Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.
Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.

These exemplary law professionals will be honored as the 2021 AL DÍA Top Lawyers

Six legal professionals of Hispanic descent from the region will be awarded for their work in demonstrating excellence, high standards and dedication to the…


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After hosting last year’s edition virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 AL DÍA Top Lawyers Forum & Reception is returning to an in-person format.

The annual event was established to recognize lawyers of Hispanic origin who exemplify the highest standards of professionalism and ethics; and those who have demonstrated professional excellence and achievement, leadership, commitment to legal and community service, and dedication to improving the legal professional within the Greater Philadelphia Region and beyond.

It was previously announced that Ramona Romero, vice president and general counsel at Princeton University, will serve as the keynote speaker for this year’s event.  

In addition to what will surely be an inspiring speech to current and future generations of law professionals in attendance, six legal professionals will be honored for their work throughout their careers.

Five lawyers will be honored as AL DÍA Top Lawyers in the categories of nonprofit, small firm, mid-large firm, in-house counsel, and government. In addition, a sixth will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 2021 AL DIA Top Lawyers are: 

Kathy Gomez: Nonprofit

Kathy Gomez is the Deputy Director of Legal Practice for Community Legal Services (CLS) where she provides leadership and support to the team of Managing Attorneys ensuring CLS’ legal work is of the highest quality. CLS provides free civil legal assistance to thousands of low-income Philadelphians each year who are facing the threat of losing their homes, incomes, health care, and even their families. CLS provides a full range of legal services, including individual representation, high impact litigation, policy advocacy and community education.  

She also serves as an appointed member of the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness, a Board member of the Attic Youth Center, and a former Board member of GALAEI. 

Gomez is a graduate of Columbia University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University before earning a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

Henri Marcial: Small Firm 

Henri Marcial is the owner of Marcial & Associates, LLC and is currently a principal at Marcial & Haye.

He has more than 30 years of business and management experience, including 23 years as a licensed attorney providing legal services in contract management and negotiations, regulatory compliance, risk management, real estate sales and management, and litigation.

Marcial has also served as an arbiter and mediator, including for the City of Philadelphia. He is a board member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, and a member of the Minority Bar Committee of the PA Bar Association.

Marcial is a graduate of Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and Temple University Beasley School of Law.  

Lorena E. Ahumada: Mid-Large Firm

Lorena E. Ahumada is of counsel and employment compliance officer at Kleinbard LLC. 

She practices in the areas of complex commercial litigation, employment litigation and counseling, and insurance coverage. 

Ahumada has extensive experience in business litigation, and also regularly counsels private and public employers on a broad range of employment and human resources issues. These issues include compliance with civil rights and equal employment laws, hiring and firing practices, compliance with wage and hour and FMLA requirements, and racial and sexual harassment investigation practices. 

She is also a member and past president of both the Hispanic Bar Association of Philadelphia and the Hispanic Bar Association Legal Education Fund. 

In addition, Ahumada is a member of the Boards of Directors of the William Penn Foundation, the Philadelphia Health Partnership, the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, Inc. (APM), and the Defender Association of Philadelphia.

Ahumada is a graduate of George Washington University Law School. 

Alex Gonzalez: In-House Counsel 

Alex Gonzalez is vice president, general counsel & corporate secretary at Braven Environmental, an advanced plastics processing and technology company.

He has worked in private practice, representing underwriters, initial purchasers, placement agents and issuers in 33 and 34 Act securities matters, and board of directors and special committees in connection with governance matters and conflicted transactions. 

He previously served as an external corporate secretary for a NASDAQ listed publicly traded company.

An active member of the community, Gonzalez has served organizations in the non-profit sector as counsel and/or as a board member since 2011. He served as President of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania in 2015.  

He previously clerked for the Honorable Eduardo C. Robreno on the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 2008 and 2009 and an extern for the Honorable Dolores K. Sloviter on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 2006 and 2007.

Gonzalez graduated from Christian Brothers Academy High School in 2000, Rutgers College as a political science major and communication minor in 2004 and Rutgers School of Law at Camden, with honors, in 2007.

Maria Carrillo: Government

Maria Carrillo is an Assistant United States Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice in Philadelphia, a role she has served in since 2006.

She is a recipient of the DOJ Director’s “Award for Superior Performance.”

Carrillo is a seasoned prosecutor, specializing in financial crimes and has tried over 25 jury trials and more than 300 bench trials.  

She also supervises and leads teams of federal prosecutors, agents, and financial analysts, with a fierce commitment to advancing the rights of the Latinx community in the region. 

An active member of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, Carrillo graduated with her law degree from George Washington University Law School. 

Honorable Judge Teresa Sarmina: Lifetime Achievement Award

The Honorable Teresa Sarmina spent a total of 22 years as a judge of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. She was first elected in 1997 and was retained in 2007, before retaining again in the general election on Nov. 7, 2007. She stepped down from the bench in 2019.

Judge Sarmina began her professional career as an assistant district attorney for Philadelphia County for five years, before spending four years as deputy attorney at the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General-Region IX Drug Strike Force.

She then spent two years as senior deputy attorney at the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and another two years in the Public Protection Division. 

Sarmina earned her undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s College and her graduate degree from the University of Chicago. She earned her law degree from Georgetown University. 

The 2021 AL DÍA Top Lawyers Forum & Reception will take place Wednesday, December 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Pyramid Club. For registration information, click here


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