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Roland Sanchez-Medina named Florida Bar president-elect designate

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Sanchez-Medina said he hopes to explore ways to strengthen health and wellness in the legal profession and help Florida lawyers deal with the pressures of family, child rearing, and managing a modern legal practice

Roland Sanchez-Medina, Jr.

Roland Sanchez-Medina Jr.

Roland Sanchez-Medina, Jr., of Miami, a veteran Board of Governors member and past Cuban American Bar Association president,  has become president-elect designate of The Florida Bar after being elected without opposition.

“I’m excited to be working with the Board of Governors and the staff,” he said. “The level of professionalism and dedication I see at the Bar is second to none.”

A transactional lawyer and managing partner of SMGQ Law, Sanchez-Medina assumed the title December 15 when the qualifying period ended and no other candidate stepped forward.

Sanchez-Medina said he wouldn’t have risen to Bar leadership without the encouragement of his colleagues on the 52-member Board of Governors.

“The support from the board  members has been truly humbling,” he said. “I owe each and every one of them my heartfelt gratitude.”

Sanchez-Medina will serve alongside President-elect Scott Westheimer for a year after Westheimer succeeds President Gary Lesser at the Annual Convention in June. Sanchez-Medina begins his year-long presidential term when he succeeds Westheimer in June 2024.

It’s too early to discuss the initiatives he intends to pursue when he takes the reins, Sanchez-Medina said.

“We’re only stewards for a year, so one of my priorities is going to be finishing up projects for President Lesser and President Westheimer,” he said.

However, Sanchez-Medina said he hopes to explore ways to strengthen health and wellness in the legal profession and help Florida lawyers deal with the pressures of family, child rearing, and managing a modern legal practice.

Sanchez-Medina’s campaign platform, “Promote Integrity, Justice and Service,” began with his twin vows to “Fortify the significance of civility and professionalism among members, in our service to the courts, and for the public,” and to “Defend the mandatory and unified status of The Florida Bar as an agency of the Supreme Court.”

Other campaign planks include promoting “a dedicated path to justice for those who lack access and representation to lawyers,” and developing “real-world solutions that focus on fairness and merit to increase diversity and equity in Florida’s legal profession.”

A Cuba native, Sanchez-Medina was 2 when his parents were assigned to the Belgian Congo and later granted political asylum in South Africa. His physician father moved the family to Philadelphia before eventually establishing an orthopedic surgery practice in Miami.

A 1991 Boston College Law School graduate, Sanchez-Medina earned an L.L.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law in 1992. He earned a B.B.A. from the University of Miami in 1988.

Sanchez-Medina is a member of the Business Law Section, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, and the International Law Section. Bilingual, he served as CABA president in 2009.

Since his election to the Board of Governors more than eight years ago, Sanchez-Medina has served on many board committees, and recently chaired the influential Program Evaluation Committee.

His extensive history of community and professional service includes stints as chair of the Miami-Dade County School Board’s Budget & Audit Committee, chair of the board of directors and general counsel of South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the Orange Bowl Committee.

Sanchez-Medina is married to attorney Johanna Armengol. They have three children, Mariana, 23, Alessandra, 22, and Christian, 15.

In a Bar podcast last year, Sanchez-Medina credited his instruction at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School with helping frame his dedication to public service.

“The school’s motto is to be a man for others,” he said. “When you’re young, you really don’t think that sinks in, but as you get older, you think, wow, maybe that did have an impact.”

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