Mayra’s practice has in recent years focused on issues relating to non-profit organizations, board governance and wage and hour litigation. Mayra also has substantial experience in appellate matters. Mayra received her B.A. from Brown University Magna Cum Laude in 1980 and her J.D. from the University of Florida with honors in 1983. At the University of Florida, she served on the Moot Court Board, was a legal research and writing fellow, and won Best Oral Advocate at the Justice Campbell Thornall Moot Court Competition. Following graduation, Mayra served as a litigation associate at Shutts & Bowen and thereafter as an associate at Sandler & Travis, where she advised clients on a variety of litigation and international business law matters. Mayra worked as an Assistant United States Attorney for five years in the Miami office, where she served with distinction in the appellate division, where she briefed and argued many cases involving a variety of constitutional, criminal and civil issues before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and advised and consulted in numerous civil and criminal trials and bail hearings. Mayra helped established David Lichter & Associates, P.A., and worked primarily in the area of software piracy.
After her father passed away from a rare and then largely unknown brain disease, Mayra co-founded the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation, www.cjdfoundation.org a registered section 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization which she ran and served as President for approximately ten years. During this time, the Foundation gained national and international recognition when Mad Cow Disease (the bovine form of this prion disease) became worldwide news. Mayra worked with scientists, health care professionals, government agencies, professional associations, the media and family members of patients to obtain, produce and disseminate information on Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and other related prion diseases. She has advocated numerous times on Capitol Hill to members of Congress for more surveillance, reporting and research funding, and hosted the first international conference of scientists, media and families. Mayra has also co-presented a lecture with the Center For Disease Control (“CDC”) at the Mayo Clinic. Mayra remains very active in the Foundation as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Foundation works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from which it receives a yearly grant, collaborates closely with the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, and has helped establish the CJD International Support Alliance which includes 14 member countries. Currently, the Foundation awards numerous research grants (over $1 million between 2014-18) and hosts an annual conference which attracts internationally renowned scientists, researchers and government representatives who meet with families affected by prion diseases. For her tireless work on the Foundation, Mayra received the Health Care Heroes Award from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the 2018 Florence Kranitz Leadership Award from the Foundation, and she and her work have been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, The Miami Herald and Good Housekeeping magazine.
Mayra was also a certified teacher who designed curriculum for and taught honors courses in government, economics, and international relations in public high school for three years. She has more recently donated her legal and educational talents to the non-profit world via the Center for the Advancement of Jewish Education (“CAJE”) and the Board of the Scheck Hillel Community Day School, where she served on the Board for several years. She served as the Chair of the Congregational Education Committee for CAJE and was an Assessor for the Jewish School Assessment and School Improvement Process in connection with the Partnership for Effective Learning and Innovative Education. She also served on the Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Mayra is fluent in Spanish.