Alumni to Receive Awards at Miami-Dade Judicial Reception


Three eminent Miami Law graduates will be honored by the Law Alumni Association on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at the annual Miami-Dade County Judicial Reception.

Judges Richard J. Suarez, JD '81, and Laurel Myerson Isicoff, JD '82, will each be given the Alumni Achievement Award, while attorney Alexandra Bach Lagos, JD '06, will receive the Alumni Leadership Award.

"We are very blessed to have alumni who have dedicated their professional lives to the service of others," said Devang Desai, JD '03, President of the Law Alumni Association. "In honor of their exceptional contributions to our legal profession, community, and to our students, I am humbled to recognize Judges Laurel Isicoff and Rick Suarez, as well as Alexandra Bach Lagos. Our legal profession and alma mater are better places because of the contributions made by our alumni."

A judge for the Third District Court of Appeal since 2004, Suarez received three degrees from the University of Miami – Bachelor and Master of Music degrees and a J.D. While at Miami Law, he was a member of the Moot Court Board. Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Suarez specialized in civil litigation and appeals in state and federal courts. In 2002, Gov. Jeb Bush appointed him a County Court Judge for the 11th Judicial Circuit, and he was elected to that position in 2004.

Judge Isicoff is the first woman to be sworn in as judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida. Before joining the bench, she specialized in commercial bankruptcy and foreclosure as an attorney and litigator for 14 years with the law firm Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton. Judge Isicoff was inducted into the American College of Bankruptcy and appointed a director of the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation. She is a past President of the Bankruptcy Bar Association for the Southern District of Florida.

Lagos is a member of Shook, Hardy & Bacon's national product liability division. She is extensively involved in smoking and health litigation in Florida and has participated in the defense of more than 1,000 individual claims pending in Miami-Dade County. Lagos has been recognized as a "Rising Star" by Florida Super Lawyers. She is president of the Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and president of the Smith College Club of Miami. She serves on the board of directors for the Spellman-Hoeveler American Inns of Court, and on the Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee of the Florida Bar.

The Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni nationally who have excelled in their chosen profession and in service to Miami Law. The Alumni Leadership Award recognizes excellence, specifically in the area of leadership. The award often recognizes Bar leaders or directors and presidents of service organizations.