More than 75 pillars of Maryland’s bar and bench turned out to honor the recipients of the 20th Annual Maryland Bar Foundation (MBF) Professional Legal Excellence Awards, presented October 15 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
MSBA Immediate Past President Henry E. Dugan, Jr., received MBF’s award recognizing “The Advancement of Unpopular Causes” for leading the Association’s Board of Governors in its decision to support marriage equality legislation earlier this year.
“I feel very passionate about this issue because we as attorneys, and we as members of a bar association, when we join forces, and get involved, [should] not be afraid to take a stand on those things that are important to all people,” said Dugan. The new law, passed by the state’s General Assembly earlier this year, survived a public referendum during the general election on November 6, making Maryland the first state to uphold same-sex marriage by popular vote.
The other MBF Professional Legal Excellence Awards recipients this year are:
- The Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera, Court of Appeals of Maryland, for “The Advancement of Professional Competence”;
- The Honorable William D. Missouri, Circuit Court for Prince George’s County (Ret.), for “The Advancement of Public Service Responsibility”;
- Andrew D. Levy, Esq., for “The Advancement of Public Understanding of the Law”; and
- Martin H. Schreiber, Esq., for “The Advancement of the Rights of the Disadvantaged”.
“We are truly blessed to have a full complement of deserving honorees this year,” said MBF Vice-President Robert Kresslein.
Previous award winners may be found online.
A non-profit charitable corporation, the Maryland Bar Foundation was organized in 1965 for the purpose of obtaining gifts and contributions to foster and maintain the honor and integrity of the profession of the law; to improve and to facilitate the administration of justice; and to promote the study of the law and research therein, the diffusion of knowledge thereof, and the continuing education of lawyers. To these ends, the MBF awards grants to organizations that work within Maryland to accomplish these same goals.