Who stands above the rest? Join the IndyBar for the Professionalism Awards Breakfast event honoring professionals in the practice of law. You'll be inspired by our Professionalism Award and Silver Gavel Award recipients, as well as our keynote speaker, Indiana's newest Supreme Court Justice, Justice Christopher Goff. After the awards have been presented, the floor will open up for questions for Justice Goff.
The professionalism awards were created in 2004 to summon to the spotlight lawyers and judicial officers whose careers exemplify the high calling and higher achievement of lawyers in modern society.
Learn a little more about this year's recipients below, and register for the breakfast on March 20 here today!
Silver Gavel Award:
The Honorable William T. Lawrence, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
Hon. William T. Lawrence was sworn in as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana in June 2008. He previously served as a magistrate judge in the court, a position he had held since November 2002. Judge Lawrence is the first magistrate judge in the Southern District to become a district judge. Prior to service on the district court, Judge Lawrence was an elected judge of the Marion Circuit Court, after serving as a part-time Master Commissioner there for over 13 years. In 1980, Judge Lawrence was appointed Executive Director of Indiana’s first Merit Selection Commission on Federal Judicial Appointments by Senator Richard Lugar. Judge Lawrence is an Indianapolis Bar Foundation Fellow and currently serves as Master in the Sagamore American Inn. Judge Lawrence graduated from Indiana University and Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
His nominator, Kevin McGoff of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, states, "Bill has had stellar careers as a lawyer, state court judge and on the federal bench. He's respected in the legal community and is recognized as a judge who treats lawyers, and their clients well. He never forgot what it is like to be on the other side of the bench."
Joel E. Tragesser, Quarles & Brady LLP
Joel Tragesser is a partner at Quarles & Brady LLP and practices in the areas of trademark law and brand management, intellectual property licensing and business intellectual property litigation. His work includes prosecuting trademark applications in the United States and foreign countries, drafting software licenses and litigating infringement, false advertising, unfair competition and business disputes. Tragesser represents clients in state and federal courts and often speaks on the interrelation of technology and intellectual property. He earned his A.B. from Wabash College and his J.D. from Vanderbilt University.
His nominator, Jason Bonikowske of CSM Sport & Entertainment, states, "Joel is happy all of the time, and treats people as he'd want to be treated. Joel is also always the first one to volunteer to give back to the community, to step up and take extra work on for the Sports and Entertainment and/or IP Section of the IndyBar, and to help in outreach initiatives. Joel exemplifies who an attorney is and should be, and more importantly is the epitome of a friend. Joel is very involved in the community, and for the past several years has been instrumental in the ALA Stair Climb downtown, and with his leadership, his team has raised the most money for charity the past several years."
Unsung Hero Award:
Professor Lahny Rose Silva, Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Professor Lahny R. Silva is an associate professor of Law and Dean's Fellow at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Lahny Silva joined the faculty in the summer of 2011. Previously, she was the William H. Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison where she served as teaching assistant for Constitutional Law, Trial Advocacy and Civil Procedure. She also taught a Seminar on Post-Conviction Remedies while in Madison. Previously, she worked as an attorney for Greater Hartford Legal Aid and as a law clerk for the Office of the Corporation Counsel. While in law school, she worked as a legal intern in the Office of the Public Defender Serious Felony Unit. Professor Silva has received the Evidentiary Objections Award from the American Trial Lawyers College. She also received two CALI awards, one for Advanced Constitutional Law Freedom of Speech and one for Contemporary Issues in Criminal Law. She was named a Pudlin Scholar, recognizing distinction in the study and teaching of the First Amendment). The Women’s Law Student Association gave her their Award for Excellence in Community Service. She was also named a Bysiewicz Scholar at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Professor Silva earned her B.A. from Boston University, her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and her L.L.M. from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Her nominator, Emily Beckman, states, "When I look at the current state of society, it’s hard for me not to wish we had more people like Professor Silva who are not afraid to deal with these difficult topics head on. Yet she is not one to broadcast her successes. She’s humble, yet confident. She’s strong, yet understanding. She should be the recipient of the Unsung Hero Award."