Awards

Paul S. Buchman Attorney of the Year Award
Each year, the FMAA presents the Paul S. Buchman Award to the state’s most outstanding municipal attorney.  It is named for Mr. Buchman, an attorney who spent his career representing municipalities and who gave tirelessly and unselfishly to Florida’s municipal community.
 
Mr. Buchman’s noteworthy public service began early in life when he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for service to his country during World War II.  Later, he served continuously as the city attorney of Plant City for over 42 years, until his passing in 1991.  He was one of the founding members of the City, County, and Local Government Law Section of The Florida Bar, serving as its first chair in 1973-1974.  He, along with 10 other city attorneys, also organized the FMAA in 1982.  Perhaps his most tangible contribution to municipal law was his work in City of Plant City v. Mayo, where Florida’s Supreme Court held franchise fees were not taxes; rather they were fees the electric utility paid the city for the privilege of using the municipality’s rights-of-way.
 
Mr. Buchman was recognized throughout the state and nationally for his contributions to municipal law and for sharing his invaluable expertise with Florida's many city attorneys.  Each year, the Buchman Award nominating committee (consisting of the immediate past three (3) winners of the award), selects an individual to receive the award.  The award recognizes the recipient’s contribution to the field of municipal law during the previous year, as well as his or her career contributions to date.

Recipients
Award yearRecipient
1984James L. Watt
1985Thomas A. Bustin
1986Frank B. Gummey, III
1987Lucia A. Dougherty
1988Herbert Thiele
1989James R. Wolf
1990Frank Watson
1991Claude L. Mullis
1992James R. English
1993Robert L. Hamilton
1994Michael S. Davis
1995William L. Colbert
1996Don J. Caton
1997Frank S. Bartolone
1998Eugene M. Steinfeld
1999Pamela Akin
2000Douglas J. Sale
2001John G. Hubbard
2002Marion J. Radson
2003Robert D. Pritt
2004Nicholas F. Tsamoutales
2005J. Jerome Miller
2006John C. Randolph
2007Howard B. Lenard
2008Jody M. Litchford
2009Kenneth W. Buchman
2010Elizabeth M. Hernandez
2011John C. Wolfe
2012Harry Morrison, Jr.
2013Margaret T. Roberts
2014William M. Grodnick
2015Timothy J. McCausland


Claude L. Mullis Lifetime Distinguished Service Award
Periodically, the FMAA presents the Claude L. Mullis Lifetime Distinguished Service Award.  It may be presented only to an attorney who has retired from the practice.  It is named for Mr. Mullis, an attorney who spent his lifetime contributing to the practice of municipal law.
 
Mr. Mullis’ noteworthy public service began early in life when he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart for service to his country during World War II.  Over his career, he served Jacksonville as its chief assistant attorney; Atlantic Beach, Baldwin, Neptune Beach, and Orange Park as their city attorney and the Florida League of Cities, Inc., as its general counsel.  He was also the driving force behind the organization of the FMAA.  Perhaps his most tangible contribution to municipal law was his work in Cauley v. City of Jacksonville, where Florida’s Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Florida’s sovereign immunity statute and in particular the protections it afforded municipalities.
 
The award is given infrequently to an attorney whose achievements and dedication to the field of municipal law are of notable caliber.  Its purpose is to recognize a lifetime of significant achievements and distinguished service in the field.  It recognizes an outstanding municipal lawyer who has demonstrated integrity and honesty throughout his career, who has achieved significant career success, and who has reflected the basic values of those who have excelled in the practice of municipal law.

Recipients
Award yearRecipient
1999Claude L. Mullis
2002Robert L. Hamilton
2006Don J. Caton
2011John G. Hubbard
2012Marion J. Radson
2013James R. English
2014Michael S. Davis
2015William L. Colbert