ICBA to honor 4 attorneys

 By Jo Mathis

Legal News
 
Four local attorneys will be honored Nov. 20 at the Ingham County Bar Association’s 2014 Award Recipients & 120th Annual Dinner at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West. 
Jim Dalton, chair of the awards committee, said the awards are a way to combat the sometimes negative image of lawyers, such as the stereotypical ambulance-chaser.
“This is an opportunity for lawyers to hightlight people whose values are consistent with the best part of the profession,” said Dalton, noting that the winners are chosen after a search for nominees which typically number from seven to 10 in each category.
“This is a focus on people who go above and beyond what is expected.”
The winners aren’t people who go to work, do the basics, and go home, he said.
“These people take the values and training they’ve received over the years put them to good work for the community,”?he said.?“They are chosen by their peers as remarkable people and remarkable lawyers.”
 
Jack C. Davis: The Leo A. Farhat Outstanding Attorney Award
The Leo A. Farhat Outstanding Attorney Award is presented to a member of the ICBA who has distinguished himself or herself by manifesting exemplary character, integrity, judgment and legal scholarship while adhering to and advancing the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession.
Jack C. Davis is a leader in both the business world and the community. 
“I greatly appreciate being selected to receive the Leo Farhat award,” said Davis, who is part of the Loomis Law Firm’s business transactions, real estate, business entities and tax law departments. “I had a nice relationship with Leo and admired his integrity. Also my partner and mentor George Loomis received the award and he set the best example and provided the basic support for my career path. I have known many of the prior awardees and am very proud to be considered worthy of this honor.” 
Dalton said Davis has donated countless hours to the Lansing School District.
“These are thankless jobs,” he said. “And hundreds and hundreds of hours.”
Davis devotes considerable time to making mid-Michigan a stronger region, through service to education, economic development and the arts.  He chaired the Regional Blue Ribbon Panel on Retention of General Motors and was a long-time member of the Lansing School District Board of Education (twice serving as President) and a former Chair of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. He has been Chair of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP).  
He earned a law degree at Harvard University.
 
Gordon VanWieren, Jr.: Ingham County Bar Association & Legal Services of South Central Michigan Pro Bono Award 
The LSSCM Pro Bono Award is given annually to a lawyer who has made significant contributions through Legal Services of South Central Michigan's pro bono program.
“I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family, career and life,” said VanWieren. “I have tried to give back to  the community in different ways, but my contributions are minor in comparison to those of the dedicated attorneys at Legal Services of South Central Michigan. They spend countless hours working for minimum salaries to provide legal services to people that otherwise could not afford representation. They are the real heros and deserve this type award everyday.”
VanWieren, Jr., graduated from Michigan State University with high honors in 1979 and Wayne State University Law School, cum laude, in 1983, where he was a junior and senior member of the Moot Court program. He joined the Thrun Law Firm in 1985.
VanWieren is a member of the State Bar of Michigan (Real Property and Corporation, Finance and Business Law sections), the Ingham County Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He also belongs to the Michigan State Alumni Association. 
 
Kenneth Beall: The Camille S. Abood Distinguished Volunteer Award
Kenneth Beall is being honored for making voluntary contributions of time and talent for the benefit of others.  
Beall joined the Loomis Law Firm in 1975 after earning his law degree at Duke University.  He dedicates significant time to the mid-Michigan community, including serving as 2007 board chairman for Capital Area United Way and the board of directors for Impression 5 Science Center.  He is a former member of the Governor’s Task Force on Downtown Revitalization – Lansing Committee. He currently serves on the National Leadership Council for the Michigan State University College of Music.
Beall practices extensively in all aspects of real estate and commercial transactions, with a special emphasis on low income, historic, New Markets and Brownfield tax credits, and other real estate development, incentives, syndications and organizations.  Among his clients are tax credit investors, real estate developers, financial institutions and various managers of hundreds of multi-family, commercial and hotel properties.  Beall is experienced in finance, lending and business acquisitions and restructuring.
“The number of organizations he regularly volunteers for and gives his time to is phenominal,” said Dalton.
 
Alecia M. Ruswinckel: Theodore W. Swift Civility Award
The Theodore W. Swift Civility Award is presented to a member of the ICBA who has distinguished himself or herself by manifesting civility in his or her relations with the bench, bar, clients, and the public, while adhering to and advancing the highest principals and traditions of the legal profession.
Alecia M. Ruswinckel joined Anderson, Stull & Associates in 2005 as an associate attorney focusing her practice on general civil matters including probate, real estate, business, and family law.  She has served as counsel for businesses in collection actions, property owners in boundary disputes, parents and children in abuse and neglect matters, and parties in divorce and custody actions.
In addition to practicing law, Ruswinckel has served on several committees and commissions, including serving as a Delta Township Planning Commissioner, committee member for the State Bar Client Protection Fund and District E Character and Fitness Committee, and the immediate past president of the Thomas M. Cooley Alumni Association. She has also completed pro bono legal work through the Service to Soldiers: Legal Assistance Referral Program.
Ruswinckel received her bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in 2000 and her Juris Doctor from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, magna cum laude, in 2003.
 

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