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15th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee recognizes legal champions at annual awards ceremony

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Fifteenth Judicial Circuit’s pro bono event

More than 100 lawyers and judges attended the 15th Judicial Circuit’s annual Pro Bono Awards Ceremony and Ice Cream Social. Fifty-two lawyers were honored for providing pro bono legal services through the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. From the left are Florida Bar President-elect Designate Rosalyn “Sia” Baker-Barnes; Dana Brookes, director of philanthropy at Legal Aid; Destinie Baker Sutton; and Linsey Bruce Lefkowitz, philanthropy advisor at Legal Aid.

The 15th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee recently hosted its fourth annual Pro Bono Awards Ceremony and Ice Cream Social in the ceremonial courtroom at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.

The more than 100 lawyers and judges in attendance included Chief Judge Glenn Kelley, many circuit court judges, retired Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, former Florida Bar Presidents Gary Lesser and Michelle Suskauer, and President-elect Designate Rosalyn “Sia” Baker-Barnes.

Fifteenth Judicial Circuit’s pro bono event

Event Co-Chairs Adriana Gonzalez and Allison Oasis Kahn.

The March ceremony honored those who provide pro bono legal services through the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. Pins, through a program authorized by the Supreme Court, are awarded to attorneys based on their hours of service with a minimum of 20 hours. Over, the past two years, the ceremony has expanded to include multiple awards for exceptional work performed to represent those who could not otherwise afford legal services.

This year there were 52 pin recipients, who collectively contributed a billable hour equivalent of $2.2 million. The ceremony also included seven special awards:

  • The Juvenile Law Award, won by Courtney Stafford Hickey;
  • Family Law Award, won by William Norvell III;
  • Probate Law Award, won by Brian Thompson;
  • Civil Litigation Award, won by Deam Xenick;
  • Real Property Law Award, won by Joshua Loren;
  • Voluntary Bar Association Award, won by the Palm Beach County Justice Association; and
  • Jurist Award, won by Judge Schosberg Feuer who has chaired the 15th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee for a decade.

Chief Judge Glen Kelley congratulated the award winners by saying “this is really what symbolizes the best of being an attorney, the ability to give back…”

Justice Pariente applauded the efforts of the award winners and noted “more are donating and volunteering, but the need couldn’t be greater.”

Baker-Barnes thanked attorneys “for giving back in the most powerful and  . . . meaningful way” to those who need “our skills, talent, and time.”

The event was organized by the Pro Bono Awards Ceremony and Ice Cream Social Subcommittee,  Co-Chaired by Allison Oasis Kahn of Carlton Fields and Adriana Gonzalez of Gonzalez & Cartwright, along with committee members Bob Bertisch and Kim Enright of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Shelley Baker of the Palm Beach County Justice Association, and Adriana Lopez.

Several local voluntary bar associations sponsored the event, including the Florida Association for Women Lawyers Palm Beach County; the Palm Beach County Sheree Davis Cunningham Black Women Lawyers Association; the South Palm Beach County Bar Association; the Malcolm Cunningham Bar Association; the Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association; the Palm Beach County Justice Association; the Palm Beach County Bar Association; and the South Palm Beach County Florida Association for Women Lawyers. Both Carlton Fields and Visual Evidence provided like-kind donations.

Video of the event, donated by Visual Evidence, can be found on the websites of The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County and the 15th Judicial Circuit’s pro bono page. The Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary, its 75th Year Gala, at its Justice For All Celebration on May 11.

News in Photos

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