Past Presidents

President Veronica Renta Irwin

Veronica Renta-Irwin, Esq.

After moving to Long Island from the Bronx, Veronica Renta-Irwin’s parents, both born in Puerto Rico, settled in Brentwood, New York, where she was born and raised, and where they continue to reside today.  Growing up in Brentwood taught her how to overcome adversity, resist the pull of peer pressure and to appreciate the sacrifices her parents made in order to secure her future.

After graduating from Brentwood High School, Veronica completed her undergraduate studies at SUNY Albany, then went on to Hofstra Law School, where she graduated in 1999.  As she went on to private practice, she settled in Nassau County and held Associate positions at 2 Nassau County Law Firms.  In 2001, Veronica opened her own practice, Irwin & Streiner, LLC., in Great Neck, New York.  Currently, Veronica is the principal law clerk for Justice Sharon M.J. Gianelli and a Professor at Hofstra Law in their Paralegal Certificate Program.

During her presidency, Veronica and the LIHBA were tasked with launching new community initiatives to help mitigate the horrendous impact of COVID-19 on the Latinx community.  Under her presidency, the LIHBA increased our on-line presence on Facebook and on YouTube, in order to give the Latinx community flexibility in accessing legal and community resources, increased and expanded LIHBA’s financial support to Long Island’s law school students to unprecedented levels. Furthermore, under Veronica’s presidency, LIHBA formed greater relationships with political leaders, community advocates and community-serving organizations in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties, further cementing our role as an advocate for Hispanic representation in the government and on the bench.

Veronica resides on Long Island with her husband and her two children.

Liza Milgrim-Reyes

Liza Milgrim-Reyes, Esq.

Liza Milgrim-Reyes is the first Hispanic partner at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo, one of New York State’s premier personal injury and medical malpractice law firms with offices in Garden City, Manhattan, Cutchogue and New Jersey. She works in the general negligence division where she handles a variety of cases representing victims seriously injured in construction accidents, motor vehicle accidents, premises accidents, lead paint exposure and nursing home negligence. She has earned a reputation of being a tough and thorough litigator who achieves maximum financial recovery for her clients. She has obtained numerous seven figure settlements and had one of the largest settlements obtained in New York State for a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle. She was recognized by the Puerto Rican Bar Association and Brooklyn Borough President for her achievements and was listed as No. 81 in City and State’s Long Island Power 100 in 2020. Before serving as the President of the LIHBA, Liza served as President-elect and Secretary.

Liza was raised in Brooklyn, New York where she attended public school. She then attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts and returned home to attend St. John’s University School of Law where she received many accolades on the Moot Court competition team. She knows first-hand the struggles and challenges of the immigrant community as her own mother immigrated from Ecuador. Liza is honored to serve her community in her roles as an attorney and a former President of the LIHBA. She resides on Long Island with her husband and two young children

Linda

Hon. Linda Mejias-Glover

Judge Mejias-Glover was appointed as a Judge of the New York State Court of Claims in June of 2021. Judge Mejias-Glover made history in 2017 when she became the first person of Latinx descent to be elected to the position of Nassau County Family Court Judge and the first person of Latinx descent to be elected to any countywide judgeship in Nassau County.

Judge Mejias-Glover is active in her local community and church as a mentor and leader.  She is passionate about helping young members of the Latinx community, especially young women, understand and appreciate their full potential. She encourages her mentees to take the time to develop and take care of themselves in the various areas of their lives – education, professional development, health, spirituality, and relationships.  She has also worked within the minority communities on Long Island through various organizations such as the Long Island Latino Teacher’s Association, Girl’s, Inc., and the Latina Moms of Long Island to teach students and parents about the value and necessity of higher learning and education, as well as the importance of working hard in school and in any employment in order to achieve the “American Dream”.

Judge Mejias-Glover is the Immediate Past President of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association and has previously served as Vice-President, Secretary and President of the Nassau County Chapter of the LIHBA.  She was the first person of Latinx descent to be elected as a Director of the Nassau County Bar Association. As a member of the Association Membership Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association, she worked to develop strategies and programs to increase the diversity of the NCBA. In 2017, Judge Mejias-Glover founded the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the NCBA and served as Chair of the Committee until June of 2019. Judge Mejias-Glover is a Past President of the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association. She has also proudly served as Chairwoman of the Board of Herstory Writers Workshop, Inc., an organization whose mission is to bring unheard voices into the public arena, transforming lived experiences into written memoirs powerful enough to change hearts, minds, and policy. She also serves on the Board of Latina Moms Connect, Inc.

Judge Mejias-Glover has received numerous awards and citations for her achievements and activities in the legal community and the local community.  In 2019, she was honored for her leadership at the first Cuban American Heritage Celebration of Nassau County. In 2018, she was honored at the Nassau County Court’s Hispanic heritage month celebration. She has also received the “Latina in the Law” Award from CoPay, Inc., and has been recognized by the Long Island Hispanic Counseling Center for her work in helping families and children. She was also given the “Virginia C. Duncombe, Esq.” Award by the NCWBA for her work and commitment to fostering and enhancing legal education. She has also been named a “Rising Star” by the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, was named “Attorney of the Year” by the Cuban Civic Association and was honored by the LIHBA for her service and empowerment of the Hispanic Community. She was named one of the “Women of Distinction of 2015” in the 17th Assembly District and one of the “Top Women in the Law” by Hofstra University School of Law. 

Prior to being elected to the position of Family Court Judge, she served as the Principal Law Clerk to the Hon. Edward A. Maron, a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Nassau County, and later in that same capacity to the Hon. Edmund M. Dane.

 Judge Mejias-Glover is a graduate of the Waldorf School of Garden City, where she later served on the Board of Trustees.  She graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College, and later received her Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School.  She served as the President of Wellesley on Long Island Alumnae Club from 2017 to 2021.

Judge Mejias-Glover, is a First Generation American, whose Mother immigrated to the United States from Ecuador in 1963, and whose Father was exiled from Cuba in 1962 as an anti-communist leader.  She is fluent in Spanish, and proficient in German and Italian.  Judge Mejias-Glover is also a devoted mother to her treasured son, Davey, and wife to her wonderful husband Dorian R. Glover, Esq., Past-President of the Nassau County Bar Association, and Chairman of the Grievance Committee of the 10th Judicial District.

Helen

Hon. Helen Voutsinas

The Honorable Helen Voutsinas was born in Corona, Queens, to parents who met soon after each had immigrated to New York. Her mother had come from the Dominican Republic and her father from Greece. Judge Voutsinas’ roots from the Dominican Republic date back to the 1600’s. She had the benefit of learning both cultures and languages due to her extensive Dominican family who had immigrated to New York, including her grandfather who lived with her during her childhood.

In November 2018, Judge Voutsinas became the first Latina elected to the Supreme Court on Long Island, where the Latino population had reached 17.2% in 2020.  She began her judicial career in 2010 as the first Latina elected to the District Court in Nassau County.

Jusdge Voutsinas became the first Latina to be elected to full time judicial office in Nassau County.  Judge Voutsinas served with distinction on the District Court bench becoming the Presiding Judge of the Misdemeanor DWI Part and Domestic Violence Part.  She continued to be an active leader in the community by serving on the Board of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association from 2012 and becoming President of the Association from 2017 through 2019.  She also served on the Board of New York State Latinos Judges Association from 2014 through 2016.

In 2018, Judge Voutsinas became the first Latina elected to the Supreme Court Bench.  Within two years of serving as a Justice of the Supreme Court, she became the first Latina appointed to the Appellate Term for the Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts. In May 2022, the Honorable Voutsinas was appointed to the Second Department, Appellate Division by Governor Kathy Hochul.

Judge Voutsinas continues her active involvement in the community by mentoring young Latino attorneys and future Judges.

Frank Torres

Frank Torres, Esq.

Frank Torres is an associate with Duffy & Duffy. He has more than 35 years of experience in the field of medical malpractice, nursing home, labor law/construction site accidents, products liability, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents and general personal injury matters. Initially representing defendants in these cases, he has spent the last 20 years working on behalf of plaintiffs. Prior to joining the firm, he was a senior trial attorney with Levine & Grossman.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Torres attended Brooklyn Prep High School. After graduation, he attended St. Francis College in Brooklyn, where he graduated summa cum laude. He later attended Columbia University School of Law on scholarship.

As the firm’s first bilingual attorney, Mr. Torres is a member of several Latino Bar Associations and served as president of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association. As a member of the Nassau County Bar Association, he provided services pro bono as an interpreter for Latino residents in Nassau County who are either facing foreclosure or were victims of Hurricane Sandy. In addition, he volunteers his time mentoring Latino and Latina law students on the practice of law. In addition, he is a member of the Puerto Rican, Dominican, Hispanic National, New York State, Nassau, Brooklyn and Bronx County Bar Associations and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.

From 2014 to 2015, Mr. Torres was named to the list of New York Metro Super Lawyers. He was recognized in the practice area of Personal Injury. Other honors he has earned include Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County’s Latino Lawyer of the Year (2019), Latino Leaders’ Top Latino Lawyers of 2018, the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Attorney of the Year (2015) and the New York Times Magazine Top Attorneys of New York (2014).

Aranda

Dr. Roy Aranda, Esq.

Valverde-Frank-Website

Frank Valverde, Esq.

Frank is a Partner in the firm's Insurance Coverage & Litigation Practice Group, and is resident in the Uniondale, New York office. While with the firm, Frank has been involved in all aspects of insurance, toxic tort and construction defect litigation. Additionally, he analyzes and handles coverage claims on behalf of the firm's insurance clients. He has obtained numerous significant legal victories in both state and federal courts throughout the nation and has been successful in obtaining the early resolution of numerous complex insurance coverage cases.

Prior to joining the firm, Frank was associated with a mid-sized law firm where he litigated in a variety of fields, including general liability, municipal liability, civil rights, employment discrimination and insurance coverage.

While at New York Law School, Frank distinguished himself as a student by winning the Froessel Moot Court competition in 2000. He was also a finalist in the ABA's Regionals Moot Court Competition and ranked eighth best oralist at the ABA's Nationals Moot Court Competition. He also served as an editor to New York Law School's Journal for International and Comparative Law, where his Note, "The International Internet Rating System," 20 N.Y.L. Sch. J. Int'l. & Comp. L. 599, was published. Upon graduation, Frank was awarded New York Law School's Justice William Kapelman Memorial Award for excellence in oral argument and the Ernst C. Stiefel Award for excellence in legal writing.

Frank is President of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association and serves as the General Counsel of The Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Frank is a mentor to ESL students in a program sponsored by Rivkin Radler, the Mentoring Partnership of Long Island and the Summit Lane Elementary School in Levittown, New York. He also serves on the MPLI Leadership Council.

Frank is a U.S. Army veteran and an ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate.

Ray negron

Ray Negron, Esq.

Ray Negron is a Solo practitioner in Mt. Sinai, New York.

 

Ray Negron is an Army Veteran and the recipient of a Purple Heart.

© Matt Greenslade

Richard Montes, Esq.

Richard J. Montes is a partner of Mauro Lilling Naparty LLP, the largest firm in the Northeast that handles appeals and litigation strategy.  Since joining MLN seventeen years ago, Rich has handled numerous appeals in state and federal courts.  His expansive practice includes medical and other professional malpractice; construction law; employment law; general negligence; toxic tort; punitive damages; products liability; asbestos and commercial litigation.  He is a frequent lecturer for in-house counsel, insurance companies and hospitals, and he has also published in a wide variety of practice areas.

From 2013-2020 Super Lawyers has named Rich for inclusion in its Metro Edition as one of the Metro areas top appellate attorneys.  Prior to that in 2011 and 2012, Super Lawyers named Rich in its Rising Stars Metro Edition as one of the top attorneys in New York under the age of 40.  No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state were selected to the list.  He was also inducted by Long Island Business News into its Class of 2012 “40 Under 40,” was selected by the Hispanic National Bar Association as a recipient of the HNBA’s 2012 Top Attorneys Under 40 Award, and has been named multiple times by Latino Leaders Magazine as one of the Top Latino Lawyers in the Country.

In 2010, Richard was elected as the President of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association (LIHBA), becoming the youngest President in the organization’s history.  During his tenure, Richard oversaw the creation of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association Community Service Fund (LIHBACSF), a non-profit created to help foster and promote the Long Island Hispanic community’s legal, educational and charitable missions.  From 2011 to 2014, Richard served as President of the LIHBACSF, raising tens of thousands of dollars to assist groups that advocate on behalf of the Hispanic community.

Dave Mejias

Dave Mejias, Esq.

Attorney David Mejias is a managing partner with the Mejias Milgrim & Alvarado, P.C., law firm, which has offices in Glen Cove and Hempstead, New York. Serving individuals and families throughout Nassau County and all of Long Island and the rest of the state, Mr. Mejias focuses his practice primarily on family law and divorce as well as serious personal injury and wrongful death claims.

A fierce advocate for those in need, Mr. Mejias has earned a reputation for his integrity, tenacity and tireless work ethic. He understands that an attorney is supposed to serve his or her clients and act as a trustworthy guide and counselor during their most difficult and trying times.

Using this philosophy as the driving force behind his practice, Mr. Mejias has earned high marks from both his clients and peers alike, and, in 2015, Long Island Pulse magazine voted him as the Best Divorce Lawyer on Long Island. Additionally, Long Island Business News named him to its list of 40 Rising Stars Under 40, and Long Island Press has named him among the 50 Most Powerful and Influential Long Islanders for the past four years.

Mr. Mejias' influence does not stop with his legal practice. Since being elected to the Nassau County Legislature in 2003, Mr. Mejias has helped shaped legislation that affects thousands of local residents, and he has been instrumental in introducing and implementing new legislation aimed at restricting and monitoring sex offenders.

A 1992 graduate of the University at Albany School of Business, Mr. Mejias obtained his Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law in 1995. He is the current chairman of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association, and he also serves as vice president for the Nassau County Democratic Party.

Cynthia Vargas

Cynthia Vargas, Esq.

Attorney Cynthia S. Vargas was born and raised in Bronx, New York, where she attended Public School 100, until moving to Long Island, where she graduated from Longwood High School. Cynthia pursued her higher education at State University of New York in Albany, where she received a Bachelors Degree in Political Science. She obtained her Juris Doctor in Law at Brooklyn Law School
in 1992. Upon graduating with her Juris Doctor, she returned to Long Island, where she continued her legal career and eventually started her own law practice in Bay Shore, New York. Cynthia has concentrated her practice in the areas ofMatrimonial and Family Law.

Cynthia was elected as President of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association and served a two year term. During her tenure, Cynthia presented and coordinated free legal community seminars touching upon different legal issues affecting the Hispanic Community. Cynthia also volunteers her time to participate and coordinate Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations at the Suffolk County Court
House and other community venues.

Cynthia is also a member of The National Hispanic Bar Association, The Suffolk County Matrimonial Bar Association and The Suffolk County Bar Association, where she serves on the Board as a Director and participates in a number of committees including, Leadership Development.

Lasalle 3

Hon. Hector LaSalle

The Hon. Hector D. LaSalle is the Presiding justice of the Appellate Division, 2nd Department. He was appointed to the Appellate Division by Governor Andrew Cuomo in January 2014 as Associate Justice.

Prior to this appointment, LaSalle had served as a justice of the Suffolk County Supreme Court since 2008 and as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Term for the Ninth and Tenth Judicial Department since 2012.

LaSalle received a BA in political science from Pennsylvania State University in1990. He went on to complete a J.D. at the University of Michigan School of Law in 1993.

He began his legal career as an assistant district attorney with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in1993. He remained in that capacity until 1998. After a brief stint in private practice, LaSalle joined the New York State Attorney General's Office in 1999. During his tenure there, he worked as an assistant attorney general assigned to the Medical Malpractice Section of the Claims Bureau. LaSalle ultimately returned to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in 2002, this time serving as a Lead Gang Prosecutor and Deputy Bureau Chief of the Special Investigation Bureau. He remained with the District Attorney's Office until his election to the Suffolk County Supreme Court in 2008.

His memberships have included the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Supreme Court Justices Association of the State of New York, the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association(past-president), and the Suffolk County Bar Association.

Luis A. Pagan Headshot

Luis Pagan, Esq.

 

 

Goglas

Hon. Phil Goglas

The Hon. Philip Goglas is a judge for the Suffolk County Court in the Tenth Judicial District of New York. He was erected to the County Court bench in 2015. That same year, Judge Goglas was appointed to serve as an acting judge for the Suffolk County Family Court by the Hon. A. Gail Prudenti, former Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York. Goglas came to the County Court after serving as an elected Judge of the Suffolk County District Court since 2011.

He graduated with his BA in government and politics from St. John's University in 1982 Whilein college, Goglas began serving as a police officer with the New York City Transit Police Department in 1981. He went on to earn his J.D. from Brooklyn Law school in 1987 while maintaining his role with the Transit Police.

Goglas began his legal career in 1991 as an assistant county attorney with the Suffolk County Department of Law. During his three-year tenure there, he was assigned to its Torts Bureau and Family Court Bureau.

In addition to his work as an assistant county attorney, Goglas joined the Central Islip Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter in 1993. As part of his involvement with the Department, he has been trained as an Advanced Firef1ght er/Hazmat, Safety Officer (2009) and as a Tech Team/High Angle Rope Rescue, Confined Space Trench Rescue Firefighter I (2010).

After leaving the Suffolk County Department of Law in 1994, he then joined the New York state Unified Court System as a hearing examiner for the Suffolk County Family Court. where he conducted hearings on Issues pertaining to support determination and paternity.

Then, in 2003, Goglas became an assistant town attorney for the Town of Smithtown in Suffolk County. During his seven-year tenure there, he also served as a special prosecutor for the Village of Lake Grove (2006 to 2010) and for the Village of Islandia (2005 to 2010). He would continue in those capacities until his election to the District Court.

While on the County Court bench, Judge Goglas has presided over the Judicial Diversion Program in Suffolk County. The program helps felony offenders of non-violent crimes, who also suffer from alcohol and drug addiction, to receive substance treatment in lieu of jail time or probation.

Some of his many memberships have included the New York State County Court Judges Association, the New York State Family Court Judges Association, the New York state Latino Judges Association, the Suffolk County Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the NAACP.

He has also served as a founding member and past president of the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association.