Award
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The Daily Report announced Monday the recipients of its Lifetime Achievement and Distinguished Leaders awards and the finalists for its Attorney of the Year awards.

They will be recognized in special editorial sections in June and at a June 29 Professional Excellence event that will also honor the individuals and organizations selected for “On the Rise,” Litigation Department of the Year, In-House Department of the Year and GC Impact awards.

The Attorney of the Year award goes to the lawyer who in 2016 had the biggest impact on the law or the Georgia legal community, or did the most to advance the cause of justice. The finalists are

• Stephen Bright of the Southern Center for Human Rights, who won a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2016;

• Stephanie Parker of Jones Day, who won a $2.5 billion intellectual property verdict; and

• Brian Steel, who persuaded a judge to toss criminal charges clients, two of whom were lawyers involved in an ugly dispute.

A panel of attorneys selected by the Daily Report will choose the winner, who will be announced at the June 29 event.

Lifetime Achievement awards go to lawyers who have had a lasting imprint on the legal community of Georgia. This year, they are:

• Frank Bazzel of Morris Manning & Martin;

• Susan Cahoon of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton;

• Bill Kitchens of Arnall Golden Gregory;

• Senior Judge Louis Sands of U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia;

• John Tatum of HunterMaclean;

• Virginia Taylor of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton;

• Judge Al Wong of DeKalb County State Court.

Distinguished Leader awards recognize lawyers who achieved impressive results in 2016 and have demonstrated clear leadership skills. This year’s honorees are:

• Tamara Caldas of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton;

• Judge Mary Staley Clark of Cobb County Superior Court;

• Ernest Greer of Greenberg Traurig;

• Scott Key of Miller & Key;

• Thad Kodish of Fish & Richardson;

• Beth Littrell of Lambda Legal;

• Ashleigh Merchant and John Merchant of The Merchant Law Firm;

• Matt Moffett of Gray, Rust, St. Amand, Moffett & Brieske;

• Phyllis Sumner of King & Spalding;

• Mark Wasserman of Eversheds Sutherland;

- John Yates of Morris Manning & Martin.