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Caribbean American Lawyers Association will hold inaugural officer installation via Zoom

September 11, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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The Caribbean American Lawyers Association will host its inaugural officer installation via Zoom on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m., and afterward it will host a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar in conjunction with two other bar associations.

Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix. Photo: Mario Belluomo/Brooklyn Eagle

The bar association has been in the works since the beginning of the year as lawyers and judges from various courts across the city put together bylaws and nominated officers. Its members were only in the initial stages of planning when the pandemic began, but they were determined to see the creation of a new bar association.

“When you pick up the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, it has this beautiful back spread dedicated to bar associations,” said Yvette Hinds Wills, the association’s first vice president. “Every day you see the Columbian Lawyers, the Catholic Lawyers Guild, the Brandeis Society, but there has never been a Caribbean bar. It prompted me to speak with a small group of people to discuss the formation of a new bar association.”

Michelle DeSouza-Forte.

Hinds Wills will be installed as the association’s first-ever first vice president along with Michelle DeSouza-Forte as the second vice president, Carmelle Robillard as the treasurer and Valerie Howell as the corresponding secretary.

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Performing the installation of officers will be Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix, justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department. Justice Hinds-Radix will be installed as the inaugural president of the association by Hon. Cheryl Chambers, justice of the Appellate Division.

Carmelle Robillard.

Hon. Michelle Weston will perform the installation of the board of directors: Natoya McGhie, president of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, Rudyard Whyte, Sonia Blake, Jade Edwards, Dale Fong-Frederick, Jovia Radix, Hon. Wavny Toussaint, Hon. Ruth Shillingford, Hon. Alvin Yearwood, Hon. Machelle Sweeting and Hon. Michele Rodney.

Afterward, CALA will host its first CLE co-sponsored by the South Asian and Indo-Caribbean Bar Association of Queens.

That CLE, entitled, “Criminal & Housing Courts in the Time of COVID-19,” will feature Hon. Cheryl Gonzales, the supervising judge of the Kings County Housing Court; Hon. Alvin Yearwood, from the Bronx Criminal Court; and Hon. Karen Gopee, from the Queens Criminal Court.

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