News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Tues. Jan. 17, 2023: Just over a week ago, on January 9th, history was made in South Florida as a Haitian immigrant was sworn in as the first Haitian American United States Attorney in South Florida. Here are 6 things to know about this Caribbean immigrant:
1: He is Markenzy Lapointe, 54, who took the oath before Chief U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. Lapointe replaces Juan Antonio Gonzalez, a career federal prosecutor who had led the office since March 2021. “I am deeply honored to serve my country and community as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida,” said Lapointe. “The proud history of this office stems from decades of commitment to justice, fairness, integrity, and community service. I will follow these principles and strive to uphold the standard of excellence on which this office is built.”
2: Lapointe was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti and immigration to Miami at age 16 to live in the Liberty City neighborhood.
3: He went to Edison High School and then Miami Dade College and joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the Florida State University in 1993 and a Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law in 1999.
4: From 1999 to 2001, he worked as a law clerk for Florida Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead. From 2002 to 2006, he served as an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Lapointe then went into private practice as a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and later in the Miami office of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, where he handled commercial, high exposure product liability, professional malpractice, and criminal investigation matters. He also co-chaired the law firm’s Advancement of Diverse Attorneys Committee, promoting the retention and advancement of attorneys from diverse backgrounds.
5: Throughout his career, Lapointe has maintained a notable pro bono practice. He received the Legal Aid/Put Something Back Pro Bono Award in Child Advocacy and the Daily Business Review’s Most Effective Lawyer Award for Pro Bono in Family Law.
6: On September 15, 2022, President Joe Biden nominated Lapointe to be the United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida. On December 1, 2022, his nomination was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote. On December 6, 2022, his nomination was confirmed in the Senate by voice vote.