The Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association (HVHBA) Formed

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HUDSON VALLEY, NY — July 8, 2021 — In June 2018, the Latino Judges Association sponsored a historical meeting with Latino lawyers from throughout the Hudson Valley to discuss the needs of the Hispanic legal community and the community at large throughout the Hudson Valley region. Subsequent meetings organized by Supreme Court Justice Maria Vazquez-Doles and Court of Claims Judge Walter Rivera, along with the participation of lawyers, Eric Santos, Esq., Pablo Fernandez- Herrera, Esq. and Margarita Garcia, Esq., were held with the group. During this same period, the Westchester County Access to Justice, Immigrant Rights and Services Sub-committee conducted a needs assessment of the Hispanic community in the Hudson Valley region, and as a result, committed to ensuring that a Hispanic bar association would be formed. The Access to Justice Sub-committee joined forces with Judge Rivera and Judge Vazquez-Doles thereby forming the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association. This is the first and only bar association for Hispanic lawyers, judges, and other members of the legal community in the Hudson Valley region.

The mission of the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association is to offer professional and personal support to its members and attorneys of Hispanic origin, particularly in the 3rd and the 9th Judicial District of New York State, which encompass the Hudson Valley region.

The association’s aim includes providing support, and mentorship to Hispanic lawyers who desire to become judges, to provide mentoring to new lawyers, and law students of Hispanic origin, and to form strategic alliances with other affinity bar associations.

Additionally, the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association seeks to address the legal needs and concerns of the rapidly growing Hispanic population throughout the Hudson Valley thereby ensuring the interests of the Hispanic legal community at-large is satisfied.

Recently, the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association held its first election and the following members were elected to the Board: Eric Santos, Esq., President; Hiram A. Raldiris, Esq., President-Elect; Alejandra Gil, Esq., Vice-President; Doralba Lassalle, Esq., Secretary; and Andrea Soto, Esq., Treasurer.

President Eric Santos is an attorney with Rivkin Radler LLP, and primarily focused on ucommercial litigation and general liability defense. President Santos received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa and a J.D. from Washington and Lee School of Law. He currently serves as an Assistant Special Prosecutor for the Town of Fishkill. Prior to President Santos’ election, he served as a member of the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association’s Steering Committee during the Bar Association’s progression toward inception and has been committed to the success and viability of the Association.

President-Elect Hiram Anthony Raldiris is a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent who lived his formative years in The Bronx and Orange Counties. Mr. Raldiris resides with his wife and children in Orange County. He received a John J. Schumacher Minority Leadership Scholarship to Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California. He is a Senior Trial Lawyer at Peña & Kahn in The Bronx. He has been representing tort victims for over thirty-five years and has secured over one hundred jury verdicts for injured plaintiffs in New York and California.

Vice-President Alejandra R. Gil is a Partner at the law firm of Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach, LLP, where she primarily handles civil litigation. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Gil served as an Assistant District Attorney in The Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for over six years. Ms. Gil was born in New York but spent her formative and teenage years in Puerto Rico where she graduated from the Baldwin School of Puerto Rico. In New York, she attended Barnard College and Albany Law School.

Secretary Doralba Lassalle, is the owner and principal of Lassalle Law, PLLC, a boutique civil litigation practice focusing on personal injury, medical malpractice, and family law matters primarily in The Bronx, Westchester, and Rockland. Ms. Lasalle attended Boston University, where she earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Juris Doctor degrees. She resides in Yorktown with her husband and twin daughters.

Treasurer, Andrea C. Soto, is the owner and principal of Soto Law, PLLC. Ms. Soto has been a part of the Latino community her entire life. She is a native of Chile but was raised in New York. She speaks English and Spanish fluently. Ms. Soto represents those who have been injured in falls, car accidents, and accidents on the job, including construction, landscaping, and services industries. She also represents clients who submit injury claims to the Worker’s Compensation Board. Ms. Soto is admitted to practice law in the Courts of the State of New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Fordham University, and her Juris Doctor from New York Law School.

The formation of the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association is crucial in the 3rd and the 9th Judicial District which encompasses the Hudson Valley as the percentage of persons of Hispanic origin in the district, which was 14.20% in 2020 continues to grow. However, our representation in elected Office – Legislative, Executive and the Judiciary does not reflect that percentage.

Please contact Anastasia Rivera-Bonilla at ARBee132@gmail.com or Vilma Blankowitz at VilmaBlankowitz@gmail.com  for more information about membership opportunities.

July 8, 2021 — In June 2018, the Latino Judges Association sponsored a historical meeting with Latino lawyers from throughout the Hudson Valley to discuss the needs of the Hispanic legal community and the community at large throughout the Hudson Valley region. Subsequent meetings organized by Supreme Court Justice Maria Vazquez-Doles and Court of Claims Judge Walter Rivera, along with the participation of lawyers, Eric Santos, Esq., Pablo Fernandez- Herrera, Esq. and Margarita Garcia, Esq., were held with the group. During this same period, the Westchester County Access to Justice, Immigrant Rights and Services Sub-committee conducted a needs assessment of the Hispanic community in the Hudson Valley region, and as a result, committed to ensuring that a Hispanic bar association would be formed. The Access to Justice Sub-committee joined forces with Judge Rivera and Judge Vazquez-Doles thereby forming the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association. This is the first and only bar association for Hispanic lawyers, judges, and other members of the legal community in the Hudson Valley region.

The mission of the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association is to offer professional and personal support to its members and attorneys of Hispanic origin, particularly in the 3rd and the 9th Judicial District of New York State, which encompass the Hudson Valley region.

The association’s aim includes providing support, and mentorship to Hispanic lawyers who desire to become judges, to provide mentoring to new lawyers, and law students of Hispanic origin, and to form strategic alliances with other affinity bar associations.

Additionally, the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association seeks to address the legal needs and concerns of the rapidly growing Hispanic population throughout the Hudson Valley thereby ensuring the interests of the Hispanic legal community at-large is satisfied.

Recently, the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association held its first election and the following members were elected to the Board: Eric Santos, Esq., President; Hiram A. Raldiris, Esq., President-Elect; Alejandra Gil, Esq., Vice-President; Doralba Lassalle, Esq., Secretary; and Andrea Soto, Esq., Treasurer.

President Eric Santos is an attorney with Rivkin Radler LLP, and primarily focused on ucommercial litigation and general liability defense. President Santos received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa and a J.D. from Washington and Lee School of Law. He currently serves as an Assistant Special Prosecutor for the Town of Fishkill. Prior to President Santos’ election, he served as a member of the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association’s Steering Committee during the Bar Association’s progression toward inception and has been committed to the success and viability of the Association.

President-Elect Hiram Anthony Raldiris is a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent who lived his formative years in The Bronx and Orange Counties. Mr. Raldiris resides with his wife and children in Orange County. He received a John J. Schumacher Minority Leadership Scholarship to Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California. He is a Senior Trial Lawyer at Peña & Kahn in The Bronx. He has been representing tort victims for over thirty-five years and has secured over one hundred jury verdicts for injured plaintiffs in New York and California.

Vice-President Alejandra R. Gil is a Partner at the law firm of Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach, LLP, where she primarily handles civil litigation. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Gil served as an Assistant District Attorney in The Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for over six years. Ms. Gil was born in New York but spent her formative and teenage years in Puerto Rico where she graduated from the Baldwin School of Puerto Rico. In New York, she attended Barnard College and Albany Law School.

Secretary Doralba Lassalle, is the owner and principal of Lassalle Law, PLLC, a boutique civil litigation practice focusing on personal injury, medical malpractice, and family law matters primarily in The Bronx, Westchester, and Rockland. Ms. Lasalle attended Boston University, where she earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Juris Doctor degrees. She resides in Yorktown with her husband and twin daughters.

Treasurer, Andrea C. Soto, is the owner and principal of Soto Law, PLLC. Ms. Soto has been a part of the Latino community her entire life. She is a native of Chile but was raised in New York. She speaks English and Spanish fluently. Ms. Soto represents those who have been injured in falls, car accidents, and accidents on the job, including construction, landscaping, and services industries. She also represents clients who submit injury claims to the Worker’s Compensation Board. Ms. Soto is admitted to practice law in the Courts of the State of New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Fordham University, and her Juris Doctor from New York Law School.

The formation of the Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association is crucial in the 3rd and the 9th Judicial District which encompasses the Hudson Valley as the percentage of persons of Hispanic origin in the district, which was 14.20% in 2020 continues to grow. However, our representation in elected Office – Legislative, Executive and the Judiciary does not reflect that percentage.

Please contact Anastasia Rivera-Bonilla at ARBee132@gmail.com or Vilma Blankowitz at VilmaBlankowitz@gmail.com  for more information about membership opportunities.

TribuneThe Hudson Valley Hispanic Bar Association (HVHBA) Formed

Comments 1

  1. Bravo – best of luck. Hopefully, you will perform some pro bono work for the Hispanic community. They could really use some help.

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