Two Miami judges and three other lawyers were recognized Monday with Florida Bar awards for pro bono service.
U.S. Senior District Judge Patricia Seitz and Third District Court of Appeal Judge Vance Salter won the two statewide awards for judges.
Seitz, who took senior status in 2012, leads three pro bono projects: Florida Pro Bono Matters, which matches lawyers with pro bono cases; CARE Court, which helps prisoners re-enter the community; and the Federal Bar Association’s Pro Bono Week. She was the first woman president of the Florida Bar, and she worked to promote understanding of the new pro bono service rule during her 1993 term.
Salter co-chairs the Florida Bar’s pro bono legal services committee, creates law school seminars on public interest law and supports pro bono service through the Inns of Court and the Miami-Dade pro bono committee. He was on the board of directors of Legal Services of Greater Miami for nearly 20 years before becoming an appellate judge in 2007.
The Florida Bar also recognized three South Florida lawyers: Miami Beach solo practitioner David Alschuler, Pompano Beach family law attorney Hilary Creary and West Palm Beach litigator Louis Silber.
Alschuler has performed about 2,000 hours of pro bono work, volunteering through at least eight organizations, according to the bar. He also mentors law students and other attorneys, including training more than 400 lawyers to become guardians ad litem in foreclosure cases.
Creary has taken nearly 50 pro bono cases in her two-decade legal career, focusing on divorce, separation, annulment and domestic violence. She volunteers through Broward Lawyers Care, a joint project of Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Coast to Coast Legal Aid. She is with the Benjamin-Wise Creary firm.
Silber focuses on fighting fraudulent foreclosures and advocating for women’s reproductive rights. Through foreclosure litigation, Silber and his colleagues have obtained more than $400,000 in cy pres awards for the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. For 20 years, his law partner was now-Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, and today he is a partner at Silber & Davis.
Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga will present the awards in a Jan. 25 ceremony in Tallahassee.