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Outstanding Lawyers Custody Case Jacksonville FL



    Twenty lawyers will receive The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award for their
 commitment to providing free legal services to the poor. The awards ceremony well be held
                           at the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday, Feb.16, at 3:30 p.m.

The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award was established in 1981 as a way to
recognize individual lawyers within Florida's judicial circuits who are committed to providing
free legal services to those who cannot afford legal fees. The term "pro bono," derived from
the Latin phrase "pro bono publico," means "for the good of the public." In 2004-05,
Florida lawyers donated more than 1.5 million pro bono hours and $3.79 million
dollars in monetary contributions.

Other awards to be presented during the ceremony include the Tobias Simon Pro Bono
Service Award. Given by the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, this award
recognizes a lawyer who has made outstanding contributions to his community by providing
free legal services for the poor. Chief Justice Barbara J. Pariente will present this year's
award to Miami attorney Katherine W. Ezell. The Distinguished Judicial Service Award will
be presented to the Honorable Charles A. Francis of Tallahassee. The Clearwater law firm
of Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP will receive the Law Firm Commendation
Award The Hispanic Bar Association for Stetson University College of Law will
receive the Voluntary Bar Pro Bono Service Award . The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division
will present the Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award to attorney Joseph F. Summonte
Jr. of Sarasota.

The 20 recipients of The Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award are:

MICHAEL J. STEBBINS – Pensacola -- First Judicial Circuit

From October 2004 to January 2005, Stebbins volunteered at a free legal clinic for hurricane
victims at a FEMA center in Gulf Breeze. He provided more than 70 hours of free legal
services, assisting nearly 160 families and individuals. In addition, Stebbins handled seven
pro bono cases and provided pro bono consultations to 15 individuals on a variety of legal

GWENDOLYN P. ADKINS –Tallahassee -- Second Judicial Circuit

Adkins has provided pro bono services to indigent persons through the Legal Aid Foundation
of the Tallahassee Bar Association since 1992. In one pro bono case she provided more than
three years and 170 hours of legal work that not only resulted in a grandmother being
granted custody of her grandchildren, but also laid the foundation for a subsequent case
decided by the Florida Supreme Court that clarified the rights of adoptive parents.

JOHN J. KENDRON –- Lake City -- Third Judicial Circuit

Kendron has dedicated many pro bono hours to clients of Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc.
His pro bono work includes estate planning for indigent families and veterans of foreign war.
In addition he has proved assistance with public benefits eligibility for families in his
community and served as attorney Ad Litem for children in dependency proceedings.

JOHN S. MILLS –- Jacksonville -– Fourth Judicial Circuit
Mills provides pro bono work for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and indigent parties who
contact him directly, as well as by appointment from the Florida Supreme Court and the
11th Circuit Court of Appeals. One pro bono matter he handled resulted in a victory in the
Supreme Court of the United States in favor of 1200 “Mariel” Cubans challenging indefinite
detention. As a result, the Eleventh Circuit now recognizes the right to court-appointed
counsel under the Criminal Justice Act for habeas petitioners in immigration matters.

MARY B. STEDDOM – Ocala -– Fifth Judicial Circuit

Steddom handles pro bono cases referred by the Pro Bono Program of Mid Florida and takes
on pro bono clients independently. Over the past 50 years she has provided 640 hours of
pro bono legal work. In addition she has donated 160 hours to the Fifth Circuit Public
Guardian Corporation and serves as both a board member and secretary.

ELISE K. WINTERS – Clearwater -- Sixth Judicial Circuit

Winters has not only provided pro bono representation and support for Gulf Coast Legal
Services, Clearwater Bar Foundation and Clearwater Bar Association over the past 25 years,
she has also worked diligently to encourage and recruit attorneys to do pro bono work. In
addition, Winters has also established the Peoples’ Law School and the Community Law
School; two programs that have helped educate and assist thousands of people in
understanding and resolving the legal issues that affect them.

JULIA SOERPEBOEL – Palm Coast -- Seventh Judicial Circuit

Soerpebel provides pro bono legal services through Community Legal Services of
Mid-Florida and the Volunteer Lawyers Project. Each month for the past two years she has
provided assistance at Pro Se Divorce Workshops and family law advice clinics in Palm Coast
and Bunnell.

P. AUSE BROWN JR. – Gainesville -- Eighth Judicial Circuit

Brown has been providing pro bono services since the 1960’s when he served on the legal
aid committee of the Eighth Circuit Bar Association. He has also represented clients through
Three Rivers Legal Services Volunteer Attorney Program for more than 35 years. Over the
past several years, he has provided more than 200 hours in free legal services helping
clients with a variety of legal issues.

MATTHEW G. BRENNER – Orlando -- Ninth Judicial Circuit

Throughout his career, Brenner has provided pro bono legal services on behalf of the Legal
Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association. Brenner has handled over 100 cases
providing almost 1000 hours of free legal work on closed cases. Specific volunteer work he
has done includes serving as a guardian ad litem for neglected and abused children, and
teaching the Pro Se Divorce Clinic. Currently he is providing free legal services to Habitat for

STEPHEN R. SENN – Lakeland -- 10th Judicial Circuit

A Board Certified attorney in Appellate Law, Senn has handled pro bono matters primarily
involving litigation matters in state and federal cases through Florida Rural Legal Services,
Inc. and his firm. In addition to providing well over 500 hours in free legal work over the
past several years, Senn has donated many hours to service on the boards of Florida Equal
Justice Center and Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc., as well as the Pro Bono Committee for
the Tenth Judicial Circuit.
JOHN KOZYAK – Coral Gables -- 11th Judicial Circuit

Kozyak has accepted pro bono cases for more than 25 years through the Dade County Bar
Association Put Something Back Pro Bono Project. In addition he has helped raise money for
pro bono recruitment and training seminars on behalf of the American College of
Bankruptcy’s Pro Bono Committee.

JOSEPH F. SUMMONTE JR. – Sarasota -- 12th Judicial Circuit

Summonte, through the American Bar Association-Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal
Services Program, provided legal services to those impacted by the 2004 hurricanes. His
work primarily involved protecting families from landlords’ refusal to return security deposits
and the threat of eviction proceedings. In each case, residents remained in possession of
their homes until they could locate alternative housing.

CHARLES H. SCRUGGS III – Tampa -- 13th Judicial Circuit

Scruggs has done extensive legal wok with the poor, including donating hundreds of hours
as an intake attorney for Bay Area Legal Services. He also mentors less experienced
attorneys in his community through the Volunteer Lawyers Program. Scruggs is co-founder
and director of D.W.I. counterattack, a local program developed to educate and rehabilitate
individuals convicted of drunk driving that has since been adopted statewide.

DOUGLAS J. SALE -- Panama City -- 14th Judicial Circuit

Sale has provided free legal services for his community primarily through the Bay County
Bar Association’s First Saturday Legal Clinic as well as through individual referrals. In one
pro bono case Sale took on, he defended an elderly woman whose neighbor had illegally
obtained the deed of her home.

LARRY D. MURRELL JR. -- West Palm Beach -- 15th Judicial Circuit

Murrell has been involved in pro bono work throughout his career, regularly accepting cases
from his local legal aid society. Most Notably, Murrell worked for four years on behalf of a
young man wrongfully convicted of first degree murder. As a result of his work, his client
was released from prison after 13 years in custody and reunited with his family.

HOWARD M. TALENFELD -- Parkland -- 17th Judicial Circuit

Talenfeld volunteers hundreds of hours annually to protect foster children and the
developmentally disabled. In 2002, he co-founded Florida’s Children First, a nonprofit
organization that advocates for at-risk children. As president, he helped obtain the passage
of critical legislation for foster children to improve their representation, protect their
educations and obtain access to their records.

THOMAS G. FREEMAN – Altamonte Springs -- 18th Judicial Circuit

Freeman has represented clients of the Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society
with divorce, paternity and landlord-tenant issues. In 2004, the SCBA Legal Aid Society
recognized his contributions by presenting him with a Life Achievement Award. During the
past two years, Mr. Freeman helped the SCBA Legal Aid Society procure a new facility for its
operations that will assist in providing indigent clients with legal help for many years.

BRIAN J. CONNELLEY – Vero Beach -- 19th Judicial Circuit
Connelly serves as the Indian River County Pro Bono Liaison for the 19th Judicial Circuit and
regularly accepts cases form Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. Throughout his legal career
Connelly has handled more than 75 pro bono cases and donated more than 500 hours of
free legal services.

JANEICE T. MARTIN – Naples -- 20th Judicial Circuit

Martin has taken on pro bono cases on an individual basis and through the Legal Aid Society
of Collier County throughout her career. As a member of the Board of Directors for the Legal
Aid Society of Collier County Martin helped lead the organization while it quadrupled in size,
and helped develop an organized pro bono program allowing private attorneys to contribute
their time.

BRYANT M. RICHARDSON – Washington, D.C. -- Out-of-State Division

Richardson donates time to various pro bono transactional matters and pro bono matters
that help children. Most notably, he contributed more than 300 hours of work on a special
education project for his law firm, Piper Rudnick Gray Cary LLP.

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