The following LBA members have been recognized for notable contributions to the Louisville legal community and beyond.


Judge of the Year
Hon. David L. Holton, II

Hon. David L. Holton II served on the Jefferson District Court bench for the better part of a decade, including a two-year term as chief judge, prior to his retirement earlier this year.  Although he lost his sight at age 10 due to a brain tumor, he graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law and worked as an Assistant Jefferson County Attorney for nearly 20 years before being appointed the state’s first blind judge in 2008.  As a jurist, he halted the controversial practice of routinely handcuffing and chaining children who appear in juvenile court.  He also founded Veteran’s Treatment Court with the goal of providing mental health services to veterans while holding them accountable for their misdeeds and helping them get back to leading productive lives.  The rigorous program – which includes weekly court appearances, random drug and alcohol screenings, home checks, education and job training – has served as a model for others in counties around the state as well as in federal courts in Louisville.


Justice Martin E. Johnstone Special Recognition Award
Raymond M. Burse

Raymond M. Burse has an impressive record of achievement in the legal profession and higher education.  A Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Harvard Law School, he was the first African-American to make partner at a major Louisville law firm.  He then served as president of Kentucky State University, a position he held throughout most of the 1980s.  He later became vice-president and general counsel at GE Consumer & Industrial, a subsidiary of General Electric, where his commitment to diversification of the legal department earned him the LBA’s Justice William E. McAnulty Jr. Trailblazer Award in 2011.  Following his retirement, he returned to again serve as president of Kentucky State University, making headlines for his decision to voluntarily relinquish a portion of his annual salary in order to boost the earnings of the school’s lowest-paid workers.  Earlier this year, he accepted an appointment to the University of Louisville Board of Trustees where his experience and wisdom will help guide the school through a challenging time in its history.


Judge Benjamin F. Shobe Civility & Professionalism Award
Charles J. Cronan, IV

Charles J. (Mike) Cronan graduated from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and began his legal career as a Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Navy.  He then joined Stites & Harbison where he has practiced general civil litigation – with an emphasis on business and complex litigation, health care law and alternative dispute resolution – for more than 40 years.  He is a fellow in the American Academy of Trial Lawyers and has contributed to chapters in three editions of Kentucky Health Care Law.  A Master in the Louis D. Brandeis American Inns of Court, he has modeled the highest standard of ethics, civility and professionalism while serving the legal community as a member of Citizens for Better Judges, the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 30th Judicial Circuit and, most recently, LBA president in 2016.  His civic involvement has included serving as president of Holy Spirit Church’s parish council, board chairman of GuardiaCare Services, advisor to the Jefferson County Medical Society and member of the Rotary Club of Louisville.


Paul G. Tobin Pro Bono Service Award
Jonathan D. Miller

Jonathan D. Miller, a graduate of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, is a sole practitioner who focuses primarily on family law matters, including divorce and separation, child custody and support, and domestic violence.  A past secretary of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Family Law Section and an active member of the Louisville Pro Bono Consortium, he has donated countless hours to helping pro se litigants understand and complete self-help forms at free clinics held at the Jefferson County Judicial Center and the Legal Aid Society.  He has also helped train law students who assist at these clinics.  As a volunteer in the Domestic Violence Advocacy Program, he has represented without charge more than 500 domestic violence victims seeking protective orders against their abusers – introducing evidence, cross-examining witnesses and making opening statements and closing arguments on their behalf – in Jefferson Family Court.  He was recognized by Legal Aid as an outstanding volunteer in 2012.


Frank E. Haddad Jr. Young Lawyer Award
A. Matthew Weyand

A. Matthew Weyand graduated from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2012.  His passion for public service led him to the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s office where he has been a member of the adult trial division for the past five years.  In his current role as deputy division chief, he supervises a team of five attorneys and manages a caseload of defendants charged with everything from misdemeanor traffic offenses to Class A felonies.  In the early stages of his career, he has demonstrated the skill, worth ethic and devotion to client interests personified by this award’s namesake.


Committee of the Year
Public Service
Loren T. Prizant, Chair

The Public Service Committee, chaired by Loren T. Prizant of Middleton Reutlinger, is charged with helping connect LBA members with meaningful opportunities to give back to the community.  From the Legal Bowl for Kids’ Sake (benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters)  to Santa’s Court Toy Drive (carried out in partnership with the Salvation Army), the committee’s work shows that lawyers have compassion and zeal for helping others both in and out of the courtroom.  Through its oversight of the Summer Law Institute, a “law camp” for high school students interested in legal careers, it ensures that the next generation of lawyers will also embody the LBA’s motto:  “Pride in the profession.  Service to the community.”


Section of the Year
Human Rights Section
Nima Kulkarni, Chair

When the Human Rights Section, chaired by Nima Kulkarni of the Indus Law Firm, realized earlier this year that a severe tightening of U.S. immigration policies was causing fear and panic amongst Louisville’s growing immigrant population, it immediately went to work to equip local lawyers with the information and skills necessary to assist those with questions and concerns.  It organized two free training sessions aimed at helping volunteer attorneys provide advice and counsel to those adversely affected.  Later, when it was announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would end early next year, the section again organized a free training session to teach lawyers how to help DACA participants navigate the time-limited renewal application process and preserve their right to remain in the U.S.