GPSolo Awards

Difference Makers Awards 2020 Presentation

Friday, December 11, 2020 | 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern | Virtual Presentation

Program

Opening Remarks

Alfreda D. Coward
Chair, ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division

Difference Makers Awards Presentation

Kay H. Hodge
Awards Committee Co-Chair

Difference Maker Honoree

Phyllis W. Kotey
Miami, FL

Introduction by Alfreda D. Coward
Lauderhill, FL

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Honoree

Harold F. Pryor, Jr.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Introduction by Kisha’sha B. Sharp
North Miami, FL

Making a Difference through Community Service Honoree

Veronica L. Robinson
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Introduction by Katherine Henning
Minneapolis, MN

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Honoree

Anthony C. Musto
Hallandale Beach, FL

Introduction by Marvin S. C. Dang
Honolulu, HI

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Honoree

Louis J. Boston, Jr.
Kensington, MD

Introduction by Andrea G. Van Leesten
Culver City, CA

Closing Remarks

Amy Lin Meyerson
Awards Committee Co-Chair 

About the Awards

The ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division's (GPSolo) Difference Makers Awards recognize extraordinary individuals who “make a difference” by breaking down barriers, through community service, pro bono work, or service to the profession. Nominees are encouraged to be members of the ABA and GPSolo.

Difference Maker

This award honors a deserving individual who is an attorney or non-attorney: (a) who has made a difference in the local community and (b) who lives in the local geographic area where the Division is meeting and where the Difference Makers Awards program is being held.

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers

This award honors an attorney living or deceased who broke barriers for gender, color, disabilities, or sexual orientation.

Making a Difference through Community Service

This award honors an attorney living or deceased who made a significant lifetime contribution to the local community through community service (not necessarily through bar work or pro bono work per se).

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work

This award honors an attorney, law firm, corporate legal department, government attorney office, or institution in the legal profession that has made an outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged. (Recognizes an outstanding local attorney or group that does pro bono work.)

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession

This award honors an attorney living or deceased who made a significant contribution to the legal profession through service to the profession (i.e. frequent activities in bar associations, committees and services).

Phyllis W. Kotey

Miami, FL
Difference Maker

Phyllis Williams Kotey, a senior judge, is a Clinical Professor of Law at Florida International University (FIU) College of Law in Miami, FL. She began at FIU after a distinguished record of service to the bench and bar. She is Director of the Externship and Pro Bono Program and has facilitated student initiated pro bono legal service in Colombia, South America and around the country including New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She was selected as an FIU Top Scholar in 2014 and was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for the 2012 – 2013 academic year in Accra Ghana. She conducted research in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Access to Justice. She served as Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and developed the Delinquency, Educational Advocacy and Dependency Clinics. Prior to becoming a judge, Kotey served as an assistant state attorney. She served as the Associate Dean of the Florida Judicial College and is a faculty member for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Judicial College.

Kotey is a member of the Diversity Committee of the ABA’s Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division and was a member of the ABA Judicial Division Committee on Ethics and Professionalism. She is a member of numerous bar associations. She is author of numerous articles regarding criminal justice and judicial ethics. In 2020, she published a chapter on prosecutorial discretion for the Criminal Justice Section of the ABA entitled “Understanding Prosecutorial Discretion: A 360 Degree View from 30,000 Feet Above.”

Phyllis W. Kotey

Phyllis W. Kotey

Difference Maker

Harold F. Pryor, Jr.

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers

Harold Fernandez Pryor II is the proud husband of attorney, Nikeisha Williams Pryor and the father to an amazing son, Harold F. Pryor, III (Trey). He is a 5th generation Floridian. He is the son of a former corrections officer and city clerk. Harold’s parents instilled in him the importance of honesty and integrity and led to his interest in the legal field advocating for justice and fairness for all.

Harold excelled both academically and athletically in high school, and he was invited to play football for the University of Florida Gators Football team. While at the University of Florida, he was awarded the Department of Political Science’s Multi-Cultural Scholar of the Year. Due to his exemplary service in Student Government and involvement with the Center for Leadership & Development, Harold was

inducted into Florida Blue Key, the State of Florida’s most prestigious leadership honorarium. Harold attended and graduated from Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad College of Law where he was a member of the Nova Trial Association and Junior Staff Editor for the ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, and was chosen by his fellow classmates to deliver the graduation commencement address.

Harold served as an Assistant State Attorney with the Office of the State Attorney in and for the 17th Judicial Circuit of Florida, prosecuting serious criminal offenses in the Felony Trial Unit. There, he developed a reputation for being a tough, fair, and skilled trial lawyer, and was often lauded for his compassion for victims and his constant quest for truth and fairness through every stage of the prosecutorial process. Harold strongly believes that as a prosecutor, securing guilty verdicts should never be a prosecutor’s primary goal; but rather the pursuit of truth and justice throughout the process should be paramount.

In addition to serving as an Assistant State Attorney, Harold worked as an Associate Attorney in two prominent Florida Law firms before going on to serve as In-house Counsel for a telecommunications company where he specialized in business litigation, FCC consumer related issues, employment law, and commercial transactions.

Harold is a past president of the historic T.J. Reddick Bar Association, Broward County’s black bar association. As President, Harold led the charge in having the statute of the former Florida Governor Napoleon B. Broward removed from the Central Courthouse. Subsequently, Harold was instrumental in convincing the Broward County commission to rename the North Wing of the courthouse after Judge Thomas J. Reddick, Jr., Broward County’s first African-American to serve on the Bench.

Harold was elected by his peers to serve as a member of the Board of Governors for the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, representing the 17th Judicial Circuit (Seat 1). He is also an active member of the Broward County Bar Association. With a passion for mentoring youth, Harold volunteer with the Broward County School Board’s My Future Is Now program, he is a member of the Urban League of Broward County-Young Professionals Network.

Harold’s experience in both criminal law and the private sector makes him an ideal choice to handle the challenges of serving the citizens of Broward County as State Attorney.

Harold F. Pryor, Jr.

Harold F. Pryor, Jr.

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers

Veronica L. Robinson

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Making a Difference through Community Service

Veronica Robinson is an attorney and Chief Executive Officer for the African-American Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities. Formally, the Bureau Chief for Children's Legal Services for the Office of the Attorney General and Chief Legal Counsel for the Department of Children and Families in Miami and Monroe County, Veronica utilizes her 24 years of legal experience to advocate as a Board Certified Attorney for Dependent Children with Special Needs in Broward County, Florida. In this role, she mentors as well as advocates for her “kid clients.” Veronica's legal practice with her firm -the Law Offices of E.F. Robinson, P.A. -primarily focuses on Disability and Family Law. She has had recent success in social security disability cases, employment discrimination cases, and in special education matters involving the local School Boards. Passionate about creating awareness, access, and advocacy, Veronica founded the African-American Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities in 2015. She currently serves as the CEO and welcomes the opportunity to assist people with disabilities reach their highest potential and serve as productive members of the community. Veronica Robinson has been a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for over 31 years and more recently appointed as the Co-Chair for our Pro Bono and Public Service Committee.

Veronica L. Robinson

Veronica L. Robinson

Making a Difference through Community Service

Anthony C. Musto

Hallandale Beach, FL
Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work

Anthony C. Musto has a primarily appellate practice in Hallandale Beach, FL, and spends part of the year at a second home in Asheville, NC. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at St. Thomas University, where he taught on a full-time basis for 11 years. He is board certified by The Florida Bar in both appellate practice and juvenile law.

Prof. Musto is a Fellow of both the American Bar Foundation and The Florida Bar Foundation, a member of the ABA Senior Lawyer Division Council, and a Co-Executive Director of the ABA Criminal Justice Section Specialized Practice Division. He has previously served as the President of Florida Legal Services, Inc., a member of the Board of Directors of The Florida Bar Foundation, and a member of the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk, Standing Committee on Professionalism, and Criminal Justice Section Council. He has also been a member of the Supreme Court of Florida Commission on Professionalism and Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases. He is a past-chair of the Appellate Practice, Criminal Law, Government Lawyer and Public Interest Law Sections of The Florida Bar, the Bar’s Council of Sections, the Florida Criminal Procedure Rules Committee and the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration Committee.

During his career, he has served as a City Commissioner for the City of Hallandale Beach, FL, the Chief Counsel of the Florida Attorney General’s Miami Office, and the Chief Appellate Counsel of the Broward County (FL) Attorney’s Office.

Prof. Musto’s achievements include organizing the first national conference on professionalism for government lawyers, establishing statewide pro bono programs to provide representation for children aging out of foster care and for human trafficking victims seeking sealing or expunction of criminal records, as well as authoring, submitting and successfully arguing in favor of the rule adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida requiring the use of recycled paper for documents filed in the state court system, a rule that resulted in the saving of an estimated 850,000 trees annually.

In addition, he developed and coordinated the Broward County Attorney’s Office’s pro bono program, a program that became a model for public agencies throughout the nation, as reflected by its receipt of the ABA Pro Bono Publico Award and the Supreme Court of Florida Chief Justice’s Law Firm Commendation.

Professor Musto’s civic involvement includes service as the President of the Hallandale Symphonic Pops Orchestra.

Anthony C. Musto

Anthony C. Musto

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work

Louis J. Boston, Jr.

Kensington, MD
Making a Difference through Service to the Profession

Louis J. Boston, Jr., otherwise known as “Jamie,” is a 2000 graduate of the Washington College of Law (“WCL”) and is a former WCL Student Bar Association President and past recipient of the Joseph H. Hairston Alumni Award. He received his B.A. in Political Science from The Johns Hopkins University in 1997. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army through a four-year R.O.T.C. scholarship. Thereafter, he was selected and granted an educational - delay by the Army to attend law school. He served on Active Duty for nearly 12 years in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

He served as a Legal Assistance Attorney – 10th Mountain Division (LI) Fort Drum, New York. In 2004, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he served as the Senior Legal Advisor to the Brigade Commander-that same commander is now the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff). In Iraq, Jamie advised the Commander on all aspects of combat operations. During his deployment, he also earned the Combat Action Badge which at the time was very unusual for a Judge Advocate to receive. Upon his return from Iraq, Jamie served as a prosecutor at Fort Drum and then served as Defense Counsel-Fort Lee Virginia. Thereafter, he served as a Legal Advisor & Professor of Acquisition Law – Army Logistics University – Fort Lee, Virginia. Next, he was the Chief of Criminal Law (aka US Attorney equivalent) – Second Infantry Division, Korea. Then, he was selected early to attend the U.S. Army JAG Graduate Course where he earned a LL.M. with a Specialty in Contract and Fiscal Law. Later, he served as Chief of Criminal Law – Military District of Washington which is most complex and high profile criminal jurisdiction in the Army because it’s jurisdiction includes the Pentagon, general officers around the world, the White House, embassies, and other entities; and lastly he served as the Command Judge Advocate for the 419th Contracting Support Brigade, Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he advised on the management and administration of over $1.5B contract actions.

As a JAG, Jamie had the honor to work on several high profile cases as a defense attorney, prosecutor, and legal advisor to senior commanders – e.g., the shooting of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena in Iraq, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, U.S. v. PFC Manning (WikiLeaks), and the Secret Service Columbia matter.

Jamie received numerous awards and decorations including: the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Action Badge, Meritorious Service Medal (4x), Army Commendation Medal (3x), Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal w/2 Campaign Stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Medal, and the Overseas Service Ribbon (2x). He retired in 2014.

Before the Army, Jamie served as an intern for The White House; Intern/ Student Law Clerk for The Honorable Judge June L. Green, United States District Court for the District of Columbia; Law Clerk for the United States Sentencing Commission, and interned for two congressional offices.

Jamie was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland where he served as a prosecutor in the Organized Crime Unit and also worked on the well-known Serial Podcast hearing involving convicted murderer Adnan Syaed’s criminal case.

Currently, Jamie is an Associate Counsel for the Office of General Law for the United States Patent and Trademark Office where he practices Information Law. In 2018, he was recognized as one of the top lawyers of the year for his agency.

He is active in the National Bar Association (Board of Governors & Chair of the Veterans Affairs & Military Law Section) and the American Bar Association (GPSolo Director – Division One – Administration). He is a trustee of his church and a lifetime member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Jamie currently resides in Kensington, Maryland with his wife, LaTonya, and daughters Flora and Ella.

Louis J. Boston, Jr.

Louis J. Boston, Jr.

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession

Past Recipients

2019

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • Laura V. Farber, Pasadena, CA

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Award

  • Katrina J. Eagle, San Diego, CA

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • Stephen B. Rosales, Belmont, MA

2018

Difference Maker Awards

  • J. Michelle Childs, Columbia, SC
  • Jean H. Toal, Columbia, SC

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award

  • I.S. Leevy Johnson, Columbia, SC

Making a Difference through Community Service Award 

  • Elizabeth S. Hilbun, Houston, TX

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Award

  • Andrea E. Loney, Columbia, SC

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • David D. Farr, Houston, TX

2017

Difference Maker Award

  • Dr. Artika R. Tyner, Saint Paul, MN

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award

  • Alphonse A. Gerhardstein, Cincinnati, OH

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • Eileen Sullivan, Phoenix, AZ

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • LaJune Lange, Minneapolis, MN

2016

Difference Maker Award

  • Jill P. Meyer, Cincinnati, OH

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award

  • Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, Cincinnati, OH

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • Robert S. Tintner, Philadelphia, PA

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Award

  • Angela Vigil, Miami, FL

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • William K. Weisenberg, Columbus, OH

2015

Difference Maker Awards 

  • Daniel J. Hogan, Boston, MA
  • Paul W. Lee, Boston, MA

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award

  • George W. B. Haley (posthumously), Silver Spring, MD

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • Judge Allen J. Webster, Jr. Los Angeles, CA

2014

Difference Maker Award

  • Harry Gee, Jr. Houston, TX

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award

  • Former Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, Austin, TX

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • Lisa M. Tatum, San Antonio, TX

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Award

  • Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), San Antonio, TX

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • Colonel, Retired Will A. Gunn, Fort Belvoir, VA

2013

Difference Maker Award

  • John M. Rosenberg, Prestonsburg, KY

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award

  • Judge Bernice B. Donald, Memphis, TN

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • Palmer Gene Vance II, Lexington, KY

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Award

  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), Minneapolis, MN

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • Marcia Milby Ridings, London, KY

2012

Difference Maker Award

  • Justice Steven Gonzalez, Olympia, WA

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award

  • Justice Mary Yu, Olympia, WA

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • Judge Karen Overstreet, Seattle, WA

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Award

  • Tarrant County Bar Association, Fort Worth, TX

2011

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • Alice E. Richmond, Boston, MA

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • James Bell, San Francisco, CA

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award

  • Alan C. Page, Minneapolis, MN

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Award

  • James P. Hadden, Philadelphia, PA

2010

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • Richard Pena, Austin, TX

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • Roger N. Braden, Edgewood, KY

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Award

  • Hon. Matthew J. Perry, Jr., Columbia, SC

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Award

  • Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (a joint pro bono program of the Dallas Bar Association and Legal Aid of Northwest Texas), Dallas, TX

2009

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • Holly J. Fujie, Los Angeles, CA

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • Dr. Edgar S. Cahn, Washington, DC

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Award

  • Barbara J. King, Albany, NY

2008

Difference Maker Award

  • Governor Bill Richardson, Santa Fe, NM

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • Briggs F. Cheney, Albuquerque, NM

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • Margaret Holt Baird, Burlington, NC

Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers Awards

  • Justice Petra Jimenez Maes, Santa Fe, NM
  • Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, Minneapolis, MN

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Award

  • Patricia L. McCabe, Van Nuys, CA

2007

Making a Difference through Service to the Profession Award

  • C. Dale McClain, Worcester, PA

Making a Difference through Community Service Award

  • William T. Robinson, III, Florence, KY

Making a Difference through Breaking Barriers Award

  • Judge Pamila J. Brown, Ellicott City, MD

Making a Difference through Pro Bono Work Awards

  • Wendy Demchick-Alloy, Montgomery County, PA
  • Mary Coyne Pugh, Montgomery County, PA
  • Harvey F. Strauss, Maple Glen, PA

2006

Professional Achievement Award

  • Honorable Janine P. Geske, Milwaukee, WI

Diversity Achievement Award

  • Ulice Payne, Jr., Brookfield, WI

2005

Professional Achievement Award

  • Michael S. Greco, Boston, MA

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Honorable William T. Hogan, Jr., Boston, MA

Diversity and Professional Achievement Award

  • Honorable Sandra L. Lynch, Boston, MA

2004

Diversity Achievement Awards

  • Catherine Endo Chuck, Los Angeles, CA
  • Gary Farwell, Los Angeles, CA
  • Diane M. Goodman, Encino, CA
  • Lorraine Loder, Los Angeles, CA
  • Marilyn H. Nelson, Beverly Hills, CA
  • Maria Villa, Torrance, CA

Diversity & Professional Achievement Award

  • Paula J. Frederick, Atlanta, GA

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • General Earl E. Anderson, Vienna, VA

2002

Diversity Achievement Awards

  • James M. Durant, III, Vandenberg, CA
  • Laura V. Farber, Pasadena, CA
  • Harry Hathaway, Los Angeles, CA
  • Mary Pat Toups, Laguna Woods, CA