2018 Award Recipient
Emil J. Ali is Associate Counsel with the Oregon firm of Carr Butterfield, LLC representing attorneys in professional conduct investigations and providing advice on compliance with conduct rules. As a former bar counsel at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), Office of Enrollment and Discipline, he investigated and assisted in the prosecution of attorney misconduct and led a team of attorneys to draft the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct. He formerly served as Special Assistant at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and worked for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration.
As an active member of the ABA Young Lawyers Division, he serves as Vice-Chair of its Ethics and Professionalism Committee and has presented on a variety of topics relating to best practices for attorneys to avoid regulatory complaints.
He is a member of the Oregon State Bar Association and an adjunct professor of law at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland. Mr. Ali received his B.A. from the University of California – Irvine and J.D. from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.
The award will be presented during the 2018 National Conference on Professional Responsibility in Louisville, KY.
2017 Award Recipient
Maryland attorney Lydia E. Lawless is Senior Assistant Bar Counsel with the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland, Office of Bar Counsel. In noting that she is the youngest person to have held that title, nominator Maryland Bar Counsel Glenn M. Grossman remarked that she has “…handled the most complex and contentious cases in our field and has an enviable record of success.” Ms. Lawless joined the Office of Bar Counsel in 2011 and previously worked as a Litigation Associate with the Bethesda, MD. office of Vesper & Lawless.
She is active in the Maryland State Bar Association and its Litigation Section, Montgomery County Bar Association, National Organization of Bar Counsel, Montgomery County Inns of Court and the Women’s Bar Association of Maryland. She is a frequent writer for the Maryland Litigator and the Maryland Bar Journal and a speaker on legal ethics topics.
A graduate of the University of Maryland and American University Washington College of Law, she served as staff editor of American University Administrative Law Review and was active in its Civil Practice Clinic.
Supporting her nomination for the award, Hon. Gary E. Blair of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Maryland noted, “In sum, Ms. Lawless has a stellar reputation throughout the State for her skills as a trial and appellate litigator, for her fairness and good judgment as Senior Assistance Bar Counsel, and as a valued contributor to the legal profession.”
Ms. Lawless will receive the award during the 2017 ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility in St. Louis, MO.
2016 Award Recipient
Virgin Islands attorney Anthony Ciolli is special assistant to Chief Justice Rhys S. Hodge of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands. As the newest court of last resort in the United States, he has worked closely with the Justices, Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Office of Bar Admissions, Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Virgin Islands Bar Association on drafting the Virgin Islands Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules of Judicial Disciplinary Enforcement, Rules of Attorney Discipline Enforcement, Unauthorized Practice of Law, and other bar rules. Chief Justice Hodge noted that “[Ciolli] has participated in a process few individuals have experienced: building a court of law resort from scratch, and helping it evolve in to a mature institution.”
Prior to his work in the Virgin Islands, Mr. Ciolli served as Senior Law Clerk for the Supreme Court of Guam.
He is active in the Virgin Islands Bar Association serving on its Board of Governors and on committees including Continuing Legal Education, Bar Journal-Law Review and Young Lawyers. He also received the 2014 Virgin Islands Bar Association President’s Award. At the American Bar Association he serves as the Virgin Islands Bar Association’s representation in the ABA House of Delegates and has been active in the ABA Young Lawyers Division Truth in Law School Education Committee, Resolutions Team, Intellectual Property Committee, and the Assembly, where he served as Parliamentarian for the 2015-16 Bar Year.
He received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an Executive LL.M. in Taxation from New York University, as well as A.L.M. in Government from Harvard University, a Master of Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, a M.A. in Sociology from Queens College, and a B.S. in Industrial & Labor Relations from Cornell University.
In her nomination of Mr. Ciolli, then Virgin Islands Chief Disciplinary Counsel Delphine Farr Janey noted that, “…Anthony reminds us that, as lawyers, we must devote our resources and influence to strengthening and improving our system of justice.”
2015 Award Recipient
Maryland attorney Emmanuelle Regine Francois, E. Regine Francois Law, LLC, focuses her practice on civil trial work. She is former Executive Director of the Maryland Professionalism Center, Inc. where she worked to develop, coordinate and implement initiatives that promote civility in the legal profession and enhance the public’s trust in the legal community. Prior to that, she served as an Associate at the Rockville, MD. law firm of Gleason, Flynn, Emig & Fogleman focusing on medical malpractice and personal injury defense.
Regine began her legal career assisting victims of domestic violence at House of Ruth Maryland where she continues to serve as a pro bono attorney. In 2010, as a fellow of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) Leadership Academy, her class established The Storybook Project at the Jessup Correctional Facility, reducing recidivism by providing a healthy and educational connection between incarcerated men and their children. Her volunteer work includes local organizations Esperanza’s Naturalization Clinic and Not On Our Watch Advocacy in their mission to address domestic international child sex trafficking. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Anne Arundel Community College in Hanover, MD.
A graduate of American University and The University of Connecticut School of Law, Regine is active in the MSBA and its Young Lawyers Section, having served as a Board of Governors representative, on the Young Lawyers Leadership Academy, as delegate to the ABA Young Lawyers Division, and on planning and public awareness committees. She has served as secretary and on the executive board of the MSBA Young Lawyers Section and is currently chair-elect of its Council. Within the ABA Young Lawyers Division (YLD), she serves as a representative to the ABA House of Delegates and as vice-director of the YLD Affiliates Assistance Team.
Nominated by Martha K. White on behalf of the MSBA Young Lawyers Section, Ms. White remarked that Regine “….is the person I know I can call when I need help with anything, whether a project or a legal matter.” “Regine possesses all the attributes that epitomize professionalism and this award.”
2014 Award Recipient
Thomasina N. Real Bird is a Senior Associate at the Louisville, CO. law firm of Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP. The firm is dedicated to representation of American Indian tribes and organizations throughout the United States.
A member of the Yankton Sioux Tribe (Ihanktonwan Nakota), and a descendant of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe (Sicangu Lakota), Ms. Real Bird received a B.A. in Native American Studies and M.A. in Sociology from Stanford University and her Juris Doctorate from Columbia University in New York. She serves as general counsel to her own tribe and works with the tribal business and claims committee, tribal officials, and members of the general council to promote governance and economic development initiatives as well as promotion and protection of tribal land holdings, tribal sovereignty, and jurisdiction. She also serves on the Wiciyena Community Development Board that stimulates community development in the areas of culture, food sovereignty, health, education, spirituality, and career development.
Ms. Real Bird is the 2013 recipient of Native American 40 Under 40 Award from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, recognizing leadership, initiatives and dedication to achieve significant contributions to Native communities throughout North America. She is a member of the Colorado Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Colorado Indian Bar Association, Boulder County Bar Association, and American Bar Association.
“The Firm and its clients are very fortunate to have such a dedicated professional like Thomasina working to make sure we can continue to serve our clients with the highest levels of service, integrity, and adherence to the professional rules of responsibility,” noted Partner Leonika R. Charging in her nomination of Ms. Real Bird. The Rosner & Rosner Justice Fund honors her commitment to professionalism with this Award.
2013 Award Recipient
Tyronia (“Ty”) M. Smith
Tyronia (“Ty”) M. Smith is the Managing Partner at the Atlanta law firm of Chester Jennings & Smith, LLC with a practice focus on bankruptcy, business litigation and personal injury.
She is a graduate of Wake Forest University and received her Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law.
After graduating from law school she practiced law at the Atlanta firm of Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP. She serves as a member of the ABA House of Delegates and as Vice Coordinator of the Membership Board for the ABA Young Lawyers Division. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Young Lawyers Division for the State Bar of Georgia and is the recipient of the Georgia Young Lawyers Division 2010 Public Service Award and the 2011 Ethics & Professionalism Award. She is received the 2010 Star of the Quarter Award from the ABA Young Lawyers Division.
She is recognized for her leadership and implementation of a variety of programs serving the legal community and the public. In 2009 she worked to create a network of young lawyers to address the legal needs of victims following widespread flooding in Georgia; she implemented a “Serving our Seniors” public service project to assist senior citizens with drafting advance directives and powers of attorney; and she is a founding member of the Judicial and Public Office Academy that serves to support, educate, and prepare African-American female attorneys who desire to run for elected public or judicial offices.
“Ms. Smith truly exemplifies professionalism and is an inspiration to the other members of the bar.”
State Bar of George Young Lawyers Division
Ethics and Professionalism Committee
2012 Award Recipient
Dolores Dorsainvil is Senior Staff Attorney at the District of Columbia Office of Bar Counsel and adjunct professor at both American University’s Washington College of Law and the University of Maryland University College. She is a graduate of Boston University and received her Juris Doctor from American University ’s Washington College of Law. Dolores is most passionate about serving the legal community while promoting professionalism and the integrity of the profession. She spends countless hours educating attorneys and lecturing on ethical matters. Her service to the legal community has also included active participation in numerous programs and projects of the ABA Young Lawyers Division, including Vice Chair and Co-Chair of its Ethics and Professionalism Committee. At the Maryland State Bar Association she serves on both its Committee on Professionalism and Committee on Ethics and is also active in its Young Lawyers Section. Other professional affiliations include the Prince George’s County Bar Association, The Black Women’s Bar Association of Suburban Maryland (BWBA), the Washington Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Division, and the National Bar Association. She has published numerous national articles on ethical considerations, as well for the District of Columbia and Maryland Bar, and she has her own ethics blog, The Gavel. She also spearheaded The Bar Mentor Project which brings together members of the BWBA and the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association as volunteer attorneys to assist students of color in passing the Maryland State Bar Examination.
“As a public servant, an active leader of the MSBA and the ABA, and as an adjunct professor of professional responsibility, Dolores has cultivated an outstanding reputation in the profession and her community has benefited enormously from her commitment to service.”
Erek L. Barron
Chair, Maryland State Bar Association
Young Lawyers Section
Ms. Dorsainvil accepted the award during the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. More
2011 Award Recipient
Keith Swisher is Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Assistant Professor at the Phoenix School of Law where he teaches Professional Responsibility and Torts. He has a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School and Juris Doctor from Arizona State University College of Law. His contributions to the profession include teaching, scholarship, pro bono defense, speaker and panelist. He serves as a member of the Arizona Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Ninth Circuit Criminal Justice Act Panel representing indigent criminal defendants on appeal, the State Bar of Arizona Professionalism Committee, and the Editorial Boards of Arizona Attorney and the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct. In 2009 he founded the first Judicial Ethics blog in the U.S.
2010 Award Recipient
Lindsay C. Harrison is an associate with the firm of Jenner & Block Litigation Department. She is a member of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice. She regularly participates in appellate litigation matters before the federal appellate courts and the Supreme Court in a diverse array of subject matters, including multimillion dollar commercial contract disputes, insurance coverage disputes, and cases involving questions of state and federal constitutional law. She recently argued a case in the Supreme Court, prevailing on behalf of her client in Nken v. Holder (No. 08-681). She also recently represented the Petitioner before the Supreme Court in Kucana v. Holder (No. 08-911). In addition to her appellate practice, Ms. Harrison frequently represents corporations and individuals in litigation in federal and state trial courts as well as in arbitration, including international arbitration before the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. She also regularly represents the recording industry before the Copyright Royalty Board, including in proceedings to adjust the royalty rate for mechanical and digital phonorecords and to set the royalty rate for satellite digital audio radio services.