A Legacy of Greatness

Each year, the Florida Justice Association recognizes those who have dedicated their lives to their profession and FJA’s mission to preserve and protect Florida’s civil justice system.

The Founders' Awards allows us to commemorate the legacy of the Founders of the FJA and the admirable characteristics they demonstrated.

At the FJA Annual Convention, we honor the leadership of members who have dedicated themselves to defending the rights of Florida citizens, and carrying out the mission of the organization. Thank you to those continue to help guide the future of the Florida Justice Association.

2017 Founders' Awards Recipients

Perry Nichols Award



2017 Recipient: Mike Haggard | The Haggard Law Firm | Coral Gables

The Perry Nichols Award is the highest honor the FJA bestows and gives recognition to an individual who has dedicated a lifetime to the pursuit of justice through extended and distinguished service to the cause of justice in Florida and in the nation.

Al J. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award



2017 Recipient: F. Gregory Barnhart | Searcy Denney Scarola, Barnhart & Shipley, P.A. | West Palm Beach

The Al J. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award honors Al J. Cone who lived a live of the following: A career of leadership; A career of example setting; A career of devotion; A career of courage.

B.J. Masterson Award for Professionalism



2017 Recipient: Julie Braman Kane | Colson Hicks Eidson | Coral Gables 

The B.J. Masterson Award for Professionalism honors B.J. Masterson, an attorney and a former FJA President, who epitomized ethical professionalism in his lifetime of practicing law.

(To be presented at a later date)

Jon E. Krupnick Award


2017 Recipient: Hendrik "Henk" Uiterwyk | Abrahamson & Uiterwyk | Tampa

The Jon E. Krupnick Award is awarded for efforts on behalf of a particular client reflecting relentless commitment, perseverance and fortitude to seek justice and achieve success through all obstacles and legal roadblocks encountered.

The James F. "Jim" McKenzie From Day One Award



2017 Recipient: Bill Harrell | Harrell and Harrell, P.A. | Jacksonville

The From Day One Award honors a member who has continuously demonstrated commitment and support to the FJA by accepting every challenge and serving willingly and tirelessly in the defense of Florida's civil justice system.

(To be presented at a later date)


The S. Victor Tipton Award



2017 Recipient: Jessie Harrell | Creed & Gowdy, P.A. | Jacksonville

The S. Victor Tipton Award is awarded for superior achievement in legal writing. This award is given in honor of S. Victor Tipton, Founder and Editor of the FJA's Journal®. Victor is also a founding member and former President of the Florida Justice Association. Victor has been a valuable voice and guiding spirit for the FJA since its inception.


2017 Annual Convention Award Recipients

Mickey Smiley Award


2017 Recipient: Gary Farmer

This award is presented by the Young Lawyers’ Section to an FJA member who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help Young Lawyers improve their legal skills and become great professionals.
Pictured: Jonathan Gilbert, Senator Gary Farmer, Past-President Jimmy Gustafson

Cornerstone Award



2017 Recipients:
Laurie Briggs, Leslie Kroeger, Tiffany Faddis, Beth Finizio

In 2014, the FJA created the “Cornerstone Award” to recognize our leaders’ efforts in recruiting members. This award recognizes the members who have worked tirelessly to set the Cornerstones upon which our great association is built and maintained.
Pictured: Laurie Briggs, Leslie Kroeger, Tiffany Faddis and Interim Executive Director Paul Jess

Shoe Leather Award



2017 Recipients:
Richard Chait, Chris Smith, Bill Cotterall, Jason Lamoureux, Matt Carrillo, Kim Syfrett, Lee Jacobson

This award, presented by President Jimmy Gustafson, honors those members who sacrificed an incredible amount on behalf of their practices and to protect the rights of Florida's citizens during the legislative session. These individuals give their all, day in and day out, to combat detrimental legislation and battle on behalf of FJA throughout the hallways of the Capitol.
Pictured: Lee Jacobson, Bill Cotterall, Richard Chait, Jason Lamoureux, Jimmy Gustafson, and Matt Carrillo

Quarter Horse Award



2017 Recipients:
Brent Steinberg, Nicole Whitaker, Will Ourand

This award, presented by President Jimmy Gustafson, recognizes individuals who were instrumental in progressing legislation during the intense 60-day "sprint" of the legislative session.
Pictured: Past-President Jimmy Gustafson, Brent Steinberg, Will Ourand,
and Matt Foster (on behalf of Nicole Whitaker)


President's Award



2017 Recipient:
Robert L. Paulk, III

This award, presented by the outgoing FJA President, recognizes an individual who has supported and assisted the President tremendously during his term.

Rob Paulk has served the FJA as a member of our staff for over 25 years and has made a significant impact on this organization as our Director of Fund Development.

We are so proud for Rob to receive this well-deserved recognition!
Pictured: Past-President Jimmy Gustafson and Robert Paulk, III

Centurion Award



2017 Recipient:
Fred Cunningham

The Centurion level of giving is comprised of an elite group of members who have contributed a quarter of a million dollars or more to the FJA over their participation in EAGLE. The Centurion was a leader who was disciplined, well-trained and valiant, who led the legionnaires into battle. They lead from the front and inspire their troops by example. The Florida Justice Association recognizes and honors its own Centurion for their leadership and sacrifice for a great cause. 
Pictured: Past-President Chris Searcy and Past-President Fred Cunningham

EAGLE Recruiting Champion



2017 Recipient:
Ricardo Martinez-Cid

This award recognizes the efforts of one individual who enables the growth of the FJA EAGLE program through tireless recruitment of new contributors to the FJA, and encourages new leadership into our organization. Each year, Trevor Goring of the Trial Lawyer National Portrait Gallery provides a limited edition print on canvas to the recipient. This year's print is titled "The Holdout Juror", and depicts a lone holdout juror in a room of others pushing for a quick guilty verdict.


EAGLE Legends



2017 Recipients:
Robert T Bergin, Jr., Virginia M. Buchanan, Joseph W. Chambers, Lake "Trey" H. Lytal, III, John J. Uustal

Becoming an EAGLE Legend means that you have given $100,000 or more over a lifetime to the Florida Justice Association. It demonstrates a great degree of commitment to the organization and the preservation of the civil justice system. EAGLEs at this level have emerged as true legacies in their craft.
Pictured: Robert Paulk, III, Virginia M. Buchanan, and Lake "Trey" Lytal, III.

EAGLE Awards




2017 Recipients:
James W. Gustafson, Jr., Lake H. Lytal, III, Ricardo M. Martinez-Cid, Robert M. Rubenstein

The FJA Gold EAGLE Award winners set a standard for leadership in their region by donating their time to raise EAGLE pledges as well as making their own generous contributions. They gain distinction at the highest level of EAGLE recruiting and fundraising.





2017 Recipients:
Richard E. Chait, Fred A. Cunningham, Michael S. Davis,, Tiffany M. Faddis, Philip A. Gold, Paul D. Jess, Jason F. Lamoureux, T. Michael McLeod

The Silver EAGLE recipients are those members who go above and beyond the call of duty and contribute immensely to our EAGLE efforts. They have stepped up in a big way to meet the needs of our organization.





2017 Recipients:
F. Catfish Abbott, Nathan P. Carter, Alexander M. Clem, Stephen P. Hoskins, Peter Hunt, Scott R. Jeeves, Leslie M. Kroeger, Jason Mulholland, Jason D. Weisser, Skip Pita

The Bronze EAGLE recipients are those members who go to great lengths by contributing time and money to our cause. Many of these members have been very involved in EAGLE over the years and continue to be active in EAGLE. Other recipients recognized here are the up & coming fundraisers of our association and we deeply appreciate them.