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Angel Taveras, Mayor, Providence, Rhode Island:    

Mr. Taveras, son of Dominican immigrant parents, is the first Latino mayor of Providence, Rhode Island. Raised by his single mother, he went on to graduate with honors from Harvard University. Mr. Taveras obtained his law degree from Georgetown University, after which he established himself as an esteemed litigator and a well-respected civic advocate - especially in the field of voter disenfranchisement. Mr. Taveras has excelled as an entrepreneur as well, by founding the Taveras Law firm and is profoundly committed to public service, as evidenced by his community organizing and tenure as Judge in the Providence Housing Court. He incarnates the rise of Latinos in positions of influence and power by hard work and applying his education: in short, he lived and continues to embody the American Dream.  



Peter L. Cedeño, Attorney:    

Peter L. Cedeño went to Fordham Prep High School in the Bronx and then received his B.S. in Political Science from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.  After college, Mr. Cedeño received his J.D. from Pace University, and in 1994 was admitted to practice law in the State of New York and the Southern and Eastern Districts of the New York federal courts. As an active member of the New York State Bar Association's Family Law Section, Mr. Cedeño has lectured on legal issues related to divorce and family law.  He is currently on the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section, is an alumnus of the Matrimonial Law Committee of the New York City Bar and is was previously serving as President for the Dominican Bar Association.     

Mr. Cedeño began his career as an Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorney's Office, where he learned the ins and outs of criminal prosecutions from simple violations to serious felonies.  For the past fifteen years, however, Mr. Cedeño has been in private practice focusing primarily on Matrimonial/Family law related matters. Mr. Cedeño is also a representative of the Matrimonial Forensic Inter-disciplinary Forum, and is a founding partner at Perez & Cedeño, P.C. specializing in the areas of Matrimonial and Family law.  In this capacity Mr. Cedeño represents clients in all types of divorce and family law cases, from high net worth divorces with significant assets to less complicated divorce actions and family court matters.     


Catherine K. Chiappetta, Lieutenant Commander, JAGC  

LCDR Catherine K. Chiappetta commissioned in the United States Navy on 31 May 2000. She reported to the Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island in January of 2002. After Justice School, she reported to Naval Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic. In July of 2004, LCDR Chiappetta reported to the Naval Legal Service Office Pacific, Detachment Guam. In June of 2006, LCDR Chiappetta reported onboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) as the Discipline Officer. After two years on the finest carrier in the fleet, LCDR Chiappetta reported to the Naval Justice School Detachment, Norfolk as a Military Justice Instructor and the Assistant Officer in Charge. In November of 2009, LCDR Chiappetta reported as the Deputy Force Judge Advocate for Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic.LCDR Chiappetta is originally from Springfield, VA. She is a graduate of Penn State University and Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans. LCDR Chiappetta, and her husband Steve, live in Virginia Beach with their two children, Sam and Emily, and their dog, Daisy.    


Colin Crawford, Executive Director of the Payson Center for International Development and Robert C. Cudd Professor of Environmental Law, Tulane Law School:    

Professor Crawford has a B.A. from Columbia University and M.A. from the University of Cambridge and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is the founder of Study Space, a project that brings together academics and graduate students each year for an intensive study of one city in the Americas or the Caribbean. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, the National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, in Rio de Janeiro, and the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. Immediately after his graduation from law school, he engaged in private legal practice in Tokyo and New York City in the areas of international, environmental, and land use law.      

Professor Crawford has significant expertise in international development, an area in which he will teach as well as work as Executive Director of Tulane's Payson Center. He was recently awarded a three-year grant from Higher Education for Development/US Agency for International Development to direct an environmental law capacity-building project in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. His teaching and research interests are in the environmental and land use areas, particularly comparative, cross-cultural environmental justice issues, with a particular focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. He has lectured and presented throughout the world on environmental and other topics.    


 Mitchell F. Crusto, Professor of Law, Loyola College of Law:   

Professor Mitchell F. Crusto, a native New Orleanian, has a J.D. from the Yale Law School, a M.A. in Jurisprudence from Oxford University, England (Marshall Scholar), and a B.A., Scholar of the House (History), magna cum laude from Yale College. He is a member of the Louisiana, Illinois, and Missouri Bar Associations and the Honorable Society of the Middle Temple in London. He clerked for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and has served two U. S. Presidents in senior governmental policy positions. He came to the legal academy after extensive legal practice with major corporate and international law firms, investment and chemical manufacturing industries, management consulting, and governmental policy positions. 

Professor Crusto’s legal scholarship focuses on the inter-disciplinary intersections between law and society, especially business and the environment, the constitution and equality, insurance and fairness, and the law of sole proprietors and unconscious classism. He has recently published three important leading constitutional law articles. Enslaved Constitution analyzes the constitutional right to intra-state travel, published in the University of Pittsburgh Law Review. Unconscious Classism argues for the equal treatment of business entities under constitutional principles, published in the University of Pennsylvania’s Journal of Constitutional Law. And Obama’s Moral Capitalism proposes a constitutional right against economic exploitation, published in the University of Miami Law Review. He has recently commented on legal issues relative to the BP oil spill on both television and radio


Vivian de las Cuevas-Diaz, Attorney and Vice President, Cuban American Bar Association: 

Ms. de las Cuevas-Diaz earned her B.S. at Florida State University and her J.D. at Tulane Law School. She has been named a "Florida Legal Elite Up & Comer" in Florida Trend Magazine in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and as a "Hispanic Women of Distinction" in 2008. She was also named among the "40 Under 40" outstanding lawyers of Miami-Dade County by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 2009 as well as "40 under 40" by the South Florida Business Journal. Ms. de las Cuevas-Diaz is an active member of the community, and serves as Vice President and on the Board of Directors for The Cuban American Bar Association. She is a member of The Latin Builders Association and serves on the Board of Directors for both The Kristi House and The American Red Cross. Her additional civic participation includes The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, The Junior League of Miami, The Builders Association of South Florida, The Florida Association of Women Lawyers, The National Association of Professional Women, The Miami Dade School Board School Site Planning and Construction Committee and Commercial Real Estate for Women. She is also fluent in Spanish. 


Marc-Tizoc González, Professor, St. Thomas University Law School 

Professor González teaches and writes in the areas of property, poverty, social justice lawyering and Latina & Latino Critical Legal Theory. His scholarship has been published in the California Law Review, Harvard Latino Law Review, American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and Law, Seattle Journal of Social Justice, Florida International University Law Review, and University of Miami Interamerican Law Review. He is a co-author of the American Bar Association report,  Diversity in the Legal Profession: The Next Steps, and a contributor to the forthcoming Oxford University Press Encyclopedia of Latino/a Law, Politics and Social Movements.   

Professor González previously taught Property at the Golden Gate University School of Law, and law-related undergraduate courses for the San Francisco State University Department of Raza Studies and the University of California, Berkeley Department of Ethnic Studies, where he was named a Chancellor’s Public Scholar, 2010-11, for his curricular innovation and scholarship about the history of San Francisco Bay Area legal advocacy organizations. Professor González is the treasurer of LatCrit, Inc. (the organization of Latina & Latino Critical Legal Theory) and serves on the alumni advisory board of the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, (where he previously served as an editor-in-chief). He is a member of the Society of American Law Teachers and the Law and Society Association and has delivered several continuing legal education workshops on affirmative action in education, and the elimination of bias in the legal profession.   


María Pabón López Dean, Loyola College of Law:  

Dean Pabón is an expert in immigrants’ rights immigration law and diversity/multicultural matters in the legal profession, focusing on issues concerning Latinos, race and the law, and the status of women lawyers. She has also published articles on Spain’s immigration law, as well as the impact of immigrant nurses on the nursing shortage in the U.S. She has done research in the areas of family law and inheritance law as it pertains to those who are not U.S. citizens. A prolific author, Dean López has placed articles in journals such as the Harvard Latino Law Review, the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, the Hastings Women’s Law Journal and the Seton Hall Law Journal. She has received many awards for her work with the Latino community including, the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Travis County Texas Women Lawyers Association and from the University of Missouri Columbia School of Law, where she was a recipient of Faculty Performance Shares.    


Josh Bernstein, SEIU Director of Immigration Strategy and Policy 

Mr. Bernstein is responsible for reviewing and implementing the immigration related strategies and policies to improve the lives of SEIU’s immigrant and U.S. born members.  Mr. Bernstein joined SEIU’s staff in January of 2009, after more than 14 years at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), where he most recently served as Director of Federal Policy.  At NILC, he was a trusted national leader on immigration reform and immigrant worker rights issues.  Before joining NILC, he served as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Harry Pregerson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  His organizing and advocacy on behalf of low-income workers dates back to 1982, when he was Director of Californians for a Fair Share, a grass roots statewide coalition of low-income families and their allies that was formed to combat welfare cuts.  He subsequently served as a welfare advocate for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and the Inner City Law Center, a Los Angeles skid row legal clinic, providing direct services to homeless families and coordinating a coalition pressing for improved city and county services.  Mr. Bernstein holds a Juris Doctor from the University of California (Boalt Hall).  


 Justice Eva Guzmán, Supreme Court of Texas:    

Justice Eva Guzman was appointed to the Supreme Court of Texas on October 8, 2009, by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Before her appointment, Justice Guzman served as an Associate Justice on the Houston-based Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals, having been appointed in 2001 by Gov. Perry. She also served as a trial court judge on the 309th Family District Court after her appointment by then-Gov. George W. Bush. Before taking the bench, Justice Guzman enjoyed a successful 10-year career in private law practice. She holds a B.B.A. from the University of Houston and a law degree from South Texas College of Law. Though born in Chicago, Justice Guzman grew up in Houston and has been a resident for more than 35 years. She and her husband, Houston Police Sergeant Tony Guzman, have one daughter, Melanie Alexis. 

Justice Guzman has been recognized by many law and community organizations for her service on and off the bench. Most recently, she was named one of the "101 Most Influential Latino Leaders" by Latino Leaders magazine, a national publication. In 2009, the Hispanic National Bar Association honored Justice Guzman as "Latina Judge of the Year." The Mexican American Bar Association of Texas Foundation also has recognized Justice Guzman for her many contributions and awarded her its "2009 Judge of the Year award." Two local law-enforcement organizations, P.O.L.I.C.E., Inc. and Houston Police Officers Union, have selected Justice Guzman as "Appellate Judge of the Year" in prior years. 


 James D. Huck, Jr., Assistant Director, Stone Center for Latin American Studies  

James D. Huck, Jr., is Assistant Director and Graduate Advisor at the Center for Latin American Studies. He has been with the Center since January 2001.  He earned a BS in Foreign Service with a Certificate in Latin American Studies (1990) from Georgetown University, and both his MA (1993) and his Ph.D. (1997) in Latin American Studies from Tulane. Before rejoining the Center, he served as the founding Director of the Johnson Center for Latin American Studies at Albright College in Reading, PA (1998-2000). His responsibilities at the Stone Center include teaching core undergraduate LAS courses, advising graduate students, and monitoring and coordinating theLAS curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also is a member of the Executive Committee of the Center for Public Service at Tulane University.  His research interests include contemporary Mexican foreign policy, Interamerican Relations, and Social Justic-Civic Engagement in the Americas.  Outside of the academy, he sits on the board of Puentes – New Orleans and is actively involved with the New Orleans Latino Community.  


 Darlene A. Kattan, Executive Director, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana:   

Darlene A. Kattan is the Executive Director of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, a position she has held since March 2006. She is a founding member of the Latino Affairs Council, created by Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2009 and was selected to serve on the Public Private Society, which is the economic development council for the city of New Orleans. In May 2010, the Small Business Administration (SBA) honored Ms. Kattan as the champion of the year of the Minority Small Business of Louisiana. A passionate advocate for the Latino population in Louisiana, Ms. Kattan has appeared in documentaries shot by Univision, Discovery in Spanish, Televisa, and has been featured in numerous articles in newspapers and magazines throughout the country and Latin America. Ms. Kattan conducts a biweekly radio program The Fabulous since 2009 dedicated to developing business in the Latino community in our area.  


 M. Isabel Medina, Professor of Law, Loyola College of Law:   

 Professor Medina has a B.A. from Monash University, an M.F.A from the University of New Orleans and a J.D. from Tulane Law School. Upon her graduation from law school, she clerked for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. While in law school she was a managing editor of the Tulane Law Review. Professor Medina teaches Constitutional Law, Employment and Gender Discrimination Law, and Immigration Law at Loyola Law School.  

Professor Medina is a past chair of the Immigration Law Section of the AALS. In spring 2003, she visited at the University of Athens on a Fulbright grant. In addition, she has visited at Tulane Law School, Villanova University School of Law and Thomas Jefferson School of Law. She has organized a number of conferences on gender based violence, constitutional and immigration issues. Professor Medina writes in the area of gender, immigration and constitutional law. She is a member of the American Law Institute. 


Luz Molina, Professor of Law, Loyola College of Law: 

Professor Molina first joined the clinical faculty in December 1981 for one year, permanently returning in 1990. She is Colombian born, but a naturalized American citizen, attorney and professor with a deep commitment to disenfranchised populations. She has spent a large part of her practicing years serving the needs of poverty-stricken individuals in the areas of domestic law, children in need of care proceedings, civil rights under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and immigration law. Prior to teaching, she practiced law with a non-profit legal services organization in the areas of public benefits and immigration law, with an emphasis on the right of refugees to asylum and withholding of deportation. She currently works with student practitioners in a labor and employment law practice as part of her Workplace Justice Project. These efforts are assisted by the generous support of the Southern Poverty Law Center. She also directs the Extern Program, and serves as the faculty responsible for their placement, supervision and instruction.


Judge Gloria M. Navarro, United States District Court for the District of Nevada: 

Judge Navarro is a federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.Judge Navarro is a Las Vegas native of Cuban descent who is fluent in Spanish. Judge Navarro received her B.A. in 1989 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and her law degree from Arizona State University in 1992. From 1996-2001, Judge Navarro worked in private practice as an associate with Kelly & Sullivan, Ltd. Judge Navarro then served as a federal Deputy Special Public Defender from until 2004. From 2005 until her appointment to the federal bench in 2010 Judge Navarro represented Clark County, NV as Chief Deputy District Attorney. She was nominated to the court by Barack Obama in 2009 and received a unanimous confirmation to the court on May 5, 2010.Judge Navarro is the first Hispanic female to serve the District of Nevada. She has authored several articles, including “Cultural Factors and the Voluntariness of Statements” and “Criminal Defense and the Consequences of Immigration Law.” Judge Navarro has also been a speaker for the Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorneys on the topic of “How to Effectively Represent Non-English Speaking Clients and/or Clients with a Different Cultural Background.”


Thomas Saenz, President and General Counsel, MALDEF: 

Mr. Saenz is the President and General Counsel of the MALDEF, the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund. He earned both his B.S. and his J.D. from Yale University. Before becoming President at MALDEF ,he was previously Counsel to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa where he served on the four-person executive team to the mayor, where he provided legal and policy advice on major initiatives. Previously, Mr. Saenz conducted civil rights litigation at MALDEF for 12 years, achieving victories in important civil rights cases. He served as MALDEF’s lead counsel in two court challenges to Proposition 227, a California English-only education initiative. Mr. Saenz was also the lead drafter of the Amicus brief on behalf of Latino organizations supporting affirmative action in the Supreme Court case, Grutter v. Bollinger. Saenz has been recognized on numerous occasions for his work. He was selected as one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s “100 Top Influentials” in October 2009. The National Hispanic Bar Association (HNBA) presented him with the Ohtli Award in 2008. In 2007, Saenz received the Peace and Justice Award from Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California; the Latino Law Students Association of Yale Law School Public Service Award in 2007; and the Mexican American Bar Foundation Professional Achievement Award in 2006. 


Geoffrey Hoffman, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Houston Law Center, Immigration Clinic: 

Geoffrey Hoffman is a clinical professor at the University of Houston Law Center and is the Faculty supervisor of the UH Immigration Clinic. He did his undergraduate studies at Columbia University, attended Tulane Law School and received an LLM from Harvard Law School. Professor Hoffman specializes in immigration-related federal court litigation and deportation defense before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), asylum cases, adjustments, and appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).Recently, he served as counsel before the United States Supreme Court for the landmark immigration case Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, successfully winning the case for the immigrant-detainee.


Ramona Fernandez, Professor of Law, Loyola College of Law: 

Professor Fernandez joined the Loyola Law Clinic as part of its support staff in 1981. After obtaining her law degree she became the Associate Director of the Law Clinic. As the Associate Director, she oversees the administrative functions of the law clinic. More recently, Professor Fernandez has joined the clinic faculty as one of its members. Since graduating from law school, Professor Fernandez spent a large part of her career representing individuals in the areas of family law, succession, immigration, criminal and juvenile law.Professor Fernandez is very involved in the community by serving on various organizational boards. She is the past President of the Board of Directors for the Legal Aid Bureau, President for the Alliance for Good Government, Jefferson Chapter, Member of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, legal advisor to the Club Dominicano in Louisiana, Board of Directors of the “Friends of Israel M. Augustine Criminal Justice Center”, member of Our House of Peace, Inc, Judge - volunteer to judge High School Moot Court Competition - Second Parish Court, member of the Loyola University Alumni Association Board of Directors, Member of the Recreational Sport & Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Council and Member of the Campus Ministry Policy Advisory Committee.


Manuel Rodríguez-Orellana, Secretary for North American Relations:   

Mr. Rodríguez Orellana is a legal scholar, lawyer, lecturer, columnist, published poet and political leader of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement. He earned his A.B. at Johns Hopkins University, his M.A. at Brown University, his J.D. at Boston College Law School and finally his LL.M. at Harvard Law School. Rodríguez Orellana’s scholarly career included a tenured position as Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. Rodríguez Orellana also served as a Professor of Law at Inter-American University School of Law in San Juan,Puerto Rico. Furthermore, Rodríguez Orellana was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School during the mid 1980s. Manuel Rodríguez Orellana has represented the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) at international summits such as those organized and held by political parties (including dozens of incumbent parties in government) from around the world affiliated to the Socialist International (SI). He has also served as a key negotiator, diplomat and as speaker before the United Nations (UN), the United States Congress and as an appointed envoy to deal and enter into extensive discussions with U.S. Executive-Committees (summoned and assembled by Presidential Executive Orders hailing from the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush Administrations) charged to deal with Puerto Rico’s political status problem. 


Pedro Rosselló-González, Ex Governor of Puerto Rico: 

Pedro Rosselló was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 5, 1944. He studied at Notre Dame University in Indiana, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1966 and received his Doctorate from Yale University in 1970. By 1976 he had returned to Puerto Rico to set up his private medicine practice and teach surgery at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, where he also obtained a Masters in Public Health in 1981, and where he later became Chief of Pediatric Surgery.  Additionally, he served as Director of the Surgery Department at the University of Puerto Rico Pediatric Hospital. In 1987 he entered politics as a member of the New Progressive Party (NPP), which favors the full integration of the island as a state of the United States.  In November 1988 he was candidate for the Resident Commissioner post in Washington, running on the ticket with gubernatorial candidate Baltasar Corrada del Río.  The NPP did not prevail in that election. 

In November 1992 Rosselló won the election for governor. Among his accomplishments, was a universalhealth reform. The centerpiece of his reform was a universal health insurance plan for low-income individuals, allowing 1.8 million beneficiaries (45% of the population) the power to get the medical treatment they needed, but could not afford before. In November 1996 he won a second term asgovernor with 51.1% of the votes. This was a historical election, as he received the support of more than one million voters. His achievements have been recognized with honorary law degrees from Notre Dame and the University of Massachusetts. In 2006 Rossello he became the main petitioner before the Human Rights Commission of the Organization of American States (OAS), where he advocated in favor of the federal voting rights of thenearly 4 million American citizens of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.He currently teaches at American University and is researching and writing his new books.


Donna Santiago, Attorney and Member of Board of Directors, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Foundation:   

Ms. Santiago, admitted to practice in Louisiana, New York and Texas has been a practicing attorney for over 17 years with experience in the area of Arts and Entertainment and Non-profit Corporations. Ms. Santiago is the founder and Executive Director of the Backbeat Foundation, Inc. The Backbeat is a non-profit corporation established in September 2005 in New Orleans to address the critical needs facing the local artist community in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

Ms. Santiago is a partner in Hypersoul, LLC a talent management, event promotion and production company. Hypersoul works with such artists as Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Mia Borders, Paul Sanchez, Jose Conde, Khris Royal & Dark Matter among others. Ms. Santiago is a member of the Board of Directors for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation for the past 7 years, currently serving on the Talent Committee, the International Outreach and Cultural Exchange Committee and Chairman of the Legal and Community Partnership Grants Committees. 


 José Torres-Don, DREAMer:   

José Torres-Don is an undocumented youth and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin where he majored in Government and was involved in campus based immigrant youth political advocacy. He crossed the US-Mexico border at the age of four in his father’s arms and has lived here since. In the summer of 2010 he participated in a peaceful civil disobedience in the office of Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, where he risked arrest and deportation by conducting a sit-in along with 20 other undocumented youth from across the nation. Jose is currently a community organizer with the North Carolina DREAM Team (NCDT)-an undocumented youth led community based group. The NCDT is a member organization of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA)-an umbrella organization with the core goals to empower, educate and escalate. Currently, through the NIYA’s Education Not Deportation (END) project, Jose is actively involved in helping coordinate community based campaigns to stop the deportation of undocumented youth and give a call to action for all undocumented youth to drop the fear and be undocumented, unafraid and unapologetic.    


Carlos Adame, VP Associate General Counsel at Pan-American Life Insurance Company:

Mr. Adame is a welcome addition to our conference, his experience in the private sector will provide the audience with first hand knowledge about the challenges that Latinos face when pursuing positions of leadership in well established American Corporations. Moreover, Mr. Adame handles the legal aspects of the Latin American operations and is very knowledgeable of the regulatory and legal framework of different Central/South American countries and how such framework could be conducive to entrepreneurship.  


Vanessa Spinazola, Attorney, Loyola Workplace Justice Project 

Vanessa Spinazola recently became an employment law staff attorney Loyola Workplace Justice Project. Before this she was a Staff Attorney for the Pro Bono Proyect. During her career she has Her worked with the Latino immigrant community of New Orleans in wage claims and other employment issues. This has given her the opportunity to see how this community has grown since Katrina and the challenges that has faced. As a result, Ms. Spinanzola will give us an overview of the growth of this community during the last few years and the legal challenges that it has faced. Moreover, Ms. Spinazola will talk about the work that is being done to advocate for the rights of the Latino community in New Orleans 


Manuel Berrelez, Attorney at Law, Vinson and Elkins LLP:  

Manuel represents litigants in complex commercial litigation in both federal and state courts and in regulatory enforcement matters. From initial claim evaluation to final dispute resolution and trial, Manuel handles all aspects of his client’s cases. He has a wide range of experience litigating cases involving contract disputes, business torts, insurance coverage disputes, deceptive trade practices, employment matters, and other commercial disputes. His practice also includes class action defense and securities litigation.


Frederick B. Rivera, Partner, Perkin Coie:  

Partner Fred Rivera focuses his practice on civil litigation and internal and government investigations. Mr. Rivera represents public and corporate clients in class action cases and commercial disputes involving complex construction projects, business disputes, and employment claims. From 1993 to 1998, Fred was a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and more recently (2006 - 2008) Vice President in charge of internal investigations at Fannie Mae. He is the co-author of a chapter on predatory lending laws and regulations in Why the Poor Pay More: How to Stop Predatory Lending (Greenwood Press, 2004).  



Rear Adm. DeRenzi, Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy (DJAG) and Commander, Naval Legal Service Command (CNLSC) 


As the DJAG, she serves as the deputy Department of Defense representative for ocean policy affairs. As CNLSC, she leads the judge advocates, enlisted legal men, and civilian employees of 17 commands that provide prosecution and defense services, legal services to individuals, and legal support to commands around the world. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Villanova University in 1983. She was commissioned through the JAG Corps Student Program and, in 1986, graduated from the Temple University School of Law. She later earned a Master of Laws degree (Environmental Law) from the George Washington University School of Law.  

Before her appointment to flag rank, she served as the senior staff judge advocate for Commander, U.S. Southern Command; special assistant for Legal and Legislative Matters to the Secretary of the Navy; legislative counsel for Environmental Programs in the Navy Office of Legislative Affairs; and executive assistant to the JAG. DeRenzi began her career as a litigator, first as a defense counsel and later as a trial counsel (prosecution) in Newport, R.I., followed by assignments in appellate defense and civil litigation in Washington, D.C. She holds various decorations and awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards). 



Stay tuned for more information on speakers as they confirm.    








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