining the history of this period, the Project team uncovered complex social issues related to racial segregation, integration, and community. Both UM Project students and Ransom students were given the opportunity to listen and appreciate the stories of how new Bahamian families found a better life, how the civil rights movement created hardships and opportunities, and how a community came together and made a difference. For example, James Bethel, a Carver alumnus, observed: “We took pride in our school. It wasn’t a large school. It wasn’t a large faculty. It wasn’t a large student body, but we took pride in it. It was our school. Integration took that pride from us, dispersed us.”


Post-film panel discussion

As a partner with the Coconut Grove community, the Oral History Project has a deep respect for the history and the culture that continues to support the Project as the Project supports the community. The Oral History Project has truly evolved into an exceptional endeavor seeking to guarantee that the history of Coconut Grove, and the West Grove in particular, is protected.


The Community Education Project By Historic Black Church Program Fellows

In the fall, the Community Education Project organized the First Annual Coconut Grove Community Health and Education Fair. The event hosted over 400 attendees from the Miami community. Activities included playing games and sports, listening to music, enjoying healthy snacks from our sponsors, and receiving free health and social services information from the many local nonprofit provider organizations. Nonprofits included Helen Bentley Family Health Center, Thelma Gibson Health Initiative, the Miami-Dade State’s Attorney’s Office, Ransom Everglades School and the FIU School of Law Education Clinic.

Upcoming HBCP News and Events

Environmental Justice Project Founded in 2012, the Center’s Environmental Justice Project works to increase awareness and provide support to communities affected by issues related to environmental justice throughout Miami-Dade County, Florida. The Project conducts research into the environmental, community, and public health impacts of environmental justice cases, in addition to serving as a liaison between impacted communities and public officials and policy makers. Currently research is focused on the site placement of a City of Coral Gables trolley depot in a residential West Coconut Grove neighborhood.

Dartmouth Ethics Institute to Partner with CEPS

Additionally, under the direction of Professor Laverne Pinkney, the interns and fellows led bimonthly Education Rights workshops during the fall semester. The workshops were held at churches and schools, and focused on providing information to parents and students concerning special education, school discipline, and school choice. During the spring semester, students continued to present Education Rights workshops and also assisted the Coconut Grove Ministerial Alliance by researching economic development and nonprofit service delivery initiatives. Students prepared a draft memorandum on the development projects in the West Grove, which involved meeting with local officials and developers to gather information, and reported on underwriting resources for nonprofits that serve the community. Lastly, the project also established several new community partnerships during the spring semester, including 1Miami Now and Breakthrough Miami. Students worked with 1Miami Now conducting surveys and collecting data on unemployment and education issues. The information will be used to improve the education rights workshops and assess specific legal and policy issues regarding education. Students then partnered with Breakthrough Miami to educate middle school students about the legal system and to address education rights issues. During three twohour seminars, students at Breakthrough’s Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart learned about school discipline, bullying, and sexting.

The Dartmouth Ethics Institute is partnering with CEPS to provide an intensive five-day seminar in applied ethics and the law. CEPS founder Professor Anthony Alfieri and Dartmouth Professor Aine Donovan will work with a select group of Dartmouth undergraduate students to explore issues of legal ethics, conflict resolution and community service. The students will meet with religious leaders and community organizers who have established programs in conflict resolution.

New Social Entrepreneurship Course The Social Entrepreneurship Workshop is part of the Historic Black Church Program’s two-semester practicum on public interest law and leadership with special focus on civil rights and poverty law. Building on the Program’s ongoing Community Education and Community Research Projects, the Workshop will introduce students to the lawyer’s transactional role as counsel to entrepreneurs in both for-profit and nonprofit ventures across local, state, national, and international communities. To that end, the Workshop will survey theories of economic development, explore legal and ethical issues of transactional representation, and study the practical skills of counseling social and business entrepreneurs.

Oral History Film Project— May 2013 This year’s film, Someday We’ll All Be Free: The Desegregation of Miami, will focus on the history of desegregation in Miami-Dade County. Premier scheduled for May 2013 at Virrick Park in Coconut Grove. 5



A Transformative Summer: From Mentee to Mentor and Beyond By Jessica Claitt and Jessica Bouis

The CEPS Summer Public Interest Fellowship Program provides students with much more than the typical legal summer internship experience. Our participation in the program during the summer of 2012 helped us to grow as students, legal interns, individuals, and mentors. As Fellows, we engaged in eye-opening and invaluable internships with the State Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Public Defender. Our colleagues in the program received placements in nonprofits such as Greater Miami Legal Services and Americans for Immigrant Justice. All of the participants were required to attend an evening public interest law seminar, taught by Jan Jacobowitz, Director of the Responsibility & Ethics Program at Miami Law. Our class focused on public interest law with an emphasis on ethics. Far from the normal rigors of a traditional law school course, the discussion-based seminar taught us about the unique aspects of practicing law and provided us with an insight into the real-world perspectives of attorneys in the legal profession. Based upon our summer legal internship experiences, weekly readings and personal life experiences, our class discussions, often bolstered by the advice and insight of seasoned guest attorneys and judges, propelled us into an array of subject matters. Discussion topics ranged from legal ethics and personal morality, to race and socioeconomic status and its impact on society. Our class engaged in one particularly intense discussion about personal prosperity and contact with the criminal justice system, based upon the presence or absence of educational opportunities and economic security. As with every discussion topic, students had vastly differing views; however, our personal perspectives changed when our class received an unexpected visit from Empowered Youth.


Empowered Youth is a Miami-based, nonprofit organization, which assists adolescent males who have had contact with the juvenile justice system, in turning their lives around. This organization, founded and directed by Colleen Adams, provides these young men an opportunity to hone their potential, to develop feelings of self-worth and to explore meaningful resources and opportunities designed to increase self esteem and the ability to succeed. The unfiltered and captivating stories of the program participants were nothing short of inspirational. Listening to stories about their experiences growing up as underprivileged youth in innercity neighborhoods challenged us to change our perceptions about persons involved in the criminal justice system. By the end of their presentation, we realized that certain aspects of our own personal stories mirrored their experiences, and we willingly and eagerly became a part of the organization’s extremely important mission. For the past several months, we have volunteered with Empowered Youth as mentors. In the process, we have established meaningful relationships with the participants whose ultimate goal is to become essential contributors to society.

In the process of participating in the CEPS Summer Public Interest Fellowship Program, we learned not just about the importance of the legal work that we participated in over the summer, but about the ethics and empathy required of good lawyers, and the heart and soul of the persons and communities whom they represent. From the moment that we first became a part of the Fellowship Program, we knew that the opportunities afforded to us would be unique and life altering, but we did not anticipate an experience so substantial and awe-inspiring. This ethical, intellectual, and humanizing journey has left us with a deeper appreciation for the world around us and a more profound understanding of what it takes to recognize and fulfill our true potential.

CEPS Events 10th Annual William M. Hoeveler Ethics & Public Service Award The Hoeveler Award was created in honor of the Honorable William M. Hoeveler, senior U.S. District Court judge, as a lifetime achievement award for a lawyer of outstanding ethics and public service. In 2011, the Center for Ethics & Public Service (CEPS) awarded MiamiDade County State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle the tenth annual William M. Hoeveler Award, for her contribution to ethics, leadership, and public service in the legal profession. Since March 12, 1993, Katherine Fernandez Rundle has served Miami-Dade County as State Attorney. Prior to that, she dedicated 15 years as an Assistant State Attorney. When she later served as

Chief Assistant, she acted as legal counsel to the Dade County Grand Jury. As such, she presented hundreds of murder and capital cases and oversaw the issuance of reports that initiated major reforms in such areas as juvenile justice and revision of the building code following Hurricane Andrew. She also helped to write and pass the Florida Punishment Code. Ms. Fernandez Rundle’s passion and interest in public service is in large part due to the inspiration of her father, Dr. Carlos Benito Fernandez, Miami’s first Hispanic Judge and a founder of the Cuban American Bar Association, the largest Hispanic legal organization of which Ms. Fernandez Rundle was elected president in 1993.

The Honorable William M. Hoeveler, senior U.S. District Court judge on the right and award recipient Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle on the left.

Lawyers in Leadership Award In 2011, the Center for Ethics & Public Service (CEPS) awarded Joseph M. Centorino the Lawyers in Leadership Award, which honors leading members of the bar and bench. The event included an informal discussion about Mr. Centorino’s life and career. This discussion provided a unique learning opportunity for students in all fields of study, offering an “up close and personal look” at the choices and decisions that helped to establish Centorino as a community leader. Joseph M. Centorino has served as the appointed Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust since September 1, 2011.

Prior to his appointment, Mr. Centorino served for twenty-five years as an Assistant State Attorney at the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office. He currently serves as a member of the Professional Ethics Committee of the Florida Bar and has served as facilitator of Professionalism & Ethics at Florida International University Metropolitan Center. He has lectured extensively to government officials, and at universities and public forums in the areas of public corruption and government ethics, police internal affairs, the Florida Sunshine and Public Records Laws, election law and legal ethics.

(Left to right) Daniel Casamayor, Kelly Rains, Jan Jacobowitz, Joseph M. Centorino (award recipient), and Anthony Alfieri

CEPS Spring Reception At the end of the 2011-2012 school year, the Center held its annual spring reception to honor the achievements of our graduating fellows and interns. The students celebrated this milestone with their program mentors, Center Director Anthony Alfieri, PREP Director Jan Jacobowitz, and friends and family. Featured at left: PREP Director Jan Jacobowitz with graduating fellows and interns of the Historic Black Church Program (HBCP), Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program (PREP), and Summer Public Interest Fellowship Program (SPIF).


CENTER AWARDS E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award American Bar Association 2012 Innovative Service in the Public Interest Award Oral History Project Historic Black Church Program University of Miami School of Law 2012 Innovative Service in the Public Interest Award Historic Black Church Program University of Miami School of Law 2009 Innovative Service in the Public Interest Award Community Economic Development and Design Program University of Miami School of Law 2007 William Pincus Award Association of American Law Schools 2007 Father Robert Drinan Award Association of American Law Schools 2007 Gary Bellow Scholar Award Association of American Law Schools 2004-2005 Omicron Delta Kappa Award National Leadership Honor Society 2002 Arete Award Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics & Public Trust 2001 Seventh Annual Professionalism Award The Florida Bar 2000


Fall 2011 & Spring 2012 CEPS ADMINISTRATION Professor Anthony V. Alfieri Director Lecturer Jan L. Jacobowitz Program Director Cynthia McKenzie Program Manager Ebonie Carter Administrative Assistant

HISTORIC BLACK CHURCH PROGRAM Professor Anthony V. Alfieri Founder Laverne Pinkney Visiting Senior Fellow Donald Cramp, Jr. Visiting Fellow D. Porpoise Evans Visiting Fellow Eliot Folsom David P. Catsman Fellow Erica Gooden John B. Alfieri Fellow Erika Kane Richman Greer Fellow

A Note From the Editor By Courtney Daniels In reflecting on the growth and accomplishments of the Center for Ethics over the past year, I am struck by the dedication of our program leaders towards their students and how that dedication inspires and ignites passions within the students. As a recent graduate of the Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program, I am now working as a postgraduate fellow for the Center. This position has given me an opportunity to observe the learning process compared to my previous role as an immersed student. Throughout my observations, I am constantly impressed and inspired by the excitement and enthusiasm of our students, as well as their commitment to excellence. As a program alumnus, I am very proud of our past year’s accomplishments and hope that this newsletter sheds some light on our students’ great achievements.

Margaret Kelsey Greenberg Traurig Foundation Fellow Quinshawna Landon John Hart Ely Fellow Viraj Patel Greenberg Traurig Foundation Fellow

PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY & ETHICS PROGRAM Jan L. Jacobowitz Program Director Lecturer in Law Daniel Casamayor Peter Palermo Fellow Courtney Daniels William M. Hoeveler Fellow Casey Carruth Dieck Hunton & Williams Fellow

Faculty Professionalism Award Florida Supreme Court 1999

Jillian Martignetti Akerman Senterfitt Fellow

E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award American Bar Association 1998

Kelly Rains Steven E. Chaykin Fellow

Charles Muniz Bankruptcy Bar Association Fellow

Daniela Torrealba Robert A. Ades Fellow




University of Miami School of Law 1311 Miller Drive Suite G287 Coral Gables, Florida 33146-8087 Ph: 305.284.3934 Fax: 305.284.1588

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Center for Ethics and Public Service Newsletter  

Volume 11, Issue 1

Center for Ethics and Public Service Newsletter  

Volume 11, Issue 1

Profile for miamilaw