Dade County Bar Association
123 NW First Avenue, Suite 214
Miami, Florida 33128
Phone: (305) 371-2220
The Dade County Bar Association (DCBA) is a local voluntary bar association with approximately 4,500 members. The association was founded in the early 1900's and incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1920.
In addition to services provided for members, the DCBA provides services that benefit the general public.
We operate on a fiscal year, beginning July 1 and ending June 30.
Browse through the links below to learn more about the DCBA.
History: A Time Line
1916: First hard evidence of Dade County Bar Association although the association probably was established earlier
1920: Incorporated DCBA as non-profit corporation in Circuit Court of Dade County
1928: Printed first Pictorial Roster
1939: Organized Legal Aid program
1940: Minutes reflect that Executive Committee was asked to recommend lawyers for judicial vacancies by the Circuit Court Commission.
1941: Appointed first DCBA member to Advisory Committee of the Florida State Bar Association
Authorized a Judicial Poll of the members of DCBA as to fitness for retention in office of Florida Supreme Court JusticesHonored Charles W. Zaring on 50th anniversary of admittance to the bar and commemorated the fact that he had been admitted to the bar before any other member of DCBA Adopted resolution urging Circuit Judges to hear all divorces in open court
1942: First woman elected to the Board of Directors of DCBA but the Annual Installation Banquet was still "stag" Set up special non-dues paying category for members on active duty in the armed services
1943: Established first "Lawyers Reference Plan" and referral program for military personnel and general public
1946: There was no action on a recommendation that a "Junior Bar" section be authorized
1947: Approved publication of a bar journal. The journal concept was abandoned when the University of Miami School of Law began publishing the Miami Law Quarterly in late 1947.
A portion of DCBA member dues was paid to print and mail copies of the Quarterly to members.
Changed By-Laws to require a special General Membership Elections Meeting to elect all officers
1949: Junior Bar Section was in existence in June of 1949 but no specific date can be established
Legal Aid Society of the Dade County Bar Association was chartered
1950: Florida Bar asked DCBA to terminate its Grievance Committee
1952: Transferred Unauthorized Practice of Law obligations to The Florida Bar
Approved establishment of a Legal Aid Society at UM School of Law and coordinating it with DCBA's Legal Aid
1953: Approved establishment of Lawyer Referral Service in office of DCBA
1954: Opened Executive Office, hired Mrs. Johnnie M. Ridgely, Executive Director and hired full-time Lawyer Referral Service secretary
1957: Earned seat in American Bar Association House of Delegates
1959: Hired full-time Lawyer Referral Secretary
1960: Formed Relief Fund for Cuban lawyers
Established Judicial Trust Fund to provide filing fees and campaign funds for Circuit and County Court judicial candidates were rated at least 70% qualified on the DCBA Judicial Polls. (Fund was later terminated when it was found by the Secretary of State's office to violate election laws by co-mingling funds).
1965: Hosted American Bar Association Annual Meeting
Began fund raising campaign to build headquarters building, leased land and began construction
1966: Completed construction of four story office building in downtown Miami which now houses DCBA, Legal Aid, "Put Something Back" and various other pro bono projects
Won American Bar Association "Award of Excellence" for the most outstanding bar association in the United States for our "Valley Forge" project
1975: Purchased land on which our building is situated
1976: Established Appellate Filing Box in Dade County Courthouse
1978: Approved concept of DCBA Public Interest Law Bank, now Volunteer Lawyers and "Put Something Back"
1981: Established first formal pro bono program
1986: Established Judicial Campaign Practices Commission to hear complaints about judicial candidate misconduct.
1987: Consolidated Lawyer Referral Service with The Florida Bar statewide LRS
1989: Established "Criminal Justice Award" for most outstanding contributions to criminal justice
1991: Formed partnership with Chief Judge of Eleventh Circuit for "Put Something Back" program and consolidated all DCBA pro bono projects into "PSB"
1992: Co-Founded "Children First" pro bono program
Established legal information and assistance programs for victims of Hurricane Andrew
1995: Hosted American Bar Association Mid-Year Meeting activities
Established and funded "Children Whose Parents Have Died of Aids" program
1997: Established "David W. Dyer Professionalism Award"
Established joint funding program with the Dade Foundation to fund charitable activities of the association
Chaired fundraising committee for restoration of the historic lobby of the Dade County Courthouse and raised in excess of 350,000 in contributions from lawyers
Established "Teen Court" in cooperation with Dade School Board
1998: Co-sponsored activities for Miami meeting of national Legal Services Board of Directors
Supported revision of Article V of state constitution
Supported Miami-Dade County Ordinance to amend county code to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation
1999: After raising $400,000, participated in the dedication of the restoration of the lobby of the historic Dade County Courthouse
2000: Opposed Multi-Discipline & Ancillary Practice proposals which would allow non-lawyers to own law firms
Received The Florida Bar award for Most Outstanding Professionalism Committee in Florida
Changed eligibility for DCBA House of Delegates representative seat
2001: Participated in dedication of Thomas D. Barkdull Third District Court of Appeals Building
Instrumental in having new family court building located at 175 N. W. First Avenue, named Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse Center and sponsored dedication
Established DCBA Website
Opposed proposed changes in lawyer regulation requiring Supreme Court and District Court judges to stand for election and imposing term limits on the Florida judiciary
2002: Endorsed electronic filing in Probate Division of Circuit Court
Appointed special committee to train bar and public on new voting machines
Established World Trade Center Fund
Established Judge Steven Levine Children's Scholarship Fund
Appointed special committee to study public financing of judicial elections
Ceased DCBA participation in Self-Help program
Co-Sponsored reception on Freedom Schooner Amistad
Sponsored Diversity Training for DCBA members
2003: Endorsed raises for Federal Judges Co-sponsored reception for Justice Raoul Cantero, III investiture to the Florida Supreme Court
Sponsored Judicial Retirement Luncheon for Circuit and County Court Judges
Co-sponsored Cable Tap TV program on County Court matters
2004: Re-established monthly General Membership Luncheon meetings
2004: Established and endowed the Alan R. Schwartz Judicial Excellence Award, the Mario P. Goderich Legal Ethics Award and the Robert L. Shevin Public Service Award
2005: Restoration of the Dade County Courthouse ceremonial courtroom 6-1 begins as DCBA lawyers contribute over $300,000
2006: Mrs. Johnnie M. Ridgely, Executive Director from 1965-2006 passes away. Following the wishes of the family, the Board of Directors unamimously approve dedicating the DCBA boardroom in her honor.
2007-08: Launch of the eMentoring online program and the Put More Back Pro Bono Initiative. Instrumental in the
restoration and dedication ceremony of the Historic Courtroom 6-1.
2008-09: Won Florida Supreme Court’s Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Award; Portrait unveiling and dedication of the Johnnie M. Ridgely Board Room; Initiated and sponsored dedication ceremony at the once segregated drinking fountains at the Dade County Courthouse; held inaugural “Diversity Summit”; Commenced membership benefits and recruitment drives; Approved formation of University of Miami School of Law Student Chapter
2009-10: Conducted twelve Mortgage Foreclosure Seminars/Public Forums. Successfully lobbied the Federal Government for the granting of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals and completed the first ever DCBA “webinar” entitled “Immigration Solutions for Haitian Families in Crisis” in the wake of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Established Paralegal Committee and Solo/Small Firm Committee.
2010-11: Launch Lawyer Referral Service; Celebrated 60th Anniversary of Legal Aid; Justice Stephen Breyer addressed DCBA membership; One of first bar associations to issue state-wide resolution opposing attacks on Judicial System by Florida Legislature; presented the Johnnie M. Ridgely President’s Award.
2011-12: Inaugural Bench and Bar Conference; Launch Technology and Business Development seminars; Battle of the Bands Legal Aid Society Fundraiser.
For almost ninety years, the Association has been among bar association leaders in the country initiating new programs. We have opposed programs and legislation that were detrimental to lawyers, the bench and the public and fought hard for those things which were beneficial to the common good. At the same time, we have tried to broadly represent our varied membership and resist supporting one dimensional or single-issue groups and programs.
The Association has worked particularly hard to protect the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession and continue efforts to preserve the separation of powers of legislative bodies and our judicial system.
Two of our more worthwhile, ongoing accomplishments is the formation of the Legal Aid Society and establishment of a formal volunteer lawyer program for the poor which have become models of numerous associations in Florida and throughout the United States.
DCBA PAST PRESIDENTS
18/19 Mitchell D. Price
19, 20, 21 & 22 F. M. Hudson
24/25 Uly O. Thompson
25, 26 & 27 W. I. Evans
27/28 Fred Botts
28/29 E. Clyde Vining
29/30 James M. McClskill
30/31 James E. Calkins
31/32 Robert L. Shipp
32/33 M. Luther Mershon
33/34 Lewis Twyman
35/36 Walter O. Marshburn
36/37 Grady C. Harris
37/38 Richard H. Hunt
38/39 D. H. Redfearn
?? Frank Bryant
39/40 M. Vernon Hawthorne
40/41 W. L. Gray, Jr.
41/42 Stanley Milledge
42/43 Ben E. Hendricks, Sr.
43/44 Charles B. Cleveland
44/45 Leo S. Julian
45/46 Will M. Preston
46/47 William A. Lane
47/48 Melbourne L. Martin
48/49 Darrey A. Davis
49/50 John H. Wahl, Jr.
50/51 Lyle D. Holcomb
51/52 Roger E. Davis
52/53 Walter B. Humkey
53/54 C. Clyde Atkins
54/55 David W. Dyer
55/56 Perry Nickols
56/57 Reginald L. Williams
57 Mallory Horton
57/58 W. P. Simmons, Jr.
58/59 Joe Creel
59/58 William C. Martin
60/61 Samuel J. Powers
61/62 William C. Steel
62/63 Frank J. Kelly
63/64 Charles A. Kimbrell
64/65 Sam I. Silver
65/66 Edward J. Atkins
66/67 Robert L. Floyd
67/68 M. Lewis Hall, Jr.
68/69 Joseph Gassen
70/71 John R. Hoehl
71/72 James L. Armstrong
72/73 Robert A. White
73/74 Irwin J. Block
74/75 Ben E. Hendricks
75/76 Leland E. Stansell, Jr.
76/77 Gerald F. Richman
77/78 James F. Crowder
78/79 J. B. Spence
79/80 Robert E. Livingston
80/81 Robert L. Parks
81/82 Joe Unger
82/83 Richard P. Cole
83/84 Neal R. Sonnett
84/85 A. J. Barranco
85/86 William Hoppe
86/87 Henry H. Harnage
87/88 Judith M. Korchin
88/89 Richard C. Milstein
89/90 Charles H. Baumberger
90/91 Kendall B. Coffey
91/92 Dean C. Colson
92/93 Karen Gievers
93/94 Herman J. Russomanno
94/95 Francisco R. Angones
95/95 Robert F. Bouchard
96/97 Joseph H. Serota
97/98 David B. Rothman
98/99 Benjamin B. Kuehne
99/00 Dennis G. Kainen
00/01 Ervin A. Gonzalez
01/02 William Aaron
02/03 Tom Pennekamp, Jr.
03/04 John H. "Jack" Hickey
04/05 Robert J. Fiore
05/06 John W. Thornton, Jr.
06/07 Merrick L. “Rick” Gross
07/08 John P. Murray
08/09 Timothy M. Ravich
09/10 Steven P. Befera
10/11 Steven W. Davis
11/12 Andrea S. Hartley
DCBA YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION PAST PRESIDENTS
58/59 Fred Davant
59/60 Walter Beckham
60/61 Richard M. White
61/62 Frank A. Howard, Jr.
62/63 Robert J. Beckham
63/64 William H. Peeples
64/65 William M. Hicks
65/66 Richard Pettigrew
66/67 Sandy D'Alemberte (Talbot)
68/69 Aaron Podhurst
69/70 Robert Josefsberg
70/71 Robert L. Parks
71/72 James F. Crowder
72/73 Guy B. Bailey
73/74 Sam Holland
74/45 William T. Huggett
75/76 Stephen N. Zack
76/77 Douglas Lyons
77/78 Bruce Harper
78/79 Jay Durie
79/80 John Cosgrove
80/81 Henry H. Harnage
81/82 Byron Petersen
82/83 Celeste Hardee Muir
83/84 Herman Russomanno
85/86 Sara Herald
86/87 William C. Crenshaw
87/88 Hilarie Bass
88/89 Jennifer Bailey
89/90 Gary Siplin
90/91 Valerie Jahn Grandin
91 Peter Reinert
91/92 Raquel Rodriguez
92/93 Kathy Adams Gibbs
93/94 Madeline Auerbach
94/95 Steven E. Eisenberg
95/96 Anthony N. Upshaw
96/97 Carroll J. Kelly
97/98 Roberta R. Loomar
98/99 Mark S. Shapiro
99/00 Andrea Stone Hartley
00/01 Barbara Perez
01/02 Sheri E. Nott
02/03 Jennifer Ator
03/04 David Sampedro
04/05 Russell Jacobs
05/06 Tiffani Lee
06/07 Garrett Biondo
07/08 Damian Thomas
08/09 Gisela Munoz
09/10 Joshua J. Hertz
10/11 Stephanie L. Carman
11/12 Sorraya M. Solages
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