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Each year, American Association for Justice honors trial lawyers, affiliates, and advocates who support its fight for justice.

2022 Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award
Sandy Hook Families and the Koskoff Koskoff Bieder Legal Team

The Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award recognizes plaintiffs and the attorneys of plaintiffs whose cases help tell the story of the American civil justice system.

Learn about the award
2023 Lifetime Achievement Award
Kathleen Nastri

Recognizes AAJ® members whose distinguished careers of courtroom advocacy has significantly advanced the rights of the wrongfully injured and has significantly furthered the cause for justice and the mission of the Association.

Learn about the Award
2023 Leonard Ring Champion of Justice Award
Les Weisbrod

Recognizes an AAJ® member who is of outstanding integrity and overall character and has demonstrated devotion to human and civil rights.

Learn about the Award
2023 David S. Shrager President’s Award
Tom D’Amore

Recognizes an AAJ member who has demonstrated former AAJ President David Shrager's passion for the law and trial bar, and who has made an outstanding contribution to civil justice and the work of AAJ.

Learn about the award

2022 Award Winners

Trial Lawyers Care Award

C. Benjamin Cooper

Each year, AAJ recognizes a trial lawyer who has gone above and beyond to serve his or her community. Additional information about Trial Lawyers Care® and this year's award winner is available here.

AAJ Partnership Award

Carla Ferrucci and CAOC (Nancy Drabble, Nancy Peverini, and Lea-Ann Tratten)

Honoring a state, local, or jurisdictional trial lawyer organization who has promoted and fostered a spirit of support and cooperation between AAJ and the affiliated organization, as well as between AAJ and NATLE, and whose service to the affiliated organization has strengthened the civil justice system.

Pro Bono Award

Chris Nace

New Lawyers Division Awards

F. Scott Baldwin Award: Jennifer Lipinski 

Named in honor of F. Scott Baldwin of Marshall, Texas, a world-renowned trial lawyer whose efforts produced outstanding damage awards for injured victims and their families, this award is presented in recognition of the legendary degree of excellence and compassion that F. Scott Baldwin brought to the profession and the significant time he invested in training, preparing, and encouraging young lawyers for the profession of trial law.

Joe Tonahill Award: Brenda Fulmer 

Honors the true spirit of Joe Tonahill, a highly dignified and ethical defender of the civil justice system; a peerless stalwart of the modern trial bar; an exemplary trial lawyer; a dedicated leader; a passionate motivator of lawyers new to the profession of trial law; and one who through his own selfless deeds and inspirations has created a legacy for generations to follow.

Elise R. Sanguinetti Award: Rick Barrera

The Elise R. Sanguinetti Award is given in recognition of extraordinary service to the New Lawyers Division, first as a member of the NLD and continuing throughout their career. It is named for the first former New Lawyers Division Chair to rise within the organization to serve as President. Recipients exemplify the qualities of professionalism, service, and advocacy.

Learn more about AAJ's New Lawyers Division here.


Minority Caucus Award

Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Soaring Eagles Award: Richard D. Hailey 

Established in 1997 and symbolizes the struggle of lawyers of color as they travel down the road to personal and professional success. The Minority Caucus presents this award to an attorney who, despite the challenges of his or her own journey, pursues excellence, and has made outstanding efforts and contributions to the legal profession in paving the way for others.

Minority Caucus Stalwart Award: Larry Taylor Jr.

Learn more about AAJ's Minority Caucus here.

Women Trial Lawyer Caucus Award

Marie Lambert Award: Sara Williams

Established in 1997 to recognize and honor women members of AAJ. The following principles guide the members of the Women Trial Lawyers Caucus: to advance the admirable and selfless philosophy in AAJ's mission; to strive to provide positive role models as women trial lawyers; to broaden the membership base of AAJ to include women by informing them of AAJ's membership services and mission; to provide a support system of women lawyers with whom to network, socialize, and form professional relationships; to develop female leadership for AAJ; to provide fellowship and mentorship to newly-licensed female lawyers who embark on a career of trial law; and to uphold the honor, integrity, and dignity of the legal profession.

Learn more about AAJ's Women Trial Lawyers Caucus here.

LGBT Caucus

LGBT Founders’ Award: Amy Heins

Learn more about the LGBT Caucus here.

Above and Beyond Award

Rick Barrera Jr., Matthew P. Bergman, Michael G. Donahue, Brett A. Emison, Wayne Hogan, Jennifer M. Lipinski, Tim O'Keeffe, Michael G. Phelan, Bradley J. Prochaska, and Ellen Relkin

Recognizes AAJ members who have made exceptional financial contributions to sustain and strengthen the organization.

Certificates of Recognition

David M. Arbogast, Lauren G. Barnes, David M. Berger, Seth L. Cardeli, Anita M. DeCarlo, John J. Driscoll, Lydia M. Floyd, Dennis M. Geier,  Maria B. Glorioso, Julian C. Gomez, Deepak Gupta, Robert M. Hammers, Srinivas Hanumadass, Carmaletta L. Henson, Jessica D. Hoerman, Wayne Hogan, Amy E. Keller, T. Matthew Leckman, J. Blake Ledbetter, Sin-Ting Mary Liu, Timothy A. Loranger,Margaret Mabie, Kevin J. Mahoney, Adam Malone, M. Clay Martin, Danielle W. Mason, David Todd Mathews, Carlos E. Moore, Leslie W. O'Leary, Spencer J. Pahlke,  Emily Peacock, Christopher M. Placitella, Jared M. Placitella, Ellen Relkin, Kyle T. Ring, Brittany Sanders Robb, Sara S. Schramm, Frederick W. Schultz, Dorothy Clay Sims, Gerson H. Smoger, John A. Stefani, Michael J. Warshauer, Matthew W. Wessler, Megan L. Whiteside, Sara L. Williams, and Don Worley

For service to AAJ through fundraising, membership, or education.

Distinguished Service

Jennie L. Anderson; Howard H. Ankin; Mike Arias; William E. Bonner; Diane L. Cardoso; Roxanne B. Conlin; Thomas D'Amore; Bob Edwards; Ingrid M. Evans; Brian S. Franciskato; Brenda S. Fulmer; Jamie G. Goldstein; Betsy K. Greene; Raymond R. Jones; Marianne LeBlanc; Dominic C. LoVerde; Emily Hawk Mills; Marion K. Munley; Matthew A. Nace; Jakalyn A. Olinger-Rochelle; Bhavani Raveendran; William A. Rossbach; Domenic B. Sanginiti Jr.; Donald H. Slavik; Miranda L. Soucie; Frank Verderame; and Laura V. Yaeger

Wiedemann & Wysocki Award

Noah B. Abrams, Ben Davis, Maria S. Diamond, Brenda S. Fulmer, Jamie G. Goldstein, Lauren O. Newton, Ashleigh Raso, Domenic B.  Sanginiti Jr., and Nicholas Verderame

Recognizes members who have made outstanding efforts in support of AAJ's Political Action Committee (PAC).

“Every day AAJ members make meaningful contributions to society by seeking justice for all. We are honored to recognize this impressive group of trial lawyers, advocating for their clients and raising the bar for all of us.”

Tad Thomas, Immediate Past President Thomas Law Offices Louisville, KY