March 29, 2010 — Coral Gables — The University of Miami School of Law’s Center for Ethics and Public Service has selected Judge Joseph Hatchett to receive the 9th annual William M. Hoeveler Award. This prestigious award celebrates ethics, leadership, and public service in the legal profession. The law school will host a reception and ceremony on April 7 in the Alma Jennings Foundation Student Lounge.
Judge Hatchett is Chairman of the Appellate Practice Group of Akerman Senterfitt and the first African-American to be appointed to the Florida Supreme Court. In addition to serving as chair of the Appellate practice group, Hatchett is also the chairman of the firm's Diversity Committee. Immediately prior to joining Akerman in 1999, he served as Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Hatchett became the first African-American elected to the highest court of a state since Reconstruction when Gov. Reuben Askew appointed him to the Florida Supreme Court in 1975. He continued to serve on that court after a successful statewide election in 1976.
After a career as a civil rights lawyer in Florida, he served as Chief Assistant United States Attorney and Conscientious Objector Hearing Officer for the Department of Justice and as a full time United States Magistrate Judge, all in the Middle District of Florida.
In 2005, the National Bar Association's inducted Hatchett into its Hall of Fame in recognition of more than 40 years of dedication to the cause of justice and equality before the Courts of the United States of America and on behalf of the African-American community. The American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession awarded him the Spirit of Excellence Award, which is presented annually to exceptional lawyers who have made significant contributions to the promotion of racial and ethnic diversity within the legal profession.
The Hoeveler Award was created in honor of the Honorable William M. Hoeveler, Senior District Judge, as a lifetime achievement award for a lawyer of outstanding ethics and public service. Previous recipients include Judge William Hoeveler, Daniel S. Pearson, Walter H. Beckham, Jr., Judge Rosemary Barkett, Janet Reno, Judge Peter Fay, Judge Mario Goderich, and Judge Donald Graham.
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