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Attorney of the Year, Law Firm of the Year & Spirit of Justice Award Honorees at 2016 Law Day


 law day announcement of FPG honorees


FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA (May 9, 2016) – Broward Lawyers Care, the pro bono project of Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA), announced the recipients of the 2016 Attorney of the Year, Law Firm of the Year, and Spirit of Justice awards – Russell M. Thompson, Esq.; Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos and Lehrman PL; and Scott D. Owens, Esq. respectively. The announcement was made on Friday, May 6th during the annual Law Day Luncheon hosted by the Broward County Bar Association.

The ongoing need for volunteer legal assistance to the poor and disadvantaged affects the daily life of many in our community, including veterans and families. These awards honor attorneys who recognize that need and have committed themselves to serving the community.

LAS and CCLA are honoring Russell M. Thompson, Esq. as the Broward Lawyers Care 2016 Attorney of the Year. Mr. Thompson has been a longtime advocate for the disadvantaged in Broward County. He has represented 22 pro bono clients, including veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and child survivors of abuse and neglect.  A frequent volunteer for the Broward Lawyers Care Advice and Counsel Hotline, he has provided legal advice to thirty-three low-income clients on their housing and debt collection issues. Thompson has logged over 200 pro bono service hours to date and continues to volunteer and advocate for the organizations and the clients they serve. Dedicated attorneys like Thompson literally change the lives of their pro bono clients.

The 2016 Law Firm of the Year award honors a firm that has a history of supporting the mission of LAS and CCLA. The law firm of Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, PL has made major contributions to the legal service providers and their clients here in Broward County. Collectively and individually, attorneys at the firm volunteer their time to represent Veterans and other pro bono clients, mentor law students and serve on the LAS and CCLA Board. The firm also has been a supporter of LAS and CCLA public activities like the annual Bridge to Justice Breakfast and For the Public Good fundraising events.  Significantly, the firm has played an integral role in directing more than $65,000 in Cy Pres awards to LAS and CCLA in recent years.

The 2016 Spirit of Justice Award recipient is Scott D. Owens of Scott D. Owens, P.A. The Spirit of Justice award is presented annually to a person or group who furthers the mission of legal aid providers like LAS and CCLA and embodies the “spirit” of ensuring access to justice for all. Mr. Owens’ participation is wide-spread, from mentoring and coaching staff attorneys in the Consumer Unit, to advocacy for and the direction of Cy Pres awards, service on the LAS and CCLA Board, and overall support and participation in fundraising events and activities.

The official awards will be presented at the 15th Annual FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD event to be held on October 27, 2016. FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD is an annual fundraiser for Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida.  Proceeds benefit families and individuals in gaining access to equal justice.  To learn more about how you can help and get involved, contact Dorian Lange, Director of Development, Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida at 954-736-2429 or dlange@legalaid.org.

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Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit law firm established in 2003 and funded, in part, by the Legal Services Corporation.  Our mission is to improve the lives of low income persons in our community through advocacy, education, representation and empowerment.

Legal Aid Service of Broward County is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit law firm established in 1974.  Our mission is to provide high quality free civil legal advice, representation and education to the poor of Broward County so as to improve the lifestyle and living conditions of the low-income community and to encourage self-sufficiency.

BROWARD LAWYERS CARE is the pro bono unit within Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida and is the recognized pro bono program in Broward County, Florida. Broward Lawyers Care (BLC) was formed in 1983 by a joint effort of the Broward County Bar and Legal Aid. BLC enables busy attorneys to make a difference in their community.

Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) are 501(c)(3) corporations registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer services (LAS #SC-02337 and CCLA #CH19226).  All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free 1-800-435-7352 within the state OR VISITING WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM/DIVISIONS-OFFICES/CONSUMER -SERVICES.  Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the State.

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