Press Releases

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jan 13, 2005

Awards to be presented on Saturday, January 15, at Capitol Ceremony

NASHVILLE, January 13, 2005 — The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) is pleased to announce the 2004-2005 Access to Justice Award winners, each of whom will be recognized at a public service luncheon on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 12:00 noon in the Tennessee State Capitol. U.S. Congressman John Tanner of Union City will be the luncheon’s keynote speaker.

Each year, TBA presents three public service awards during its Mid-Winter Leadership Summit in Nashville. This year’s award winners are Barbara Futter, Vance Fry, David Gall and Joe Williams.

Barbara Futter will receive the “Public Service Attorney of the Year Award” for her work as manager of the Murfreesboro office of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. This award recognizes an attorney who has committed to a career in public service and over the course of that career has gone above and beyond the call of duty in representing indigent clients.

Dual winners will receive this year’s “Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award,” which is named for Harris A. Gilbert who served as president of the Tennessee Bar Association in 1994-1995. The award recognizes attorneys in private practice who have demonstrated dedication to the development and delivery of legal services to the poor and have performed significant pro bono work. This year’s award will be presented to Vance Fry, a Chattanooga attorney who has volunteered with Legal Aid of East Tennessee since 1997 and David Gall, a public defender in the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office who has selflessly provided volunteer service to his community for more than a decade.

The third award, the “Law Student Volunteer of the Year Award,” will be given to Vanderbilt University Law School student Joe Williams. Williams served as an unpaid summer intern with the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands during the summer of 2004. Among the many reasons for choosing to present this award to Williams, the TBA Board of Governors cited his work on behalf of a destitute disabled individual whose social security benefits were suspended due to a misinterpretation of federal regulations. The “Law Student Volunteer of the Year Award” recognizes the efforts of a Tennessee law school student who has provided outstanding volunteer service by working with an organization dedicated to legal representation of the indigent.

This year for the first time, the TBA also will present three special recognitions at the luncheon. Richard Gordon, a long-time family law practitioner in Memphis and David Siegel, an attorney with the Memphis law firm of Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz will be honored for their work on a single, complex and controversial pro bono case. Together, the two have worked tirelessly on an adoption and child custody case in the Memphis area that now has attracted national attention. The TBA Young Lawyers Division also will present the first-ever “CASA Volunteer of the Year Award” to Regina Saffel of Jackson for her outstanding work as a court-appointed advocate for children in the foster system.

All awards will be presented at a lunch and ceremony on the second floor of the Tennessee State Capitol at 12:00 noon on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2005.