|This is an archive. Substantive information, including information about ABA policy, as well as contact information and links to other Web pages, may not be current. For the most recent ABA news, contact the Division for Media Relations & Communication Services.|
|Media Contact:||Nancy Cowger Slonim|
Francisco Angones, Cuban Emigre and Miami Law Firm Founding Partner,
to Receive 2010 ABA Spirit of Excellence Award for Diversity Leadership
Award is conferred by ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession
CHICAGO, Nov. 10, 2009—Francisco R. Angones, a founding partner of the Miami law firm of Angones, McClure & Garcia, PA, will receive a 2010 Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.
“Frank Angones’ leadership bridges the legal community, the Cuban-American community and groups comprising all residents of the greater-Miami area. His exemplary record of public service has fostered strong relations among ethnic groups and improved access to legal services for Florida’s poor citizens, through support for volunteer legal work by lawyers across the state. He has used his own experiences as a child reaching U.S. shores without family, and working to achieve his dream of becoming a lawyer, to encourage others to strive for success. As the first Cuban-born president of The Florida Bar, he focused his energies on supporting an inclusive legal community, and inspiring young persons of all backgrounds to work toward a career in the law,” said Fred Alvarez, chair of the commission, in announcing Angones’ selection.
The award will be presented Feb. 6 during the ABA’s 2010 Midyear Meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Angones, who was born in Havana, arrived in the United States in 1961. He was one of 14,000 youngsters whose parents opposed the Cuban communist government and sent their children alone to Miami under Operation Peter Pan, a humanitarian project coordinated by the U.S. government and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami from 1960 to 1962.
Although Angones spoke no English when he arrived, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, and a law degree from the University of Miami.
In 1994, Angones was the first Hispanic elected president of the Dade County Bar Association and in 2007 he became the first Cuban-born president of The Florida Bar, the third largest state bar association in the country. He was the youngest lawyer to be elected president of the Cuban American Bar Association, the largest minority voluntary bar association in Florida. His practice concentrates on insurance defense, personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Angones spearheaded the efforts of more than 100 attorneys who gained freedom for more than 30,000 Cuban rafters detained at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In 1996, Angones joined Marco D. Jimenez, who is a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, in accepting The Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award on behalf of volunteer lawyers. The award was presented by the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court to recognize significant contributions in the pro bono delivery of legal services to individuals or groups that cannot otherwise afford them.
As president of The Florida Bar, Angones focused on preservation of human rights and advancing diversity in the legal profession. He encouraged minority and women lawyers to become increasingly active in the bar and assume leadership roles. He fostered strong relations with bars representing diverse lawyers in the state, and was the keynote speaker at a regional conference of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association in 2007 in Miami. He represents the state bar in the ABA House of Delegates, its policy-making body, has been active with the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, and has served on the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission for the Southern District of Florida. He was appointed by the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District to the Grievance Committee and to the Federal Judicial Bar and Community Liaison Committee, and served on Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit Comprehensive Master Plan and Indigent Services Committees.
In community service, Angones has been active in the Miami-Dade Community Relations Board and the Executive Committee of the Miami Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community, and with the City of Miami District Boundaries Committee of Greater Miami United. He is a past chair of the Victoria Hospital Board of Directors, and served on the Visiting Committee for the University of Miami School of Law.
His civic and community efforts have resulted in numerous awards, including the Silver Medallion for Humanitarianism from the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews, Edward T. Foote II Alumnus of Distinction award from the University of Miami Alumni Association (April 2008) and the Jurisprudence Award from the Anti Defamation League. He also is the recipient of the Henry Latimer Diversity Award, established by The Florida Bar Equal Opportunities Law Section, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association.
The Spirit of Excellence Awards were launched in 1996 to celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. Awards are presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; who personify excellence on the national, state, or local level; and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession.
The ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession is a catalyst to change the legal profession to reflect the society it serves. It helps racially and ethnically diverse lawyers advance their careers and standing in the profession. Its leadership, programs and information help the profession understand and eliminate racism, bigotry and discrimination. The commission works to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession, and thus enrich it.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
- 30 -