On Sept. 20, 2012, members of the legal community enjoyed an evening of inspiration celebrating the accomplishments of the 2012 WSBA annual award recipients.
Award of Merit
2012 recipient: William Dussault, Dussault Law Group, Seattle
First given in 1957, this is the WSBA's highest honor. The Award of Merit is most often given for long-term service to the Bar and/or the public, although it has also been presented in recognition of a single, extraordinary contribution or project. It is awarded to individuals only — both lawyers and non-lawyers.
2012 recipient: Steven H. Sackmann, Sackmann Law Office, Othello
This honor is awarded to a WSBA member who exemplifies the spirit of professionalism in the practice of law. "Professionalism" is defined as the pursuit of a learned profession in the spirit of service to the public and in the sharing of values with other members of the profession.
Angelo Petruss Award for Lawyers in Public Service
2012 recipient: David Huey, Washington Attorney General's Office, Tacoma
Named in honor of Angelo R. Petruss, a senior assistant attorney general who passed away during his term of service on the WSBA Board of Governors, this award is given to a lawyer in government service who has made a significant contribution to the legal profession, the justice system, and the public.
2012 recipient: Hon. David L. Edwards, Grays Harbor County Superior Court
This award is presented to a lawyer who has displayed exceptional courage in the face of adversity, thus bringing credit to the legal profession.
Excellence in Diversity Award
2012 recipient: Chach Duarte White, former WSBA Diversity Program Manager
This award is made to a lawyer, law firm, or law-related group that has made a significant contribution to diversity in the legal profession's employment of ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and other persons of diversity.
Outstanding Elected Official Award
2012 recipient: State Sen. Debbie Regala, 27th Legislative District (Tacoma)
This award is presented to an elected official for outstanding service, with special contributions to the legal profession. It is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to justice beyond the usual call of duty.
Lifetime Service Award
2012 recipient: Hon. Tom Chambers, Washington State Supreme Court
This is a special award given for a lifetime of service to the WSBA and the public. It is given only when there is someone especially deserving of this recognition.
Community Service Award
2012 recipient: James Douglas, Douglas Drachler McKee & Gilbrough, Seattle
Lawyers are known for giving generously of their time and talents in service to their communities. This award recognizes exceptional non-law-related volunteer work and community service.
Outstanding Young Lawyer Award2012 recipient: Robin Lynn Haynes, Reed & Giesa, P.S., Spokane
The WSBA Young Lawyers Division’s highest honor, this award recognizes one attorney who has made significant contributions to the professional community, especially the community of young lawyers, within their initial years of practice. Recipients must be active WSBA members within five years of admission to any bar association or under 36 years of age.
The following awards were presented elsewhere, but the recipients will be recognized:
Norm Maleng Leadership Award
2012 recipient: Bruce Neas, Columbia Legal Services, Olympia
This award is given jointly by the WSBA and the Access to Justice Board, in honor of Norm Maleng's legacy as a leader. He was an innovative and optimistic leader committed to justice and access to justice in both civil and criminal settings. Within the profession, his leadership was characterized by his love of the law and commitment to diversity and mentorship. This award recognizes those who embody these qualities.
The President's Award is given annually in recognition of special accomplishment or service to the WSBA during the term of the current president.
Pro Bono Award
2012 recipient: Kathleen C. Field, Pathways for Women, Lynnwood
This award is presented to a lawyer, non-lawyer, law firm, or bar association for outstanding efforts in providing pro bono services. This award is based on cumulative efforts, as opposed to a lawyer's or group's pro bono hours or financial contribution.
The following awards were not given this year:
Excellence in Legal Journalism Award
This award recognizes that describing the context, facts, and players involved in the legal system with fairness and sensitivity requires intelligence, knowledge, dedication, and skill. This award is given to the journalist and his/her organization that has set the standard for relevance, clarity, accuracy, and understanding in reporting.
Outstanding Judge Award
This award is presented for outstanding service to the bench and for special contribution to the legal profession at any level of the court.