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HCBA Awards
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The Hillsborough County Bar Association gives out two major awards each year, the Outstanding Lawyer Award and the Liberty Bell Award. In addition, the Young Lawyers Division, the Trial & Litigation Section and the Criminal Law Section present awards recognizing attorneys within their ranks.

HCBA Outstanding Lawyer Award

The Outstanding Lawyer Award recognizes an attorney who has made a significant difference in the practice of law and the community because of the individual’s personal and professional ethics and conduct.

Award criteria:

1. Has been in practice for more than 10 years and is older than 36 years of age;
2. Has exhibited superior legal ability in his or her field of practice;
3. Has demonstrated true professionalism and is respected for ethical practice;
4. Is recognized by the general public and by the legal community for serving as a “mentor” or assisting others in the practice of law in his or her field of practice; and
5. Has performed service to the community on a personal level and has been involved in the HCBA,  and remains an ongoing participant in bar-related activities.

Past recipients:

1998 C. Lawrence Stagg
1999 Benjamin H. Hill III
2000 Bill Wagner
2000 Don M. Stichter
2002 Emeline C. Acton
2003 S. Steven Yerrid
2004 John F.Germany
2005 John F. Rudy
2006 William Reece Smith Jr.

2007 Raymond “Tom” Elligett Jr.
2008 Dallas Albritton
2010 Leslie Stein
2012 Gwynne Young
2013 William Schifino Jr.
2014 Marsha Rydberg
2015 Michael Hooker
2016 Margaret Mathews
2017 Lanse Scriven
2018 Tom Gonzalez
2019 Amy Farrior


HCBA Liberty Bell Award

The Liberty Bell Award recognizes an outstanding non-lawyer citizen whose community service strengthens the effectiveness of the American system under the law.

Award criteria:

1. Promotes a better understanding of our form of government, and especially the Bill of Rights;
2. Encourages greater respect for law and the courts;
3. Stimulates a deeper sense of individual responsibility to the end that citizens recognize their duties as well as their rights;
4. Contributes to the effective functioning of our institutions of government; and
5. Fosters a better understanding of the rule of law.

Past recipients:

1964 Robert Thomas               
1965 James A. Clendinen         
1966 Gen. Paul D. Adams      
1967 John Frasca  
1968 Malcolm E. Beard
1969 Cpl. Lawrence Siegel     
1970 Mrs. William E. Henson Jr. 
1971 Walter C. Heinrich 
1972 James Sebesta    
1973 Sam Latimer         
1974 Rev. John F. Mangrum        
1975 Rev. James N. Holmes Jr. 
1976 Haven Poe
1977 Rev. Earl Hartman           
1978 Fred D. Leary 
1979 Father George S. Burchill    
1980 Rev. A. Leon Lowry
1981 Parke Wright III 
1982 Paul F. Straub
1983 Richard S. Clarke Sr.    
1984 William F. Poe
1985 E.L Bing/Matt M. Jetton/John R. Paulk        
1986 Robert L. Smith
1987 Elizabeth S. McConnell
1988 H.L. Culbreath Jr.
1989 Leland M. Hawes Jr.
1990 Anthony P. Pizzo    
1991 Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf 

1992 Ann Lowry Murphey
1993 Richard M. Clewis Jr.
1994 Abraham Brown   
1995 George Steinbrenner       
1996 Mabel Bexley
1997 Braulio Alonso
1998 Robin Jackson
1999 Bob Gilder
2000 Jan Kaminis Platt
2001 Tony Dungy
2002 Robert W. Saunders
2003 Liz Kennedy
2004 Gen. Tommy Franks
2005 Helen Gordon Davis
2006 H. Roy Kaplan
2007 Sam M. Gibbons
2008 Nikki Daniels
2009 George Levy
2010 Monsignor Laurence Higgins
2011 Lincoln Tamayo
2012 Michael Bridenback
2013 Jane Castor
2014 Betty Castor
2015 David Gee
2016 Col. D.J. Reyes
2017 Erin Kimmerle
2018 Bob Martinez
2019 Jeff & Penny Vinik


Learn more about awards given by:

Young Lawyers Division

Trial & Litigation Section

Criminal Law Section