Miami Law Alumni Honored at 2017 Miami-Dade Judicial Reception & Holiday Party

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Miriam Soler Ramos, Nikki Lewis Simon, Katie S. Phang, Patricia Elizee, Jordan Dresnick, and Dale Noll

The Law Alumni Association recently hosted the 2017 Miami-Dade Judicial Reception & Holiday Party in Coral Gables. Sponsored by Iberiabank and the law firm of Kozyak Tropin and Throckmorton, the reception honored members of the judiciary, alumni award recipients, and Dean’s Circle members. The Law Alumni Achievement Award recipients included the Honorable John O’Sullivan, JD ’85, Edward Shohat, JD ’72, and Julie Braman Kane, JD ’93. This achievement award recognizes alumni nationally who have excelled in their chosen profession and in service to the University of Miami School of Law and the legal profession.

Judge John O'Sullivan & Dean Patricia White

Judge John O’Sullivan, J.D. ‘85, is a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Florida. Before being appointed a Magistrate Judge, he was the Chief of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. While in the United States Attorney’s Office, Judge Sullivan served as Chief of the Narcotics Section, Senior Litigation Counsel, and as Deputy Chief and Acting Chief of the Economic Crimes Section. From 1978 to 1985, Judge O’Sullivan was a Special Agent with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. He is a co-founder of the University of Miami American Inn of Court and teaches litigation skills as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami School of Law. 

Edward Shohat, J.D. ‘72, is a partner in the Business & Commercial Litigation Practice Group of the Miami office of Jones Walker. His practice focuses on state and federal white collar crime and related forfeitures, as well as the defense of civil RICO cases and matters involving the U.S. Patriot Act, Sarbanes Oxley and corporate compliance issues. Mr. Shohat is a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and is a member of the American Bar Foundation. He is also Chair of the Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board. Mr. Shohat is a past president of the University of Miami Law Alumni Association and the current Vice Chair of the Law Alumni Association’s committee for the National Alumni Advisory Council.

Julie Braman Kane, J.D. ‘93, is a partner at the law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson and Past President of the American Association for Justice. She focuses her practice on representing plaintiffs in personal injury, medical malpractice, and product liability lawsuits. Ms. Braman Kane has previously served as a Trustee and Co-Chair of the National College of Advocates, on the Board of Directors for the Florida Justice Association, as a Commissioner on the Florida Elections Commission, and as President of the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. In 2015, she received the Daily Business Review’s “Top Twenty Women in Law” Award. She is also a past recipient of the Daily Business Review’s “Most Effective Lawyers” Award for receiverships and the South Florida Business Journal’s Woman Extraordinaire Award. Ms. Braman Kane is a member of the University of Miami Law Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Recipients of the Law Alumni Leadership Award were also recognized at the reception. This award recognizes excellence specifically in the area of leadership, often honoring bar leaders or directors and presidents of service organizations. The award winners included Jordan Dresnick, JD ’08, Patricia Elizee, JD ’10, Dale Noll, JD ’12, Katie S. Phang, JD ’00, Miriam Soler Ramos, JD ’02, and Nikki Lewis Simon, JD ’99.

Dean White, Ed Shohat & Maria Shohat

Jordan Dresnick, J.D. ‘08, is President of the Dade County Bar Association. He is also the General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of a trade conglomerate, where he focuses on antitrust and business regulation. Mr. Dresnick has previously practiced at Holland & Knight and Baker & McKenzie. He is a former elected Director of the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association and current President of the Spellman-Hoeveler Chapter of the Inns of Court. Mr. Dresnick holds a graduate law degree from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was as a Visiting Scholar.  He was also the first practicing attorney in the country to pursue a graduate degree in Mathematical Finance at The University of Chicago.

Patricia Elizee, J.D. ‘10, is a former President of the Haitian Lawyers Association and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She is the managing partner of Elizee Law Firm, P.A., where she practices family law, divorce, and immigration law. In 2016, Ms. Elizee was voted valedictorian of the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce's first top 20 under 40 class. She currently serves as a board member of the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce and was appointed to the Hispanic Affairs Advisory Board of Miami Dade County. Ms. Elizee is also a graduate of the prestigious Florida Bar Leadership Academy.

Dale Noll, J.D. ‘12, is President of the National LGBT Bar Association. He is currently an associate in the trusts and estates section of Akerman LLP. He represents trustees, personal representatives, guardians, and beneficiaries in various fiduciary issues, and assists them in their roles as fiduciaries in administering estates, guardianships, and trusts. Mr. Noll is a member of the Miami-Dade County Gay and Lesbian Lawyers Association and the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section of the Florida Bar. He has previously been awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award from the University of Miami Law’s OUTLaw student organization. Mr. Noll was part of the University of Miami Law Review and is a member of the Iron Arrow Honor Society.

Katie S. Phang, J.D. ‘00, is President of the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. She is a partner on Berger Singerman’s Dispute Resolution Team, where she represents clients in commercial litigation matters. Her practice areas include Complex Commercial Litigation, Hospitality & Gaming Litigation, Marital Law, Real Estate Litigation, and White Collar Criminal Defense & Special Investigations. Ms. Phang has been recognized as a Top Lawyer in Corporate and Business Law by South Florida Legal Guide and Florida Trend's Legal Elite, and as a Rising Star by the Daily Business Review. 

Miriam Soler Ramos, J.D. ‘02, is the City Attorney for the City of Coral Gables and is certified by the Florida Bar in City, County and Local Government law. She has previously served as Deputy City Attorney and City Prosecutor for the City of Coral Gables, as well as Deputy General Counsel for the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics and Public Trust (COE). Ms. Ramos is on the Board of Directors of the Cuban American Bar Association and is the Chair of the Judicial and Social Media Committees and sits on the Pro Bono Committee. She is a member of the League of Prosecutors, the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association of Women Lawyers, and the Coral Gables Bar Association. Ms. Ramos is also on the Government Relations Committee of the Dade County Bar Association. 

Julie Braman Kane & Dean White

Nikki Lewis Simon, J.D. ‘99, is President of the Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association. She is a Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig and a Director of Client Development and Corporate Social Responsibility at the firm. As director, Ms. Simon works to strategically align the firm’s diversity and inclusion programming and initiatives with client needs and to expand the current efforts of the firm’s diversity initiatives in collaboration with cross-firm stakeholders. She is an active member of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the National Bar Association. Within The Florida Bar, Ms. Simon is a Vice Chair of the Federal Court Practice Committee and a member of the Business Law Section and the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Ms. Simon is also a member of the University of Miami Law Alumni Association Board of Directors.

The Law Alumni Association congratulates all of the award recipients on their outstanding accomplishments and contributions!