Nominations now open for major State Bar awards

Nominations are now open for the following State Bar of Michigan awards that will be presented at the September 2013 annual meeting in Lansing:

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. This award will be presented periodically to a professor from a Michigan law school whose influence on Michigan lawyers has elevated the quality of legal practice in the state.

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. The award is presented to a non-lawyer who has made a significant contribution to the justice system. The deadline for this award is Monday, May 13, 2013.

An awards committee co-chaired by former SBM President Nancy Diehl and SBM President-Elect Brian Einhorn reviews nominations for the Roberts P. Hudson, John W. Reed, Champion of Justice, Frank J. Kelley, Kimberly M. Cahill, and Liberty Bell awards. The SBM Pro Bono Initiative Committee reviews nominations for the Cummiskey Pro Bono award. These recommendations are then voted on by the full Board of Commissioners at its June meeting.

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

Any SBM member can nominate candidates for awards. To apply online or download application forms visit Cummiskey Award nominations can be directed to Robert Mathis at; all other nominations can be submitted to Joyce Nordeen, State Bar of Michigan, 306 Townsend St., Lansing, MI 48933 or For more information visit the State Bar's website,, or call (517) 346-6373 or (800) 968-1442, or fax (517) 482-6248.

Published: Mon, Jan 7, 2013