The deadline for nominating lawyers and judges for most major State Bar of Michigan awards to be presented during the September 2006 Annual Meeting in Ypsilanti is Wednesday, April 5 at 5 p.m. 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 to and on behalf of the State Bar given generously, ungrudgingly, and in a spirit of self-sacrifice. It is awarded to a member of the State Bar of Michigan who best exemplifies that which brings honor, esteem, and respect to the legal profession. The Hudson Award is considered the highest award conferred by the Bar.
- 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 Liberty Bell Award nominations is Tuesday, May 2, 2006.
An Awards Committee, co-chaired by State Bar President-elect Kimberly Cahill and attorney Francine Cullari, reviews nominations for the Roberts P. Hudson, Champion of Justice, Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Servant, and Liberty Bell awards. A committee of the Bar’s Pro Bono Initiative reviews nominations for the Cummiskey award. The committees' recommendations are then voted on by the full Board of Commissioners at its June meeting.