Founded in 1995, the Colombian American Bar Association (COLBAR) is a voluntary bar association consisting primarily of judges, national and international lawyers and firms, and law students. It is dedicated to furthering the civic and professional interests of Colombian American attorneys and their colleagues, and to address the legal interests of the Colombian American community in South Florida and at large.

COLBAR meets 10-12 times a year for network lunches, professional presentations and CLE’s, happy hour socials, a yearly picnic, and at other times for special events, such to welcome visiting Colombian dignitaries or to celebrate occasions important to the Colombian community. COLBAR also participates actively in charitable events—its annual Thanksgiving Turkey Drive is an established tradition—and its members often coordinate to provide the public with reliable no-cost legal information.

Executive Officer Profiles

Paula C. Arias, Esq.

Paula C. Arias is an international attorney whose professional experience includes work in the private, legal and academic sectors on issues related to international commercial arbitration, international human rights, public policy, rule of law, and advocacy. She has excellent interpersonal and outreach skills that have led to a large, established network of professional relationships with individuals and institutions domestically and internationally.

International Commercial Arbitration
International Sales
Cross-Border Transactions
Supply Agreements
Distributorship Agreement

Laura Arboleda, Esq.
Vice President

Laura Arboleda, Esq. was born to Colombian immigrant parents in the United States and raised between Medellin, Colombia and Miami, Florida. For over seven years she acquired experience in various immigration matters as a Paralegal in notable immigration law firms. Now she runs her own solo practice.

Immigration Law

Tiffany Escobar, Esq.

Tiffany Escobar, Esq., practices as an immigration attorney at Beltran Brito Casamayor LLP in Miami. Although a Miami native, her cultural roots are deeply entwined with her Colombian heritage. In the early stages of her legal career, she co-founded COLSBAR, the student chapter of COLBAR, now a prominent organization at both St. Thomas University Law and the University of Miami Law. Currently, she holds the esteemed position of Secretary of the Colombian American Bar Association, showcasing her ongoing commitment to legal communities. Beyond her official roles, Tiffany also serves as a legal advisor for the Florida chapter of the International Entrepreneur Chamber of Commerce, exemplifying her dedication to diverse aspects of the legal profession.

Beltran Brito Casamayor LLP
Immigration Law

Adriana Santiesteban

Adriana P. Santiesteban, Esq.
Treasurer and Immediate Past President

Adriana P. Santiesteban, Esq., is an experienced civil litigation trial attorney with over twenty years of experience in the legal field. She was born in Urrao, Colombia, S.A., and with the help and sacrifices of her maternal grandmother, her family immigrated to the United States when she was two years old. Ms. Santiesteban was raised in Brooklyn, NY and lived in East Stroudsburg, PA, for a few years before permanently moving to sunny Miami, FL in 1989.

Personal Injury / Workers’ Compensation
Family Law
Debt Negotiation / Defense
Landlord Tenant Disputes
Business Disputes
Criminal Defense

Board of Directors

Alexander Lian

Alexander Lian, Esq.
Board Member

Alexander Lian, originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, is well known for his legal acumen and ability to handle intricate and complex matters. Noteworthy achievements include his 2011 selection as a finalist for the Daily Business Review’s Most Effective Lawyer in South Florida, Real Estate Litigation. Mr. Lian’s clients include the largest Fortune 100 company headquartered in South Florida, national religious organizations, as well members of South Florida’s business community. A Vanderbilt University Graduate and Law School alumnus, he authored a renowned study on U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., which Cambridge University Press published internationally in 2020. Mr. Lian is also a Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator and past president of COLBAR (2021).

Real Property Litigation
Civil and Commercial Litigation

Fred Woodbridge

Frederick Woodbridge Jr., Esq.
Board Member

Frederick Woodbridge, Jr. Esq., handles international commercial and corporate matters. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and holds additional degrees from Middlebury College, the Sorbonne and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, along with an American J.D. law degree from the University of Cincinnati. He spent over 12 years in the Republic of Cameroon, West Africa, as a teacher and state secondary school principal. He is fluent in French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Mr. Woodbridge has lectured on international arbitration in Brazil for the U.S. Information Agency and shared insights on U.S. law to practitioners various countries. Actively involved in the Colombian American Bar Association for many years, he is a past president and secretary and currently holds a position on the board of directors.

Frederick Woodbridge, Jr., P.A.
Business-Commercial Law
Corporate Law
Real Estate

Maria T. Sallato

Maria T. Sallato, Esq.
Board Member

With over 25 years of experience, Maria T. Sallato is a highly regarded family law specialist based in Florida. Born in Colombia and a Florida resident since 1974, Ms. Sallato has earned Board Certification in Matrimonial and Family Law, showcasing her exceptional skills and ethical standards. Recognized for her expertise in complex international custody cases, including Hague convention matters, she actively contributes to the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section. Martindale-Hubbell rates her highly for legal ability and ethical standards. Ms. Sallato focuses on guiding clients through diverse family matters, from divorces to adoptions and probate cases.

Sallato & Associates, P.A.
International Child Custody (Hague Convention)