15th Annual Heart of Giving Celebration and Judicial Reception

Over 400 influential guests from the legal, financial, and business communities convened at the beautiful Rubell Museum to honor extraordinary leaders for their pursuit of justice. 

Lori McLuskey; John Hughes (McLuskey, McDonald & Hughes) & Eliott Rodriguez (CBS4 News)

The Heart of Giving Celebration is Legal Services of Greater Miami’s (Legal Services) annual signature event that provides an opportunity to honor extraordinary leaders for their pursuit of justice.  On May 16, 2024, over 400 influential guests from the legal, financial, and business communities convened at the beautiful Rubell Museum in the Allapattah neighborhood of Miami for the Fifteenth Annual Heart of Giving Celebration and Judicial Reception.

The 2024 Equal Justice Leadership Award was presented to Jaret L. Davis, Esq., Senior VP of Greenberg Traurig P.A. and Co-Managing Shareholder of the Miami office, and the 2024 Equal Justice Humanitarian Leadership Award was presented to David Lawrence Jr., founder and Board Chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida and former publisher of The Miami Herald.  The awards were presented by Neda Ghomeshi (Assistant General Counsel, Ryder System, Inc.) and Legal Services Board Director Enjoliqué Lett (Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig).

Davis leverages his professional interests to give back to his hometown and has been an effective social justice advocate for many years.  During his remarks, Davis expressed his support for the critical role Legal Services plays in the community.  “Providing visibility and dignity on a case-by-case basis is beyond noble, but the services that the Legal Services of Greater Miami provide goes so much further,” Davis said. Each family you assist and each person you shine a light on is one more person that continues to believe the legal system works and continues to subscribe to it. So long as we continue to maintain that buy in, there is no social or economic challenge we can’t overcome together.”

Lawrence, whose integrity, courage, leadership, and bold action have made Miami stronger and a better place to live, especially for children, expressed during his acceptance speech, “Justice is my journey. I’ve worked hard to be fair, and I have wanted my life to be one of listening and learning and making a difference.”

Walter Andrews (Hunton Andrews Kurth); The Honorable Carroll Kelly (11th Judicial Circuit) & Stephanie Carman (Gray Robinson)
Neda Ghomeshi (Ryder System); Charise Morgan (Zurich North America); The Honorable Miesha Darrough (11th Judicial Circuit) & Jae N. Lofton (LGP Law Firm)
John Lee (Markowitz Ringel Trusty & Hartog); Asra Chatham (McDermott, Will & Emery); Karla Utset (Sidley Austin) & Gabriel Valdes (Sidley Austin)

The celebration was hosted by Master of Ceremonies Eliott Rodriguez, Emmy Award-winning journalist and respected CBS South Florida news anchor.  Legal Services Board President D. Porpoise Evans (Office Managing Shareholder, Littler) and Event Chair Lilly Ann Sanchez (Shareholder, The L·S Law Firm) warmly welcomed guests to the special ceremony and introduced special guest Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava who delivered an impactful message about the importance of access to justice.

“This was our biggest celebration yet, and we are so proud to honor these role models in our community for their dedication to equal justice,” said Legal Services CEO Monica-Vigues-Pitan. “Both Jaret and Dave have set a high standard for leadership and civic engagement and have demonstrated a strong commitment for solving important problems in our community.”

H.T. Smith (FIU Law) & Bonita Jones-Peabody (Office of the Public Defender)
Audience during awards ceremony
D. Porpoise Evans (Littler); Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (Miami-Dade County) & Lilly Ann Sanchez (The LS Law Firm)
Tomas Gamba (Gamba Herrera Trial Lawyers) & Robert L. Parks (Garay Law)
Vanessa Varona (Ernst & Young); Ray de Legorburu (Ernst & Young) & Michelle Dominguez (Ernst & Young)
Tom Schulte (Hunton Andrews Kurth); Jamie Isani (Hunton Andrews Kurth) & Gil Acevedo (Hunton Andrews Kurth)
Scott & Michele Baena
Scott & Michele Baena
Pictured above (from left): Lilly Ann Sanchez, The L·S Law Firm (Event Chair) Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava, Miami-Dade County David Lawrence Jr., award recipient Jaret L. Davis, award recipient Monica Vigues-Pitan, Legal Services Chief Executive Officer
Alexandra Coupet (Kaufman Rossin); Michael Elkin (Kaufman Rossin) & Pamela Perry (Pamela I. Perry, P.A.)
Erin Hoover (Legal Services of Greater Miami); William Mueller (Kula & Associates) & Elliot Kula (Kula & Associates)

Legal Services extends its sincere gratitude to everyone who made the celebration possible, especially title sponsors, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Ryder, and Lauri Waldman Ross, the exclusive liquor sponsor, Bacardi, the other more than 75 event sponsors, and all who attended and supported its mission to advance economic opportunity and social justice for all.  Additionally, we are deeply thankful to Ryder for presenting a check to Legal Services for nearly $90,000 in memory of Julie Azuaje, cherished both within Ryder’s legal team and as a longstanding member of the Legal Services Board of Directors who championed social justice.

Jennifer Mosquera (Sequor Law); Daniel Humphrey (Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan); Alexis Ercolani (Munizzi Law); Daniel DiClemente (Kozyak Tropin Throckmorton) & Torri Macarages (White & Case)
Debbie Payne; Stephen Rosenthal (Podhurst Orseck); Ana Maria Rego (Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts); Darrell Payne (Stearns Weaver Miller) & David Rego (Reinvest Capital)

About Legal Services of Greater Miami

Legal Services of Greater Miami is the largest provider of broad-based civil legal services for the poor in Miami-Dade and Monroe and is recognized in the state and in the nation as a model legal services program. In any given year, Legal Services provides services which benefits over 20,000 vulnerable members of our community who have nowhere else to turn for help – women, children, seniors, veterans returning from combat, people with disabilities, low wage workers and the homeless–who have problems in the areas of tenants’ rights, homeownership, health and income maintenance, employment, special education, tax, and consumer rights. For more information, visit www.legalservicesmiami.org and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and X.

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