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
Adriana P. Santiesteban, Esq.
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.
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.
Frederick Woodbridge, Jr., Esq.
Frederick Woodbridge, Jr. practices with his own firm, Frederick Woodbridge, Jr., P.A. in Coral Gables. He is active in the areas of international commercial and corporate law and real estate.
Mr. Woodbridge earned his undergraduate degree at Yale University, magna cum laude. He earned a Master’s Degree at Middlebury College and the Sorbonne and holds a Spanish Law Degree (Licenciatura en Derecho) from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Maria T. Sallato, Esq.
For more than 25 years Maria T. Sallato has helped clients in Florida, throughout the United States, and abroad. She has earned an excellent reputation for providing knowledgeable and quality representation in family law cases.
Ms. Sallato was born in Colombia and has been a resident of the state of Florida since 1974.
Ms. Sallato dedicates most of her practice to matrimonial law, adoption and complex international custody cases—including Hague convention cases—and is recognized as a specialist in the area of matrimonial law. In 2009, Ms. Sallato became Board Certified in Matrimonial and Family Law. She is active in the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section.
Alexander Lian, Esq.
Immediate Past President
Originally from Barranquilla, Colombia, Alexander Lian has lived most of his life in the United States, many of those years in South Florida.
Noted for his legal acumen and ability to handle intricate and complex issues, Alexander Lian represents clients in a variety of contested matters ranging from high dollar contract disputes and real property disputes to the prosecution and collection of large judgments totaling in the millions.
In 2011, readers of the Daily Business Review nominated Alexander Lian as one of three finalists for the Daily Business Review’s Most Effective Lawyer in South Florida Award in the area of Real Estate Litigation on the strength of his innovative approach to handling the recovery of pre-construction condominium deposits.