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Judge Robert L. Dietz named The Florida Bar Board Certified Lawyer of the Year

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Chief Justice Carlos Muñiz, from the left, Laura Dietz, and her children Stephanie and John.

Chief Justice Carlos Muñiz, left, posthumously presented Judge Robert L. Dietz the 2023 Justice Harry Lee Anstead Award for The Florida Bar Board Certified Lawyer of the Year at the Bar’s Annual Convention in Boca Raton. Accepting the award was Dietz’s wife, Laura Dietz, and their children John and Stephanie.

Judge Robert L. Dietz is the recipient of the 2023 Justice Harry Lee Anstead Award for The Florida Bar Board Certified Lawyer of the Year.

The Board of Legal Specialization and Education created the award to recognize exemplary professionalism, excellence, character, and commitment to the certification program.

Chief Justice Carlos Muñiz presented this year’s award to Dietz posthumously at the Bar’s Annual Convention in Boca Raton. Judge Dietz passed unexpectedly in January 2022.

“As provided in his nomination, Robert Dietz was the most dedicated and focused mentor in the practice of law,” Muñiz said. “That is a broad statement, and admittedly difficult to defend. That said, he was roundly recognized for his efforts in mentoring young lawyers in the practice of workers’ compensation law. He was fortunate to get into the mediation field and thereby gained access to many young lawyers across the practice — claimant and defense. He was a persistent and vociferous champion of professionalism, professional development, and growth. He counseled young lawyers on growing continuously, finding educational opportunities that both build a practice and develop competency.”

Muñiz said Judge Dietz did not slow when he was appointed to the bench in 2014. He persistently advocated for mentorship and pushed young lawyers to set the goal of becoming board certified.

“He was an advocate for the prestige of that designation, and the expert status,” Muñiz said. “Judge Dietz invested in young lawyers and encouraged them to be focused on documentation of their achievements so that upon attaining enough years’ experience, their board certification documents would be ready for submission. He encouraged this from his first experience with a lawyer, and advised them to download the application. He would remind them following a trial ‘that is another entry in your application.’ He epitomized the focus upon this achievement and drove the point home through his continued certification, his advocacy for its recognition, and his encouragement for the next generation to achieve.”

Other nominees for the Anstead Award this year included Nathan Aldrich Adams IV, Lawrence Anzalone, Belkis Plata, Bryant R. Camareno, Jeff Cohen, Christopher N. Davies, Amy J. Fanzlaw, Daniel Forrest, Donald Frenette, Alicia Guerra, Steven B. Lesser, Jocelyne Macelloni, Christine Meyer, Steven Rubin, Jennifer Hope Strouf, Emily VanOosting, and Frank C. Wesighan.

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