ABOUT US

The Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association (MHBA) was founded in 1991 to organize Hispanic attorneys, judges, law students and other concerned members of the Hispanic community into a force for professional and community benefit. The MHBA mission is to unify and organize all members of the Hispanic legal community, to promote legal professionals, and to serve as an advocate for the Hispanic community in Minnesota. The MHBA strives to promote professional growth and opportunity for Latino law students and attorneys, to provide community service and to ensure access to justice for all.

In 1993, the MHBA began a scholarship fund with contributions from members and a matching gift from Mr. Cliff Whitehall, former President of the General Mills Foundation. In 1998, the MHBA established an endowment fund in partnership with El Fondo de Nuestra Comunidad and under the administration of The St. Paul Foundation. The MHBA Endowment Fund serves as a source of funding for law student interns working at non-profit organizations serving the Latino/a community. Each year MHBA hosts a fundraising gala event to continue to grow the fund to benefit the Latino/a community.

In 2004, the MHBA began its Law Student Mentorship Program to mentor the next generation of attorneys in Minnesota. Every year the program kicks off with a reception, where law students are matched with attorneys to provide guidance and an introduction into the legal community in Minnesota.

 

 

 

Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Statement

The Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association is committed to building a more just and equitable legal environment in Minnesota. We recognize the history of oppression that has resulted in ongoing disparities for some communities, as well as the limitations of a nonprofit framework to address them. Yet, we have a powerful network of organizations and change agents with an opportunity to create positive systemic change. We believe that nonprofits that engage diverse perspectives and evolve to be inclusive and behave equitably, can and do have profound impacts on society. We are therefore committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture where all individuals feel valued and respected regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, education, marital status, veteran status,  disability, or other protected characteristic. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for involvement and advancement in all of our committees, programs, and initiatives. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

Strategic Plan

In addition, the MHBA has awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards to Manuel Guerrero and Judge Salvador Rosas for their lifetime of commitment to the Minnesota Hispanic legal community.

Today, the MHBA has approximately 400 members representing all sectors of the legal community. MHBA’s members are leaders in the state judiciary, local and state government, private law firms, multinational corporations, public interest organizations and more. In addition, some of MHBA’s members are active on the Board of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) based in Washington, DC, which serves as the national voice of the Hispanic legal community, representing the interests of more than 100,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories. The MHBA is also affiliated with the HNBA, and has voting representation on the HNBA Board of Directors.

Some of MHBA’s most recent accomplishments include co-hosting the Latino Legal Experience Event that brought Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Minnesota and recently landing the bid to host the 2020 Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention in Minneapolis.

2021-2022 Board of Directors

Board meetings are typically held on the second Tuesday of each month at 6pm, with some exceptions. Board meetings are open to all members, please confirm the date and location with the Secretary if you plan to attend. Any items members would like to the board to consider for discussion or vote must be submitted at least 10 days in advance of the board meeting.

Richard

Richard Greiffenstein – President

Richard works as Director, ER Counsel for Target Corporation.  As in-house employment counsel, Richard provides day-to-day counsel to Target stores and HR partners, as well as manages Target’s store-related employment litigation.  Prior to working at Target, Richard worked 12 years in private practice as an employment lawyer and litigator in Minnesota and Florida.

 

Richard.Greiffenstein@target.com 

 
 
Roxy Gonzalez

Roxy Gonzalez – President - Elect

Roxy Gonzalez is an associate in Dorsey’s Trial group where she represents clients involved in complex business litigation and bankruptcy matters.

Before joining Dorsey, Roxy was a law clerk to the Honorable Justice David L. Lillehaug on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Roxy has dedicated a portion of her practice to pro bono work.

 
Braynell Estrada

Braynell Estrada Britton – Vice President

Braynell is a procurement Contract Consultant for U.S. Bank since 2018. Braynell draft and negotiate national and international contracts with vendors from different industries for the support of U.S. Bank´s internal business and launch of new business services. He is a licensed attorney in Nicaragua, his home country, and in Minnesota. Braynell likes to play soccer, reading books, cooking and volunteer.

U.S. Bank

612.973.8549 | braynell.estradabritton@usbank.com


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Kelvin Collado - Treasurer

Kelvin Collado is a litigation associate at Robins Kaplan in the Business Litigation Group. 
 

Kelvin Collado handles a wide range of legal matters, including appeals, for corporations, small businesses, and individuals. Kelvin is passionate about the law and committed to providing the best possible representation.

Kelvin began his career as a prosecutor at the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. As a prosecutor, Kelvin handled hundreds of cases, performed over a dozen evidentiary hearings, and a number of trials. He then moved to Minnesota and clerked for the Honorable Peter M. Reyes, Jr. of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, where he was exposed to a wide range of civil and criminal state appeals.

 
Robins Kaplan LLP
800 LaSalle Avenue Suite 2800
Minneapolis, MN 55402
 
 
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Andrea Mejia - Secretary

Andrea Mejia is an Associate attorney at Pfefferle Kane LLP. Andrea’s practice areas include subrogation, insurance defense, and construction law litigation. Andrea is also a licensed attorney in Colombia.

Pfefferle Kane LLP

600A Butler Square Building

100 North Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Direct 612 573-3017

Amejia@pfefferlekane.com

 

 
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Zuri Balmakund Santiago – Past President

Please direct all inquiries regarding the organization’s opinion on the George Floyd matter to President-Elect, Richard Greiffenstein, or Vice President, Roxanna Gonzalez.
 
Zuri Balmakund Santiago, is an Assistant Attorney General with the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General. She practices both criminal and civil law, and is currently assigned to the Human Services Division, where she represents the Department of Human Services on a variety of litigation matters including civil lawsuits, reductions in commitment, and fraud and abuse appeals.
Before joining the Attorney General's Office, Zuri was an Assistant County Attorney at the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, where she prosecuted drug and firearm crimes, and litigated child protection cases. Zuri's experience includes numerous criminal and administrative trials along with hundreds of contested hearings, making her a skilled advocate that is comfortable in the courtroom.
 

Board Members

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Pablo Orozco

Pablo Orozco has extensive experience litigating class and collective actions in federal and state courts across the country—particularly in California, where he started his career. He understands the intricacies and nuances of complex litigation and is adept at navigating through the processes and strategies involved in class and collective actions. Pablo also has experience counseling technology startups and emerging business on how to develop a lean, flexible, and cost-effective workforce.
 
Nilan Johnson Lewis
120 South Sixth Street, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55402
xavier-martine

Xavier Martine

Xavier grew up in Saint Paul. He served in the United States Navy as a Nuclear Engineer. Xavier later attended law school at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and graduated with honors magna cum laude. Now he is the owner of a small firm in downtown Minneapolis with three attorneys practicing criminal, family, and immigration law.

Xavier currently serves on the MHBA Community Outreach Committee. He is passionate about assisting the Hispanic community.

Martine Law PLLC

xavier@xmartinelaw.com

Phone: (612) 208-8076

Delmar Flynn

Delmar Flynn

Delmar is an Mexican-Argentine immigrant naturalized as a child. She attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and received her law degree from DePaul University in Chicago.

As an attorney, her passion for legal advocacy began with children in the role of their attorney and guardian ad litem. In her thirteen years of practice across Illinois and Minnesota, she has collaborated with social workers, foster parents, service providers and teachers, as well as opposing counsel, and advocates for her clients’ interests in court.

In addition to her current position in family law at Fiddler Osband, LLC, Delmar also donates her time to local legal aid organizations for pro bono work. She is also an active member of Minnesota Women Lawyers.

Fiddler Osband, LLC. delmar.flynn@gmail.com

Phone: 612-822-4095

Gabriel_Ramirez_Hernandez_Web Bio

Gabriel Ramirez-Hernandez

Gabriel Ramirez-Hernandez is an associate in Maslon's Litigation Group focused on representing clients in intellectual property disputes, products liability, and general business litigation.

Before joining Maslon, Gabriel clerked at the Minnesota Court of Appeals for the Honorable Peter M. Reyes Jr.

In addition to serving on the board, Gabriel serves on the MHBA Judicial Selection Committee, the Membership Committee, and the Development Committee.

Maslon LLP

Direct Phone: (612) 672-8289

Gabriel.Ramirez-Hernandez@maslon.com

Karla Santiago

Karla Santiago-Rodriguez

Karla was born in Puerto Rico, where she lived until August of 2017, when she moved to MN. Karla received her JD from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Karla began as a Family and Torts law solo practitioner in February of 2010. In December of that same year, Ms. Santiago was hired by the Puerto Rico Department of Justice, where she acted as a defense attorney and counselor for the Government of Puerto Rico, providing legal representation and counseling before the State and Federal District Court in cases regarding Medical Malpractice, Torts, Civil Rights, seizures, property seizure and forfeiture, Prison Rights and others. In August of 2017, Karla relocated to MN with her family. Ms. Santiago is admitted to the practice of law in Puerto Rico and Minnesota State and Federal District Courts and a member of the MHBA, NHBA, and AILA. In August of 2020, Ms. Santiago founded Santiago Legal LLC and currently practices Family and Immigration Law.

Santiago Legal LLC santiagolegalmn@gmail.com

612.810.7403

 
 

Student Representatives

Andrés Alejo

Andrés Alejo

Andres is a third year law student at the University of Minnesota Law School. He is interested in all topics involving the intersection of government and business law, and currently serves as both student director of the Business Law Clinic at the University of Minnesota Law School, and is a law clerk for the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, Civil Division.Prior to joining the legal field, Andrés was a concert pianist, who spent several years living and working on the East CoastAndrés was born in florida and raised in Dominican Republic, and as a transplant to the midwest, he's looking forward to putting down some long term roots in the beautiful Twin Cities.

University of Minnesota Law School

alejo009@umn.edu

617-599-6476

Yastril Nañez

Yastril Nañez

Yastril was born and raised in Dallas, TX and moved to MN in 2013 to pursue her B.A. in Women's Studies at the University of St. Thomas. She has worked as a legal advocate for Casa de Esperanza and as a bilingual Case Management Assistant for the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. Yastril is a rising second-year law student at the University of St. Thomas School of Law where she is the Co-President of the Latinx Law Student Association and the student representative for the MHBA.
 
University of St. Thomas School of Law 
 
 
Deanie Hatch

Deanie Hatch

Deanie is a third-year law student at Mitchell Hamline School of Law where she served as President of the ACLU Student Chapter and now serves as President of the Latine Law Student Association. She is a Bronx-born Puerto Rican, raised in Southern California, who moved to MN to pursue her B.S. in criminal justice, with a minor in psychology - and to play Division II tennis. Deanie is passionate about bringing awareness to the intersectional identities and experiences of Latines in the US. She is also a law clerk at the Hennepin County Attorney's Office in the Adult Prosecution Division.