The Awards Committee of the Delaware State Bar Association (the “Association”) is a Standing Committee of the Association.  It solicits, collects, examines and deliberates upon applications submitted for various honors and awards created by the Association.  Conferred during events such as the annual Law Day celebration held in May, the annual Bench and Bar in June, or the Christopher W. White Distinguished Access to Justice Award luncheon in October, the Committee recommends honorees for various awards to the Executive Committee, which votes upon the recommendations.

Awards are given out four times each year.  In May, the Law Day Awards include the Liberty Bell Award, the Community Service Award, and the Myrna L. Rubinstein Professional Support Recognition Award.  In June, at the Annual Bench and Bar Conference, the Association gives out the First State Distinguished Service Award and, on occasion, the Profiles in Courage Award.  In October, during Pro Bono Month, the Chris White Access to Justice Awards include the Leadership Award, the Commitment Award, the Achievement Award, the Service to Children Award and the Legal Professional Pro Bono Service Award, as well as awards given by the United Way of Delaware.  In December, the DSBA awards the Daniel L. Herrmann Professional Conduct Award, the Distinguished Mentoring Award, the Government Service Award, the Outstanding Service to the Courts and Bar Award, the Women and the Law Leadership Award and the Young Lawyer’s Leadership Award.

A complete list of past honorees for each award appears below (in alphabetical order):

The Achievement Award

Prior to 2007, this award was given by DVLS; names were compiled with their assistance.  Prior to 2003, the awards are found under the generic heading “Pro Bono Awards”)

This Access to Justice award is presented to a member of the Bar who has shown an exemplary recent contribution to pro bono services (generally in the past one to three years) and stands as a role model to other attorneys. The criterion includes but is not limited to:

  • The number of pro bono hours recently devoted to legal representation of indigent clients.
    The number of cases accepted for pro bono representation.
    Consistency, flexibility, and accessibility in accepting cases.
    The lawyer’s commitment and service on committees dedicated to promoting and supporting the provision of legal services to those in need.

Previous Recipients

2003   Tiffany A. Poole, Esquire
2004   Patrick E. Vanderslice
2005   Marie LaBruyere, Esquire
2007    Curtis J. Crowther, Esquire
2008    Stephen Smulowitz, Esquire
2009    Arthur G. Connolly, Jr., Esquire
2010    Andrew G. Golian, Esquire
2011    Kimberly E. Connolly Lawson, Esquire
2012    Carl (“Chuck”) Norman Kunz III, Esquire
2013    Lt. Col. Roy A. (“Drew”) Hilferty Staff Judge Advocate
2014    Christopher M. Foulds, Esquire
2015    Natalie Wolf, Esquire
2016    Michael Nestor, Esquire
2017    Marc J. Wienkowitz, Esquire
2018   John M. Fisher Gray, Esquire

The Commitment Award

(Prior to 2007, this award was given by DVLS; names were compiled with their assistance.  Prior to 2003, the awards are found under the generic heading “Pro Bono Awards”)

This Access to Justice award is presented to a member of the Bar who has demonstrated a sterling commitment to pro bono work throughout his or her career by dedicating time and energy to the support and provision of legal services.  The criterion includes but is not limited to:

  • The number of pro bono hours devoted to legal representation of indigent clients over the lawyer’s career.
    The number of cases accepted for pro bono representation over the lawyer’s career.
    The lawyer’s commitment and service on committees dedicated to promoting and supporting the provision of legal services to those in need over the lawyer’s career.

Previous Recipients

2003   The Honorable Donald F. Parsons
2004   John C. Andrade, Esquire
2005   Christine K. Demsey, Esquire
2007   David J. Haley, Esquire
2008   Christine M. McDermott, Esquire (posthumously)
2009   Kathryn J. Laffey, Esquire
2010   Suzanne I. Seubert, Esquire
2011   William H. Sudell, Jr., Esquire
2012   Matthew M. Greenberg, Esquire
2013   Shauna T. Hagan, Esquire and David B. Brown, Esquire
2014   Patricia R. Urban, Esquire
2015   C. Malcolm Cochran IV, Esquire
2016   Denise Nordheimer, Esquire
2017   Kara M. Swasey, Esquire, Bayard, P.A.
2018   Derek C. Abbott, Esquire

The Community Service Award

Formerly the Public Service Award Established in 1990, Awarded on Law Day

For rendering meaningful service to the community, contributing significant time and effort to the greater Delaware community and demonstrating a commitment to leadership and service in activities that enrich and strengthen our community over a substantial period of time.

Previous Recipients

Public Service Award

1990   Hon. Roxana C. Arsht
1991    Edward W. Cooch, Jr., Esquire

Community Service Award

1992   A. Richard Barros, Esquire
1993   James P. Collins, Sr., Esquire
1994   Max S. Bell, Jr., Esquire
1995   Steven J. Rothschild, Esquire
1996   Donald C. Taylor, Esquire
1997   Stuart B. Young, Esquire
1998   Judith A. Schuenemeyer, Esquire
1999   Donald F. Parsons, Jr., Esquire
2000   Victor F. Battaglia, Sr., Esquire
2001   Richard A. DiLiberto, Jr., Esquire
2002   Hon. Kenneth Clark, Jr., Esquire
2003   Karen Jacobs Louden, Esquire
2005   Regina M. Mullen, Esquire
2006   Anthony M. Frabizzio, Esquire
2007   William D. Johnston, Esquire
2008   James G. McGiffin, Jr., Esquire
2009   Gary C. Linarducci, Esquire
2010   Charles E. Welch, Esquire
2011   Geoffrey Gamble, Esquire
2012   Donald N. Isken, Esquire
2013   George Tsakataras, Esquire
2014   Matthew P. Ward, Esquire
2015   Thomas A. Pedersen, Esquire
2016   Hon. Mary M. McDonough
2017   Kathleen Furey McDonough, Esquire
2018   Jennifer M. Jauffret, Esquire

The Daniel L. Herrmann Professional Conduct Award

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Established in 1992, Formerly awarded at Bench & Bar Conference, presently awarded at December Awards Luncheon

Awarded to a member of the Delaware Bar who, over the course of time, has demonstrated those qualities of courtesy and civility which, together with high ability and distinguished service, exemplifies the Delaware lawyer.

Previous Recipients

1992   Joseph M. Kwiatowski, Esquire
1993   Edward F. vonWettberg III, Esquire
1994   William F. Taylor, Esquire
1995   James T. McKinstry, Esquire
1996   Nicholas H. Rodriguez, Esquire
1997   Thomas Lodge, Esquire
1998   James D. Griffin, Esquire
1999   Henry N. Herndon Jr., Esquire
2000   A. Dean Betts Jr., Esquire
2001   James P. Collins Jr., Esquire
2002   James M. Mulligan Jr., Esquire
2003   Sheldon A. Weinstein, Esquire
2004   Lawrence A. Hamermesh, Esquire
2005   E. Norman Veasey, Esquire
2006   Malcolm S. Cobin, Esquire
2007   Not awarded
2008   Ben T. Castle, Esquire
2009   Richard K. Herrmann, Esquire
2010   Not awarded
2011   Elizabeth M. McGeever, Esquire
2012   The Honorable Joseph R. Slights III
2013   Helen L. Winslow, Esquire
2014   Daniel M. Kristol, Esquire
2015   Edmund D. Lyons Jr., Esquire & Richard A. DiLiberto Jr., Esquire
2016   P. Clarkson Collins, Jr., Esquire
2017   Randy J. Holland, Esquire
2018   Beverly J. Wik, Esquire

Distinguished Mentoring Award

Established in 1999, Formerly awarded at Bench & Bar Conference, presently awarded at December Awards Luncheon  (Not an annual award)

Awarded to a Delaware lawyer or judge who, by distinguished mentoring of other Delaware lawyers (or future lawyers) over a period of many years, has served as an inspiration to and a model for those lawyers in striving for and maintaining the highest standards in their professional careers and in their community involvement.

Previous Recipients

1999   The Honorable Vincent A. Bifferato, Sr.
2005   Francis J. (Pete) Jones Jr., Esquire
2006   The Honorable Joseph R. Slights
2008   The Honorable Richard F. Stokes
2009   James S. Green Sr., Esquire
2011   Shakuntla L. Bhaya, Esquire
2012   Karl Haller, Esquire
2013   Drewry N. Fennell, Esquire
2014   Dale R. Dube, Esquire
2015   Dana Harrington Conner, Esquire
2016   Patricia L. Enerio, Esquire
2017   The Honorable Danielle S. Blount
2018   The Honorable Sherry R. Fallon

First State Distinguished Service Award

Established in 1979 – Awarded at Bench & Bar Conference

Awarded to a member of the Delaware Bar who, by exemplary leadership and service dedicated to the cause of good citizenship in civic and humanitarian service over a period of many years has maintained the integrity and honored recognition of the legal profession in community affairs and who, as an outstanding Delawarean, unceasingly advances the ideals of citizen participation and community accomplishment, thus reflecting high honor on both country and profession.

Previous Recipients

1979   James M. Tunnell Jr., Esquire
1980   The Honorable Collins J. Seitz
1981   Louis L. Redding, Esquire & H. Albert Young, Esquire
1982   The Honorable William Duffy & William Marvel, Esquire
1983   The Honorable Daniel L. Herrmann
1984   E.N. Carpenter II, Esquire
1985   William Poole, Esquire & Joseph H. Flanzer, Esquire
1986   Joseph A. Rosenthal, Esquire
1987   Charles E. Welch, Esquire
1988   The Honorable J. Caleb Boggs
1989   William Prickett, Esquire
1990   Victor F. Battaglia, Esquire
1991   Bruce M. Stargatt, Esquire
1992   S. Samuel Arsht, Esquire
1993  Henry N. Herndon Jr., Esquire
1994   The Honorable Andrew D. Christie
1995   The Honorable James L. Latchum
1996   Howard M. Handelman, Esquire
1997   The Honorable William T. Allen
1998   Irving Morris, Esquire
1999   The Honorable Roxana C. Arsht
2000   Harvey Bernard Rubenstein, Esquire
2001   Vincent A. Bifferato Sr., Esquire
2002   The Honorable Joseph T. Walsh
2003   The Honorable William T. Quillen
2004   The Honorable Murry M. Schwartz
2005   Sidney Balick, Esquire
2006   The Honorable E. Norman Veasey
2007   Carl Schnee, Esquire
2008   The Honorable Walter K. Stapleton
2009   The Honorable Susan C. DelPesco
2010   Not awarded
2011   S. Bernard Ableman, Esquire
2012   The Honorable Randy J. Holland
2013   Joshua W. Martin III, Esquire
2014   Arthur G. Connolly Jr., Esquire
2015   John F. Schmutz, Esquire
2016   Charles S. McDowell, Esquire
2017   Charles M. Oberly III, Esquire
2018   Elizabeth M. McGeever, Esquire

Government Service Award

(Not an annual award)

Established 1991 – Awarded at State Bar Night until 2006, presently awarded at December Awards Luncheon

Awarded to a full-time government service employee in recognition of dedicated and distinguished contribution to the Administration of Justice.

Previous Recipients

1991   Marie Shultie
1992   Steve Taylor
1993   John D. Kelly, III
1994   Felicia Jones
1995   Carole B. Kirshner, Grover C. Luttrell, Jr.
1996   Jesse L. Williams
1997   George Coyle
1998   Lowell L. Groundland
1999   Myrtle A. Thomas
2000   Franny Maguire
2001   Thomas J. Ralston
2002   Carol H. Ellis
2003   Edward G. Pollard, Jr.
2004   Randall E. Williams
2005   Joe Klenoski
2006   Mitzi Boddy
2009   Anna A. Lewis
2011   James Brendan O’Neill, Esquire
2015   Ciro Poppiti III, Esquire
2016   Kathleen M. Jennings, Esquire
2017   Sharon D. Agnew
2018   Renee Kinsey

Legacy Award

(Prior to 2007, this award was given by DVLS; names were compiled with their assistance.)

This Access to Justice award is presented to a legal organization (legal department or law office) that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of pro bono service to Delaware’s indigent population based on the following criterion:

  • The number of pro bono hours the organization contributes to the direct representation of indigent clients.
    The number of cases the organization accepts for pro bono representation.
    Flexibility and accessibility in accepting cases.
    The organization’s commitment and service on committees dedicated to promoting and supporting the provision of   legal services to those in need.
    Financial support to agencies providing legal services to Delaware’s indigent population.
    The percentage of attorneys in the organization who accept pro bono cases.
    Fostering a culture, which recognizes the value of pro bono service.

Previous Recipients

2003    Law Offices of Henry Clay Davis
2004    Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell, LLP
2005     Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A.
2007    Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP
2008    Doroshow Pasquale Krawitz & Bhaya
2009    Fox Rothschild LLP
2010     McCarter & English LLP
2011     Richards, Layton & Finger, P. A.
2012     DLA Piper LLP
2013     DuPont Legal
2014     Rahaim & Saints, Attorneys at Law
2015     Morris James LLP
2016     Blakely, Gregory & Pappoulis
2017     Pepper Hamilton LLP

The Legal Professional Pro Bono Service Award

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This Access to Justice award is given to a person, qualified by education, training or work experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, government agency or other entity, who performs pro bono legal work in the pursuit of Access to Justice.  This award is given as warranted, not necessarily annually.

Previous Recipients

2016      Rose L. Green, Paralegal and Pro Bono Director of Delaware Paralegal Association
2017      Heidi Coleman, Paralegal
2018     Claudine B. Smith, DCP

The Liberty Bell Award

Established in 1979, Awarded on Law Day

Awarded to an individual who is not a judge or a lawyer, who has rendered outstanding service to his/her community.  The award is designed to promote a better understanding of government, a greater respect for the rule of law or a deeper sense of individual responsibility which contribute to the effective functioning of our governmental institutions.

Previous Recipients

1979    Mrs. Kendall Wilson
1980    Mrs. Charles E. Daniels
1981    Hon. Louise Conner
1982    Hon. Elbert N. Carvel
1983    Dr. Ruth M. Laws
1984    Hon. Herman M. Holloway, Sr.
1985    Mrs. Joan Rosenthal
1986    Mr. William P. Frank
1987    Professor James Soles and Hon. Ada Leigh Soles
1988    Monsignor Thomas J. Reese
1989    Mrs. Gertrude Lowell
1990    Hon. William McLaughlin
1991    Kenneth & Shirley Horowitz
1992    Marian L. Harris
1993    Sonia & Gilbert Sloan
1994    Rosemary M. Twilley
1995    Court Appointed SpecialAdvocates Program of the Family Court of the State of Delaware
1996    Crawford Carroll
1997    James Gilliam, Sr.
1998    Hon. Russell W. Peterson
1999    Donald F. Crossan, Ph.D. and Cadet Lt. Col. Julie T. Jackson
2000    Sally V. Hawkins
2001    Judith S. Mellen
2002    Thurman G. Adams, Jr.
2003    Jane Maroney
2004    Littleton P. Mitchell
2005    Paul R. Wilkinson
2006    Calvin Christopher
2007    Dale E. Wolf
2008    Joseph M. Dell’Olio
2009    Elaine (Leni) Markell
2010    Tony Allen
2011    Michael H. McGrath
2012    Pat Quann
2013    Carole Kirshner
2014    Deborah L. Murray-Sheppard
2015    Ron Copeland
2016    John G. Moore, Sr.
2017    Carol Waldhauser
2018   Ashley R. Biden

The Myrna L. Rubenstein Professional Support Recognition Award

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Established 2002, Awarded on Law Day

Presented to a support staff person, for long and dedicated service to the Bench and Bar of the State of Delaware, to the Bar Association, and to the Members thereof, which has contributed in a significant way to them and to the high ideals of the legal profession.

Previous Recipients

2002   Mary Lynne Busche
2005   Kris Prichett
2006   Barbara Taylor
2008   Margaret Green
2013   Catherine A. James
2015   Mary Jane De Matteis
2016   Nancy Osborn

Outstanding Service to the Courts and Bar Award

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Established in 1999, Awarded at the Awards Luncheon (Not an annual award)

Awarded to a Delaware lawyer or judge who, by exemplary service to the Delaware Courts and the Delaware Bar, has substantially assisted the courts and the Bar and has strengthened public trust and confidence in the courts in the state of Delaware and the administration of justice.

Previous Recipients

1999   Richard K. Herrmann, Esquire
2005   Charles F. Richards, Esquire
2006   John P. Brady, Esquire
2008   Daniel M. Kristol, Esquire
2009   Michael W. Arrington, Esquire
2010   F. Michael Parkowski, Esquire
2011   The Honorable Jan R. Jurden
2012   The Honorable Mary Pat Thynge
2013   The Honorable Alfred Fraczkowski
2014   Michael Houghton, Esquire
2016   Charles H. Toliver IV, Esquire
2018   Richard D. Kirk, Esquire

Pro Bono Awards

Prior to 2003, awards were given by DVLS to those attorneys who demonstrated a commitment to providing pro bono service.  Later, Pro Bono Awards were created as the Leadership Award, the Commitment Award, and the Achievement Award, all listed in separate categories here on this page.

Previous Recipients

1995

Neil C. Belgam, Esquire
Widener University School of Law & Law School Dean Arthur N. Frakt
Honorable Phillip Gruccio

1996

Ellen S. Meyer, Esquire
James D. Griffin, Esquire

1997

David J. Haley, Esquire
Mardi F. Pyott, Esquire
John F. Brady, Esquire

1998

David A. Boswell, Esquire
Colleen E. Hicks, Esquire
Cynthia A. Calder, Esquire

1999

Robert H. Richards III, Esquire
Gregg M. Galardi, Esquire
Gerry Gray, Esquire

2000

Carolyn M. McNeice, Esquire
Jan R. Jurden, Esquire
Michael S. Corrigan, Esquire

2001

Michelle Morgan Kelly, Esquire
Thomas D. Walsh, Esquire
Craig T. Eliassen, Esquire
Jennifer Anne Hartnett, Esquire

2002

Jason C. Powell, Esquire
Selma Hayman, Esquire
Alan C. Cooper, Esquire

Profile in Courage Award

Established 2009, Given at the Bench and Bar Annual Meeting, if awarded.

This award is given to a member of the Bar who, in the face of significant challenges, has shown extraordinary courage and commitment to the highest ideals of the legal profession. Extraordinary courage can be moral or physical. The former is exemplified when a lawyer or a judge applies the law even when the decision he or she determines that the law requires may not be popular, as in the de-segregation decisions of Chancellor

Collins J. Seitz and District Court Judge Murray M. Schwartz.    The latter is exemplified by our first recipient, Althea McDowell, Esq., who with grace and dignity continued her legal work on behalf of those with disabilities even as she herself struggled with multiple sclerosis. This award recognizes those members of the Bar who either through moral or physical courage have become a source of inspiration to other members of the Bar.

Previous Recipients

2009   Althea E. McDowell
2012   Santino Ceccotti

Service to Children Award

Established in 2003, Awarded at the Access to Justice Breakfast (previously awarded at Awards Luncheon)

Awarded to an individual lawyer, legal professional, or organization principally including lawyers, which demonstrates outstanding commitment to, and work for, children in the provision of legal or community services. It may be given to volunteers or those employed in the provision of legal services for children. This award is given as warranted, not necessarily annually. The sculpture reflecting this award was created by Charles Allmond, Esquire, and shall be available for display by the award recipient during the year following receipt. Otherwise, it shall be displayed in the offices of the Delaware State Bar Association.

The Charles Allmond sculpture was donated by the former and current partners of the Wilmington office of Duane Morris and in support of the creation of this award.

Previous Recipients

2004      Fox Rothschild
2008     Morris James LLP
2011      Dean Linda L. Ammons, Esquire
2013      Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP
2014      DVLS Staff Attorneys
2016      Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz & Bhaya
2017     Lisa A. Minutola, Esquire, Office of the Public Defender
2018    Leslie B. Spoltore, Esquire

The Women’s Leadership Award

Established in 1996, Formerly awarded at Bench & Bar Conference, presently awarded at December Awards Luncheon 

Awarded to a member of the Delaware Bar whose character, strength, personality, achievement and activities in matters affecting women lawyers have served as an inspiration to and a model for women lawyers in their professional careers.

Previous Recipients

1996    The Honorable Susan C. DelPesco
1997    The Honorable Helen S. Balick
1998    Rosemary K. Killian
1999    Christine M. McDermott
2000   Regina M. Mullen and Judith N. Renzulli
2001    The Honorable Rosemary Betts Beauregard
2002    The Honorable Aida Waserstein
2003    Elizabeth M. McGeever
2004    The Honorable Barbara D. Crowell
2005    Patricia Bartley Schwartz
2006    Claire M. DeMatteis
2007    The Honorable Mary M. Johnston
2008    Christine K. Demsey, Esquire
2009    Karen Jacobs Louden, Esquire
2010    The Honorable Andrea L. Rocanelli
2011    June D. MacArtor, Esquire
2012    Beverly J. Wik, Esquire
2013    The Honorable Jane R. Roth
2014    The Honorable Kim E. Ayvazian
2015    Lisa B. Goodman, Esquire
2016    The Honorable Jan R. Jurden
2017    Yvonne Takvorian Saville
2018   Kathi A. Karsnitz, Esquire

The Young Lawyers’ Distinguished Service Award

Established in 1981, Formerly awarded at Bench & Bar Conference, Presently awarded at December Awards Luncheon

Awarded to a member of the Delaware Bar who, by exemplary leadership and service dedicated to the cause of good citizenship in civic and humanitarian service over a period of less than ten years has maintained the integrity and honored recognition of the legal profession in community affairs and who, as an outstanding Delawarean, has unceasingly advanced the ideals of citizen participation and community accomplishment, thus reflecting high honor on both country and profession

Previous Recipients

1981    Gary A. Myers, Esquire
1982    Nancy Jane Mullen, Esquire
1983    Mary McDonough, Esquire
1984    Donald Wolfe, Jr., Esquire
1985    The Honorable Aida Wasserstein
1986    Edward Welch, Esquire
1987    Kevin Gross, Esquire
1988    Richard D. Kirk, Esquire
1989    W. Harding Drane, Esquire
1990    The Honorable Barbara D. Crowell
1991    Peter B. Jones, Esquire
1992    Kent A. Jordan, Esquire
1993    Kevin F. Brady, Esquire
1994    James G. McGiffin, Jr., Esquire
1995    Matthew Denn, Esquire
1996    The Honorable Jan R. Jurden
1997    Francis G.X. Pileggi, Esquire
1998    Mark F. Dunkle, Esquire
1999    Christopher W. White, Esquire
2000   Carolee Burton Kunz, Esquire
2001    John T. Dorsey, Esquire
2002    Dana L. Harrington, Esquire
2003    Claire M. deMatteis, Esquire
2004    Ian Connor Bifferato, Esquire
2005    Tania Marie Culley, Esquire
2006    Darryl A. Parson, Esquire
2007    Matthew M. Greenberg, Esquire
2008    Drewry N. Fennell, Esquire
2009    The Honorable Bernard Pepukayi
2010    Ryan Patrick Newell, Esquire
2011    Seth lewis Thompson, Esquire
2012    Tara D. Elliott, Esquire
2013    Tanisha Lynette Merced, Esquire
2014    Lawrance Spiller Kimmel, Esquire
2015    N. Christopher Griffiths, Esquire
2016    Kiadii S. Harmon, Esquire
2017    Kara M. Swasey, Esquire
2018   Eric J. Monzo, Esquire