Professor, multiple alumni earn recognition at Pierce County awards banquet

February 22, 2023
Sullivan Hall (background) and blooming tree flower (foreground)

Seattle University School of Law alumni and a longtime professor earned nearly every honor at the 115th Annual Lincoln Day Awards Banquet, held by the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association at the Tacoma Convention Center earlier this month.

Emceed by alumna Sarah Richardson ’95, immediate past president of the bar and chief of the Family Support Division of the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the event was keynoted by graduate Larry Jefferson ’94, director of the state Office of Public Defense.

“It was a delight to attend this outstanding banquet, to break bread with many distinguished practitioners who comprise the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, and to celebrate the awardees when so many of them were our alumni,” said Seattle U Law Dean Anthony E. Varona.

“I was unbelievably proud to see so many members of the Seattle U Law community earn recognition for their impactful work. This is a perfect example of how year after year our law school produces graduates who become leaders in law, doing extraordinary things in the legal profession and in their communities.”

Professor Emeritus John Weaver, a founding faculty member of University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle U Law) 50 years ago, received the Service to the Legal Profession Award. As the longtime law school liaison to the bar’s Board of Trustees, he brings important legal education issues to the board’s attention. He also regularly contributes to the bar’s magazine by writing engaging and creative articles. Weaver retired from the law school in 2018 after 46 years as a professor.

Seattle U Law alumni who received awards include:

  • Dennis Ball ’78 received the Outstanding Jurist Award for coming out of retirement to fill a seat on the Tacoma Municipal Court that was vacated by fellow alumnus Judge Dwayne L. Christopher ’97, who accepted an appointment to the Pierce County District Court.
  • Nicholas Franz ’85, Leann Paluck ’95, and Rebecca Reeder ’95 received the Marilyn Holzman Award for their selfless work in serving the clients of fellow alumnus Mark Hurdelbrink ’95 when he passed away unexpectedly last year. The family law practitioners immediately jumped into action to manage cases or identify other attorneys to take them on, as well as helping Hurdelbrink’s family during a difficult time.
  • Paul Martin ’09 was presented with the Hon. Robert J. Bryan Inn of Court Civility Award for practicing law with the highest standards of professionalism and civility. As a solo practitioner, he represents juvenile offenders on a contract basis, always displaying respect, empathy, and compassion for his clients while serving as a staunch advocate for their well-being.
  • Marcus Miller ’97, a deputy prosecuting attorney with the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, was presented with the Distinguished Service Award for his work in the civil commitment rotation at Western State Hospital during the early days of the pandemic. As the chief problem solver, he was “one of the unsung heroes from the beginning of the pandemic, who gave meaningful access to justice for vulnerable adults during this difficult time.”

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