First Cuban-Born Judge on U.S. Appellate Court is Keynote Speaker at Law Symposium, Miami

Posted: Apr 20 2014

Following a prestigious selection of members of the legal and judicial professions, 11th Circuit Court Judge Adalberto Gonzalez will speak at the 8th Annual Red Mass and Law Symposium at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep on Saturday, April 20, 2013 with a Mass at 9:00 am. Symposium at 10:00 a.m. 4949 NE 2nd Avenue Miami, FL 33137The Media and Community are welcome.

Also known as the Lawyer’s Mass, the term “Red Mass” refers to the red vestments worn by the celebrants to signify the Holy Spirit, where participants pray for wisdom as they endeavor to seek justice.  The celebration was first held in the United States in 1928.

Judge Jordan, the first Cuban-born judge to serve on the Atlanta-based U.S. appellate court, was nominated by President Obama on August 2, 2011 and was confirmed by the Senate on February 15, 2012 by an overwhelming 94-5 vote.

Last year’s Law Symposium facilitator, John De Leon (who graduated from Archbishop Curley in 1980) suggested that his former high school friend and professional colleague lead this year’s event. De Leon is managing shareholder of the Law Offices of Chavez & De Leon, P.A. and President of the American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Miami Chapter

Past facilitators (all Archbishop Curley High School and Notre DameAcademy alumni) were:  2012 – John De Leon ‘AC ’80; 2011- Honorable Cecilia Maria Altonaga, J.D. NDA’80, Federal Judge Southern District of Florida; 2010 - Honorable Beatrice Avgherino Butchko, J.D. ,NDA’81, 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida; 2009 - Dennis Ward, Esq., AC’69  Monroe County State Attorney; 2008 - Thomas Valerius, Esq., AC ’58, Defense Attorney;  2007 -  Edward O’Donnell,  Esq. AC ’62, Defense Attorney;  and 2006 - Honorable Rosemary Barkett, J.D. , NDA ‘57, United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit.

About Judge Adalberto Jose Jordan (cited from University of Miami Law Review):

Judge Adalberto José Jordan left Havana with his family in the late 1960s, and began one of the most remarkable Cuban-American success stories in Miami history. In the course of a few decades, Judge Jordan went from an immigrant child to top-of-his-class student at Miami Law (and a UMLR member) to highly respected attorney to federal judge.

Judge Jordan began his US education at Santa Clara Elementary School in Allapattah,  but his parents later transferred him to Corpus Christi.

At Corpus Christi, Judge Jordan met his future wife, Esther, in the second grade. He calls it love at first sight. Judge Jordan and Esther recalls how many life-long friends he made at Corpus Christi and, for the past 20 years, Judge Jordan and his group of friends get together every Thanksgiving and play softball.

In fact, Judge Jordan’s love of sports pre-dates his passion for the law. Judge Jordan began playing varsity baseball at Archbishop Curley High School. After his junior year of high school, though, Judge Jordan transferred to Saint Brendan solely because Curley closed down its baseball program.

As an undergraduate at the University of Miami, Judge Jordan pursued his two passions at the time—baseball and the law. UM gave Judge Jordan an academic scholarship and a walk-on position on the school’s baseball team. On the academic front, Judge Jordan took as much law as he could, studying constitutional and environmental law. Judge Jordan graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in politics and public affairs, and a minor in philosophy.

Judge Jordan went on to UM Law, and excelled despite juggling school and a part-time job at Sun Bank, fixing ATMs that broke after-hours in the Coral Gables-South Miami area. After a semester of juggling work and school, Judge Jordan and Esther married and went on their honeymoon during the law school’s winter break. Appropriately enough, the newlyweds had their honeymoon in Washington D.C.


MARLENE QUARONI | Florida Catholic NewspapersArchbishop Thomas Wenski and his former altar server Adalberto Jordan, now a judge on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, pose for a photo after the Archdiocese of Miami Red Mass reception held in June 2012, where Jordan received the "Lex Christi, Lex Amoris" award from the Miami Catholic Lawyers Guild.




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