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Legal Aid of Manasota awards volunteers.

Legal Aid of Manasota recently held its third annual recognition dinner to honor hundreds of local lawyers who donate probono services.

This year the Pro Bono Publico Award went to William O'Neil, a retired lawyer who, since volunteering at legal aid two years ago, has counseled and represented more than 100 local residents who could not afford an attorney.

The Pro Bono Superstars category was created to recognize those attorneys who year-after-year carry pro bono caseloads in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Those lawyers include Douglas Sieb and Gerald O'Brien of Sarasota, Joseph Deciantis of Venice, and Linda Lorrier of Bradenton.

The Legal Aid Service Award acknowledges a member of the Sarasota Manatee Association of Legal Support Specialists who assists the attorneys who volunteer at free legal advice clinics each month to counsel and advise over 300 residents every year. This year the award was presented to Mary Jean Whitney, a retired legal secretary. The Sarasota firm of Boyer Jackson received the Law Firm of the Year Award. The firm partners, Edwin Boyer and Mary Alice Jackson, both previous winners of a Florida Bar Presidents Pro Bono Award, were recognized for their hundreds of hours of pro bono guardianship work over the years.

The evening ended with an award of special recognition to Sarasota attorney Morgan Bentley who provided more than 75 hours of bono service in a single case.
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Publication:Florida Bar News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Jan 15, 2000
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