California Lawyers and Judges to Receive Awards For Legal Service and Excellence
Media Contact: Diane Curtis 415-538-2028 email@example.com
San Francisco, Sept. 13, 2011 — The State Bar has announced a series of awards honoring those in the legal profession who help the neediest and most vulnerable Californians and represent the best of the profession.
The Loren Miller Legal Services Award will be presented to Sid Wolinsky, co-founder and director of litigation of Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley, at the State Bar’s Annual Meeting this week in Long Beach. The award is given annually to a lawyer who has demonstrated long-term commitment to legal services and who has personally done significant work in extending legal services to the poor.
The categories and recipients of the President’s Pro Bono Service Awards for 2011, which recognize outstanding legal service contributions to those who cannot afford such services, are:
- Solo Practitioner: Judith A. Litzenberger, San Diego; Jacqueline Brown Scott, San Francisco
- Recently Admitted: Fermin Valencia (Santa Ana)
- Limited Active Practice: Ronald E. Blubaugh (Sacramento)
- Law Student: Suesan Gerard (Los Angeles)
- Law Firm: DLA Piper LLP (US) (East Palo Alto)
- Law Firm Branch Office: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (Los Angeles Office)
- Law Firm Team: Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP Team (Burlingame); Loeb & Loeb LLP Immigration/Asylum Pro Bono Team (Los Angeles)
The Jack Berman Award of Achievement, presented by the California Young Lawyers Association, honors a lawyer who is in the first five years of active State Bar membership or under age 36 who has provided outstanding service to the legal profession and public and demonstrated dedication to issues of concern to new and young lawyers. The 2011 recipient of the award, named after a young lawyer killed in the 1993 shooting at 101 California Street, San Francisco, is Emily Arnold-Fernandez, founder of Asylum Access in San Francisco, a nonprofit group that fights for the rights of refugees.
A special Benjamin Aranda III Access to Justice Award, which is cosponsored by the Judicial Council of California, State Bar of California, California Commission on Access to Justice and California Judges Association, will be presented to outgoing Administrative Office of the Courts Administrator Bill Vickrey.
The State Bar’s Bernard E. Witkin Medal will be presented to Presiding Justice Joan Dempsey Klein of the Second Appellate District in Los Angeles.
Diversity Award honors go to Judge Vallera Johnson of San Diego, in the Individual category; to Hanson Bridgett LLP of San Francisco and For People of Color, Inc. of Los Angeles for a joint award in the Law Firm Category, and to the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley in the Bar Association category.
The Center for Youth Development through Law in Berkeley is the recipient of the Education Pipeline Award.
All the awards will be presented at the State Bar’s Annual Meeting this week in Long Beach.
The State Bar of California is an administrative arm of the California Supreme Court, serving the public and seeking to improve the justice system for more than 80 years. All lawyers practicing law in California must be members of the State Bar. By September 2011, membership reached 233,000