Lee County Bar Association honors law enforcement, educators, citizens and young leaders at Law Week Awards Luncheon

The Lee County Bar Association (LCBA) recently held its annual Law Week Awards Luncheon, which honors outstanding law enforcement officers, one special educator and an exemplary citizen of our community. Law Week is held every year to coincide with Law Day in the United States to celebrate the U.S. legal system, which preserves the civil liberties afforded to all Americans.

Former Fort Myers Mayor Jim Humphrey provided opening remarks at the May 1 luncheon, which concludes a week of community outreach activities by the LCBA, including free legal advice to citizens during Law at the Mall, a blood drive, and a student Q&A session and observation of oral arguments with the judges of the Second District Court of Appeal (2DCA). The luncheon was strongly attended by Lee County and Circuit Court judges, 2DCA judges, community leaders, dignitaries, LCBA member attorneys and special guests.

LCBA President Anne Dalton presented The Liberty Bell Award, the highest honor given to a citizen by the legal profession, to SalusCare CEO Kevin B. Lewis for his tireless work in advocating for a better quality of life for members of the community who are dealing with addiction or mental health issues.

State Attorney Steven B. Russell presented the Law Enforcement Officers of the Year Award to Sergeant Janet Rincon and Deputy Christian Eriksen of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for their courage and quick thinking in responding to a home invasion involving multiple armed assailants, which likely saved the life of the victim, protected other first responders and was instrumental in the arrest of the four suspects. From Cape Coral Police Department, Officer Cristian Muñoz-Luna received the award for accomplishing twice in one patrol shift something most first responders never achieve once in the course a career—reviving two unresponsive persons using CPR before medical help could arrive. Two Fort Myers Police Department detectives were honored for their outstanding work on a two-year-long investigation that resulted in the federal convictions of five individuals for conspiracy to traffic in cocaine. From the Sanibel Police Department, Officer Jarred Ciccone was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for his application of lifesaving measures to an unresponsive elderly female, including an automated external defibrillator, which resulted in the woman regaining her pulse and breathing before being transported to the hospital.

One special educator was honored with the Dr. James A. Adams Lee County Teacher of the Year for Law-Related Education Award. Heather Bishop spent nine years teaching middle school Social Studies before attending Florida International University to earn her Juris Doctor (law) degree and becoming a member of The Florida Bar Association. She then returned to the School District of Lee County. Today this dedicated teacher heads up the newly established Academy of Law at Island Coast High School. She teaches Law Studies, Court Procedures, and World History. The Academy of Law sent its first team to the Lee County Mock Trial competition, where it placed third, with one of Bishop’s student-attorneys being named Best Plaintiff’s Attorney.

Finally, the Lee County Mock Trial first place winning team, Fort Myers High School, was recognized with its attorney-coach, Assistant State Attorney Cameron Siggs, for the members’ hard work, thinking on their toes and exemplary representation of their clients and school.

The theme for Law Day 2015 was “Magna Carta, Symbol of Freedom Under Law,” to coincide with the 800th anniversary of that historic document, which modeled the basic framework for the freedoms protected by our legal system today.

LCBA Law Week Chair, Circuit Court Judge John S. Carlin, said, “The purpose of the Law Week Awards Luncheon is to reserve a special day of celebration by the members of the Lee County legal community in appreciation for the dedication and commitment from our law enforcement officers, teachers and every citizen who promotes the idea of ‘equality and justice under law.’”

The LCBA is grateful to its sponsors for the 2015 Law Week Awards Luncheon: Knott Ebelini Hart Attorneys at Law, CopyLady, Kelly L. Fayer, P.A., iBERIABANK and CONRIC PR & Marketing | Publishing.

About the Lee County Bar Association
The Lee County Bar Association, a 501c6 not-for-profit organization, has served the citizens and legal community of Lee County since 1949 and has a current membership of almost 800. For more information, contact Executive Director Sharon Brotherton at (239) 334-0047 or visit www.leebar.org.