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October 5, 2009
Contact: Janet Eveleth
(410) 685-7878
Release No. 09-012


         On September 29, 2009, the Maryland Bar Foundation honored the following recipients with its Professional Legal Excellence Awards:

Advancement of Professional Competence
Alexander Gordon IV

Mr. Gordon practices in Easton, Maryland representing debtors and creditors in insolvency situations in federal and state courts.

Advancement of Public Service Responsibility
George A. Nilson

Mr. Nilson has been the Baltimore City Solicitor since January, 2007 who was previously in private practice with DLA Piper for 30 years.

Advancement of Public Understanding of the Law
Joseph Surkiewicz

Mr. Surkiewicz is director of communications at Maryland Legal Aid in Baltimore, Maryland.

Advancement of Unpopular Causes
Brian A. Zemil

Mr. Zemil is an attorney at Venable LLP in Baltimore County who engages in complex litigation.

The Maryland Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Maryland State Bar Association, is a non-profit corporation that fosters and maintains the honor and integrity of the profession of law; improves and facilitates the administration of justice; and promotes the study of the law and continuing education of lawyers.

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A Voluntary, non-profit membership organization, the Maryland State Bar Association is comprised of more than 23,000 attorneys and judges. The MSBA monitors judicial and legislative issues, offers legal education opportunities and promotes leadership within the legal profession. The MSBA offers public service programs to ensure the delivery of quality legal services to all citizens and is committed to furthering the efficient administration of justice and equality for all.