President's Award

This award, selected at the discretion of the State Bar president, is given to an individual who has contributed enormous effort toward the furtherance of the president's goals and priorities during the president's term in office.

2019 Recipients

Special Merit

Charles W. “Chas” Wirken is a member of Gust Rosenfeld, PLC in Phoenix, where his practice focuses on appeals and commercial litigation.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and has argued before the United States Supreme Court.  Chas is also a Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Southwest Super Lawyers® and Arizona’s Finest Lawyers, is an elected member of the American Law Institute, and a is member of the MCBA Hall of Fame.

Chas is a past-president of the State Bar, the Maricopa County Bar, the East Valley Bar, the Volunteer Lawyers Program, and the Lorna Lockwood Inn of Court.  He formerly chaired the State Bar’s Client Protection Fund Board of Trustees, Civil Practice and Procedure Committee, and Trial Practice Section.  Currently, he serves as a delegate to the ABA House of Delegates.

In the community, Chas is a past-president of the Mesa Rotary Club, co-chaired the Mesa United Way campaign, and has served on numerous civic, county, and state committees, boards, and commissions.

Chas graduated from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1975 and serves on the Law College Association board of directors.

Special Merit

Laura Zeman-Mullen’s practice includes procuring U.S. and foreign patents, trademarks, and copyrights; preparing and assessing assignment, development, and licensing agreements; evaluating registrability, patentability, validity, and infringement issues; conducting due diligence and intellectual property portfolio analysis; litigating patent, trademark, and copyright infringement actions; and advising clients in all areas of intellectual property.

Prior to her law career, Laura worked in the public health field in Africa and then at the local county public health departments in both Minnesota and Wisconsin.  She later went to law school at the University of Wisconsin and began her legal career in intellectual property.  Laura is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and has been named in The Best Lawyers in America® from 2010-2019.

Laura actively takes on pro bono work and was once named the Children’s Law Center Advocate of the Year.  In addition to serving on a Foster Care Review Board, she has served on the Board of Directors for a number of community organizations including A New Leaf, the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, and United Animal Friends.  She is a past president of the Arizona Women Lawyers Association and also served on the Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness.  Learning and experiencing foreign cultures is one of Laura’s true joys.  In 2013, she returned to Africa where she and her husband successfully reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.



Previous Recipients   

The award has been presented to:

2002     Janet Napolitano
Hon. Robert B. Van Wyck
Hon. Barry C. Schneider
2003 Craig Y. Fujii
Danny R. Ortega, Jr.
Neal Kurn
Barry Wong
Michael R. Rooney
Richard H. Whitney
2004 Art Hailton
Kathleen A. Mayer
Thomas M. Thompson
2005 Colleen A. Lomax, Esq.
Hon. Rebecca A. Albrecht
Paul Bennett
Edward F. Novak
2006 Diane L. Drain
Jenae R. Naumann
Michael L. Walker
Rawuel Centeno-Fequiere
David B. Rosenbaum
2007 Michael L. Gallagher
Michael Allen Berch
2008 Herbert I. Zinn
Mari I. Valenzuela
Sal J. Rivera
Larry J. Cohen
John W. Rogers
William G. Klain
2009 Pamela A. Treadwell-Rubin
Patrick J. McGroder III
Jessica Gifford Funkhouser
2010 Saji Vettiyil
Brigadier General Richard Gregg Maxon
2011 Maret Vessella
Amy K. Rehm
2012 Senator Jon Kyl
Alan P. Bayham, Jr
2013 Hon. Janet Napolitano
Lawrence F. Winthrop
2014 Patricia Lee Refo
2015 Robert E. Schmitt
William C. Porter
2016 Thomas M. Ryan
Alex Lane
2017 Thomas L. Hudson
Sheena S. Chiang
2018 Larry W. Suciu
2019 Charles W. Wirken and Laura Zeman-Mullen

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