The Florida Bar has announced it will recognize 21 lawyers for their work on behalf of low-income and disadvantaged clients. According to a news release, the awards “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.”
Florida Bar President Dori Foster-Morales will present the 2021 awards. which recognize pro bono service in each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits as well as service by one Florida Bar member practicing outside the state of Florida.
In the most recent reporting period from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, Florida lawyers provided more than 1.2 million hours of pro bono services to those in need $6.3 million to legal aid organizations.
This year’s list of honorees include a posthumous award to Lynwood Arnold, who was a member of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee at the time of his death in August 2020. When faced with the COVID-19 epidemic, Arnold was one of the first people to create a statewide model to deliver eviction relief and legal services to those in need. Records show he donated well over 1,500 hours of his time over the past five years alone.
The full list of winners are:
- Christa Diviney, Matthews & Jones, LLP – 1st Judicial Circuit (Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties)
- Lynwood F. Arnold, Jr., Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee – 2nd Judicial Circuit (Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties)
- John P. Booth, Three Rivers Legal Services – 3rd Judicial Circuit (Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee and Taylor counties)
- Carrington Madison Mead, Carrington Madison Mead, Esquire – 4th Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval and Nassau counties)
- Matthew C. Frey, Campione & Hackney, P.A. – 5th Judicial Circuit (Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties)
- Mary Ellen Murphy Borja, Mary Ellen Borja, P.A. – 6th Judicial Circuit (Pasco and Pinellas counties)
- Rachael Greene, St. Johns Law Group – 7th Judicial Circuit (St. Johns, Volusia, Flagler and Putnam counties)
- Susan L. Mikolaitis, Bingham & Mikolaitis, P.A. – 8th Judicial Circuit (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union counties)
- Beth Kathryn Roland, Family First Firm – 9th Judicial Circuit (Orange and Osceola counties)
- James Russell Headley, Headley Law, P.A. – 10th Judicial Circuit (Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties)
- Mary Lou Rodon, Rodon Law, PLLC – 11th Judicial Circuit (Dade County)
- James Howard Turner, James Howard Turner Law – 12th Judicial Circuit (DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties)
- Sarah E. Kay, Kay Family Law, PLLC – 13th Judicial Circuit (Hillsborough County)
- Cecile M. Scoon, – 14th Judicial Circuit (Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties)
- Jay D. Mussman, Day Pitney LLP – 15th Judicial Circuit (Palm Beach County)
- Joseph Mack, Mr. Joseph Samuel Mack Law Firm – 16th Judicial Circuit (Monroe County)
- Jill Robin Ginsberg, Ginsberg Shulman PL –17th Judicial Circuit (Broward County)
- Elizabeth Siano Harris, Harris Appellate Law Office –18th Judicial Circuit (Brevard and Seminole counties)
- Kim A. Cunzo, Cunzo Law Firm – 19th Judicial Circuit (Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties)
- Shanthy Balachanthiran, The Balachanthiran Law Firm, PLLC – 20th Judicial Circuit (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties)
- Dennis F. Fountain – Out-of-state
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.
The awards ceremony is slated for January 28th and will be streamed live online by the Supreme Court of Florida.