The Florida Bar will recognize 21 lawyers for their work on behalf of poor and indigent clients at a ceremony Thursday at the Supreme Court of Florida.
Suzanne Judas and James Kowalski Jr. from Northeast Florida are among the honorees.
Judas, a partner with Holland & Knight in Jacksonville, is from the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Clay, Duval and Nassau counties.
Her principal area of practice is general civil litigation with a focus on admiralty and maritime law, media and communications, and personal injury.
As chair of the Committee for the Public Good in Holland & Knight’s Jacksonville office, Judas has organized the office’s pro bono work. Borrowing the vision of the Florida Bar Foundation’s ONE campaign, Judas and the committee challenged every attorney in the Jacksonville office to take at least one pro bono matter during 2010.
She was successful in accomplishing the goal by September 2010, and the firm contributed more than 3,000 pro bono hours to the community.
In 2011 alone, Judas has spent 486 hours working on pro bono matters and helping to coordinate projects in the firm.
Kowalski is a civil trial attorney and his practice is based in Jacksonville. He represents the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties.
His principal areas of practice are civil rights, civil trial, civil and commercial litigation, litigation/trial advocacy/advocacy, and personal injury.
Although his office is in Jacksonville, Kowalski offers a substantial amount of assistance to residents of St. Johns County.
He heads up a Legal Aid Consumer Pro Bono Program, offers training to other potential pro bono attorneys throughout the state through Legal Aid, and is active in both the St. Johns County Bar Association and The Jacksonville Bar Association.
Kowalski has 30 pending pro bono cases almost entirely in the area of consumer law, mainly foreclosures and collections.
For 2008-10, he completed nearly 490 pro bono hours through the St. Johns County Legal Aid office.
Judas and Kowalski’s service in 2010-11 was counted among the 1.6 million hours of pro bono services provided by Florida lawyers to those in need and the $4.8 million donated to legal aid organizations.
The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Awards were established in 1981. They are intended to encourage lawyers to volunteer free legal services to the poor by recognizing those who make public service commitments and to raise public awareness of the substantial volunteer services provided by Florida lawyers to those who cannot afford legal fees.
Florida Bar President Scott Hawkins, of West Palm Beach, will present the 2012 awards.
The awards recognize pro bono service in each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits and one Florida Bar member practicing outside the state of Florida. They are presented annually in conjunction with the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, which is given by the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Florida.
Awards recognizing pro bono contributions also will be presented for Distinguished Judicial Service, Law Firm Commendation, Voluntary Bar Association and Young Lawyer.
The ceremony is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Supreme Court of Florida and will be webcast live from http://wfsu.org/gavel2gavel. The program will be rebroadcast taped-delayed on the Florida Channel at a later date.
In addition to Judas and Kowalski, the 2011 recipients are:
• Charles Patterson Hoskin, First Judicial Circuit, (Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties) Pensacola. Hoskin is a staff attorney at Emmanuel Sheppard and Condon.
• Wendy Loquasto, Second Judicial Circuit (Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty and Wakulla counties) Tallahassee. Loquasto is a board-certified shareholder and managing partner at Fox & Loquasto.
• Leenette Wilhelmina McMillan-Fredriksson, Third Judicial Circuit (Columbia, Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Madison, Suwanee and Taylor counties) Mayo. McMillan-Fredriksson is a sole practitioner and proprietor at McMillan Law Office.
• Sandra Day, Fifth Judicial Circuit (Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties) Spring Hill. Day is a partner attorney with her husband at The Day Law Office.
• Myriam Irizarry, Sixth Judicial Circuit (Pasco and Pinellas counties) Palm Harbor. Irizarry is chief deputy and general counsel to the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Pinellas County.
• Leslie Smith Haswell, Eighth Judicial Circuit (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union counties) Gainesville. Haswell is a sole practitioner.
• Edmund Baxa Jr., Ninth Judicial Circuit (Orange and Osceola counties) Orlando. Baxa is a partner at Foley & Lardner.
• Deborah Lynn Wells, 10th Judicial Circuit (Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties) Bartow. Wells is a sole practitioner.
• James Pollack, 11th Judicial Circuit (Miami-Dade County) Miami. Pollack is a retired sole practitioner.
• Arthur Don Ginsburg, 12th Judicial Circuit (DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties) Sarasota. Ginsburg is a board-certified partner at Icard Merrill law firm.
• Adrian “Stan” Musial Jr., 13th Judicial Circuit (Hillsborough County) Tampa. Musial Jr. is a sole proprietor.
• Michael Patrick Dickey, 14th Judicial Circuit (Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington counties) Panama City. Dickey is a partner at Barron, Redding, Hughes, Fite, Sanborn, Kiehn, Leebrick & Dickey.
• Steven Cripps, 15th Judicial Circuit (Palm Beach County) West Palm Beach. Cripps is in private practice at the law firm of Orsley & Cripps.
• Thomas Edward Woods, 16th Judicial Circuit (Monroe County) Tavernier. Woods is a sole practitioner.
• Elizabeth Geary Daugherty, 17th Judicial Circuit (Broward County) Fort Lauderdale. Daugherty has her own law practice.
• James Lawrence Torres, 18th Judicial Circuit (Brevard and Seminole counties) Indialantic. Torres is a sole practitioner, board certified in civil trial law.
• Norman Paxton Jr., 19th Judicial Circuit (Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties) Fort Pierce. Paxton, who died in October, was a partner at Paxton & Williams.
• Daniel John Endrizal III, 20th Judicial Circuit (Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties) Fort Myers. Endrizal is a sole practitioner.
• Melissa Lea Mackiewicz, out-of-state Florida Bar member, Baltimore, Md. Mackiewicz is a trial lawyer at DLA Piper.