Officers 2015-2016

Ileana Cruz, Esq.
President

Ileana Cruz serves as Assistant County Attorney for Miami Dade County. Her practice involves advising Miami-Dade County’s Property Appraiser and Tax Collector in administrative and litigation matters relating to ad valorem taxes, value adjustment board decisions, and local business tax issues, among other matters. Ileana specializes in representing the interests of the Tax Collector, and other Miami-Dade County departments in federal bankruptcy courts across the country. In addition to her tax and bankruptcy litigation practice, Ileana counsels the Finance department on legislative items, drafts ordinances and resolutions, and advises the Board of County Commissioners on tax and finance matters. Ileana serves on The Florida Bar’s Voluntary Bar Leaders Committee as Chair (2014-2015), and on the Social Media and Communications Technology Committee, and is a graduate of The Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy, Class II (2014-2015).

Rebecca Ocariz, Esq.
President-Elect

Rebecca Ocariz is a partner at Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, focusing her practice on product liability and commercial litigation. She has extensive experience defending pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Rebecca was part of the national team that handled the Bausch & Lomb Renu® contact lens solution litigation. Presently, she is serving as jurisdictional counsel for Pfizer in the hormone replacement therapy litigation and is counsel for Boston Scientific in pelvic mesh litigation. Additionally, she is work-up counsel in litigation involving Accutane® and also represents Stryker in the Rejuvenate® litigation. Before joining the firm, Rebecca served as senior litigation counsel for a generic pharmaceutical company where she oversaw national and international litigation. Rebecca has served as MD-FAWL’s Secretary, Treasurer, as a Director and as a Committee Chair. She is a recent graduate of Class II of the Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy, is a recipient of the FAWL Leader in the Law award and was recognized by The Legal 500.

Katie S. Phang, Esq.
Secretary

Katie S. Phang has been a member of the Florida Bar since 2000 and is listed “AV-Preeminent” in Litigation, Criminal Law, and Bankruptcy, as well as in Family Law. A Partner/Owner at Arrastia, Capote & Phang, LLP, a 100% minority and women-owned law firm, Katie has successfully represented clients in matters ranging from commercial litigation to catastrophic injury/wrongful death. Her practice focuses on trying cases, both at the state and federal levels, both in the civil and criminal justice system. A graduate of Yale College and the University of Miami School of Law, Katie serves as the Secretary of Miami-Dade FAWL, on the Board of Directors for the Dade County Bar Association (DCBA), and on several committees for the national Defense Research Institute (DRI). She also sits on the Executive Committees for Dress for Success Miami and the Friends of the New World Symphony. She teaches Litigation Skills as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami School of Law, and serves as the Chair of a Florida Bar Grievance Committee and on the Florida Bar’s Civil Procedure Rules Committee. Katie was recently appointed by Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine to sit on the City’s Design Review Board and is on the Advisory Board for the Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial High School.

Lara Bueso Bach, Esq.
Treasurer

Lara Bueso Bach is an associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and a member of the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation practice group. Ms. Bach has substantial commercial litigation experience in the defense of multidistrict litigations and has worked on a broad range of commercial disputes in the areas of product liability, bankruptcy, wrongful death, business torts, and contractual disputes, in both the state and federal systems. Throughout her career, Ms. Bach has been an active contributor to the community, mentoring young female law students, and participating in various pro bono matters including the Miami Dade County Public Defender’s Ensuring Equal Justice Initiative and Lawyers for Children. In addition to serving as Treasurer Miami-Dade FAWL, Ms. Bach was recently elected to The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors, and serves on the Alumni Association Board of Directors at Rollins College. Ms. Bach received a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and graduated summa cum laude from Rollins College with a degree in Political Science. In 2015, the Florida Association of Women Lawyers recognized Ms. Bach as one of its annual “Leaders in the Law,” an award bestowed on women who have made significant impacts in their communities.

Elisa D’Amico, Esq.
Newsletter Editor

Elisa D’Amico, a partner in the Miami office of K&L Gates, focuses her practice on sophisticated litigation issues, including internet affiliate marketing, online privacy, cyber and technology law, online consumer deception and fraud, unfair deceptive acts and practices, and bankruptcy related matters. She holds an AV® Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell, and in 2014, Elisa was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Daily Business Review’s “Attorney of the Year” award. A graduate of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University, and Fordham Law School, Elisa is well known for her work co-founding her law firm’s Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project (CCRLP), a pro bono project aimed at helping victims of nonconsensual pornography seek recourse and regain control of their online privacy and of their lives. The CCRLP has been recognized both nationally and internationally by various media outlets, including the New York Times, International Business Times, Corporate Counsel, CNN, MSNBC, and The Huffington Post.

In addition to her involvement with Miami-Dade FAWL, Elisa sits on the Advisory Board of Dade Legal Aid, the Development Committee of The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade, and is the Vice President of the Fordham Law Alumni Association, among other things. She has been recognized for her forward-thinking and dedication to bettering the community by numerous legal and non-legal community organizations, including the Miami Herald, South Florida “20 Under 40” Emerging Leader (2014), Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce HYPE® Miami “Difference Maker” (2014), the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, “Leaders in the Law” ( 2015), and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s “40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of South Florida” award (2015). Elisa is a fierce litigator and passionate advocate who is dedicated to both her clients and her causes. Above all, her favorite line of work remains being a mom and stepmom to two beautiful boys (which is why you will rarely see her sitting still).

Deborah Baker-Egozi
Immediate Past President

Deborah Baker-Egozi is a founding Member of the law firm of Lipscomb, Eisenberg & Baker, PL and is the Immediate Past President of Miami-Dade FAWL. A 1999 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, Ms. Baker-Egozi practices in the area of complex business litigation. Ms. Baker-Egozi also advises clients on intellectual property matters, including a multi-national retail business with respect to claims of trademark and copyright infringement. Ms. Baker-Egozi has obtained her National Association of Securities Dealers Series 7, 55, and 63 licenses, and is a member of the California, New York and Florida Bars. She is a member of the Florida Bar Civil Procedure Rules Committee and sits on a Florida Bar Eleventh Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee. Ms. Baker-Egozi is a Supporting Member of the Perez Art Museum of Miami, and served on the board of Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. from 2009-2011, during which tenure she was awarded its Volunteer Service Award.