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July 15, 2017

Jane Curran and Ava Doppelt/ photo by Jason Nuttle
JANE ELIZABETH CURRAN, left, came to Florida in 1982 to launch the nation’s first Interest on Trust Accounts Program. The now retired director of The Florida Bar Foundation was recognized for her efforts over her 33-year Foundation career to benefit children, the poor, the disabled, and other vulnerable groups. The Foundation’s Medal of Honor was presented to Curran for her “visionary leadership” by Ava Doppelt, who called her “a pioneer in effecting changes that have benefitted millions.”

Curran receives Foundation’s 2017 Medal of Honor Award

“This year is truly historic in the 41-year history of the award,” said Ava Doppelt, a director of Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. in presenting the Medal of Honor Awards to both a non-lawyer and lawyer. “Tonight we will be honoring two people who together have dedicated their life’s work to the purposes and principles the Medal of Honor Award was created to recognize.”

“Jane Elizabeth Curran came to Florida in 1982 to launch the nation’s first Interest on Trust Accounts Program. She started with a blank slate,” Doppelt said, in presenting the Medal of Honor Award for a Non-Lawyer to Curran, the former executive director of the Foundation.

“In her 33 years with The Florida Bar Foundation, she colored in that slate and made Florida a national model for IOLTA programs and bar foundations across the nation. She influenced the Foundation board, encouraging it to delve into new territory with truly innovative grant-making to benefit children, the poor, the disabled, and other vulnerable groups.

“She helped prioritize the needs of the wrongfully convicted and the mentally ill languishing in Florida prisons, victims of human trafficking, and so many others without a voice.”

The Medal of Honor for a Non-Lawyer was presented to Curran “for her 33 years of visionary leadership of The Florida Bar Foundation as its founding executive director, her immeasurable contributions to the national IOLTA movement, and her tireless advocacy promotion access to justice statewide and nationally. From the inception of Florida Interest on Trust Accounts Program, Jane Curran has been a pioneer in effecting changes that have benefitted millions of people in need in all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

“In Florida alone, under Jane’s leadership, IOTA has generated almost half a billion dollars to support civil legal aid for the most at-risk Floridians. In so doing, the program has changed the lives of untold thousands for the better. Her work also led to major advancements in the administration of justice in Florida, including significant reforms in juvenile and criminal justice through projects to meet the needs of children in foster care, free the innocent, challenge abuses in Florida’s prisons, and divert youth from the school-to-jail pipeline. Through all of these efforts, she has become a treasure to the legal profession in Florida and a most deserving recipient of this award.”

[Revised: 11-11-2017]