(Miami) – HistoryMiami Museum is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of the prestigious Legal Legend Award for 2016. Now in its 8th year, the Legal Legend Award is bestowed on those lawyers, judges, and community activists who have made substantial contributions to the law, legal system, and administration of justice in South Florida for at least 25 years.

This year’s Legal Legends include:

Honorable Gill Freeman: A retired Judge who served on the 11th Judicial Circuit for nearly two decades, Freeman is highly regarded for her legal knowledge, fairness, and as a champion for diversity. Before the bench, she practiced securities and family law, helped created Florida’s Gender Bias Commission, and chaired the Supreme Court Fairness Commission. After her judicial appointment, she was selected as the first judge to preside over the 11th Circuit’s Complex Business Litigation Section, led efforts to save and enhance the courthouse law library, and regularly taught at judicial college, including chairing the Advanced Judicial Studies program.

Honorable Melvia Green: Green is the definition of a trailblazer. After serving as the first black woman Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of Florida, she helped establish the Dade County chapter for the National Bar Association of Woman Lawyers (now known as the Gwen S. Cherry Black Woman Lawyers Association). She then served as a County Court Judge before her appointment as the first black woman Circuit Court Judge in the State of Florida. She has been the only black woman to serve in that capacity in the 100-year history of the 11th Judicial Circuit. She was then appointed as the first and only black woman to serve on the Third District Court of Appeal. Before her retirement in 2008, her distinguished judicial career spanned twenty-two years.

Alan Greer: Throughout his forty-seven year career, Greer has not only distinguished himself as one of South Florida’s leading commercial litigators, successfully handling the area’s most significant cases, he has also been dedicated to public service, providing countless hours of pro bono work to the community. Apart from his recognized exemplary professionalism, he has been selected for inclusion in the world’s most prestigious trial lawyer organizations, including the American College Trial Lawyers and International Society of Barristers.  

Honorable Roberto Pineiro: A graduate from Duke University School of Law, Pineiro served as an Assistant State Attorney in the 11th Judicial Circuit, where he tried his first jury trial at the age of 22. After time in private practice and further service as a state and federal prosecutor, Pineiro was appointed a County Court Judge in 1989 and then a Circuit Court Judge in 1996. Known as one of the 11th Circuit’s brightest, fairest, and most efficient judges in over two decades on the bench, Pineiro presided over some of the most emotional and highly scrutinized cases until his untimely passing at the age of 56.

Herman Russomanno: Russomanno is widely known as one of the toughest and most successful trial lawyers, representing the community’s most prominent figures. Among his several recognitions are Florida Trial Lawyer of the Year by the American Board of Trial Advocates and professionalism awards from numerous organizations. Russomanno is also an effective leader, having served as the President of the Florida Bar and of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, among others.

Joseph H. Serota: In 1991, Serota founded one of the most successful and well known firms in South Florida, now known as Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman. He has successfully represented both public and private entities in some of their most significant litigation matters in South Florida and has received a multitude of accolades and honors from numerous professional organizations. Serota’s litigation record is surpassed only by his record of community service. He chaired or led a litany of important legal and community organizations, including the Centennial Celebration of the 11th Judicial Circuit and the Dade County Community Relations Board, and was instrumental in the restoration of important historical aspects of the Dade County Courthouse.

The award recipients will be honored at a special awards ceremony and reception at HistoryMiami Museum on November 3, 2016 at 6pm.

Sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available now. For more information about the Legal Legends Awards Dinner, call Hilda Masip at 305-375-1618, email hmasip@historymiami.org , or visit http://www.historymiami.org/get-involved/11th-judicial-circuit/ .

About HistoryMiami Museum

HistoryMiami Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, is the premier cultural institution committed to gathering, organizing, preserving and celebrating Miami’s history as the unique crossroads of the Americas. We accomplish this through education, collections, research, exhibitions, publications and city tours. Located in the heart of downtown Miami, HistoryMiami Museum is a 70,000 square foot facility and home to more than one million historic images, and 30,000 three-dimensional artifacts dating from 10,000 B.C. Other objects include a 1920’s trolley car, items from Pan American World Airways, and rafts that brought refugees to Miami.  For more information, call 305-375-1492 or visit historymiami.org

About 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society

HistoryMiami Museum’s 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society (11JCHS) is an influential network of lawyers and judges focused on preserving and celebrating the rich legal history of South Florida.  To date, 11JCHS members have helped raise funds, catalog the history of important legal events and recognized individuals who have contributed to South Florida’s legal system.


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