Trial Lawyers Section Annual Awards

Betty D. Friedlander Award for Trial Excellence

Betty Friedlander Award

2021 Award Winner: Cynthia LaFave, Esq. (LaFave, Wein & Frament, PLLC)

The Betty D. Friedlander Award for Trial Excellence was created by the Trial Lawyers Section to honor the pioneering career of Betty Friedlander, one of the first female trial lawyers in upstate New York.

To qualify, applicants should: have practiced substantially as a trial lawyer in state (or federal) courts in upstate New York (outside New York City); and exhibited excellence in cultivation and use of trial skills, in, inter alia, courtroom practice, case preparation, client and collegial relations, litigation strategy and ethics; and demonstrated commitment to excellence in trial practice, for example, by professional engagement, writing, advocacy, teaching or mentoring.

Peter C. Kopff Trial Advocacy Award

2021 Award Winner: Kevin Hunt, Esq. (Gale Gale & Hunt, LLC)

The Peter C. Kopff Trial Advocacy Award was created by the Trial Lawyers Section to recognize the professional career of a trial lawyer in private practice that embodies the highest ideals of the Trial Lawyers Section.

To qualify, applicants should have: practiced as a trial lawyer in private practice in New York State; and demonstrated successful efforts in providing high quality education, training, teaching, or mentoring.; and exhibited excellence in trial advocacy and/or judicial service in the courtroom and demonstrated integrity and ethics; and demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

 

Justice Irma Vidal Santaella Memorial Award for Excellence in the Courtroom

Judge Santaella
2021 Award Winner: Chief Judge Janet DiFiore (NYS Office of Court Administration, NYS Court of Appeals, Albany, New York)

The Justice Irma Vidal Santaella Memorial Award for Excellence in the Courtroom was created by the Trial Lawyers Section in honor of the First Puerto Rican/Hispanic Female Judge elected to the New York State Supreme Court.

To qualify, applicants should have: practiced substantially as a trial lawyer in state (or federal) courts in downstate New York; and exhibited excellence in trial advocacy and/or judicial service in the courtroom and demonstrated integrity and ethics; and demonstrated commitment to excellence in trial practice, and /or judicial service by professional engagement and involvement in the community, teaching or mentoring; and demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.