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The Foundation thanks Bill Loucks and the Florida Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company
for their generous support of the Foundation's Annual Reception & Dinner, at which the Medal of Honor Awards are presented.

Lawyer Recipients Non-Lawyer Recipients

Lawyer Recipients

Year Recipient Achievement
2015 William A. Van Nortwick, Jr. For his decades in leadership of virtually every statewide organization and committee involving pro bono and legal services in Florida, for leading the One Campaign to promote pro bono work throughout the state, and for serving as a role model for other judges and lawyers, inspiring greater volunteer participation through his example.
2014 Bob Butterworth For his effective enforcement of victim and consumer protection, environmental, civil rights and anti-trust laws as Florida's longest-serving Attorney General, his noteworthy accomplishments in expanding open government in Florida, and his willingness and capacity to assume difficult jobs when it was crucial to the public good to do so.
2013 Robert C. Josefsberg For his half century of counsel to governors, judges and clients ranging from a rock star to the poorest of the poor; his dedicated pro bono service to individual clients, as well as legal services and other charitable and community organizations; and his longstanding advocacy for civility in the legal profession.
2012 Henry M. Coxe, III For his pro bono work, fundraising for legal aid, and leadership of the organized Bar.
2011 Bruce B. Blackwell For his professional leadership, both by example and through service to the organized Bar; for his work to secure funding for legal aid locally, statewide and nationally; and for his extensive history of handling the most difficult pro bono cases, often going well beyond providing legal help to become a transformative force in his clients’ lives.
2010 Joseph P. Milton For his leadership in promoting professionalism and ethics to his fellow attorneys through his extensive service to the bar and by setting the highest example in his own law practice.
2009 Sylvia H. Walbolt
For her 45 years of providing free legal services to clients ranging from Guantanamo detainees to a St. Petersburg organization that feeds the hungry.
2008 Terrence Russell
For his exceptional lifelong compassion and undaunting efforts to secure state funding for legal assistance for the poor through the Florida Access to Civil Legal Assistance Act.
2007 A. Hamilton Cooke
For his many contributions to providing access to justice for those living in poverty throughout Florida, and his tireless service to HabiJax.
2006 W. Dexter Douglass
For a lifetime of service and sacrifice, particularly as chair of the Constitutional Revision Commission in 1998.
2005 J. Dudley Goodlette
For spearheading the passage of the Florida Civil Legal Assistance Act.
2004 William J. Sheppard
For a long and distinguished legal career working on behalf of the underprivileged and oppressed, ensuring that "equal justice for all" is not a hollow phrase.
2003 Robert M. Ervin
For his unselfish, dedicated career of service to the public and the legal profession.
2002 Martha W. Barnett
For her outstanding service as immediate past president of the American Bar Association and her commitment to the principles of duty and service to the public.
2001 Patrick G. Emmanuel
For his distinguished record of active participation and lifelong dedication to the objectives of The Florida Bar.
2000 Joseph W. Hatchett
For his distinguished 22-year career of judicial service dedicated to upholding the civil rights of the oppressed, the vulnerable, and the unpopular.
1999 Samuel S. Smith
For his unswerving dedication to the legal profession, and for his leadership in establishing the Guardianship Program of Dade County.
1998 Burton Young
For his distinguished selfless service in working toward the betterment of The Florida Bar and the legal profession.
1997 Justice Richard W. Ervin
For his achievement and service to the public by improving the institutions of government and the administration of justice in Florida.
1996 William O.E. Henry
For his dedicated leadership to the community, public service in the legal profession, and outstanding efforts in representation of death row inmates.
1995 Steven M. Goldstein
For devotion of time and energy to providing legal services to the poor, for his voluntary services to the Bar, and for serving as a role model to his colleagues and students at the university law school.
1994 Thomas H. Barkdull, Jr.
For his distinguished career as a practicing lawyer and appellate judge.
1993 Raymond Ehrlich
For his commitment to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.
1992 James C. Adkins
For his contributions to the law and legal profession as a member of the Supreme Court of Florida.
1991 Thomas LeRoy Collins
For his dedication to change in Florida’s legislature, civil rights and constitutional reform.
1990 Janet Reno
For her dedication to the highest ideals of our institutions of justice, children and the poor.
1989 Neal R. Sonnett
For his commitment and leadership in improving the criminal justice system and in protection of individual rights.
1988 James C. Rinaman, Jr.
For his work in furthering the public service activities of the organized bar.
1987 Talbot D'Alemberte
For significant achievements in judicial and legislative reform, civil liberties, legal education, advancement of the legal profession and the work of the organized bar.
1986 Russell E. Carlisle
For his dedication to the advancement of pro bono service by the legal profession and for his work in carrying IOTA across the nation.
1985 Mark Hulsey
For his leadership as a member of Florida’s judicial qualifications commission and his dedication to the principles of The Florida Bar.
1984 Ben F. Overton
For leadership of the bench and bar, support for continuing judicial education and service to the public.
1983 Arthur J. England, Jr.
For his leadership in establishing the interest on trust accounts in Florida and nationally.
1981 Wm. Reece Smith, Jr.
For his long years of service to the Bar in establishing the first judicial nominating commission and for service on behalf of legal services to the poor.
1980 Chesterfield H. Smith
For his years of dedicated service to the bench and bar.
1979 Reubin O'D. Askew
For his leadership in establishing judicial nominating commissions, and for the re-organization of the judicial system.
1978 Tobias Simon
For his protection of the rights of the oppressed and the poor and for his advocacy for improved prison conditions in Florida.
1977 Richard T. Earle, Jr.
For his outstanding leadership of Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission.

Non-Lawyer Recipients

Year Recipient Achievement
2011 Kathleen "Katie" Self For her pioneering work in the implementation of Teen Courts across Florida; the volunteering of her services in establishing the Teen Court of Sarasota, the state’s first; and for her leadership in expanding the program to 50 Florida counties that together divert more than 22,000 at-risk children into Teen Courts every year.
2008 Elizabeth Lander "Budd" Bell
For over four decades of volunteer advocacy to improve the lives of Florida's children, elderly and disabled persons.
2007 Dr. Walter F. Lambert
For his life's work as a medical advocate for abused and neglected children, and for his significant volunteer work for South Florida children in foster care.
2006 Janet McAliley
For selfless dedication to the better lives of children and immigrants, through her service to the Dade County School Board, and as president of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center.
2005 Abraham S. Fischler, Ed.D
For turning the dreams of countless people into realities through his intellect, commitment, drive and spirit.
2004 Rosalie Heffernan
For giving meaning and substance to the U.S. Constitution by starting an after-school elective called "Constitutional Studies."
2003 Lois Thacker Graessle
For a lifetime of selfless volunteer service in the pursuit of justice.
2002 Raul G. Barrera
For improving the administration of justice by bringing truth to the ideal of equal justice under the law for migrant farmworkers.
2001 John B. Orr, Jr.
For his courageous stand against a 1956 package of bills filed in the Florida legislature whose purpose was to perpetuate school segregation.
1999 Gene Miller
For his integrity as an investigative reporter in the coverage of the murder trials of two wrongfully convicted death row inmates.
1998 Reverend Fred L. Maxwell
For his leadership in Orlando to provide housing for for the homeless.
1996 Jean F. Norman
For her efforts and contributions in organizing "Law School for the Layman" and "Helping Children Cope with Divorce" programs for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.
1994 Major John Smith
For his leadership, dedication and pioneering efforts in establishing the "GUTS" program for at-risk African-American males.
1993 Elaine Webb-Alvarez
For her outstanding efforts and leadership as a child advocate in the State of Florida.
1992 Abraham R. Brown
For his tireless efforts to address the spiritual needs of those confined to penal institutions.
1991 Mary Ellen Beaver
For her tireless advocacy for legal rights on behalf of migrant farmworkers.
1990 Audrey Lincourt Schiebler
For her pioneering achievements in improving the administration of justice to abused and neglected children.
1989 Marshall McDonald
For his work in improving the State Judicial System by bringing judicial reform and improved judicial compensation standards to Florida.
1988 Sr. Cathy Gorman
For her work to provide access to legal services, housing, health care, education and fair employment standards to migrant farmworkers.
1987 Rev. A. Leon Lowry, Sr.
For community leadership in promoting civil rights through constructive change.
1985 Sylvia Alberdi
For her dedication to the ideals of good government in service to the people of Florida as staff director of the Florida Senate’s Civil Judiciary Committee.
1984 Martin A. Dyckman
For his leadership in establishing and maintaining open government in Florida and excellence and accountability in our elected and appointed officials and for support for reform of the state’s prison system.
1982 Lucy Batchelor
For her work as director of the Human Relations Programs at state correctional facilities.
1981 William C. Clark
For his work as a lay member of Florida’s Judicial Qualifications Commission.
1978 Robert A. Rosof
For his pioneering work with juvenile offenders at the Dade Marine Institute.