Event Overview

Friday, January 20, 2023

12:30 PM – 3:00 PM — Reception & Luncheon | Mercury Ballroom, 3rd Floor

Reception and Luncheon Registration Fee

  • $90 for members
  • $130 for non-members

Friday, January 20, 2023

Reception | 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Luncheon | 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Welcome Remarks

Presiding Member Hon. Joanne D. Quiñones

Swearing-in of 2023-24 Officers

Hon. Gregory R. Gilbert
Presiding Member

Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy
Assistant Presiding Member

Hon. Brian D. Burns

Hon. Karen M. C. Cortes

Opening Remarks

NYSBA President Sherry Levin Wallach

Awards Presentation

2023 Distinguished Jurist Award

Hon. Hector D. LaSalle
Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, 2d Department

2023 Advancement of Judicial Diversity Award

Hon. Erika M. Edwards
Justice, New York County, Civil Term

2023 Advancement of Judicial Diversity Award

Hon. Sallie Manzanet-Daniels
Associate Justice, Appellate Division, 1st Department

2023 Advancement of Judicial Diversity Award

Hon. Lillian Wan
Associate Justice, Appellate Division, 2d Department

Keynote Speaker

Hon. Bernice B. Donald
U.S. Circuit Judge, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
"Lawyers as Leaders in Times of Challenge, Controversy, and Opportunity"

Closing Remarks

Presiding Member Hon. Joanne D. Quiñones

Judge Bernice Donald

Hon. Bernice B. Donald

U.S. Circuit Judge, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Keynote Speaker

THE HONORABLE BERNICE B. DONALD was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit by President Barack Hussein Obama on December 1, 2010 and re-nominated in January 2011. She was confirmed 96-2 by the Senate on September 6, 2011, becoming the first African American woman to serve as a judge on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to joining the Court of Appeals, Judge Donald was appointed in 1995 by President William Jefferson Clinton to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, where she succeeded Judge Odell Horton, becoming the first African American woman to serve on that court. Judge Donald served as Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Tennessee from June 1988 to January 1996. She was the first African American women in the history of the United States to serve as a bankruptcy judge. In 1982, she was elected to the General Sessions Criminal Court becoming the first African American woman to serve as a judge in the history of the State of Tennessee.
Judge Donald has handled complex bankruptcy, Commercial, Insurance, ERISA, Labor and Employment, and Malpractice cases, as well as other cases under federal Statutes and Laws while serving in the federal judiciary at three levels.

Judge Donald received her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where she later served as a member of the Alumni, Law Alumni, and University Foundation Boards of Directors and as an adjunct faculty member. She received a LLM from Duke University School of Law and an honorary Doctors in Law from Suffolk University. She frequently serves as faculty for the National Judicial College and the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) and served as a member of the FJC’s Board of Directors from 2003 through 2007. Judge Donald currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Appellate Judges Education Institute and is a member of the prestigious American Law Institute. Since 2013, Judge Donald has served as faculty for the National Trial Advocacy program at the University of Virginia, and in 2021, she joined the faculty of NITA. She delivered the acclaimed Justice Stevens Lecture at the University of Colorado School of Law. On October 22, 2018, Judge Donald delivered the distinguished James Madison Lecture at the New York University School of Law. She has served as a Jurist in Residence at the Universities of Cincinnati, Washington, American, and Georgia Schools of Law. Judge Donald has lectured at numerous law schools, including the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt, University of Memphis, Yale, Fordham, Berkeley, Northwestern, Harvard, Regents, and the University of Illinois. In February 2022, she lectured at Boston University School of Law. She is a frequent lecturer on “Implicit Bias” and “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion;” is a chapter author in the book, “Reducing Bias Enhancing Justice,” and a co-editor of the upcoming book, “Reducing Bias Extending Justice,” to be published by Carolina Press.

In 1996, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist appointed Judge Donald to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules, where she served for six years. In 2011, Chief Justice John G. Roberts appointed her to an indefinite term on the Judicial Branch Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. On October 1, 2019, Chief Justice Roberts again appointed Judge Donald to serve on the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules, where she also serves as Liaison to the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules.
An internationally recognized legal scholar, Judge Donald has lectured and trained judges around the world for many years in the areas of intellectual property, case management, insolvency law, judicial ethics, and alternative dispute resolution. Judge Donald has served as faculty for numerous international programs, including Romania, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil, Bosnia, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Azerbaijan, Senegal, Rwanda, Tanzania, Russia, Egypt, Morocco, Thailand, Uganda, Kenya, Cambodia, Vietnam, The Philippines, and Armenia. In 2003, Judge Donald led a People to People delegation to Johannesburg, and Cape Town, South African and traveled to Zimbabwe to monitor the trial of a judge accused of judicial misconduct.

Judge Donald is an active and dedicated member of both the American Bar Association and the National Bar Association. In the American Bar Association, she was the first African American female officer when she was elected to serve as Secretary of the 400,000+ member professional organization. Judge Donald held numerous leadership positions in the ABA, where she served on the Executive Committee, dealing with strategic planning, compliance, executive compensation, insurance, membership, and technology, including two three-year terms on the Board of Governors, and more than 12 years total in the House of Delegates.

She chaired the National Conference of Special Court Judges, the Criminal Justice Section, the Commission of Opportunities for Minorites in the Legal Profession and initiated the highest Association Award recognizing contributions and achievements of lawyers of color—The Spirit of Excellence Award, given during each Midyear Meeting. She received the Spirit of Excellence Award in 2011.

She currently serves as the Chair of the National Bar Association’s Judicial Council Education Committee and has received the Judicial Council’s President and Chair Awards, along with other special service awards.

Judge Donald has served as President of the National Association of Women Judges and the Association of Women Attorneys, where she fostered collaboration with other judicial organizations and substantially increased members and revenues. She effectively worked to bring disaffected groups back into organization after mass resignations.

In June 2005, Judge Donald co-founded 4-Life, a skills training and enrichment program for students ages 6 to 15 designed to teach children to become positive productive citizens. In 2020, she was elected to serve as a member of the National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s working group on Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System.

Judge Donald has been the recipient of over 100 awards for professional, civic, and community activities, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Memphis, the Martin Luther King Community Service Award, and the Benjamin Hooks Award presented in 2002 by the Memphis Bar Foundation. In 2013, Judge Donald was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Judicature Society, and in August of 2013, she was featured in the Federal Lawyer Magazine. During the 2013 annual meeting of the National Bar Association, Judge Donald received the William H. Hastie Award. The Hastie Award is the Judicial Council’s highest award and is presented to recognize excellence in legal and judicial scholarship and demonstrated commitment to justice under the law. In 2013, Judge Donald also received the Difference Makers Award from the Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Division of the ABA, and the Pioneer Award from her fellow classmates at East Side High. Judge Donald received the Justice William Brennan Award by the University of Virginia in January of 2014, and the Pickering Award from the Senior Lawyers Division of the ABA in August 2014. In 2017, Judge Donald received the prestigious Margaret Brent Award from the ABA Commission on Women for her service to the profession. Most recently, Judge Donald received the 2019 University of Memphis Pillar of Excellence Award, designed to recognize attorneys who have made significant contributions to the practice of law in their civic and professional lives.

In 2020, the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section successfully petitioned the ABA Board of Governors to create the “Judge Bernice B. Donald Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award.” Judge Donald was the inaugural recipient. She has been a longstanding member of the Labor and Employment Law Section.

Also in 2020, the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Section presented Judge Donald with “The Lifetime Liberty Achievement Award.” The ABA Antitrust Section inducted her in the “Hall of Faminism” in 2021 and she also received the National Bar Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the “Be the Dream Award” from Mayor Jim Strickland, City of Memphis in 2021. On February 28, 2022, the Tennessee General Assembly honored her for a lifetime of dedicated service. In July 2022, the Detroit City Council will recognize Judge Donald for her lifetime of public service. As of July 2022, Judge Donald has been invited to serve on the Judicial Advisory Committee for Antitrust cases with the George Mason Law and Economic Center.

Hon. Hector D. LaSalle

Hon. Hector D. LaSalle

Distinguished Jurist Award 2023

Hon. Hector D. LaSalle is the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, appointed to by Governor Cuomo on May 25, 2021.

Prior to his appointment as Presiding Justice, Justice LaSalle served as an Associate Justice of the Court from 2014 to 2021. Justice LaSalle served as an Associate Justice in the 9th and 10th Judicial Districts of the New York State Appellate Term from 2012 to 2014. From 2009 to 2014, Justice LaSalle also served as a Justice in the 10th Judicial District, Supreme Court. From 2001 to 2008 and 1993 to 1998, Justice

Justice LaSalle worked in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office as Deputy Bureau Chief of the Special Investigations Bureau, Head of Anti-Gang Unit, and an Assistant District Attorney. He served as Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Attorney General’s Office from 1999 to 2001. Justice LaSalle was an Associate at Ruskin, Moscou, Faltischeck, P.C. from 1998 to1999. Justice LaSalle received his B.A. in Political Science from the Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

Hon. Erika M. Edwards

Hon. Erika M. Edwards

Advancement of Judicial Diversity Award 2023

Hon. Erica M. Edwards was elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York, in New York County in 2011. In 2016 she was elected to the Supreme Court of the State of New York. She is currently serving in the New York County Civil Term where she primarily handles medical malpractice cases. She previously served as a judge in the New York County Criminal Term and New York City Criminal and Civil Courts. She graduated from Penn State University and Howard University School of Law.

Justice Edwards has devoted her career to advancing social and racial justice and to creating greater access to justice for underrepresented communities. Prior to becoming a judge, she was an attorney with extensive litigation experience handling both civil and criminal matters. Justice Edwards specialized in criminal defense, personal injury, wills, estate planning, false arrests by excessive force and civil rights violations. Justice Edwards was a founding partner of a law firm in Harlem where she served as the firm’s managing partner and a senior trial counsel. The firm was recognized as one of the leading minority-owned law firms in New York City and it was known for its community outreach, mentorships, internships, scholarships and annual networking events which connected minority attorneys and other professionals with community leaders.

As evidence of her deep commitment to public service, Justice Edwards began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office and then represented indigent criminal defendants in state and federal courts. She also worked at a midtown law firm handling insurance defense and Plaintiff’s personal injury and medical malpractice cases.

Justice Edwards currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Judicial Friends Association and she is the organization’s immediate past president. Judicial Friends was founded in 1976 by Black judges within the State of New York seeking the fair and just treatment of minority judges, judicial staff and attorneys. The organization is committed to achieving social and racial justice through the law and service to the community. Through its mentoring, internship, scholarship and educational programs, The Judicial Friends Association creates and promotes educational opportunities to improve the implementation of justice and the public’s understanding of the law and confidence in our court system.

Justice Edwards served as President of Judicial Friends during the tumultuous periods of the Covid-19 shutdown and killings of George Floyd and other unarmed men and women of color by law enforcement officers. Under her leadership, Judicial Friends hosted regular virtual programs to support its members professionally, by providing guest speakers who shared their successful journeys, and personally, by providing a safe space to discuss the increased pressures caused by the pandemic, including isolation, increased caseloads, illness and grief.

She also formed a committee which prepared a comprehensive 161-page report that was submitted to the New York State Court’s Commission on Equal Justice in the Courts and Former Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, for implementation into the Commission’s final report. The Judicial Friends committee was co-chaired by the New York City Corporation Counsel and then First Vice President of the Judicial Friends, Hon. Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix, and retired Judge and former President of the Judicial Friends, Hon. Ruth Shillingford. The Judicial Friends’ report discussed systemic racism and unconscious bias in the New York State Court system and included proposed tangible solutions for lasting, maximum impact to eradicate it. The report highlighted racial disparities in judicial and non-judicial leadership, the appointment of judges and hiring of court officers and non-judicial staff, the impediments to equal justice for Black and Latino criminal defendants and litigants in Family and Housing courts, and ways to improve the court’s treatment of minority litigants and attorneys. The report received national attention and widespread acclaim. Following the release of the report Justice Edwards served as a panelist on several programs addressing many of the issues raised in the report.

Over the years, Justice Edwards has served as a panelist, moderator and coordinator of numerous programs sponsored by local bar associations, governmental organizations, churches and community organizations. As an attorney, she provided free legal clinics for those in need, drafted free healthcare proxies for seniors, and conducted a variety of programs involving health disparities in Black and Latino communities, criminal justice reform, voter registration, estate planning, how to form and operate your own law firm and expanding the pool of qualified minority and women federal court-appointed criminal defense attorneys.

As a judge, she has served as a panelist on several programs for judicial organizations, bar associations, The Judicial Institute and various community organizations. She continues to focus on her commitment to improve the criminal justice system and create opportunities for racial, ethnic and gender equity.

Hon. Sallie Manzanet-Daniels

Hon. Sallie Manzanet-Daniels

Advancement of Judicial Diversity Award 2023

Hon. Sallie Manzanet-Daniels was born in New York City, raised in the South Bronx and is a product of the New York City public schools. She is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College where she earned her Bachelor s Degree in Psychology in 1985. Justice Manzanet-Daniels is a graduate from Hofstra University School of Law, Class of 1988, where she attended on a full scholarship.

While at Hofstra Law School, she founded and served as the first President of the Latino Law Students Association in 1987-1988. As an alumna, Judge Manzanet-Daniels co-founded and served as the first chair of the LaLSA Alumni Scholarship Fund, which continues to raise thousands of dollars for aspiring Latino law students.

In 1988, Justice Manzanet-Daniels began her legal career with the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx as a criminal defense trial attorney. Thereafter, Judge Manzanet-Daniels served as Principal Law Clerk for three years respectively to both Justice Frank Torres in Bronx Supreme Court, Criminal Term, and to Justice Luis A. Gonzalez, Administrative Judge for the 12th Judicial District.

In November 1999, Sallie Manzanet-Daniels was elected as Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Bronx County. In November 2001, Judge Manzanet-Daniels was elected and received a Gubernatorial Citation for becoming, at the age of 37, the youngest Justice of Hispanic Heritage ever elected to the New York State Supreme Court.


In October 2009, Governor David Paterson appointed Justice Manzanet-Daniels to the Appellate Division, First Department, thereby making her the first Latina justice in the history of New York State to serve on this Court. Justice Manzanet-Daniels continues to serve as a Senior Justice on this court and is the first Latina to be designated a Constitutional Appellate Judge in any of the Appellate Divisions within the state.

Since her Supreme Court election, she has been recognized numerous times by the legal profession for her judicial excellence, most notably by the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the Bronx Bar Association and the Latino Judges Association. In 2015, she served as the commencement speaker at her alma mater, Hofstra University School of Law, and was bestowed a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. And in 2019 she received the prestigious Golda Meir Award from the Jewish Lawyer s Guild. Justice

Manzanet-Daniels has also been recognized countless times by a variety of community-based and academic institutions for her commitment to diversity and the mentorship of our youth.

Her life has been marked by activism and leadership, in her community and during her academic and professional life.  Throughout her career Judge Manzanet-Daniels has mentored students of all ages and walks of life. Community service has always been one of her greatest passions, and includes organizations focusing on the elderly, the arts, and a myriad of community, bar and professional organizations servicing all spheres of public life.  Justice Manzanet-Daniels has served on a multitude of boards, both legal and community based, over the last three decades. Her commitment to supporting our youth and community has carried over into her philanthropy. The most notable of which was the establishment in 2013, of the Dare to Dream Scholarship in her name. Since its creation, it has awarded thousands of dollars to the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the Hispanic Federation and the Latino Judges Association Foundation.

Most recently, Justice Manzanet-Daniels served as President of the Latino Judges Association from 2019-2021. Early in her tenure Justice Manzanet-Daniels testified before the first public hearing of the joint Senate and Assembly Standing Committee on the Judiciary considering Court Consolidation. Her testimony highlighted, and put on center stage, the issue of the court system’s lack of diversity. Thereafter, in late 2020 the Judge authored her analytical report entitled Overview of Latinos / Hispanics in the New York State Court System. The report was instrumental in again highlighting the severe disparity of representation and helped to secure additional gubernatorial appointments in the years following its publication.

As the Immediate Past-President, Justice Manzanet-Daniels, together with her committee team members, have finalized a 2-year project creating a documentary film entitled “The LJA History Project, which chronicles and preserves our collective journey and debuts in January 2023.  The film was produced in collaboration with the Judicial Institute and will be archived with the LJA, and its partners the Judicial Institute and the Historical Society of the New York Courts.

Last, but certainly not least, Judge Manzanet-Daniels is the proud mother of three beautiful daughters, Taina (born to her), Touré & Asha (her blessings through marriage) and abuela of her grandchildren Greyden & Blythe Since 2006 she has been happily married to New York’s former Secretary of State, Randy A. Daniels.

Hon Lillian Wan

Hon. Lillian Wan

Advancement of Judicial Diversity Award 2023

Hon. Lillian Wan is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and has lived in Brooklyn for the last 22 years.  On May 25, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul appointed Justice Wan to the Appellate Division, Second Department.  Justice Wan is the first Asian American woman to be appointed to the Appellate Division in New York State.  In November 2021, Justice Wan also became the first Asian American to be elected to the Supreme Court in Brooklyn.  Justice Wan was originally appointed to the bench by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2012 and served in both Bronx County Family Court and Kings County Family Court hearing cases involving child abuse and neglect, custody, visitation, family offenses and juvenile delinquency.

Justice Wan was appointed to the New York State Court of Claims by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 20, 2018.  Justice Wan was designated to preside over an Integrated Guardianship and Landlord/Tenant Part in New York County Supreme Court, where she heard cases involving tenants who were the subject of both Article 81 guardianship and eviction proceedings. From January 2020 until her appointment to the Appellate Division, Justice Wan sat in Kings County Supreme Court, where she presided over jury and non-jury trials, Mental Hygiene Law Article 9 hospital proceedings, and handled motions on a wide variety of civil matters.

Prior to taking the bench, Justice Wan was a Court Attorney-Referee in Kings County Surrogate’s Court.  Justice Wan also served for nine years as a trial attorney at the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in the Family Court Legal Services Division.

Justice Wan served as the President of the Asian American Judges Association of New York (AAJANY) for three years and currently serves on the Board as the Immediate Past President.  As President, Justice Wan met with Secretary Jeh Johnson to discuss the concerns of Asian American judges for his report on Equal Justice in the New York State Courts.  Under Justice Wan’s leadership, AAJANY grew from 39 to 48 members and expanded its membership to communities outside of New York City.  As part of her efforts to encourage attorneys and judges to pursue roles in the judiciary, Justice Wan has mentored numerous diverse candidates.

Justice Wan currently co-chairs the statewide Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics.   Justice Wan previously served as an Adjunct Professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she taught Lawyering and Legal Writing to first year law students.  Justice Wan formerly chaired the Family Court and Family Law Committee at the City Bar, served on the City Bar’s Nominating Committee, and served as the chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.  Justice Wan also serves as a board member for the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and is a member of the Brooklyn Bar Association Diversity Committee.

Justice Wan previously served on the board of the New York State Family Court Judges Association and was the past Vice President and Secretary of the New York City Family Court Judges Association.  Justice Wan also served on the Unified Court System’s Advisory Committee on Court Interpreting and the Appellate Division Second Department Mental Health Professional Certification Committee, a committee charged with assessing the qualifications of potential court appointed mental health experts.  Justice Wan is the former co-chair of the Government and Public Sector Committee for the Asian American Bar Association of New York.  Justice Wan regularly participates in various “Meet the Judges” and mentorship events in the community and has presented on career panels at various NYC schools.  Justice Wan earned her undergraduate degree from Binghamton University and her law degree from Albany Law School, where she served on the Albany Law Review.