Nominations now open for State Bar, Representative Assembly awards

Nominations are now open for State Bar of Michigan (SBM) awards, as well as awards from the Representative Assembly, to be presented at the Sept. 2013 Annual Meeting in Lansing.

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 — that SBM member who best exemplifies that which brings honor, esteem and respect to the legal profession. The Hudson Award is the highest SBM award conferred.

The Frank J. Kelley Distinguished Public Service Award recognizes extraordinary governmental service by a Michigan attorney holding elected or appointed 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. No 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 Kimberly M. Cahill Bar Leadership Award was established in memory of the 2006-07 SBM president, who passed away in January 2008. This award will be presented to a recognized local or affinity bar association, program or leader for excellence in promoting the ideal of professionalism or equal justice for all, or in responding to a compelling legal need within the community during the past year or on an ongoing basis.

The John W. Cummiskey Pro Bono Award, named after a Grand Rapids attorney who was dedicated to making legal services available to all, 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 John W. Reed Michigan Lawyer Legacy Award was introduced in 2011 and is named for a longtime and beloved University of Michigan Law School professor and Wayne State University dean. It will be presented periodically to a professor from a Michigan law school whose influence on Michigan lawyers has elevated the quality of legal practice.

All SBM award nominations are due by 5 p.m. Monday, April 1, 2013.

The Liberty Bell Award recipient is selected from nominations made by local and special-purpose bar associations and presented to a non-lawyer who has made a significant contribution to the justice system. Deadline for this award is Monday, May 13, 2013.

Last year’s non-winning nominations automatically carry over for consideration this year. Nominations should include sufficient details about the nominee to allow the committees to make a judgment.

Any SBM member can nominate candidates. To apply online or download application forms visit

Cummiskey Award nominations go to Robert Mathis,; all other nominations should be submitted to Joyce Nordeen, State Bar of Michigan, 306 Townsend St., Lansing, MI 48933 or For more information call 517-346-6373 or 800-968-1442.

Nominations are also being accepted for two SBM Representative Assembly awards. The Michael Franck Award is given annually to an attorney who has made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of the legal profession. The Unsung Hero Award goes to a lawyer who has exhibited the highest standards of practice and commitment for the benefit of others.

Nominees for both awards must be State Bar members in good standing and their contributions may have been made either during the past year or by virtue of cumulative effort or service. The Representative Assembly, chaired by Dana Warnez, is the final policy-making body of the State Bar.

The nomination deadline is Friday, March 15, 2013. Online applications are accepted at

Nominations can also be mailed to: Ms. Anne M. Smith, Representative Assembly Awards, State Bar of Michigan, 306 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48933-2012.

Further information on the Representative Assembly awards can be found at the State Bar of Michigan website,, or by calling the numbers above.