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CDBHBA | Awards Ceremony, 2016
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Awards Ceremony, 2016

Recognizing People of Color in the Legal Profession
President's Message

Patricia L.R. RodriguezOn behalf of the Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association, we welcome and thank you for being a part of our Award Ceremony and Reception Recognizing People of Color in the Legal Profession. This year, we are presenting the Second Annual Peter M. Pryor Pioneer Award to Judge Michael Garcia, an accomplished attorney and former federal prosecutor who was recently appointed to the New York Court of Appeals. We gather to celebrate this accomplishment and celebrate this appointment.

The Peter M. Pryor Pioneer award was established to recognize Mr. Pryor’s contributions as a leader and as an African American attorney willing to take on the controversial issues of his day. We are happy to welcome Judge Garcia and many of his colleagues from the Court of Appeals who join us this evening.

We would like to recognize the contributions of the New York State Bar Association and especially Mark Wilson and Bridget Donlon and thank them for their ongoing support of the CDBHBA and their assistance in hosting this event. I would also like to thank the CDBHBA board for their ongoing contributions and the support of their law firms, many of whom are sponsors of this event.

Patricia L. R. Rodriguez


Michael J. Garcia

Michael J. Garcia

Michael J, Garcia, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, was born in Brooklyn, in October, 1961. On January 20, 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo nominated him to the Court of Appeals, and the New York State Senate confirmed his appointment on February 8, 2016.

Judge Garcia received his undergraduate degree with honors from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1983 and an M.A. degree from the College of William & Mary in 1984. In 1989, he received his law degree (summa cum laude) from Albany Law School where he graduated as valedictorian. He began his legal career as an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP in 1989. From 1990 to 1992, he served as Law Clerk to Hon. Judith S. Kaye, then Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals.

From 1992 to 2001, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In 2007, he became Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement in the Bureau of Industry and Security, and in December, 2002, he became Acting Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the United States Department of Justice. From March, 2003 to August, 2005, he served as Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the United States Department of Homeland Security. Judge Garcia was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2005 to 2008, when he joined Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Judge Garcia is on the Board of Trustees of El Museo del Barrio. He previously was Vice President of the Americas for INTERPOL, the international police organization from 2003 to 2006. From 2012 to 2014, he was Chair of the Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee of the Federation Internationale de Football Association.

Judge Garcia lives in Westchester with his wife and three children.

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2016 Sponsors

The Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association would like to recognize the following organizations and thank them for co-sponsoring this reception recognizing the Honorable Jenny Rivera and Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam.

Bond Schoeneck & King PLLC
Capital District Women’s Bar Association
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy
Jackson Lewis P.C.
New York State Bar Association
Powers and Santola, LLP
Rapport Meyers LLP
Roemer Wallens Gold & Mineaux LLP
The Law Offices of Teresi & Little, PLLC
Towne, Ryan & Partners, P.C.