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York County Bar Association/Foundation Honors Community Service Efforts

Thursday, February 4, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Toby Gwinn
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Nearly 150 members of the York County Bar Association came together last month, on January 12, 2016, for their annual recognition dinner. During the evening, the following individuals were honored for their community service efforts:

Juanita Jones – Jane M. Alexander Award

The Women in Law Committee of the York County Bar Association presented Juanita Sprenkle Jones with the 2015 Jane M. Alexander Award. Named in honor of pioneer and 50+ year member, Jane Alexander, this award is presented to a female resident of York County who has advanced the legal rights of women through example, education, or activism in the legal system.

 

Ms. Jones is the Program Coordinator for SpiriTrust Lutheran Domestic Abuse Solutions, previously known as the ADVANCE program. This is a program of Batterers’ Intervention for individuals who are either self-referred or referred through the courts due to involvement in domestic abuse incidents. Ms. Jones has worked for the program since 1989. The program’s first and foremost concern is the safety of women and children.

 

Additionally, she was instrumental in the founding of York County’s domestic abuse services program and rape survivors’ services program. She trains others on safety for domestic abuse survivors, and addressing the issues of abusers and the dangerous cycle of violence. Ms. Jones has dedicated her career to promoting women’s rights, and thus, has earned this award for lifelong service to our community. 

 

Judge N. Christopher Menges – PBA Pro Bono Award

The Honorable N. Christopher Menges received the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Pro Bono Award for his legal work as an attorney in providing direct legal services and exceptional public service to those York Countians that could not afford a lawyer. As a practicing attorney, he was dedicated to assisting the underprivileged by regularly volunteering to represent those in need as well as assisting in custody and divorce workshops. Additionally, he encouraged every member of his firm to handle pro bono cases. 

Lawrence V. Young – Jeffrey A. Ernico Award

The Pennsylvania Bar Association honored attorney Lawrence V. Young, a shareholder with CGA Law Firm, with the Jeffrey A. Ernico Award. The Ernico Award celebrates the pro bono accomplishments of Harrisburg attorney Jeffrey A. Ernico and his long-standing commitment to equal justice and serving those who had nowhere else to turn. The Ernico Award is an occasional award of the PBA Legal Services to the Public Committee that is to be given to such individuals and groups as the committee, from time to time, determines have provided unique service that has resulted in significant improvement in the provision of legal services to the neediest among us.

Leading by example, Attorney Young has dedicated a lifetime of service as well as financial support to the York County Bar’s efforts to improve the legal profession, promote public understanding of the law and increase access to justice for the community’s most vulnerable, particularly the elderly, and those struggling with poverty and domestic abuse.  He has been a member of the York County Bar for forty one years and has served as president of both the Bar Association and Bar Foundation. Today, Larry remains one of the YCBA’s most active and engaged members, chairing the Pro Bono Committee for more than twenty years, and participating on the Foundation Board, Philanthropy and Grants committees.  Attorney Young’s involvement has been an integral part of the York County Bar’s success in developing programs to help close the justice gap in York County. For his pro bono contributions, he has been recognized by both the York County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations. In 2013, Larry received the Outstanding Member Award from the York County Bar Association. 

Howard D. Miskey – PBA Civil Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award

Director of Advocacy for MidPenn Legal Services, Howard D. Miskey was selected by the Pennsylvania Bar Association as the Civil Legal Aid Attorney of the Year. This honor recognizes the exceptional contributions of legal services and other public interest lawyers to the improvement of civil legal aid. Serving as part-time managing attorney of the York office of MidPenn Legal Services (MPLS) while maintaining his role as Director of Advocacy, Attorney Miskey was instrumental in building and strengthening the relationship between MPLS and the YCBA/F which has led to increased service along with better quality service to those in need of civil legal help in York County. This has resulted in all referral attempts being successful meaning that all those eligible for service based on criteria mutually agreed upon by the YCBA/F and MPLS have been able to obtain service. 

Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh – PBA Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille Award

The Honorable Stephen P. Linebaugh was the recipient of the 2015 Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille Award. Previously called the Judges Award, the award has been renamed in recognition of the former chief justice of Pennsylvania. It is presented annually to a judge selected by the PBA Legal Service to the Public Committee for his or her exceptional contributions to improving civil legal aid in the commonwealth.

In response to the increasing number of individuals interested in representing themselves in civil litigation, York County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh was the impetus behind the creation of the York County Court Self-Help & Law Resource Center. After touring self-help centers throughout the commonwealth and across the country, Judge Linebaugh worked with county officials to develop and administer an expense neutral budget as well the plans to convert the under-utilized physical space of the county’s law library into the Self-Help Center operations.

To date, since opening its doors in October 2013, approximately 6,400 people have been served by the York County Court Self-Help & Law Resource Center. The center is administered by court personnel, staff provide assistance and information on legal procedure and issues, but not legal advice, for those who, most likely, would otherwise have had no help navigating the legal system. Today the Self-Help Center is a place where both attorneys and the public can go to utilize law resources.

Each year the York County Bar Foundation also recognizes individual members and law firms for their dedication to handling pro bono cases.

Attorney Robert L. Buzzendore was honored with the individual YCBF Pro Bono Award for his commitment and professionalism in voluntarily undertaking legal work of low income clients.

Stock and Leader and Hoffmeyer and Semmelman received the YCBF Pro Bono Award in the large and small firm categories, respectively.

The York County Bar Association also honored MacGregor J. Brillhart, an attorney with Stock and Leader, with the YCBF Special Recognition Pro Bono Award. Attorney Brillhart has been instrumental in providing veterans and emergency responders with wills, living wills, and health care and financial powers of attorney through the Wills for Heroes program free of charge.

To date, 336 veterans, police officers, fire fighters, other emergency services personnel and their significant others have received this important legal service.

 

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