2021 Legal Awards Honorees: Javier J. Rodriguez and Angela C. De Cespedes

“As a youth, I developed an interest in being a trial lawyer from watching TV shows,” says Rodriguez. “Then, in the summer of 1979, when I was 14 years old, a high-profile criminal trial was taking place in Miami, and was in the news every day. The defendant was Ted Bundy, the notorious serial killer. I was working with my father that summer, and one day instead of going to work I went to the courthouse to watch the trial. I sat in the third row, immediately behind the defendant, and observed an entire day of the proceedings. What most struck me that day was the defense lawyers’ impressive cross-examination of the state’s witnesses. I left the courthouse knowing I had found my calling and determined to become a trial lawyer. I never wavered from this path. To this day, cross-examination is my favorite part of a trial.”

“I don’t know very many 5-year-olds that could sit quietly for hours watching episodes of Perry Mason and Matlock, but I remember being fascinated by the concept that things are usually not what they appear to be at first blush, and the research and investigation that followed in order to come as close as possible to piecing together the truth – and even then reconciling that it is still subjective and malleable,” Cespedes says. “An endeavor that requires a heightened sense of intuition, keen observations of human behavior and environment, attention to detail typically overlooked by others, tenacity and the ability to maintain an open mind – all qualities which I have always valued. In addition, from a very young age I have always been drawn to and felt the need to intervene when I perceived an injustice, not only to reconcile the immediate concern, but also in an attempt to “fix” the situation that led to it so it does not repeat itself. All of these qualities are imperative when practicing law, and every now and again, when I need a little inspiration, a couple of classic episodes of Perry Mason or Matlock will still do the trick.”

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.