The Florida Bar Foundation awarded two lawyers with its top honors in June. David B. Rothman, founder of criminal defense firm Rothman & Associates, P.A., in Miami, received the Medal of Honor for a Lawyer for his dedication, commitment and tireless volunteer work on behalf of numerous Bar and legal organizations, and his steadfast integrity while representing those facing criminal charges, as well as lawyers facing disciplinary action.
David B. Rothman is presented the 2023 Medal of Honor for a Lawyer by Florida Lawyers Mutual director Kimberly Bald.
Kimberly L. Rodgers, who has led Community Law Program (CLP) in Pinellas County since 2004, was honored with the Jane Elizabeth Curran Distinguished Service Award for serving and leading CLP for almost two decades, where her unwavering belief in fairness and equity, her inspiring work ethic, and her zeal for protecting client rights have led to lasting change in her community.
Rothman, who earned his law degree from the University of Florida, served as assistant state attorney in Miami-Dade County prior to entering private practice. Since 1995, he has been an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law. He served as chair of Innocence Project of Florida in 2013-14 and of The Florida Bar Criminal Law Section in 2014-15.
“David is the epitome of an ethical, professional lawyer. Very few can say they have dedicated as much time and passion as David to championing our profession and performing its duties for the benefit of both clients and other lawyers,” Kimberly Bald said when presenting the award on behalf of award sponsor Florida Lawyers Mutual.
Rothman has supported many causes that benefit the courts and the Bar by lobbying and building relationships behind the scenes. While not in the limelight, his efforts are impactful. Most recently, on behalf of the Criminal Law Section, he worked alongside the Board of Governors Disciplinary Procedures Committee to form a rule requested by the Court relating to emergency suspension for lawyers charged with a felony.
Rothman served on the Foundation’s board from 2011-17 and previously served on The Florida Bar Board of Governors from 1999-2011, where he chaired its Disciplinary Review Committee for more than 10 years. He is a past president of the Miami-Dade County Bar Association and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which awarded him the Steven Goldstein Award, their highest honor, in 2019. In 2014, he was awarded the Miami-Dade County Bar’s David W. Dyer Professionalism Award.
“David is consistently a strong voice, to lawyers young and old, for the notion that we must keep the prestige and honor in our profession intact,” wrote Jason B. Blank, a partner with Haber Blank, LLP, and former chair of The Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, in his nomination of Rothman.
Kimberly L. Rodgers is presented the 2023 Jane Elizabeth Curran Distinguished Service Award by Stephen R. Senn of Peterson & Myers, P.A.
“That begins with an ethical practice from day one and the consistent support of the Bar’s members through volunteering and engagement. David’s consistent perseverance to better our profession is felt day in and day out in ways that our members never even realize.”
Rodgers honored with Curran Award After earning her law degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1998, Kimberly L. Rodgers worked as a law clerk for the city of St. Petersburg and the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida. She opened her own family law firm in 2000 before becoming the executive director of CLP.
CLP serves more than 3,500 clients each year through programs that help families with children avoid eviction, survivors of domestic violence obtain injunctions and foster children who have outgrown the system. Their lawyers also provide bankruptcy, family law, probate and housing rights advice clinics, and assist Pinellas residents with voting rights restoration, driver license issues and records expungement.
“Her tireless efforts on behalf of the indigent community are singular and remarkable for her energy and compassion for the underdog sets her apart in the legal community,” Judge Lorraine M. Kelly said in a letter supporting Rodgers’ nomination. “Her real-life experiences and deep service to our community illustrate her heart of wisdom and insight that make her stand out in the league of attorneys who have dedicated themselves to representing indigent people.”
Rodgers supports her community by volunteering on the boards of the Homeless Leadership Alliance of Pinellas as secretary, the School Advisory Committee of Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School, CASA Pinellas, and Lighthouse of Pinellas.
In 2017, Rodgers was recognized with the Kay B. Myers Pro Bono Coordinator Award by the Florida Pro Bono Coordinators Association. She has previously been named the INSPIRE! Iconic Woman of the Year by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and received the Christina Ippolito Award for Outstanding Contribution in Family Law.