CHICAGO, April 11, 2018 — The American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division will honor Neal R. Sonnett with its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of outstanding solo and small firm practitioners as well as bar leaders and associations.
The award will be presented to Sonnett at the Solo and Small Firm Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 27, in the Waterbury Ballroom at the Sheraton New Orleans during the 2018 Joint Spring Meeting.
This award recognizes exceptional lifetime achievement by a solo or small firm practitioner who is widely accepted by his or her peers as having consistently achieved distinction in an exemplary way. The recipients are viewed by other solo and small firm practitioners as epitomizing the ideals of the legal profession and of solo and small firm practitioners.
Neal R. Sonnett is a nationally prominent criminal defense lawyer in Miami who defends white collar, corporate and complex criminal cases throughout the United States. Prior to private practice, he served as an assistant United States attorney and chief of the Criminal Division for the Southern District of Florida. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Law in 1972.
Sonnett has served on the ABA Board of Governors, as chair of the Criminal Justice Section and the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and he has been in the ABA House of Delegates for more than 25 years. He also chaired the ABA task forces on Treatment of Enemy Combatants and on Domestic Surveillance in the Fight Against Terrorism, and he was the first ABA observer in Guantanamo, Cuba. Sonnett also has served as president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Judicature Society, the Florida Bar Foundation, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Dade County Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, South Florida Chapter and the Spellman-Hoeveler American Inn of Court in Miami.
Among many awards, Neal has received the highest service or achievement awards from the ABA Criminal Justice Section, the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, the NACDL and FACDL and the Florida Bar Criminal Law Section. He also received the ADL Jurisprudence Award for his “inspiring leadership in preserving liberty, counteracting bigotry and advancing the cause of human rights” and the Florida Bar Foundation Medal of Honor, the highest award given to a lawyer by the legal profession in Florida, for his “dedicated service in protecting individual rights precious to our American Constitutional form of government.”
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