Brevard County Legal Aid welcomes Judge Belvin Perry Jr. as the special guest speaker for its Pro Bono Awards & Recognition Gala which will take place on Friday, February 28th at Suntree Country Club in Melbourne.
Throwimage of Judge Perryn into the national spotlight by the Casey Anthony trial, Judge Perry is widely recognized as an exceptional jurist, known to run an efficient, evenhanded courtroom and to hand down fair and well-reasoned decisions.
The Pro Bono Awards & Recognition Gala is a dinner and awards ceremony paying tribute to Brevard attorneys who contribute free legal assistance to help persons that are unable to afford private counsel.
The Honorable J. Preston Silvernail will receive a special award, the “One Promise Award.” Throughout Judge Silvernail’s distinguished career, he was a strong advocate for pro bono service. When the Florida Bar’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono selected Brevard County to launch a statewide marketing campaign to increase pro bono participation, Judge Silvernail was instrumental to the program’s success. With his support and assistance, Brevard’s campaign resulted in a high level of judicial participation in pro bono recruitment which led to many new volunteers and increased service.
Attorney Ashley Severance will be recognized as Brevard’s “Attorney of the Year.” Ms. Severance has a long history of volunteerism at Legal Aid, starting as a law student and, most recently, logging over 300 hours of service on behalf of children in the foster care system through BCLA’s Independent Living Project. A sole practitioner, Ms. Severance specializes in family law and bankruptcy issues.
Receiving the “Young Attorney of the Year Award” is Tiffani Bishop. Ms. Bishop also began volunteering at BCLA as a law student and, since then, has completed over 250 hours of service assisting BCLA staff and clients with family law problems, domestic violence issues, and juvenile dependency matters.
Title Sponsor for the event is the venerable Brevard law firm of Nance Cacciatore. The firm has two generations of lawyers with over 150 years of collective legal experience. With a longstanding history of support for Legal Aid, one senior partner, Sammy Cacciatore, actually served on BCLA’s very first Board of Directors some 45 years ago. Speaking for the firm, Sammy says, “We recognize the vital importance of Legal Aid’s work and the efforts of pro bono attorneys in our community and it is our pleasure to help them in any way we can.”
Other significant event sponsors include: The Brevard Bar Foundation; Allender & Allender, P.A.; Caruso, Swerbilow & Wald, P.A.; Leslie J. Castaldi, P.A.; Cloney & Cloney, P.A.; Bud and Kim Deffebach; Matt’s Casbah; GrayRobinson, P.A.; James L. Torres, P.A.; Kenneth F. Tworoger; Law Office of Michael G. Howard; Rob and Shelley Johnson; Sarah “Eli” Mattern; Torres Mediation; and Vance, Lotane & Bookhardt, P.A.; Shuster & Saben, LLC.
Tickets for the event are $45.00 and include a sit down dinner, award ceremony, and parting gift. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available by calling Rob Johnson at 321-639-2933.