Category Archives: section-committee-2

CLE Section

Responsible for implementing the MBBA’s continuing legal education in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board and action plan.

Kersuze Morancy, Co-Chair

Kersuze Morancy is the Director of the CP Legal Research Group at Counsel Press, the nation’s largest appellate service provider.  Kersuze focuses on appeals (federal and state), specifically drafting appellate briefs and motions for clients from coast to coast. Kersuze is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law – Camden.

Matthew Smalls, Co-Chair

Matthew R. Smalls, Esq. is the Senior Vice President of MirRam Group, a high-level government affairs firm with offices in Manhattan and Albany, NY. Mr. Smalls is the Director of Operations in the Albany Office, where he represents a cross section of clients who have business before the State Government.

Mr. Smalls is also a successful criminal defense attorney, representing clients facing criminal charges throughout the State. His legal experience includes serving as a member of the Trial Division of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and successful internships in the Major Narcotics Investigations Bureau of the Kings County District Attorney Office, and the Investor Protection Bureau of the Attorney General of the State of New York.

Mr. Smalls has also served as Special Counsel to the New York State Senate. In that capacity, he was the lead contact for the United States Attorney’s Office during highly-publicized investigations into political corruption in Albany. Mr. Smalls also represented notable politicians and senior staff members during the lengthy Aqueduct bid rigging investigation launched by the New York State Inspector General.

Mr. Smalls is active in the New York City Bar Association, and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. A native of Albany, New York, Mr. Smalls attended The Albany Academy for Boys, The University of Rochester, and New York Law School. He resides in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.

Corporate Law Section

Focused on providing timely programming on various transactional areas of law including State corporate laws, Corporate governance, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, federal securities laws and other issues related to business law.

Alana St. Aude, Co-Chair

Alana C. St. Aude is Co-Chair of the Corporate Law Section of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA). Alana is Director, Assistant General Counsel in Capital One's Commercial Banking unit, where she provides legal advice to investment professionals financing deals in the Technology, Media, Telecom (TMT) sector. Alana previously practiced as a banking & finance attorney at both Weil Gotshal and Paul Weiss. Alana is a former member of the board of directors of the Association for Black Women Attorneys (ABWA) and an active member of the New York City Bar Association. Alana received her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2010, and her Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, where she was a Cornell Tradition Fellow.

Lola Temple, Co-Chair

Lola Ladeinde Temple is Associate General Counsel of Fareportal Inc., a global travel technology company, where she advises the company and its lines of business on commercial and strategic transactions, litigation and disputes, regulatory matters and other critical legal and compliance initiatives.  

She was previously counsel to a Fortune 500 professional services firm and a senior associate at DLA Piper LLP, where she specialized in leveraged finance, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity transactions.

Lola is admitted to the State Bar of New York. She received her J.D. from Washington University School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. She is co-chair of the corporate law section of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.    

Lola lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters.

Patrick Dorime, Secretary

Patrick S. Dorime is a Senior Associate in Norton Rose Fulbright U.S. LLP's Corporate, Corporate M&A and Securities group.

Patrick represents public and private companies and other institutions on a wide array of corporate and securities law matters. His practice focuses on a broad range of domestic and international business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and public offerings and private placements of debt and equity securities, covering a broad range of industries, including energy, manufacturing, automotive, communications, software and technology. He also regularly advises clients on U.S. securities law matters, including periodic corporate filings, Section 16 issues, proxy filings and Rule 144 and corporate governance matters including board and board committee matters and corporate governance best practices.

Patrick graduated from New York University's College of Arts and Science in 2009, where he received his B.A. in Politics. Following his graduation from NYU, Patrick attended law school at the Fordham University School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2012.

For more information on Patrick, please visit

Blessing Anosike, Secretary

Blessing A. Anosike is a licensed New York and New Jersey attorney. She is a first-generation Nigerian-American, who spent her entire adolescent years in Nigeria and came back to America at the age of eighteen where she attended the University of Scranton. From there, she went on to attend New England Law Boston where she earned her J.D, and subsequently, the University of Baltimore Law School where she earned her LL.M degree in Taxation. Being a Finance major in college, Ms. Anosike has always had a passion for numbers and helping others. As such, she has worked for non-profit organizations where she has managed offices dedicated to helping low-income families and individuals file taxes as well as educating them on financial decisions.

Civil Law Section

Provides programs that focus on the law, procedure, practice, techniques and changes to the civil law practice in New York

Co-Chair, Hon. Dakota Ramseur

Co-Chair, Hon. Lisa Ottley

The Hon. Lisa S. Ottley is an Acting Supreme Court Justice in Kings County-Brooklyn, where she presides over Guardianship matters, a Motion Part and Trials. In addition, Judge Ottley presides over weekend arraignments in Kings County. She was elected to the Civil Court in 2008. In 2010, she was appointed the Supervising Judge of the Civil Court. Prior to her appointment as Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, she presided over cases in both the Civil and Family Court in Kings County. As Supervising Judge of the Civil Court, Kings County she presided over the Trial Assignment Part in Civil Court, and the overall case management of the Civil Court in Kings County.

She is the first African-American Judge to be appointed as Supervising Judge of the Civil Court in Kings County and obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Temple University School of Law. Justice Ottley is the recipient of several honors and awards from various civic groups and organizations, such as the NYPD Guardians Association, the 42nd A.D. Democratic Club, the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, the Kings County Housing Bar Association, Kings County Courts Gender Awareness Committee, and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. Judge Ottley remains actively involved in the communities of Brooklyn, New York. She has been a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., since 1984 and remains committed to providing community service to all mankind.

Community Service Committee

  • Develop programming for educating the public about legal matters
  • Serve, Educate and Empower communities of color through dynamic programs, initiatives and/or focused assistance
  • Chaired by any Board Member at Large
  • E.g., Community Law Day, Volunteering Opportunities at local organization’s

Karume James, Co-Chair

Karume James is currently a staff attorney with The Bronx Defenders in the Criminal Defense Practice, where he has represented hundreds of low-income clients charged with misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses. Karume received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2014, where he was an Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Fellow, Associate Research Editor for the Brooklyn Law School Journal of Law & Policy, a member of the Brooklyn Law School Moot Court Honor Society, Trial Division, and a recipient of the Regina Crea Memorial Prize at graduation for the most devoted and disinterested service during law school.  Karume began his career as a grassroots organizer, first representing nearly 1,000 unionized healthcare workers at UCLA Hospital, and later as a lead community organizer in South Central Los Angeles and the South Bronx, where he led advocacy campaigns to hold police accountable, increase youth recreational programming to reduce rates of crime and violence, and build community-based resident leadership.  Karume holds a B.A. in African American Studies with a concentration in Psychology from UCLA.

Karume has been actively involved in community-based and civic leadership organizations.  He was a 2016 New Leaders Council Fellow, and is a member of the Minority Voting Rights Committee of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.  He is currently a board member with the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) and the co-chair of the MBBA’s Community Service Committee.

Katherine Charles Co-Chair

Katherine V. Charles is a licensed New York attorney. First generation Haitian-American, Ms. Charles attended The City College of New York followed by New England Law Boston. From her pre-teenage years in Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated, Katherine's been an avid volunteer and leader in her hometown of Rockland County, New York. Switching majors from Biology to Social Sciences, Ms. Charles, a passionate young adult at the time, eager to impact the lives of all those she came across, joined Habitat for Humanity, formed a citywide women's nonprofit organization with her friends, Women of Excellence, Strength and Tenacity, Incorporated, served as a mentor to over forty girls in Harlem, New York, and started a nongovernmental organization, Hope for Haiti. As a law student, she continued to execute her mission of serving the community, holding the position of President of her law school's Black Law Student Association. She's been honored for her dedication to public service with the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association's Judge Reginald Lindsay Award and New England Law Boston's Dean Timothy J. Cronin Jr. Memorial Award. Currently, Katherine Charles is an Assistant District Attorney in Rockland County, New York. She also serves as a mentor and instructor to at-risk youth through the county's Youth Police Initiative and a grant writer for Rockland County’s Habitat for Humanity Chapter. She looks forward to working with MBBA and serving as a Community Service Committee Co-Chair."

Labor and Employment Section

The Labor and Employment Section is designed to serve all practitioners in this ever-emerging area of law, including plaintiff side, management, government and in-house attorneys. The Section seeks to keep its members abreast of changes in the field by hosting regular CLEs and prompting events and programs on topics of interest. The Section will also serve as a community for Labor and Employment practitioners to come together and discuss changes in the practice area, strategies, tips, and experiences to enhance our practice.

  • Designed to serve all practitioners in this ever-emerging area of law, including plaintiff side, management, government and in-house attorneys
  • Seeks to keep its members abreast of changes in the field by hosting regular CLEs and prompting events and programs on topics of interest
  • Will also serve as a community for Labor and Employment practitioners to come together and discuss changes in the practice area, strategies, tips, and experiences to enhance our practice

Tanya N. Blocker, Co-Chair

Tanya N. Blocker formally served as Senior Counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Division of the New York City Law Department, Office of Corporation Counsel. There her practice concentrated on management side employment matters, including state and local wage and hour, federal/state anti-discrimination laws, and class and collective actions. Ms. Blocker also has extensive experience in all facets of the litigation process, both in federal and state court, from the pleadings stages through to trial.

Prior to serving as Senior Counsel, Ms. Blocker worked at the law firm Kaye Scholer LLP., as an associate in the Complex Commercial Group of the firm’s New York office. During her tenure at Kaye Scholer, Ms. Blocker focused her practice on complex commercial litigation matters, which also included white collar criminal defense, securities litigation, and government and corporate investigations. While at Kaye Scholer, Ms. Blocker also served on various committees, including, Recruiting, Diversity and the Women’s committees.

Ms. Blocker’s pro bono practice includes successfully second-chairing a trial with the New York City Law Department involving Section 1983 claims brought against city police officers. The defense verdict resulting from this trial was recognized in the “Verdicts and Settlements” section of the New York Law Journal. Ms. Blocker also volunteers a significant portion of her time and serves as a mock trial coach for a public school in Harlem, New York. Notably, Ms. Blocker led the students to the championship in the citywide Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition.

Presently, Ms. Blocker spends a significant portion of her time in West Africa engaging in governance, emerging market and international employment law.

Ms. Blocker currently serve as Chair of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association’s (MBBA) Labor and Employment Law Section, a board member of After- School All-Stars (ASAS) NY/NJ Chapters, and is a Council of Urban Professionals Executive Leadership Program (CUP ELP) participant.

On November 1, 2017, Ms. Blocker was installed as the twenty-second President of the Association of Black Women Attorneys, a non-for-profit bar association committed to promoting and supporting both the personal and professional development and rowth of Black women attorneys.

Dominique Saint Fort

Dominique F. Saint-Fort is Senior Counsel at the New York City Law Department, Office of Corporation Counsel. In that capacity, she represents the City of New York in litigation arising out the the City's role as an employer of approximately a quarter-million workers, in State and Federal Court, on a wide range of employment law issues.

Prior to this, Dominique served as a law clerk to the late Hon. Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Associate Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals. Dominique is a graduate of Howard University and St. John's University School of Law.