By Desiree Stennett, Orlando Sentinel
Benjamin Crump and Daryl Parks, attorneys for Trayvon Martin’s family, consider themselves lawyers who “fight giants” and take on the cases others would avoid. And now the Florida Bar is giving them some recognition as well.
The Tallahassee attorneys were presented with the Henry Latimer Diversity Award at the annual Florida Bar Convention in Orlando on Friday.
Latimer would have been the first black president of the Florida Bar before he died in a car crash in 2005.
“This is the most prestigious award you can get,” said Judge June McKinney, an administrative law judge in Tallahassee who was on the committee that created the award after Latimer’s death.
She said Latimer was the epitome of professionalism and was always willing to work with anyone in the name of productivity.
“Benjamin Crump and Daryl Parks fall into that category of people who benefit the whole state of Florida,” McKinney said. “Often times they take on things that other people wouldn’t take on because it’s the right thing to do. They are following in Henry Latimer’s footsteps.”
Both Parks and Crump say they are humbled by the honor.
“To get an award bearing the name of Henry Latimer is a great honor for us,” Crump said. “This award is about the efforts to make the Florida Bar more diverse and a better representation of all people. We are very proud to be a part of that effort.”
Although the attorneys made headlines because of their involvement in the Trayvon Martin case and the 2006 case of the teen beaten to death in a Bay County boot camp, Parks said he thinks it’s the day-to-day work of their law firm that prompted recognition from the Bar.
“The high profile cases just give people a snapshot of the work we’re doing,” said Parks who serves as president of the National Bar Association. “I think the real proof is in what we’ve done everyday.”
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