The Florida Bar
21 FLORIDA LAWYERS TO RECEIVE PRO BONO AWARDS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2012
CONTACT: Dorohn A. Frazier ,
The Florida Bar
TELEPHONE: (850) 561-5764
The Florida Bar will recognize 21 lawyers for their work on behalf of poor and indigent clients at a Jan. 26 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida.
In 2010-11, Florida lawyers provided 1.6 million hours of pro bono services to those in need and $4.8 million to legal aid organizations.
The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Awards were established in 1981. They are intended to encourage lawyers to volunteer free legal services to the poor by recognizing those who make public service commitments and to raise public awareness of the substantial volunteer services provided by Florida lawyers to those who cannot afford legal fees. President Scott G. Hawkins, of West Palm Beach, will present the 2012 awards.
The awards recognize pro bono service in each of Florida's 20 judicial circuits and one Florida Bar member practicing outside the state of Florida. They are presented annually in conjunction with the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, which is given by the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Florida. Awards recognizing pro bono contributions will also be presented for Distinguished Judicial Service, Law Firm Commendation, Voluntary Bar Association and Young Lawyer during the Jan. 26 ceremony.
By circuit, the 2011 recipients are: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and Out-of-State Florida Bar member.
Charles Patterson Hoskin
First Judicial Circuit (Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties)
Charles Patterson Hoskin is a staff attorney at Emmanuel Sheppard and Condon in Pensacola. His principal areas of practice are commercial, real property and probate litigation, and bankruptcy. Pro bono service is an important part of Hoskin's charitable work. The Legal Services of North Florida (LSNF) Private Bar Involvement Project has received the majority of his pro bono contributions. Hoskin has also handled matters from LSNF regarding real estate title defects with related probate issues. The Escambia-Santa Rosa Bar Association has also recognized Hoskin for his committed pro bono involvement. He has been a speaker and contributing author for several legal association projects and seminars.
Wendy S. Loquasto
Second Judicial Circuit (Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties)
Wendy S. Loquasto is a board certified shareholder and managing partner at Fox & Loquasto, P.A. in Tallahassee. Her principal areas of practice are appellate practice and advocacy. Over her 23-year career, Loquasto has given her time, talent and financial support to pro bono services through a variety of avenues, especially Legal Services of North Florida (LSNF). Since its inception in 1997, Loquasto has helped to plan, promote and participate in LSNF's annual fundraiser, Jazz for Justice. In 2010, Loquasto spearheaded a pro bono project undertaken by the First District Appellate American Inn of Court, which brought together numerous organizations in the region. Between April and October in 2011, she spent more than 95 hours on pro bono cases. In nearly eight years in private practice, Loquasto donated nearly 800 hours to pro bono service while also recruiting many attorneys to do pro bono work.
Leenette Wilhelmina McMillan-Fredriksson
Third Judicial Circuit (Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwanee and Taylor counties)
Leenette Wilhelmina McMillan-Fredriksson is a sole practitioner and proprietor at McMillan Law Office, P.A. in Mayo. Her principal areas of practice are real estate, probate and advance directives. McMillan-Fredriksson has done the majority of her pro bono work at Three Rivers Legal Services, which serves 17 North Florida counties. The volunteer attorney program recognizes attorney McMillan-Fredriksson for her contributions to pro bono, stating that "she is great with clients and an invaluable asset to our pro bono program." She has volunteered at several pro se divorce clinics, and also drafts advanced directives for indigent clients. She has also helped non-profit corporations with the incorporation process. Other professional duties include serving as Lafayette County attorney and Lafayette County School Board attorney.
Suzanne M. Judas
Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval and Nassau counties)
Suzanne M. Judas is a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Jacksonville. Her principal area of practice is general civil litigation with a focus on admiralty and maritime law, media and communications, and personal injury. As chair of the Committee for the Public Good in Holland & Knight's Jacksonville office, Judas has organized the office's pro bono work. Borrowing the vision of the Florida Bar Foundation's ONE campaign, Judas and the committee challenged every attorney in the Jacksonville office to take at least one pro bono matter during 2010. She was successful in accomplishing this goal by September 2010, and the firm contributed more than 3,000 pro bono hours to the community. In 2011 alone, Judas has spent 486 hours working on pro bono matters and helping to coordinate projects in the firm.
Sandra H. Day
Fifth Judicial Circuit (Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties)
Sandra H. Day is a partner attorney with her husband at The Day Law Office in Spring Hill. Currently, her primary practice is consumer bankruptcy. Day provides pro bono representation to low-income clients in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. She has provided full representation to every client referred to her by Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc. Volunteer Lawyers Project program since 2004. She also provides pro bono representation to clients who contact her office. Day has assisted 25 clients in filing bankruptcy since she began volunteering with Community Legal Services; coordinated an "Ask-A-Lawyer" program; and donated more than 100 hours per year to pro bono services.
Sixth Judicial Circuit (Pasco and Pinellas counties)
Myriam Irizarry is chief deputy and general counsel to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Pinellas County. Her principal roles entail overall compliance and adherence to rules and statutes that govern the work including legal matters involving the civil, criminal, probate, traffic and juvenile areas. Pro bono service is a priority for Irizarry. When in private practice, she handled civil, family, and landlord/tenant cases through a legal aid program. Because Irizarry is bi-lingual, she is able to provide legal counsel to the Spanish-speaking community in Pinellas County. She volunteers at the Hispanic Outreach Center conducting workshops on such topics as tenant rights, landlord obligations and family matters.
James Anthony Kowalski Jr.
Seventh Judicial Circuit (Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties)
James Anthony Kowalski Jr. is a civil trial attorney is his private practice based in Jacksonville. His principal areas of practice are civil rights, civil trial, civil and commercial litigation, litigation/trial advocacy/advocacy, and personal injury. Though his office is in Jacksonville, Kowalski offers a substantial amount of assistance to residents of St. John's County. He heads up a Legal Aid Consumer Pro Bono Program, offers training to other potential pro bono attorneys throughout the state through Legal Aid, and is active in both the St. Johns County Bar Association and Jacksonville Bar Association. Kowalski has 30 pending pro bono cases almost entirely in the area of consumer law, mainly foreclosures and collections. For 2008 to 2010, he completed nearly 490 pro bono hours through the St. John's County Legal Aid office.
Leslie Smith Haswell
Eighth Judicial Circuit (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union counties)
Leslie Smith Haswell is a sole practitioner in Gainesville, primarily practicing family law. Although Haswell became a member of The Florida Bar in 1982, she did not begin to practice law until 20 years later. Haswell recognizes the need for pro bono representation for low-income individuals and handles clients referred to her primarily through the volunteer attorney program at Three Rivers Legal Services Inc. She also assists those who directly come into her office without the resources to hire an attorney. Haswell's pro bono caseload involves sobering legal matters. In one case, she represented a disabled client in a contested dissolution of marriage with custody and retirement issues. She is active in the Gainesville Collaborative Divorce Team, volunteering to teach classes through Santa Fe College Community Education.
Edmund T. Baxa Jr.
Ninth Judicial Circuit (Orange and Osceola counties)
Edmund T. Baxa Jr. is a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP in Orlando. His principal areas of practice are construction law, commercial litigation, government enforcement, compliance and white collar defense. As chair of Foley & Lardner's National Pro Bono Committee, he has worked to develop a firm culture in a policy that encourages and supports pro bono. As an active pro bono attorney, Baxa often accepted cases with multiple sibling groups, which required additional commitment because the children's placement was in different homes and counties. He has averaged four cases per year for 25 years. Baxa is a voice for children in Orange County who have been the victims of abuse or neglect. He has served as a Guardian ad Litem for more than 100 children. He currently has eight active cases, and has contributed almost 1,000 hours on closed cases.
Deborah Lynn Wells
Tenth Judicial Circuit (Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties)
Deborah Lynn Wells is a sole practitioner in Bartow. Her principal areas of practice are criminal law and dependency law. Wells has been a certified Guardian ad Litem (GAL) volunteer since 1998. She has served in the capacity both as a GAL and as an Adult ad Litem (AAL) advocating on behalf of the best interests of children. Wells has a reputation for handling sensitive cases with tact, discretion and understanding. Upon requests for assistance from the GAL program, she has represented adolescents on many occasions when their positions were contrary to that of the parents and immediate actions were required for the well-being of the children. As attorney ad litem, she has never turned down a request to act in the interests of a child. Wells dedicates 100 to 110 pro bono hours per year.
James F. Pollack
Eleventh Judicial Circuit (Miami-Dade County)
James F. Pollack is a retired sole practitioner in Miami. Over the years, his practice ranged from trial and appellate work to real estate, finance and probate and estate planning. Pollack, a long-time Coral Gables resident, retired after practicing law for more than 51 years. He immediately contacted the senior staff attorney who is in charge of the "Put Something Back Program," a pro bono project, to be a volunteer and put his legal expertise to the benefit of others. Two and a half years later, Pollack has traveled the Metro twice a week, meeting with people and listening to their problems. His vast knowledge of estates, probate and real estate law is an asset, as is his assistance interviewing clients and evaluating their problems. Additionally, he evaluates individuals' problems, guides them and refers them to a private attorney who is on the list of attorneys offering their services pro bono.
Arthur Don Ginsburg
Twelfth Judicial Circuit (DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties)
Arthur Don Ginsburg is a board certified partner at Icard Merrill law firm in Sarasota. His principal areas of practice are marital and family law. At Ginsburg's insistence, Icard Merrill began its law firm pro bono plan. At Legal Aid of Manasota, he has personally assisted at least 165 clients with divorce issues; interviewed 263 clients to assess their legal needs; spent at least five hours a week in the Legal Aid office assisting clients; personally assisted at least 60 clients with custody, visitation, adoption or support issues; and recruited numerous attorneys who accepted pro bono placements. Ginsburg has donated more than 525 hours to pro bono clients in the past three years over and above the hours he donated volunteering at Legal Aid of Manasota.
Adrian J. "Stan" Musial Jr.
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit (Hillsborough County)
Adrian J. "Stan" Musial Jr. is a sole proprietor in Tampa. His principal areas of practice are real estate law, bankruptcy and family law. In 1992, he established the St. Paul Consultation and Referral Clinic, a pro bono legal clinic on the grounds of the church so that he could provide services "closer to the homes of the people needing them and in a more compatible environment." Musial has singlehandedly staffed the clinic on Mondays since 1997. Since 1994, he has provided more than 200 hours of pro bono service as a mentor and as a volunteer on the Case Referral Panel of Bay Area Legal Services' volunteer lawyers program. He has also participated in the Hillsborough County Bar Association's "Ask-A-Lawyer" program, a collaborative project with the local Fox News TV station that airs live monthly.
Michael Patrick Dickey
Fourteenth Judicial Circuit (Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties)
Michael Patrick Dickey is a partner at Barron, Redding, Hughes, Fite, Sanborn, Kiehn, Leebrick & Dickey, P.A., in Panama City. His principal areas of practice are civil litigation and mediation. In his first year as a lawyer in 1998, Dickey participated in a free legal clinic created to assist workers and their families displaced by the closure of the paper mill in neighboring Gulf County. Later he was a regular participant in, and eventually chaired, the First Saturday Legal Clinic, the Bay County Bar Association's main vehicle for providing pro bono legal services in and around Bay County. Over the last five months he spent roughly 50 hours on the administration of the clinic. He took on the job of recruiting volunteer attorneys to staff the clinic. He was also an active volunteer at the monthly clinics.
Steven G. Cripps
Fifteenth Judicial Circuit (Palm Beach County)
West Palm Beach
Steven G. Cripps is in private practice at the law firm of Orsley & Cripps, P.A, in West Palm Beach. His principal areas of practice are criminal, marital and family law, and personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Since 1988, he has represented pro bono clients on his own and through the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County's pro bono project. Consistently, he has provided legal services in the most critical area of legal needs, family law. In addition, he never declines a highly contested or litigated case. On record, he has helped more than 30 clients and logged close to 300 hours.
Thomas Edward Woods
Sixteenth Judicial Circuit (Monroe County)
Thomas Edward Woods is a sole practitioner in Tavernier, practicing criminal, contract, family law, personal injury, Uniform Commercial Code, employment discrimination and probate. Woods has provided extensive pro bono service through the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem and Voices for Florida Keys Children programs. He has assisted the Guardian ad Litem program with several criminal and guardianship cases with legal research consultation and analysis. Some of his other current cases assisting the indigent include: representing individuals in foreclosure and other financial actions, a Baker Act case, and representing individuals with probate. He also won the 2010 Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award.
Elizabeth Geary Daugherty
Seventeenth Judicial Circuit (Broward County)
Elizabeth Geary Daugherty has her own law practice in Fort Lauderdale, practicing principally matrimonial and family law litigation, and family and circuit civil mediation. Since 1994, Daugherty has voluntarily contributed a significant portion of time to providing legal services to poor people without charge. While waiting to be admitted to The Florida Bar, she applied and was offered a volunteer position at Legal Aid Service of Broward County and also helped at Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida. Daugherty donates her time to do foreclosure mediations for the agencies, and also takes on cases including divorce, domestic abuse, custody, visitation and foreclosure.
James Lawrence Torres
Eighteenth Judicial Circuit (Brevard and Seminole counties)
James Lawrence Torres is a sole practitioner, board certified in civil trial law in Indialantic. His principal areas of practice are civil litigation, civil trial, debtor and creditor issues, general practice, litigation/trial advocacy/advocacy, medical malpractice and personal injury. Recognizing the enormous need for mediating consumer cases, he contacted Brevard County Legal Aid (BCLA) to offer his pro bono services in consumer matters. In 2010, he assisted BCLA in promoting opportunities developed as part of Florida's ONE campaign to attorneys with a range of skills. In the past three years, he has closed 120 Legal Aid cases logging more than 400 hours of pro bono service.
Norman L. Paxton Jr.
Nineteenth Judicial Circuit (Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties)
Norman L. Paxton Jr., who died in October 2011, was a partner at Paxton & Williams, P.A. in Fort Pierce. His principal areas of practice were real property, probate, guardianship, foreclosure defense, and other civil matters. Paxton provided pro bono legal services from the start of his career as an attorney. As a friend stated, "Paxton would feel for the client, take on the problem, and solve it, pro bono." Over these past few years, Paxton assisted more than 15 clients with foreclosure and various other legal matters through Florida Rural Legal Services. Paxton also participated in many "Ask-A-Lawyer" events, where he provided advice to low income, elderly and disabled residents.
Daniel John Endrizal III
Twentieth Judicial Circuit (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties)
Daniel John Endrizal III is a sole practitioner in Fort Myers. His principal areas of practice are garnishments, probate, wills, trust law, guardianship, estate planning and taxation. Endrizal has provided services by accepting pro bono cases through Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. and the Lee County Bar Association for the past five years. Among the 26 cases he accepted in the past two years, many were guardianship cases for the elderly and children. As a member of the Lee County Bar Association, he continually promotes the cause of pro bono service to his peers. His involvement in the education and promotion of the ONE campaign is a great example of this. Just in the year 2010, he accepted 10 guardianship cases, and in 2011 he accepted at least nine more.
Melissa Lea Mackiewicz
Out-of-State Florida Bar member
Melissa Lea Mackiewicz is a trial lawyer at DLA Piper LLP in Baltimore, Maryland. Her primary areas of practice are civil law, corporate law, securities, real estate and business litigation and arbitration. Since joining the DLA Piper firm in December 2002, Mackiewicz has devoted between 100 to 250 hours to pro bono work each year. A sizeable portion of her pro bono work has been done through House of Ruth Maryland, one of the nation's leading domestic violence centers that helps thousands of victims of domestic violence and their children find safety and security. Between 2003 and 2005, Mackiewicz served as pro bono counsel to the City of Baltimore, took control of abandoned, derelict homes in some of the roughest neighborhoods. She has also served as the chairperson of DLA Piper's partnership with B 4 Students, which created a monthly mentoring program for 15 high school students.
This year's awards ceremony, which also honors individual, law firm, young lawyer, voluntary bar and judicial pro bono efforts, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26, at 3:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of Florida at the Supreme Court of Florida and will be webcast live from http://wfsu.org/gavel2gavel. The program will be rebroadcast taped-delayed on the Florida Channel at a later date. Check local cable listings for details.
EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."