October 4, 2002

Outstanding Hispanic Lawyers and Jurists Profiled During Hispanic Heritage Month

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, the lives and careers of four prominent Hispanic lawyers and jurists will be profiled on the Web site of the American Bar Association Division for Public Education http://www.abanet.org/publiced/home.html.

These four individuals were chosen for their exemplary service to the community and legal profession and their professional record of ground-breaking achievements.

First to be profiled at http://www.abanet.org/publiced/hhm2002.html is J. Robert Flores of New York, administrator for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Prevention, who has committed his career to combating juvenile crime and helping at-risk youth.

He began his career working for children’s rights and safety as assistant district attorney in New York City where he prosecuted numerous child sexual abuse cases.

During his tenure as senior trial attorney and acting deputy chief in the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Flores supervised several national investigations concerning Internet-based child pornography.

At the Crimes Against Children Conference in August 2002, he noted that he is most proud of his work on behalf of sexually abused and exploited children, and asked conference participants to work together “to insure that all children have the opportunity to grow safely into responsible adulthood.”

Flores lectures frequently on child abuse and exploitation, criminal procedure, criminal and constitutional law, investigative procedures and computer crime. He encourages law students, particularly those of Hispanic descent, to consider working in public service where they can have an impact on Hispanic youth in the system, giving them an opportunity to see legal professionals who share their heritage working for justice and fairness for all.

To be profiled on the Web site in succeeding weeks will be:

 Elma Teresa Salinas Ender is the first Mexican-American woman appointed and elected to a district court in Texas, and has served since 1983. Active in the community and the profession, she has received many awards for her accomplishments and commitment to justice, including her work with the Task Force on Foster Care, the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Access to Justice Commission.

 Alberto R. Gonzales was named counsel to President George W. Bush in 2001. Gonzales has already forged an impressive career in Texas, becoming the second Hispanic to serve as a justice of the Texas Supreme Court. He also served as Texas’ 100th Secretary of State and as senior advisor to then-Governor Bush. He has been instrumental in advancing bilingual voting assistance in the extension of the Voting Rights Act.

 Carlos Moreno was sworn in as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court in October 2001, becoming the third judge of Hispanic heritage to serve in the court’s 150-year history. Relinquishing his lifetime seat on the U.S. District Court, where he had served since 1998, Moreno chose to join the state’s high court because he felt it would enable him to address critical issues involving social policy. He has received many honors for his devotion to the justice system and his community, and for helping young people.

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