Partner Nestor M. Mendez was part of the committee that organized the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor’s first visit to Puerto Rico after being sworn in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the first Latin American and third woman in our highest court. This visit was co-hosted by the Foundation of the Federal Bar Association (FFBA) and its Fellows Program, of which Néstor is a director and Life Fellow and by the Historical Society of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico (HSSCPR).
Justice Sotomayor was the keynote speaker in a December 17, 2009 session in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (USDCPR), between all judges in said Federal Court and the judges of the Puerto Rico Supreme Court and Appellate Courts. First Circuit Chief Judge Sandra Lynch and First Circuit Judge Juan R. Torruella were also in attendance a this historical meeting among the Puerto Rico and Federal Judiciary, in which Justice Sotomayor was also inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the Foundation of the Federal Bar Association. She then inducted as Life Fellows of the FFBA the Hon. Juan M. Perez Giménez, former Chief Judge of the USDCPR, honoring his 30 year tenure as a Federal Judge and the Hon. Carmen C. Cerezo, another Former Chief Judge of said Court who was appointed almost 30 years ago as the first Latin American woman Federal District Court Judge.
On December 18, 2009 Justice Sotomayor joined the Chief Judge of the USDCPR, Jose A. Fusté and the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico Federico Hernández Denton in a forum at the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico, with Néstor addressing the audience on behalf of the FFBA and its Fellows. Justice Sotomayor, in answering questions from the two chief judges on her historical journey to the Supreme Court, gave an inspiring and emotional message to an audience of more than 500 distinguished guests, including Federal and Puerto Rico judges, the First Lady of Puerto Rico; the Presidents of the Puerto Rico Senate and House of Representatives, former Governors of the Island and representatives from dozens of not-for profit-organizations, as well as FFBA Fellows and members of the board of directors of the HSSCPR.