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MDLA Recognizes Award Winners

Friday, September 25, 2015  
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The Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) honored three individual members with awards during the 2015 Annual Meeting, which is held as a portion of the annual Trial & Techniques Seminar in Duluth, MN.

2015 Founder’s Award

Founders Award

In conjunction with the MDLA’s 50th Anniversary in 2013, the Board of Directors established the Founder’s Award to recognize our long standing, loyal members. The first Founder’s Award was given out in 2013 to Richard Mahoney. In 2015, the second Founder’s Award to Dick Pemberton.

Mr. Pemberton has more than 50 years of experience in trying a wide range of jury cases. He has practiced in state and federal courts. He is a highly sought after mediator and arbitrator. He has always considered service to the profession, whether through his membership in the MDLA or the MSBA, as an integral part of being a lawyer, and has served as President of both organizations. Dick has also served on countless other professional boards and committees including the Minnesota CLE Board of Directors, the Minnesota Supreme Court Professional Responsibility Board, the Supreme Court Rules of Evidence Advisory Committee and Rules of Civil Procedure Advisory Committee and the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection. Dick has displayed unwavering support and committment to the Bar, in general, and the MDLA, in particular.

On a more personal note, Dick has been married to Betty Joan since his college days and the couple has three sons and a daughter and several grandchildren.

2015 President’s Award

President Award

Each year the MDLA President has the privilege of bestowing upon a member the President’s Award to recognize a special or extraordinary contribution to the Association. In 2015, President Dyan Ebert selected the MDLA’s Diversity Committee as the recipient of President’s Award.

Under the leadership of Committee Chair Morgan Godfrey, the Diversity Committee set out to not only address head on the issues of increasing diversity within out membership ranks but also hosting a premier event showcasing their efforts and raising awareness for our members and member firms. The inaugural Diversity Summit was a huge success; the event sold out within a week of registration being opened and the sponsorships covered all of the costs associated with the event.


The Diversity Committee also organized and coordinated the opportunity for 16 law students from the U of M and St. Thomas law schools to attend MDLA’s Trial Techniques Seminar and network with our MDLA members.

2015 Deb Oberlander Award

Deb Oberlander Award Winners

Each year the MDLA recognizes one New Lawyer with the Deb Oberlander Award. A new lawyer is defined as an attorney who has been practicing for eight years or less. In order to win the award, a young attorney must meet a thorough list of criteria involving their current practice, involvement with the MDLA and other organizations, leadership/mentoring activities, community service, and their performance. In 2015, the MDLA selected Lauren Nuffort (Terhaar, Archibald, Pfefferle & Griebel) as the recipient of the award.

Lauren served as the Chair of the MDLA New Lawyers Committee, volunteered her time in several MDLA conferences, does excellent work in her practice, and is heavily involved in mentoring and community service. Those are just a few reasons why she was a deserving recipient of this year’s award.

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