National Hispanic bar group honors Texas judge at annual convention

The SE Texas Record Sep. 3, 2009, 3:30am


ALBUQUERQUE, NM– The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) honored a Texas judge as its Latina Judge of the Year.

According to a press release, Judge Eva M. Guzman, of the Texas 14th Court of Appeals, is the first Hispanic female appointed and then elected to the Harris County Family Court.

Guzman is also the first Hispanic woman appointed and then elected to the 14th Court of Appeals.

She was appointed the appeals court by Gov. Rick Perry in November 2001, and took her public oath of office on Feb. 19, 2002. She was elected in November 2002 to fill an unexpired term and in November 2004 to a full six year term.

Guzman and others were honored at the HNBA Annual Convention and First Judicial Summit in Albuquerque, N.M., Sept. 2-6.

"The HNBA's mission is furthered by the work and dedication of this year's Honorees," stated HNBA National President Ramona E. Romero. "From the grassroots, to corporate America, to the courtroom their efforts have had a positive impact. It is with great pride that we highlight their contributions to the legal profession, the nation and the Latino community."

The Convention, themed "Opening Doors – Abriendo Puertas" gathered hundreds of Latino legal professionals, including judges, government and private sector attorneys, law professors and non-profit lawyers from across the nation to discuss the advances Latinos have made within the profession, including the significance of the historic appointment of HNBA Member Judge Sonia Sotomayor as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Sotomayor is the first Hispanic American and only third woman to serve on the nation's highest court.

As Latino Judge of the Year, the organization honored Judge Steven C. Gonzalez of King County (Washington) Superior Court.

His career includes work as Hate Crimes Prosecutor for the Western District of Washington where he charged offenders with hate crimes committed against Muslims and Arab-Americans after 9/11, including arson and attempted murder.

In recognition of extraordinary advocacy for a diverse judiciary and service to the HNBA, the following individuals and law firm were presented with the 2009 HNBA Presidential Advocacy Awards:

Carlos Ortiz, Esq., General Counsel, Goya Foods, Inc.
Robert Raben, Esq., Founder & Principal, The Raben Group, LLC
Professor Jenny Rivera, CUNY School of Law
Estuardo Rodriguez, Esq., Principal, The Raben Group, LLC
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 38,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories.

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