Photo: J. Albert Diaz

The Daily Business Review is sponsoring its annual Professional Excellence Awards event in 2019 to recognize distinguished members of the South Florida legal community in assorted areas of the law.

Honorees will be recognized in special reports to be published in May 2019. Awards will be given at an event set May 23, 2019, at the Rusty Pelican in Miami. Nominations are being sought from law firms and companies in a total of nine categories. All nominations are due by Feb. 14, 2019.

Here is the link to enter, and here are the details about the categories:

 

Open to all law firms:

Attorney of the Year

Lifetime Achievement

Distinguished Leaders

On the Rise

Real Estate Transactions

Innovative Practice Group

 

Open to corporate counsel:

In-House Legal Departments of the Year

 

Open to midsize and small law firms:

Litigation Departments of the Year — Midsize Firms

Litigation Departments of the Year — Small Firms

Here are the full descriptions:

Attorney of the Year Award

Open to Law Firms of All Sizes

The Daily Business Review seeks nominations for Attorney of the Year. To qualify, a nominee’s work in 2018 produced a distinct impact on the law and the legal profession in Florida. Our criteria for Attorney of the Year is intentionally broad. Nominees accomplished something notable for the law or legal community in the past year or did the most to advance the cause of justice. Please submit a 300-word nomination explaining why you believe special recognition is deserved. The DBR will recognize three finalists who practice in South Florida and name one Attorney of the Year at a May 23 event in Miami. Please contact DBR Managing Editor Catherine Wilson at cwilson@alm.com if you have any questions.

 

Lifetime Achievers

Open to Law Firms of All Sizes

Nominees for the Lifetime Achiever award will be recognized for having a significant impact on the practice of law in Florida over a notable law career. Please submit a 300-word nomination explaining why you believe special recognition is deserved. The DBR will recognize South Florida practitioners at a May 23 event in Miami. Please contact DBR Managing Editor Catherine Wilson at cwilson@alm.com with any questions.

 

Distinguished Leaders

Open to Law Firms of All Sizes

This award recognizes lawyers who achieved impressive results in 2018 and demonstrated clear leadership skills that helped them achieve those results. That could be a litigation team leader winning a notable case against unfavorable odds, a managing partner who helped the firm negotiate a key acquisition, a judge who oversaw a large mass tort program, a public interest attorney who helped pass legislation or in-house counsel who revamped the legal department. Strong leaders are hard to come by, and the award is about highlighting South Florida lawyers who demonstrated great performances as well as valuable leadership skills while doing it. An essay of up to 500 words should describe the leader’s role in achieving noteworthy results. Please contact DBR Managing Editor Catherine Wilson at cwilson@alm.com with any questions.

 

On the Rise

Open to Law Firms of All Sizes

The DBR On The Rise program recognizes the region’s most promising lawyers under the age of 40 as of Jan. 1, 2019. To qualify, the lawyers must work in South Florida. We’re looking for lawyers who have wielded influence in their practice areas in South Florida and beyond. They should be innovators, developing unique practice niches, amassing robust books of business, demonstrating strong leadership qualities, showing expertise in litigation or transactional work, and committing themselves to pro bono, charitable and professional volunteer work. For this contest, we are asking you to provide:

  1. An essay of no more than 500 words describing why the nominee should be selected. Among the questions that you should attempt to answer: • What accomplishments in the last year qualify the nominee for our list? What makes the nominee stand out from his or her peers? • How has the nominee demonstrated leadership — in their practice, in the workplace and in the profession? • Has the nominee contributed to the community through pro bono work, charitable work or public service? Please describe. 2. A biography of the nominee, including the following information: • Employer • Title • City • Birthdate • Education • Legal work experience including notable cases, transactions and clients, dates and employer names • Other relevant information such as awards, affiliations and significant publications
  2. A high-resolution photo of the nominee.
  3. Contact information for two references who can be contacted for an on-the- record conversation about the nominee’s legal work and accomplishments.

Please contact DBR Managing Editor Catherine Wilson at cwilson@alm.com with any questions.

 

Innovative Practice Group

Open to Law Firms of All Sizes

The Daily Business Review seeks nominations for Innovative Practice Group of the Year. To qualify, the work of nominees work was completed in 2018. Please submit a 300-word nomination explaining why you believe special recognition is deserved based on unique ways of differentiating a practice group in a crowded market. The DBR will recognize attorneys who practice in South Florida and name an Innovative Practice Group of the Year at a May 23 event in Miami. Please contact DBR Managing Editor Catherine Wilson at cwilson@alm.com with any questions.

 

Real Estate Transactions

Open to Law Firms of All Sizes

The Daily Business Review seeks nominations for Real Estate Transactions. To qualify, the work of nominees work was completed in 2018. Please submit a 300-word nomination explaining why you believe special recognition is deserved. The DBR will recognize attorneys who practice in South Florida and engineered notable real estate transactions in 2018. Awards will be presented at a May 23 event in Miami. Please contact DBR Managing Editor Catherine Wilson at cwilson@alm.com with any questions.

 

Legal Departments of the Year

Open to Public and Private General Counsel

The Legal Department of the Year contest recognizes Florida’s top in-house legal departments in distinct categories. To qualify, the departments must be led by lawyers in Florida. Please include the company name and Florida In-House on the subject line. Each essay should be no more than 500 words, and please include Law Department information, as detailed below, to accompany each submission. The awards are based on success stories: how a given corporate counsel’s office, regardless of its size, came up with innovative programs, used ingenuity to solve problems or surmounted a scarcity of resources and still delivered a high quality of client service. We’re also looking for those individual GCs who made an impact on their companies and the legal community in the past year. If you know a GC or in-house counsel who had an outstanding year, let us know and tell us why.

Among the general questions you should try to address in your entry:

  • What makes your legal department special? Tell us how your department stands out from the crowd.
  • Have you faced any litigation challenges in the last year? If so, tell us about them.
  • How have you managed outside counsel?
  • Have you had any important developments in your use of technology?
  • Do you have significant pro bono programs? What kind of quality-of-life initiatives have you attempted?

Law Department Information — Please provide the following information

  • Company
  • Headquarters
  • Industry
  • Number of lawyers in Florida
  • Number of lawyers in the United States
  • Number of lawyers worldwide
  • Contact person (include phone and email)
  1. Legal Department of the Year

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words). Among the areas you should address are:

  • Your most significant litigation activities in the last year, including pretrial achievements, trial victories, arbitrations and settlements.
  • Any unique strategies for multiple litigation matters, such as lawsuits involving the same product.
  • Any out-of-the-ordinary nonlitigation matters in the last year, such as working on a major merger or corporate transaction or responding to a government investigation.
  • Describe any unique strategies for routine nonlitigation matters, such as patent applications or employment contracts.
  • In describing all matters, please provide specific details about what your in-house lawyers did in each case. Please limit yourself to accomplishments that occurred during 2018 (though you can describe work done in prior years that contributed to the accomplishment).
  1. Outside Counsel Management

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words). Among the areas you should address are:

  • How do you choose outside counsel, for example, on a case-by-case basis or from a preferred providers list?
  • Describe any innovative selection techniques to choose outside counsel that you used in 2018.
  • By what percentage did your spending on outside counsel increase or decrease in 2018.
  • Describe any innovative fee arrangements that you reached with outside counsel in 2018.
  • Describe any other major innovations in managing outside counsel that you’ve put in place.
  • Describe your most significant litigation activities in the last year, including pretrial achievements, trial victories, arbitrations and settlements.
  1. Technology

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words). Among the areas you should address are:

  • Any innovative uses of technology that your legal department put into place in 2018. We’re specifically interested in how people use technology, how it’s made work in the department easier and more efficient and any savings derived from a change in technology.
  • Describe a problem you used technology to solve. Give specifics.
  1. Diversity and Quality of Life

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words). Among the areas you should address are:

  • The current percentage of women attorneys among your lawyers and the change from the previous year?
  • The current percentage of minorities among your lawyers? (Please specify for African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American and other minorities.) How have these percentages changed from the previous year?
  • Describe in detail how you encourage and reward diversity — both in your legal department and at your outside law firms.
  • Do you have a defined route for the advancement of your in-house lawyers? If so, describe.
  • Describe any innovative or flexible time arrangements for your in-house lawyers.
  1. Pro Bono and Community Service

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words). Among the areas you should address are:

  • Do you have a formal pro bono or community service program? Please describe.
  • How do you encourage your in-house lawyers to participate?
  • Are you a signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge?
  • Describe significant pro bono or community service projects that your department worked on in the last year. Please provide the number of attorneys and hours contributed to each project.
  • Describe how your pro bono efforts have had a positive impact on your community. Give specifics.
  1. Corporate Compliance

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words). Among the areas you should address are:

  • Any innovative compliance programs that your legal department put in place in 2018.
  • How have you creatively communicated compliance information to all employees to ensure they understand and adhere to company policy?
  • How have you used technology to help manage your compliance program?
  1. Solo GCs

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words). Among the areas you should address are:

  • Solo GCs face their own unique challenges. Tell us how it works at your company.
  • How many years have you held the in-house position?
  • What are your major responsibilities?
  • Do you have additional titles at your company?
  • Describe the work performed by outside counsel.
  • How many employees does your company have?
  1. Rising Stars

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words). Among the areas you should address are:

  • Does this company have an exceptional young up-and-comer in the legal department? If so, tell us what sets this person apart from their peers.

Please contact DBR Managing Editor Catherine Wilson at cwilson@alm.com with any questions.

Please submit a short essay (no more than 500 words). You may copy/paste the essay below, or upload a Word document.

 

Litigation Departments of the Year — Midsize Firms

Open to Law Firms With 70-200 Attorneys

We invite you to participate in the Daily Business Review’s Litigation Departments of the Year — Midsize Firms awards. The contest has two categories — the top department in general litigation and the top specialty practice groups. The competition is open to law firms with a Florida presence of up to 69 attorneys. We are trying to identify and reward powerhouse practices in our area, and we understand many lawyers and law firms have regional or national practices. We would like you to submit matters led by Florida attorneys, but their cases could be litigated anywhere. We plan to name winners in each category but, depending on the quality of the entries, multiple winners may be named in one group and none in another. Please compose separate submissions for the general and specialty contests.

For each entry, we are asking you to submit one Word or PDF document with the following:

  • A list of cases with brief descriptions of their significance
  • An essay of up to 500 words explaining why your firm should win

Basic information

  1. GENERAL LITIGATION

Describe 4 or 5 litigation results obtained in 2018 that demonstrate your department’s excellence. This list should include results obtained pretrial, at trial or on appeal. It may include pro bono cases. Please rank them in order of importance. By importance, we mean both the significance of the result for your client and contributions made by your lawyers. Please describe each case in no more than 500 words. Each result must have been achieved by lawyers while they were members of your firm based in Florida. Do not include results achieved by lateral hires when they were working for a different firm. For each result, please include the names of clients, lead partners and opposing counsel, as well as contact information for all involved. Descriptions of results should include specific dollar amounts where relevant but should focus on why the result demonstrates the excellence of your department. Unless otherwise marked, all information submitted will be considered on the record. If your client was represented by more than one firm, please specify your firm’s role. In your submission, please name a contact person at your firm who can respond to questions.

Please submit additional information on:

  • The size of your firm’s litigation department in Florida and firmwide as of Dec. 31, 2018. (Please specify number of partners, associates and other).
  • The percentage of your entire firm represented by the litigation department in terms of lawyers and in terms of percentage of overall firm revenue.
  • Three client references, including phone numbers or email addresses.
  • Briefly describe your firm’s biggest litigation loss in the past two years, with names of opposing counsel.
  • Give a brief description of three upcoming matters for your firm.
  • Write an essay explaining why your firm should be a finalist. Essay should be no longer than 500 words. Tell us why you should win. Factors we’re looking for are importance and difficulty of the matters handled, the quality of opposing counsel, ingenuity and diligence. This is no place for false modesty!
  1. SPECIALTY PRACTICE AREAS

The specialty contest will award departments focused on:

  • Intellectual Property
  • Products Liability/Mass Torts
  • Labor and Employment
  • Insurance
  • Real Estate/HOA or OTHER.

You are welcome to compete in more than one specialty category, but separate submissions will be expected for each. Describe 3 or 4 litigation results that demonstrate your department’s excellence in this specialty. This list should include both trial and appellate work. The results must have occurred in 2018. Keep descriptions of each individual case under 500 words. Each result must have been achieved by lawyers while they were members of your firm based in a Florida office. Do not include results achieved by lateral hires when they were working for a different firm. For each result, please include the names of clients, lead partners and opposing counsel, as well as contact information for all involved whenever possible. Descriptions of results should include specific dollar amounts where relevant, but should focus on why the result demonstrates the excellence of your department. Unless otherwise marked, all information submitted will be considered on the record. If your client was represented by more than one firm, please specify your firm’s role. In your submission, please name a contact person at your firm who can respond to questions.

Please submit additional information on:

  • The size of your firm’s litigation department in Florida and firmwide as of Dec. 31, 2018. (Please specify number of partners, associates and other).
  • The percentage of your entire firm represented by the litigation department in terms of lawyers and in terms of percentage of overall firm revenue.
  • Three client references, including phone numbers or e-mail addresses.

 

  • Briefly describe your firm’s biggest litigation loss in the past two years, with names of opposing counsel.
  • Give a brief description of three upcoming matters for your firm.
  • Write an essay explaining why your firm should be a finalist in this specialty area. Essay should be no longer than 500 words. Tell us why you should win. Factors we’re looking for are importance and difficulty of the matters handled; the quality of opposing counsel; ingenuity and diligence. This is no place for false modesty! Basic Firm Information Please submit the following sections for your firm.

Please complete separate answers for General Litigation and for each Specialty Category submission. Numbers should be for 2018.

Please include:

  • Firm headquarters location
  • Firm location office represented in this submission
  • Number of litigation partners firmwide
  • Number of litigation partners in this office
  • Litigation associates firmwide
  • Litigation associates in this office

Please contact DBR Managing Editor Catherine Wilson at cwilson@alm.com with any questions.

 

Litigation Departments of the Year — Small Firms

Open to Law Firms With up to 69 Attorneys

We invite you to participate in the Daily Business Review’s Litigation Departments of the Year — Small Firms awards. The contest has two categories — the top department in general litigation and the top specialty practice groups. The competition is open to law firms with a Florida presence of up to 69 attorneys. We are trying to identify and reward powerhouse practices in our area, and we understand many lawyers and law firms have regional or national practices. We would like you to submit matters led by Florida attorneys, but their cases could be litigated anywhere. We plan to name winners in each category but, depending on the quality of the entries, multiple winners may be named in one group and none in another. Please compose separate submissions for the general and specialty contests.

For each entry, we are asking you to submit one Word or PDF document with the following:

  • A list of cases with brief descriptions of their significance
  • An essay of up to 500 words explaining why your firm should win

Basic information

  1. GENERAL LITIGATION

Describe 4 or 5 litigation results obtained in 2018 that demonstrate your department’s excellence. This list should include results obtained pretrial, at trial or on appeal. It may include pro bono cases. Please rank them in order of importance. By importance, we mean both the significance of the result for your client and contributions made by your lawyers. Please describe each case in no more than 500 words. Each result must have been achieved by lawyers while they were members of your firm based in Florida. Do not include results achieved by lateral hires when they were working for a different firm. For each result, please include the names of clients, lead partners and opposing counsel, as well as contact information for all involved. Descriptions of results should include specific dollar amounts where relevant but should focus on why the result demonstrates the excellence of your department. Unless otherwise marked, all information submitted will be considered on the record. If your client was represented by more than one firm, please specify your firm’s role. In your submission, please name a contact person at your firm who can respond to questions.

Please submit additional information on:

  • The size of your firm’s litigation department in Florida and firmwide as of Dec. 31, 2018. (Please specify number of partners, associates and other).
  • The percentage of your entire firm represented by the litigation department in terms of lawyers and in terms of percentage of overall firm revenue.
  • Three client references, including phone numbers or email addresses.
  • Describe your firm’s biggest litigation loss in the past two years, with names of opposing counsel.
  • Give a brief description of three upcoming matters for your firm.
  • Write an essay explaining why your firm should be a finalist. Essay should be no longer than 500 words. Tell us why you should win. Factors we’re looking for are importance and difficulty of the matters handled, the quality of opposing counsel, ingenuity and diligence. This is no place for false modesty!
  1. SPECIALTY PRACTICE AREAS

The specialty contest will award departments focused on:

  • Intellectual Property
  • Products Liability/Mass Torts
  • Labor and Employment
  • Insurance
  • Real Estate/HOA or OTHER.

You are welcome to compete in more than one specialty category, but separate submissions will be expected for each. Describe 3 or 4 litigation results that demonstrate your department’s excellence in this specialty. This list should include both trial and appellate work. The results must have occurred in 2018. Keep descriptions of each individual case under 500 words. Each result must have been achieved by lawyers while they were members of your firm based in a Florida office. Do not include results achieved by lateral hires when they were working for a different firm. For each result, please include the names of clients, lead partners and opposing counsel, as well as contact information for all involved whenever possible. Descriptions of results should include specific dollar amounts where relevant, but should focus on why the result demonstrates the excellence of your department. Unless otherwise marked, all information submitted will be considered on the record. If your client was represented by more than one firm, please specify your firm’s role. In your submission, please name a contact person at your firm who can respond to questions.

Please submit additional information on:

  • The size of your firm’s litigation department in Florida and firmwide as of Dec. 31, 2018. (Please specify number of partners, associates and other).
  • The percentage of your entire firm represented by the litigation department in terms of lawyers and in terms of percentage of overall firm revenue.
  • Three client references, including phone numbers or e-mail addresses.
  • Describe your firm’s biggest litigation loss in the past two years, with names of opposing counsel.
  • Give a brief description of three upcoming matters for your firm.
  • Write an essay explaining why your firm should be a finalist in this specialty area. Essay should be no longer than 500 words. Tell us why you should win. Factors we’re looking for are importance and difficulty of the matters handled; the quality of opposing counsel; ingenuity and diligence. This is no place for false modesty! Basic Firm Information Please submit the following sections for your firm.

Please complete separate answers for General Litigation and for each Specialty Category submission. Numbers should be for 2018.

Please include:

  • Firm headquarters location
  • Firm location office represented in this submission
  • Number of litigation partners firmwide
  • Number of litigation partners in this office
  • Litigation associates firmwide
  • Litigation associates in this office

Please contact DBR Managing Editor Catherine Wilson at cwilson@alm.com with any questions.