The David W. Dyer Professionalism Award was established in 1997 and is the most prestigious distinction awarded by the Miami Dade Bar.  The award is given to a lawyer or judge whose conduct reflects and honors the integrity, humility, compassion, and professionalism displayed by Judge Dyer throughout his entire career.

Judge David W. Dyer, a name partner in the firm of Smathers, Dyer & Thompson, and for whom the historic downtown Miami post office and current federal court is named, was nominated to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Judge Dyer became Chief Judge in 1962. While serving as a district judge, Judge Dyer issued a landmark decision to desegregate the restaurants which serve travelers on Florida’s Turnpike.

In 1966, Judge Dyer was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. There, Judge Dyer presided over several important civil rights and voting rights cases, including a ruling in 1967 to reapportion Florida on the “one-man, one-vote” principle.

Judge Dyer is a former member of the board of governors and executive committee of the Florida Bar, as well as the board of governors of the Maritime Law Association. He also served as president of the Dade County Bar Association.

Judge Dyer’s qualities and contributions were enumerated in the United States House of Representatives upon Judge Dyer’s passing in 1998.

Distinguished Recipients

Hon. David W. Dyer – 1997 Hon. William M. Hoeveler – 1998 Leland E. Stansell, Jr. – 1999
Hon. Edward B. Davis – 2000 Robert Josefsberg – 2001 Hon. Gerald Kogan – 2002
Hon. Philip Bloom – 2003 Herman J. Russomanno – 2004 Hon. Joseph P. Farina – 2005
Hon. Peter R. Palermo – 2006 Richard C. Milstein – 2007 Hon. Janet Reno – 2008
Hon. Phillip A. Hubbard – 2009 H.T. Smith – 2010 Irwin J. Block – 2011
Hon. Alan Gold – 2012 Edith Osman – 2013 David B. Rothman – 2014
Stephen N. Zack – 2015 Alan G. Greer – 2016 Hon. Kathleen Williams – 2017
Joseph H. Serota – 2018 Marilyn J. Holifield – 2019 Hon. Steve Leifman – 2020
Melba Pearson – 2021 Richard Baron – 2022