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State Bar Annual Awards

2021 Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2021 Annual State Bar of Arizona Award Winners!

Click on the name of each award (on the left) to access the winner's photo and bio.

Award of Appreciation (non-lawyer) - Recipient: Christine Groninger, Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education

Award of Special Merit - Recipient: Anne Ronan, Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest

Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award - Recipient: Hon. Carol Berry (Ret.), Phoenix Municipal Court

Hon. John R. Sticht Disability Achievement Award - Recipient: Kacie Nickel, Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office

James A. Walsh Outstanding Jurist Award - Recipient: Hon. Joseph Kreamer, Maricopa County Superior Court

Member of the Year Award - Recipient: Mark Harrison, Osborn Maledon PA (posthumously)

Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award - Recipient: Kent Volkmer, Pinal County Attorney’s Office

Outstanding In-House Counsel of the Year Award - Recipient: Mark Rogers, Amkor Technology Inc.

Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award - Recipient: Jamie Balson, Legal Services for Crime Victims in Arizona

Tom Karas Criminal Justice Award - Recipient: Richard Coffinger, Law Office of Richard D. Coffinger

President's Award - Recipient: Lonnie Williams, Stinson LLP

The Awards Luncheon was held in-person on Tuesday, June 15 at the Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Chandler.

Award Descriptions and Candidate Criteria

Award of Appreciation: Presented to that individual(s) who is not a member of the Bar in recognition of outstanding service toward the creation of a better public understanding of the legal profession and the administration of justice, the judiciary or the legislative process. (Award established in 1989)

Award of Special Merit: Presented to that member or members of the State Bar of Arizona who have made significant contributions to the furtherance of public understanding of the legal system, the administration of justice and confidence in the legal profession. (Award established in 1988)

Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award: Recognizing an attorney, judge, employer, organization or bar association that significantly advances diversity and inclusion in the Arizona legal community through creative, strategic, or innovative efforts. (Created October 2015)

Hon. John R. Sticht Disability Achievement Award: Recognizing either a person(s) in the legal profession or a group, organization or employer, who or which furthers the goals of access to justice and the full participation for people with disabilities in the legal profession and justice system or a person(s) with disability who has demonstrated exceptional depth of inner strength, courage in the face of adversity and tenacity of purpose. (Award established 5/29/06; amended language 10/23/15)

James A. Walsh Outstanding Jurist Award: Recognizing that judge whose career exemplifies the highest standards of judicial conduct for integrity and independence; who is knowledgeable of the law and faithful to it; who is unswayed by partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism; who is patient, dignified and courteous to all who appear before that judge; and who endeavors to improve the administration of justice and public understanding of, and respect for, the role of law in our society. (Award established in 1989)

Member of the Year Award: Presented to that attorney(s) who has rendered extraordinary contributions to the programs and activities of the State Bar in the prior year. Hundreds, even thousands, of the Bar's members contribute their time and talent to the work of the Bar, but this award is limited to that individual(s) whose contributions are exceptional. (Award established in 1991)

Michael C. Cudahy Criminal Justice Award: Recognizing that criminal law prosecutor who has worked tirelessly to advance the principles of criminal justice by representing the public’s interest with integrity, fairness, tenacity, creativity, brilliance and, above all, professionalism. (Award established 3/17/06)

Outstanding In-House Counsel of the Year Award: Recognizing an Arizona in-house counsel that has made outstanding contributions to the in-house counsel practice and the community at large. The recipient of this award is a respected strategic and innovative leader who exemplifies the following traits: sound and trusted judgment, excellent legal and business acumen, vision, leadership, integrity and ethics. (Created October 2015)

Sharon A. Fullmer Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award: Recognizing that legal services lawyer in Arizona whose service to low-income people encompasses both aggressive advocacy on behalf of individuals in extreme need as well as impact advocacy designed to address systemic issues affecting significant numbers of low-income people. (Award established in 1997)

Tom Karas Criminal Justice Award: Recognizing that criminal defense practitioner who has worked tirelessly to advance the principles of criminal justice by representing clients or the public with integrity, fairness, tenacity, creativity, brilliance and, above all, professionalism. (Award established 2004; amended language 3/17/06)

President's Award: Awarded, at the discretion of the president, to that attorney(s) who has contributed enormous effort towards the furtherance of the president's goals and priorities during his or her year as president. (Award established in 1996)

2020 State Bar Award Winners Video

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