2011-12 Foundation President Michele Kane Cummings presents the 2012 Medal of Honor to Henry M. Coxe, III.
-Robert F. Kennedy, 1966
The late Robert F. Kennedy used those words more than 40 years ago, but they still ring true today.
Medal of Honor Awards
In Florida, we are fortunate to have a history of such greatness. Each year, we recognize worthy individuals with the Medal of Honor Award, the highest award given to a member of Florida’s legal profession. The Medal of Honor may also be awarded to a member of the public or a lawyer not actively engaged in the practice of law who has made outstanding achievements in improving the administration of justice in Florida.
The Medal of Honor awards program was established in 1977 to recognize those outstanding achievements. The Florida Bar Foundation Medal of Honor Award has two award categories. The first is for a member of The Florida Bar who has demonstrated his or her dedication to the objectives of The Florida Bar as set out in the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: "...to inculcate in its members the principles of duty and service to the public, to improve the administration of justice, and to advance the science of jurisprudence."
The second is for a non-lawyer or person not actively engaged in the practice of law who has made an outstanding contribution to the improvement in the administration of justice through research, writing, or other deeds of such character and quality that, in the judgment of the Foundation, warrant the highest award that can be bestowed by the Foundation.
Previous recipients have included W. Dexter Douglass in 2006, for a lifetime of selfless service, and especially for his service as chair of Florida's Constitutional Revision Commission and to Janet R. McAliley, for her selfless dedication to better lives for children and immigrants, through her service to the Dade County School Board, and as president of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. Recipients are honored each year at an annual dinner generously sponsored by Bill Loucks and the Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.
Steven M. Goldstein Award for Excellence
The Steven M. Goldstein Award for Excellence was established by The Florida Bar Foundation board of directors in 1995 to honor the memory of Steven M. Goldstein. Goldstein, a former legal services attorney and professor of law at Florida State University College of Law, was a tireless advocate of the legal rights of the poor and disadvantaged and was respected nationally for his dedication to upholding the constitutional rights of those with unpopular causes. At the time of his death in 1994, at the age of 49, Goldstein was chair of the legal assistance for the poor grant committee and about to become secretary-treasurer of the Foundation. For many years, he served as the touchtone by which the Foundation measured the significance of its mission and its progress.
This competitive award recognizes a project of significant impact work undertaken by a Legal Assistance for the Poor grantee. To be eligible, the project must affect a substantial number of poor persons, address an important poverty-law issue, involve a significant commitment of grantee program resources and staff, and reflect legal work which is of a high professional level.