Officers 2017-2018

Katie S. Phang, Esq.
President

Katie S. Phang is a partner on Berger Singerman’s Dispute Resolution Team, where she represents a diverse group of clients in complex commercial and real estate litigation, marital law, and white collar/compliance matters. She has more than 16 years of trial experience in state and federal courts. As a former prosecutor and private practitioner, she has tried dozens of jury and bench trials throughout Florida, several of which as Lead Trial Counsel.

AV-Preeminent rated in Litigation, Bankruptcy, Family Law, and Criminal Law, Katie has been recognized several times as a Top Lawyer in Corporate and Business Law by the South Florida Legal Guide and Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, as a Florida Super Lawyer in Business Litigation, and as a Rising Star by American Lawyer Media/Daily Business Review and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of South Florida. In 2014, Katie was honored by the State Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) as a “Leader in the Law”, and currently serves as President of Miami-Dade FAWL for 2017-2018. She has served as the Chair of a Florida Bar Grievance Committee and on the Board of Directors for the Dade County Bar Association. Katie is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami School of Law’s Litigation Skills Program, the Vice-President of the Executive Board of Suited for Success/Dress for Success Miami, and the Advisory Board Chair for the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial High School. She also is the Vice-Chair of the City of Miami Beach’s Design Review Board.

The legal panelist for “On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren” on Fox News, and for Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” and “Mornings with Maria”, Katie frequently comments on the hottest, trending legal issues and cases. She also appears on other national TV and radio outlets, including NPR and WMAL, and for local TV programming such as WPLG/Ch. 10’s “This Week in South Florida” and CBS4.

Lara Bueso Bach, Esq.
President-Elect

Lara Bueso Bach is an associate at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP 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 of 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.
Secretary

Elisa D’Amico is a litigation partner in the Miami office of K&L Gates with a unique legal practice: helping businesses and individuals fight invasion of privacy, defamation, internet-based abuse, and other First Amendment violations. She is a fierce litigator and passionate advocate who is equally dedicated to her clients and her causes.

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 the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project (www.cyberrightsproject.com), a global pro bono project aimed at helping victims whose sexually explicit images are distributed and displayed online without consent regain control of their online footprints and their lives.

Elisa regularly writes and lectures about internet privacy, cyber civil rights, and computer forensics. And she frequently is consulted by various media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, and Broadly./VICE on those topics. Among her many accolades, Elisa was awarded the Miami-Dade FAWL President’s Pro Bono Award in 2014; the Miami Herald “20 Under 40” emerging leaders in 2014; the HYPE® Miami Difference Maker” by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce in 2014; the inaugural “Attorney of the Year” by the ALM/Daily Business Review in 2015; and The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award in 2016. She also holds a AV® Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell.

Ardith Bronson, Esq.
Treasurer

Ardith Bronson serves as Of Counsel at DLA Piper, where she primarily focuses her practice in complex commercial litigation in the healthcare industry and represents clients in wide-ranging litigations involving Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Statutes, ERISA, Medicare, False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, RICO, and other claims impacting the managed-care industry. Ardith also has extensive experience handling bankruptcy litigation, derivatives litigation, as well as products liability actions.

Kristin Drecktrah Paz
Newsletter Editor

Kristin Drecktrah Paz serves as Newsletter Editor of MDFAWL, is a member of the Publications Quality Control Committee and the Membership Committee. Kristin practices in complex commercial and international disputes with Shutts & Bowen LLP. She regularly counsels international clients, especially from Latin America, and she is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. In addition to MDFAWL, Kristin is Co-Chair of the ABA Section of International Law’s International Energy and Natural Resources Committee; serves on the Executive Council of The Florida Bar International Law Section; and currently sits as President of Miami’s young arbitration practitioners group, Future of Arbitration: Miami. Kristin is committed to pro bono work and has been representing indigent clients in dependency and immigration proceedings through the CABA Pro Bono Project.

Rebecca Ocariz, Esq.
Immediate Past President

Rebecca A. Ocariz is an attorney at Akerman LLP, focusing her practice on product liability and commercial litigation. She has extensive experience defending pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Rebecca represented Bausch & Lomb in the Renu® contact lens solution litigation, represented Pfizer in the hormone replacement therapy litigation and represented Boston Scientific in its pelvic mesh litigation. Additionally, she represented Hoffmann-La Roche in litigation involving Accutane® and also represented 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 MDFAWL’s President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, as a Director, and as a Committee Chair. Rebecca received MDFAWL’s President Award in 2012 and 2015. She is a graduate of Class II of the Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy and a recipient of the FAWL Leader in the Law award. Rebecca has been recognized by The Legal 500.