State Bar Representative Assembly to honor award winners

The State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly will present its Michael Franck and Unsung Hero awards to three outstanding members of the legal community on Thursday, Sept. 30 at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.

The presentation will take place at 9:10 a.m. during the assembly's general session, which is being held in conjunction with the SBM Annual Meeting.

Michael Franck Award

The 2010 Michael Franck winners are Sheldon J. Stark and John F. Van Bolt.

Sheldon J. Stark, director of specialty programs for The Institute of Continuing Legal Education, founded ICLE's annual Solo and Small Firm Institute.

In so doing, he has reached and inspired thousands of Michigan lawyers with his educational and mentoring activities.

Prior to joining ICLE in 1999, Stark practiced employment law for 26 years.

He became one of the foremost experts on employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, civil rights, and personal injury law in Michigan, and helped shape state law itself. Stark has also chaired the Michigan Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions: Intentional Tort and Employment Sub-Committee, and appeared in front of the high court on most major employment law cases.

He chaired the State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section, the Fund for Equal Justice, and an Attorney Discipline Board panel, and served as a hearing referee for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

John F. Van Bolt, executive director of the Attorney Discipline Board since 1986, has devoted almost his entire career to fighting tirelessly to improve the system of justice in Michigan and the United States, a role he has performed with exceptional competence, devotion, and an unerring sense of fairness.

Van Bolt is also involved in the administration of legal ethics and lawyer discipline at the national level.

He is a very active member of the National Organization of Bar Counsel, the American Bar Association's Center for Professional Responsibility, and the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.

He also helped found and was one of the first presidents of the National Council of Lawyer Disciplinary Boards (NCLDB), and continues to serve on its board.

His national network of attorney discipline professionals helped to make the NCLDB a reality.

Unsung Hero Award

This year's Unsung Hero award winner is Kevin J. Moody.

Moody's work as a principle at Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone, PLC focused on Native American law, insurance, and health care, but from the time he joined the firm in 1985 until his untimely death from pancreatic cancer in 2009, Moody fought tirelessly to make pro bono matters an integral part of its responsibility to the community.

He served as the firm's pro bono chair for 20 years, and under his direction, it has billed more than 80,000 pro bono hours and donated more than $750,000 to legal services organizations.

He also gave back outside of his profession by serving for 11 years on the board of directors at Gateway Community Services, which provides counseling, housing, and independent living training to homeless and troubled youth in the Lansing area.

Its youth shelter was renamed the Kevin J. Moody Youth Home.

Published: Mon, Sep 20, 2010

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