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.