Palm Beach County lawyers, judges earn supreme achievement

Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 8:51 AM EDT
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Nearly a dozen lawyers and judges in Palm Beach County have a prestigious accolade on their resume.

Earlier this year, they traveled to Washington for a swearing-in ceremony to have the ability to argue cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

"We were literally standing there linked shoulder to shoulder as one group. It was magnificent," Gloretta Hall, a Palm Beach County lawyer, said.

As their families looked on, the women said their thoughts and emotions were endless. Destinie Baker-Sutton couldn't help but think about her lineage.

"How much I wished that my ancestors could be there to see this moment," Baker-Sutton said.

Gwendolyn Key Tuggle said she thought about her journey as a young student at the Howard University School of Law.

"I could remember the struggles of being in law school, of being broke and being hungry, having to go through those classes and carry those heavy books," Key Tuggle said.

These attorneys are members of the Sheree Davis Cunningham Association. The organization was created more than a year ago to keep Black female lawyers in particular from leaving the profession at alarming rates. It is named after the first Black woman to serve on the bench in Palm Beach County.

"It's one of those gasp moments," said Salesia Smith Gordon, who sponsored the group in this supreme achievement, along with Sia Baker-Barnes.

"I felt comforted because I knew the person to my right and to my left was experiencing this moment with me and they were in support of me," Sandra Powery Moses said.

The women said while this achievement doesn't define them, it does give them access to a door once closed to women and minorities. They now have the ability to argue cases in front of Supreme Court justices.

"When that opportunity does come knocking, you don't have to ask somebody else to do it," Baker-Sutton said.

Scripps Only Content 2023