LSBA Members, Bar Association Honored with 2017 Young Lawyers Division Awards


Five LSBA members and the Baton Rouge Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section received 2017 YLD awards, presented by 2016-17 YLD Chair Scotty E. Chabert, Jr. and other YLD Council members during a June 7 ceremony during the LSBA’s Annual Meeting.

• Outstanding Young Lawyer Award: Betty Ann Maury, Gretna
Betty Ann Maury is law clerk to 24th Judicial District Court Judge Lee V. Faulkner, Jr. in Gretna. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Concordia University in Wisconsin and her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University College of Law. She serves in the Louisiana State Bar Association’s (LSBA) House of Delegates, is a member of the LSBA’s Access to Justice Committee and is the Region 4 High School Mock Trial Competition coordinator. She is chair of the Jefferson Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, a member of the CASA Jefferson Planning Committee and a board member of the Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education. She was the 2016 recipient of the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center Public Service Award. She also was named the 2013 Outstanding Loyola Family Law Clinic Student by the New Orleans Association of Women Attorneys.

• Bat P. Sullivan, Jr. Chair’s Award: Lauren L. Gardner, Lafayette
Lauren L. Gardner is an associate in the Onebane Law Firm in Lafayette. She received her bachelor of arts degree in 2003 from Louisiana State University and her Juris Doctor/bachelor of civil law degree in 2006 from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. She is admitted to practice law in Louisiana and Texas. She is currently serving as the District 3 representative on the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division Council. She is a member of the Lafayette Association of Professional Landmen and the Acadiana Society of Human Resource Management and serves on the board of directors for the Lafayette Education Foundation.

• Bat P. Sullivan, Jr. Chair’s Award: Adam P. Johnson, Lake Charles
Adam P. Johnson is a partner in The Johnson Firm in Lake Charles. He received a bachelor’s degree in business management in 2006 from Louisiana State University and his Juris Doctor degree in 2009 from Southern University Law Center. He was admitted to practice law in Louisiana in 2009. He is currently serving as the District 4 representative on the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Council and co-chairs the YLD’s Wills for Heroes Committee. He was a member of the Leadership LSBA 2013-14 Class and co-chaired the Leadership LSBA 2014-15 Class. He serves on the Executive Council for the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association and is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys. He was recognized as a “Top 40 Under 40” professional and as a “Top Criminal Defense Lawyer” by Acadiana Magazine (2014 and 2017). In his community, he is a member of the V.I.S.A. Coalition of Lake Charles.

• Hon. Michaelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award: Monica M. Vela-Vick, Baton Rouge
Monica M. Vela-Vick is an associate in the Baton Rouge office of the law firm Hammonds, Sills, Adkins & Guice, L.L.P. She received her undergraduate degree from Rice University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School, where she served on the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law Editorial Board and as chair of the Latino Law Students Association. She is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s (LSBA) Diversity Committee and Diversity Conclave Subcommittee and was a member of the Leadership LSBA 2013-14 Class. She served on the LSU Law Center’s Diversity Task Force and is a member of the Wex Malone American Inn of Court and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Louisiana. She chairs the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation’s Teen Court of Greater Baton Rouge Program and the Regional High School Mock Trial Competition. In 2015, she received the Baton Rouge Bar Association’s President’s Award.

• Pro Bono Award: Janeane Gorcyca Abbott, Baton Rouge
Janeane Gorcyca Abbott is an attorney with the Joubert Law Firm in Baton Rouge and currently leads the Family Law Department. She first joined the firm as a law clerk in 2014. She received a bachelor of arts degree in history, with minors in political science and German, from Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport and her Juris Doctor degree in 2014 from Southern University Law Center. She is a member of the Baton Rouge Bar Association and its Family Law Section. Since 2011, she has been a volunteer with the Sexual Trauma and Awareness Center in Baton Rouge, where she assists victims through hospital and phone advocacy. Since 2015, she has been an active volunteer at the legal Self-Help Desk at East Baton Rouge Family Court. She accepts pro bono cases for representation through the Baton Rouge Bar Association’s Pro Bono Project.

• Service to the Public Award: Baton Rouge Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section
Donations to Homeless Veterans Project

In fall 2016, the Baton Rouge Bar Association’s (BRBA) Young Lawyers Section and the Federal Bar Association conducted a joint collection drive of personal hygiene items for homeless veterans in recognition of Veterans Day. After the hygiene products were received, the BRBA’s Teen Court volunteers put together 75 packages that were delivered to the Veterans Administration for the veterans in transitional housing.

• Service to the Bar Award: Baton Rouge Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section
Sidebar Luncheon Program

The Baton Rouge Bar Association’s (BRBA) Young Lawyers Section coordinates a Sidebar Luncheon each quarter in a court of different jurisdiction. The luncheons are an opportunity for young lawyers to interact with judges and their staffs in an informal setting while learning more about the practice of law in that judge’s courtroom. In July 2016, with the assistance of Louisiana 1st Circuit Court of Appeal Judge Guy P. Holdridge, 10 appellate judges participated in a Panel Sidebar Luncheon, with 50 young lawyers attending. Discussion topics included “do’s and don’ts” at the 1st Circuit, mistakes made by attorneys, requests accepted from the judges and court procedures.


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