PRESS RELEASE                                    CONTACT Nneka Harris-Daniel
For Immediate Release                             Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism
December 14, 2016                                   (404) 225-5040 [Phone]
(404) 225-5041 [Fax]

THE STATE BAR OF GEORGIA AND THE CHIEF JUSTICE’S COMMISSION ON PROFESSIONALISM PRESENT THE 18th ANNUAL COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS   Atlanta, GA.  The 18th Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service will be presented on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at a special ceremony.  Since 1998, these awards have been presented to honor lawyers and judges in Georgia who have made significant contributions to their communities and demonstrate the positive contributions of members of the Bar beyond their legal or official work.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest recognition given by the State Bar of Georgia and the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, co-sponsors of the Justice Robert Benham Awards for Community Service.  This year it will be awarded to three outstanding community and public servants, Mr. Neal Dickert of Augusta, Hon. Horace J. Johnson, Jr. of Covington and Sen. Leroy Johnson of Atlanta. This award is reserved for a lawyer or judge who, in addition to meeting the criteria for receiving the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service, has demonstrated an extraordinarily long and distinguished commitment to volunteer participation in the community throughout his or her legal career.
Awards are given to selected attorneys in the judicial districts of Georgia from which nominations were received.  This year’s other recipients are: Ms. Denise M. Cooper, Savannah; Ms. Karen Baynes-Dunning, Albany; Ms. Erikka B. Williams, Bonaire; Ms. Dawn Jones, Atlanta; Mr. Jeffrey Y. Lewis, Atlanta; Mr. W. Scott Sorrels, Atlanta; Hon. J. Virgil Costley, Jr., Covington.
These honorees have served a wide range of community organizations, government-sponsored activities, and humanitarian efforts outside of their professional practices and judicial duties.  Their fields of service include: youth athletics and mentoring programs, literacy programs, social services, church and religious activities, politics, promotion and support for legal aid programs, community development, education, sports, recreation, and the arts.  These awards recognize the commitment of Georgia lawyers to volunteerism, encourage all lawyers to become involved in community service, improve the quality of lawyers’ lives through the satisfaction they derive from helping others, and raise the public image of lawyers. All honorees are members of the State Bar of Georgia.
The Awards Presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, February 28, 2017, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the State Bar of Georgia Headquarters, 104 Marietta Street N.W., Third Floor, Atlanta, Georgia and a reception will follow.  Awards will be presented by Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham.  Chief Justice Harris Hines and State Bar President Patrick T. O’Connor will bring special remarks and Bill Liss, Business Editor with WXIA Television News in Atlanta, will join in the ceremony. The Selection Committee is chaired by Janet G. Watts of Watts & Watts,  Fayetteville, Georgia. The program is free and open to the public, but registration by February 24, 2017 is required. For more information and to register, contact: Nneka Harris-Daniel, Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism at (404) 225-5040.