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Barnett, Barrera win Medal of Honor awards

first_img Barnett, Barrera win Medal of Honor awards Martha W. Barnett, the first woman to serve as the chair of the ABA House of Delegates and the second woman president of the ABA, received The Florida Bar Foundation 2002 Medal of Honor for a lawyer.Raul G. Barrera was also honored with a Foundation Medal of Honor for his contribution to the improvement in the administration of justice as a non-lawyer.The awards were presented at the Foundation’s 26th annual reception and dinner June 20 in Boca Raton in conjunction with the Bar’s Annual Meeting.Barnett received her award for “her courageous support of a moratorium on the death penalty, her determined work benefiting the descendants of the 1923 Rosewood massacre, and her advocacy to maintain the impartiality of the judicial system.”The Foundation said Barnett challenged the traditional roles of women in law, becoming the first female attorney to join the law firm of Holland & Knight and later to become its first female partner. Practicing in the areas of administrative and governmental law, she has distinguished herself as a leading lobbyist in the state. In 1994, Barnett’s commitment to human rights assisted in securing $2.1 million for surviving descendants of the 1923 Rosewood Massacre, a tragedy which resulted in the deaths of eight black men and women and destroyed a predominately African-American Florida town.That same year saw Barnett as the first woman to serve as the chair of the ABA House of Delegates. In 2000, Barnett went on to become the second female president of the ABA, using her position in an effort to promote a moratorium on the death penalty.“Throughout these many roles, Barnett has proven time and time again to be a champion of the rights of the poor and unpopular,” according to the Foundation.Barrera was nominated by Florida Legal Services, Inc. Barrera has dedicated more than 35 years to secure justice for migrant farmworkers.Barrera, a paralegal, began his career as an outreach worker for migrant farm-workers in Indiana in 1967, and in less than 10 years rose to the position of Indiana State Director of Associated Migrant Opportunity Services. In 1977, Raul joined the staff of Texas Rural Legal Aid, Inc., where he again provided outreach services in extremely isolated rural areas of Texas. During this time, he also developed community education programs, represented migrant farmworkers in administrative hearings, and assisted in major litigation lawsuits aimed at improving the lives of migrant workers. In 1996, Raul moved to Florida to serve as the only outreach worker on the Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, providing outreach expertise and maintaining contact with hundreds of isolated migrant farmworkers throughout the state.“His accomplishments in this position are the result of Raul’s steadfast and tireless commitment, offering inspiration to the abused worker that justice will be served on their behalf,” according to the Foundation.The Florida Bar Foundation Medal of Honor Award Program was established in 1977 to recognize outstanding achievements in improving the administration of justice in Florida. Two categories of award recipients have been designated. The first is for a member of The Florida Bar who has demonstrated his or her dedication to the objectives of The Florida Bar as set out in the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar: “.. . to inculcate in its members the principles of duty and service to the public, to improve the administration of justice and to advance the science of jurisprudence.” The second is for a nonlawyer or person not actively engaged in the practice of law who has made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of the administration of justice through research, writing, or other deeds of such character and quality that, in the judgment of the Foundation, warrant the highest award that can be bestowed by the Foundation. July 15, 2002 Regular Newscenter_img Barnett, Barrera win Medal of Honor awardslast_img read more