ILNews

Judge, attorneys to get national, state awards

IL Staff
January 1, 2008
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A judge and two attorneys from Indiana will receive awards for their work in the legal community and media law.

Dearborn Superior Judge G. Michael Witte will receive the Franklin N. Flaschner Award given by the National Conference on Specialized Court Judges Aug. 7 at the American Bar Association's annual meeting. The award recognizes a judge in a court of limited jurisdiction who has an excellent reputation, commitment to high ideals, and exemplary character, leadership, and competence in performing legal duties.

Judge Witte was one of the finalists considered this year to replace Judge John T. Sharpnack on the Indiana Court of Appeals after he took senior status in May. He is a graduate of the Indiana Judicial College and the Graduate Program for Indiana Judges.

Thomas A. Pyrz, executive director of the Indiana State Bar Association, will receive the National Association of Bar Executives' Bolton Award Aug. 8 during the ABA's annual meeting. The Bolton Award is presented annually to the bar executive who epitomizes the highest standard of professional excellence and is named after Fred Bolton, executive director and secretary of the Pennsylvania Bar Association from 1966-1977.

Pyrz is a past president of the National Association of Bar Executives and served on the board for six years. He is also a master fellow of the Indiana Bar Foundation and a fellow of the Indianapolis and ABA bar foundations.

Bingham McHale partner Dan Byron will receive the 2008 Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting Award at the Indiana Broadcasters Association and Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame presentation Oct. 2. Byron is the first non-broadcaster to win this award.

The award recognizes people for especially meritorious service, contributions to or achievements in the field of broadcasting in Indiana over the course of a career, and is the highest honor given by the Indiana Broadcasters Association.

Byron led a team of West African attorneys to attempt to end impunity for violence against journalists, broadcasters, and publishers, and combat laws that limit freedom of expression. He also led the formation of Indiana's Cameras in the Courtroom pilot project, which started in 2006. Byron has served as general counsel to the Indiana Broadcasters Association since 2002.
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