For his leadership in promoting professionalism and ethics to fellow members of the bar, Joseph P. Milton received the highest honor bestowed upon a lawyer by the legal profession in Florida.
The Florida Bar Foundation presented the Medal of Honor Award at its 34th annual reception and dinner, to be held June 24 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in conjunction with The Florida Bar Annual Convention.
Senior partner with Milton, Leach, Whitman, D’Andrea & Milton, P.A. in Jacksonville, Milton has been a pioneer in promoting professionalism as one of the core values of the legal community.
His chairmanship of the Fourth Judicial Circuit Professionalism Committee led to the circuit and the Jacksonville Bar Association being jointly recognized not only as outstanding professionalism program of The Florida Bar in 1999, but also as the outstanding professionalism program in the United States by the American Bar Association in 2001. He also worked on the code of professionalism as chairman of the Trial Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar and served on The Florida Bar Board of Governors when ideals and goals of professionalism were adopted.
Milton also has been a strong advocate for the legal needs of the less fortunate. He was recognized in 1981 with the Outstanding Service Award of the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Clients Council for Individual Contribution in Support of Legal Services for the Poor.
His many leadership roles have included serving as president or chairman of: the Judicial Nominating Commission of the Florida Supreme Court; the Jacksonville Bar Association; the Florida Council of Bar Association Presidents; the United States Federal Magistrate Selection Committee for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division; the Jacksonville and Florida chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates; and the ABOTA National Foundation. In this last capacity he greatly expanded the “Justice by the People” program to more than 30 million American schoolchildren.
He has been recognized previously with Lawyer of the Year awards from the Jacksonville Bar Association in 1999 and the Jacksonville Chapter of The American Board of Trial Advocates in 2000, the same year he was named Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year by FLABOTA, which has also recognized him with its highest public service award.
The Florida Bar Foundation Medal of Honor Award Program was established in 1977 to recognize outstanding achievements by members of The Florida Bar in duty and service to the public, improvement of the administration of justice and advancement of the science of jurisprudence in Florida. The award can also be bestowed upon non-lawyers whose accomplishments warrant The Florida Bar Foundation’s highest recognition.