Nominations are now open for major State Bar of Michigan awards to will be presented at the September 2008 Annual Meeting in Dearborn. Any State Bar member 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 that 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 the highest award conferred by the Bar.
- The Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service 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 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 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.
All award nominations except for the Liberty Bell Award are due Friday, April 4 at 5 p.m. The deadline for Liberty Bell Award nominations is Friday, May 2.
An awards committee co-chaired by State Bar President-Elect Edward Pappas and attorney Francine Cullari reviews nominations for the Roberts P. Hudson, Champion of Justice, Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service, and Liberty Bell awards. The SBM Pro Bono Initiative Committee reviews nominations for the Cummiskey Award. The committee's recommendations are then voted on by the full Board of Commissioners at its June meeting.
Last year's non-winner nominations will automatically carry over for consideration this year. Nominations must be submitted on SBM forms and should include sufficient details regarding the accomplishments of the nominee to allow the committees to make a judgment.