Award Recognizes His Extensive Work on Domestic Violence Issues
TAMPA, June 9, 2004 – LAWFUEL – At a ceremony in the Cabinet Meeting Room of the state capitol hosted by Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Attorney General Charlie Crist, Piper Rudnick partner Michael Bedke was named Florida’s 2004 Victim Advocate of the Year, the law firm has announced.
Attorney General Crist thanked Mr. Bedke for his long-term “interest in domestic violence issues and what can be done to creatively help victims change their lives for the better.” The governor joked, “I have known Mike since before he was famous… and he knew me before I was famous.”
Shortly after the ceremony recognizing Mr. Bedke in Tallahassee, the Hillsborough County, Florida, Board of County Commissioners unanimously adopted a proclamation praising Mr. Bedke. The proclamation pointed out Mr. Bedke’s years of pro bono work through Bay Area Legal Services, his service as that agency’s president in 1997 and 2002, his highly successful fundraising efforts, and the way his pro bono work led to an alliance between Bay Area Legal Services and The Spring of Tampa Bay. That alliance resulted in “a one-stop advocacy shop for domestic violence victims that includes the participation of 25 local community service and law enforcement organizations.”
“Mike is a dedicated attorney with an incredible generosity of spirit,” said Ronald S. Holliday, managing partner of Piper Rudnick’s Tampa office. “We are enormously proud of his fine skills as an attorney and his tireless work on behalf of those in need.”
The Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners’ proclamation also cited other pro bono work Mr. Bedke has performed. His advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence has earned him national recognition, including most recently his appointment to the U.S. Attorney General’s National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women. In the wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Mr. Bedke created a legal aid relief effort for the hurricane victims that has become a template for disaster relief organizing in other parts of the country. He has directly assisted in the relief programs in the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki in 1992, the Midwest floods of 1993, the Northridge earthquake in 1994, and the bombing of the Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.
In his private practice, Mr. Bedke represents clients in all aspects of real estate and commercial lending work. His clients include institutional lenders, major developers, and national retailers. He has represented clients in several deals in excess of $100 million. Mr. Bedke is rated “AV” by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest rating attainable, and has been listed in the National Law Journal’s exclusive “40 Under Forty” listing of lawyers and The Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” listing of outstanding business talent.
Mr. Bedke is also extensively involved in an array of other causes. For instance, he has been fighting to increase awareness among the legal and medical communities about the disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta. The parents of children with this genetic disorder, sometimes called brittle bone disease, are often wrongly accused of child abuse. Mr. Bedke has also been at the forefront of the battle to save the Legal Services Corporation.