PBCBA BAR BULLETINS pbcba_bulletin_april 2018 - Page 13

CDI C o r n e r 2018 Recipient of the Judge Edward Rodgers Diversity Award: Julieann Rico Amy S. L. Terwilleger Every year, the Judge Edward Rodgers Diversity Award is presented to an attorney who demonstrates a consistent pattern of commitment to the recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse individuals; an attorney who cultivates and promotes diversity initiatives that establish and foster a more inclusive work environment; and an attorney who, through visionary and insightful leadership and strategic decision-making, implements and carries out best practices that support diversity and inclusion goals. This year’s winner, Ms. JulieAnn Rico, General Counsel of the Palm Beach County School Board, does all of these things . . . and more. backgrounds of their colleagues, while gaining more sensitivity to and a better understanding of why people hold the beliefs they do. And, Ms. Rico instituted a pay equality program for the legal department. Ms. Rico’s efforts extend outside of her own office and into the School District, benefitting students as well. Ms. Rico established a revised expulsion initiative, under which every student who is recommended for expulsion is provided with a hearing and an attorney representative (with the assistance of the minority bar associations and Palm Beach County Legal Aid). This program ensures that all students, no After her appointment as General Counsel matter their socio-economic status, gender, in 2003, Ms. Rico made it her mission to race, religion, ethnicity, etc., are guaranteed create a diverse in-house law department a fair process before being expelled. by intentionally recruiting, retaining, and promoting diverse attorneys and staff, with For all of these reasons and so many more, an eye towards increasing diversity by race, Ms. JulieAnn Rico is this year’s extremely- age, religion, gender, and sexual orientation, deserving winner of the 2018 Judge Edward among other categories. Although she Rodgers Diversity Award. In her own words, left the School Board in 2005, she returned “this is a very humbling award; it speaks in 2013, with the same goal of increasing to the impact of many who have joined the diversity of her office — an extremely together to celebrate our differences to laudable goal in light of the magnificent create a greater good. I am very honored to diversity of Palm Beach County and the be among them!” population that the School Board serves. Ms. Rico has consistently hired minority Amy S. L. Terwilleger interns though the Palm Beach County (Professional Liability Defense and Business Litigation Attorney at Gunster) Diversity Internship Program (including hiring a former DIP Intern as an associate attorney), as well as hiring high school students from the law magnet program at Palm Beach Lakes High School. The current make-up of Ms. Rico’s office highlights the positive influence that her emphasis on diversity has had. Moreover, Ms. Rico fosters diversity by selecting diverse outside counsel to represent the School Board. Voir Dire session: (l-r) Judge James Nutt, Ilana Marcus, Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer, Judge Glenn Kelley, Hope Baros, Christine Geraghty and Judge Laura Johnson Direct/Cross Examination of an Expert Witness session: (l-r) Jenny Barboza, Dr. Farhad Booeshaghi, Matthew Menchel, Ilana Marcus, Hope Baros, Judge Kastrenakes and Christine Geraghty. Trial Practice Series with the Judges But it is not only in demographic results where Ms. Rico’s influence can be seen. Ms. Rico is encouraging and developing leadership skills by leveraging the diverse experiences of her attorneys and staff. For example, Ms. Rico implemented an initiative whereby all staff were provided the opportunity to tell their leadership story and how they attained the position within the legal department that they currently occupy. This initiative encouraged staff to understand and appreciate the diverse The Criminal Practice Committee held a Three Part Lunch and Learn. The fact pattern for the series was a vehicular homicide prosecution involving accident reconstruction issues of fault/liability. The audio of the series is available on the Bar’s website. Closing Arguments session: (l-r) Jack Scarola, Hope Baros, Ilana Marcus, Bruce Reinhart and Judge Kastrenakes PALMBEACHBAR.ORG 13