WEST PALM BEACH, FL – On November 7, 2019, the15th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee hosted its inaugural Pro Bono Awards Pinning Ceremony and Ice Cream Social. The Pinning Ceremony recognized attorneys in our community who went above and beyond to provide pro bono legal services in 2018 in conjunction with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. The event took place in the ceremonial courtroom of the main courthouse in West Palm Beach, Florida with over 100 people, including 20 judges, as well as Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente and Florida Bar President John Stewart in attendance.
Several notable speakers expressed gratitude to the award winners for their selfless dedication to pro bono advocacy and encouraged others to handle pro bono cases. Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente and current Florida Bar President John Stewart spoke about the importance of pro bono work and individually pinned the award winners. “I am thrilled to be part of this inaugural pro bono pinning ceremony. I hope you know how much you are appreciated for what you have done to make a difference in the lives of your clients through your advocacy,” said Justice Barbara Pariente.
Florida Bar President John Stewart noted that “during fiscal year 2018-19, Florida lawyers contributed 1.6 million hours of pro bono services to people in need and $6.2 million to legal aid organizations. In every single pro bono case, they are making a difference in somebody’s life, helping a family and giving hope.” Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Krista Marx stressed “volunteering improves not only mental health and well-being but also provides physical health as well.”
Pro Bono Committee Chair Circuit Court Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer emphasized the grave need for more attorneys to handle more pro bono cases citing that while there are “over 3 million people in Florida are in need of pro bono legal services, only 20 percent of those people receive them.”
Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division President Santo DiGangi added “no matter what may be going on in your professional or personal lives, you all have made a commitment to take the time to assist those in our society who need us the most and that dedication cannot be overstated.”
Anne Hinds, an attorney recognized for donating over 100 hours of pro bono services explained while she realizes her volunteerism makes a difference in the lives of the children she represents, it the children who make a significant difference in her life and “you actually get more than you give.”
Several voluntary bar associations sponsored the event, including the Palm Beach County Bar Association, the Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association, the Malcolm Cunningham Bar Association, the Palm Beach County Justice Association, Florida Association of Women Lawyers Palm Beach County and the South Palm Beach County Bar Association. The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division and the Florida Pro Bono Coordinators Association provided the funding for the pro bono recognition pins.
See below for a complete list of pro bono awards pin recipients.
Gold (100+ hours): Anne Hinds – Schwartz|White Attorneys at Law; Vicki Krusel – Vicki Tucci Krusel, Attorney at Law PLLC; Lawrence Moncrief; Jay Mussman – Day Pitney LLP; Michael Stern; Holly Tabernilla.
Silver (50-99 hours): Richard Abedon; Jonathan Burns – JB Law, P.A.; Grant Gisondo – Law Offices of Grant J. Gisondo, P.A.; Jason Lazarus – Pankauski Hauser PLLC; Donia Roberts – Donia Adams Roberts, P.A.
Bronze (20-49 hours): Alex Alijewicz – Alex Alijewicz, CPA, P.A.
Darryl Figueroa – Darryl P. Figueroa, Esquire; Richard Kleid; Deena McNamara – McNamara & McNamara, P.A.; Terry Verduin.
For more information, please contact Adriana Gonzalez, Esq., Palm Beach County Justice Association 15th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee Representative and Pro Bono Awards Pinning Ceremony Committee Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Florida Bar News Pro Bono Awards Ceremony: https://www.floridabar.org/the-florida-bar-news/palm-beach-county-attorneys-honored-for-pro-bono-work/ [floridabar.org]
For more photos from this event, please visit the Palm Beach County Bar Association’s main Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pbcba1922/