The State Bar of Michigan is seeking a few outstanding lawyers and judges to be the recipients of five major awards to be presented during the September 2004 Annual Meeting in Lansing. Nominations are now open and any member of the State Bar can propose a candidate for the following awards:
The Roberts P. Hudson Award goes to a person whose career has exemplified the highest ideals of the profession. This award is presented periodically to commend one or more lawyers for their unselfish rendering of outstanding and unique service on behalf of the State Bar given generously, ungrudgingly, and in a spirit of self-sacrifice. It is awarded to that member of the State Bar of Michigan who best exemplifies that which brings honor, esteem and respect to the legal profession.
The Champion of Justice Award is given for extraordinary individual accomplishments or for devotion to a cause. Not more than five awards are given each year to practicing lawyers and judges who have made a significant contribution to their community, state and/or the nation.
The Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Servant Award recognizes extraordinary governmental service by a Michigan attorney holding elected or appointive office. Created by the Board of Commissioners in 1998, it was first awarded to Frank J. Kelley for his record-setting tenure as Michigan's chief lawyer.
The John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award named after a Grand Rapids attorney, recognizes a member of the State Bar who excels in commitment to pro bono issues. This award carries with it a cash stipend to be donated to the charity of the recipient's choice.
The Liberty Bell Award recipient is selected from nominations made by local and special-purpose bar associations. The award is presented to a non-lawyer who has made a significant contribution to the justice system. The deadline for this award is Monday, May 3, 2004. All other award nominations are due on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 at 5:00 p.m.
An Awards Committee, co-chaired by State Bar President-elect Nancy Diehl and attorney James Steward, reviews nominations for the Roberts P. Hudson, Champion of Justice, Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Servant, and Liberty Bell awards. The Bar's Pro Bono Involvement Committee reviews nominations for the Cummiskey Pro Bono award. The committee's recommendations are then voted on by the full Board of Commissioners at its June meeting.
Nominations should include sufficient detail about the accomplishments of the nominee to allow the committees to make a judgment. Information should include the nominee's biography and may also include narratives relating specific accomplishments, news clips, and letters of support. Materials will not be returned.