The Florida Bar

News Releases


January 9, 2020
CONTACT: Francine Walker, [email protected]
The Florida Bar
TELEPHONE: 850-561-5764

The Hon. Karen Sue Jennemann (photo), a judge on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida in Orlando and dedicated advocate for pro bono and public service, is the 2020 recipient of the Chief Justice’s Distinguished Federal Judicial Service Award. The award, which recognizes an active or retired federal judge for outstanding and sustained service to the public, especially as it relates to the support of pro bono legal services, will be presented by Chief Justice Charles T. Canady in a Jan. 30 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida.

Judge Jennemann is a thoughtful and creative problem solver and has seen it all.  When she spots issues in the administration of the Bankruptcy Court, Jennemann uses her skill and grace in gathering the necessary parties and resources to address and resolve the issues.

Under her leadership and with her direct input, the Middle District of Florida has developed several programs that have improved the administration of the Bankruptcy Court and its service to the public.

Those programs include the Courthouse-Based Pro Bono Pro Se Assistance Clinic to help people successfully navigate the system; the Bankruptcy Law Educational Series Foundation to provide education and fund other public service projects; the Mortgage Modification Mediation Program for people trying to get a fresh start through bankruptcy; and the Student Loan Management Program designed to help people repay or collect outstanding student loans in bankruptcy.

Judge Jennemann is also integral to the development of civics and historical programs and installations at each federal courthouse within the Middle District.

Jennemann, who received her J.D. from the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, was appointed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division, in 1993.

Note: Support of pro bono legal services by members of the bench is an activity that relates to improvement of the administration of justice. Accordingly, a judge may engage in activities intended to encourage attorneys to perform pro bono services, including, but not limited to: participating in events to recognize attorneys who do pro bono work, establishing general procedural or scheduling accommodations for pro bono attorneys as feasible, and acting in an advisory capacity to pro bono programs.

This year’s awards ceremony, which also honors individual, Distinguished Judicial Service, Law Firm Commendation, Voluntary Bar Association and Young Lawyer Division pro bono efforts, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 30, at 3:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of Florida. The ceremony will be streamed live at as well as on Facebook at and The Florida Channel


About The Florida Bar
Founded in 1949, The Florida Bar serves the legal profession for the protection and benefit of both the public and all Florida lawyers. As one of the nation’s largest mandatory bars, The Florida Bar fosters and upholds a high standard of integrity and competence within Florida’s legal profession as an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court. To learn more, visit

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."