Public Service Awards Luncheon 2013

Former Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Tate told the crowd at the Tennessee Bar Association's Public Service Luncheon in Nashville to keep their work in perspective. "Your family is more important than any case you try," she said, "or even your nonprofit work." Tate was the keynote speaker at the Saturday event held at the Hermitage Hotel where awards were given to the Law Student Volunteer of the Year, the Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year and the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year. Tate gave the advice to the room full of "double-A personalities, success-driven attorneys," asking each to consider what people will say about them once they die: "That we worked all the time? Or will someone say your presence on this earth made a difference?"

Deborah Tate at 2013 Public Service Luncheon
 
In accepting the Law Student Award, University of Memphis law student Chris Martin described the passionate work done by various groups including the TBA Access to Justice Committee as "not just a committee; it's a movement." Legal Services attorney Jean Crowe was presented the public service award by Wiltshire himself, and former TBA President Harris Gilbert was on hand to give the award named for him. That honor was given to the legal team who represented Juana Villegas, an undocumented woman who, after her arrest, was shackled during and after childbirth. Philip Cramer spoke for the team that included John Farringer, Bill Harbison and Elliott Ozment, saying that the opportunity for this job was an honor for them to be able to "step outside the comforts and confines of business litigation." Giving credit to Villegas, Cramer said she "pursued things that have, and will, cause her pain so it won't happen to anyone else. We are indebted to Juana."

Public Service Awards 2013

Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteers of the Year John Farringer, Phil Cramer, Bill Harbison and Elliott Ozment join Harris Gilbert and Jackie Dixon.
Public Service Awards 2013

Harris Gilbert addressing the luncheon.
Public Service Awards 2013

Jean Crowe was honored as Public Service Attorney of the Year. Joining her are Jackie Dixon, Jeff Levy and Ashley Wiltshire.
Public Service Awards 2013

Jean Crowe with Ashley Wiltshire.
Public Service Awards 2013

Chris Martin with Chris Zawisza.
Public Service Awards 2013

Chris Martin, here with Jackie Dixon, was honored for his volunteer service as a student at the University of Memphis School of Law
Public Service Awards 2013

Firms who have adopted pro bono policies were honored at the luncheon.
Public Service Awards 2013

Access to Justice Committee Chair Alex MacKay addressing the audience.

 

Miss the Luncheon? See it Now

Public Service Luncheon 2013

Watch the awards presentation and hear former FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate's keynote address.