Leaders, cabinet leaders to be honored at Florida Bar Foundation event

Florida legislative and cabinet leaders who helped secure state funding for civil legal assistance and worked on behalf of the state’s distressed homeowners will be recognized June 25 during The Florida Bar Foundation’s annual dinner at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

Sen. Mike Fasano and Rep. Richard Glorioso, who chair the Senate and House committees on transportation and economic development, respectively, played key roles in securing $1 million in funding for the Florida Access to Civil Legal Assistance Act during this year’s legislative session. The funds support the work of Florida’s legal aid organizations, which are facing increased demand from Floridians facing job loss, bankruptcy, foreclosure, domestic violence and other civil legal matters.

Similarly, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum will be recognized for their work in support of efforts to stem the tide of foreclosures in Florida.

In support of Florida Attorneys Saving Homes, an effort to match volunteer attorneys with homeowners seeking mortgage workouts, Sink brought many of the state’s largest lenders to the table to ask that they help the volunteer attorneys and homeowners cut through some of the bureaucracy standing in their way, resulting in greater success for the pro bono foreclosure assistance program.

McCollum, meanwhile, brought additional resources to foreclosure prevention by directing $4 million from the state’s settlement with Countrywide to fund legal services for distressed homeowners seeking to stay in their homes. The funds will be allocated to legal services programs around Florida over the next two years.

Glorioso and Sink are expected to be present at the event, and McCollum will be represented by his chief of staff, Joe Jacquot. Fasano is not able to attend. The dinner, which also will honor Tampa attorney Sylvia H. Walbolt as the recipient of The Florida Bar Foundation’s 2009 Medal of Honor, will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. and is sponsored by the Florida Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Corporation.