by Nancy Kinnally
ORLANDO —The Florida Bar’s Criminal Law Section is the most recent Bar section to make a major gift to The Florida Bar Foundation.
The Section’s Executive Council voted unanimously at the 2012 Florida Bar Convention to contribute $25,000 to the Foundation to help alleviate the organization’s funding crisis.
“The judges, professors and lawyers who make up the Criminal Law Section of The Florida Bar were made aware of the financial crisis faced by The Florida Bar Foundation. The Section learned of the terrible tragedies faced by so many low-income people as a result of severe cutbacks to legal aid agencies,” said Judge Lisa Porter, 2011-12 chair of the Criminal Law Section. “Helen Keller once wrote, ‘I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.’ And so, the CLS Executive Council voted unanimously to make an unrestricted and substantial contribution to the Foundation.”
Miami criminal defense attorney David Rothman, a member of The Florida Bar Foundation board, made the motion to contribute the funds.
“What followed was what I would call a love-fest of support,” Rothman said.
Meanwhile, the Alternate Dispute Resolution Section made a gift of $1,000, bringing the total of gifts made by Florida Bar sections and divisions to The Florida Bar Foundation in the last year to $336,000. Other sections and divisions that have contributed are the Family Law Section, the Trial Lawyers Section, the Real Property Probate & Trust Law Section, and the Young Lawyers Division.
“As the first non-lawyer president of The Florida Bar Foundation, I am truly grateful for The Florida Bar and its members’ support of the Foundation and its mission of providing greater access to justice,” said Maria E. Henderson, 2012-13 president of The Florida Bar Foundation. “I am bolstered by my belief and the clear evidence that lawyers truly do care deeply about access to justice for everyone, including those unable to pay. And I feel privileged to lead the Foundation, an organization that has the support of so many dedicated and generous professionals within The Florida Bar.”