Monday, November 10, 2014

Criminal Law: Call for Nominations: 2014-2015 Bubba Huerta Award

By Matt Luka

In March 2009, local defense counsel Marcelino “Bubba” Huerta III passed away at the too-young age of 56. For his professionalism, good heart, and friendly personality, Bubba was universally respected throughout the Tampa Bay area by defense counsel, prosecutors, and judges alike. His quiet commitment to pro bono service was not known to many but was appreciated and admired by those who knew him best. With his passing, the Hillsborough County Bar Association lost a friend, and the criminal justice system lost a great lawyer and public servant.

In Bubba’s memory, the Criminal Law Section of the HCBA created the Marcelino “Bubba” Huerta III Award for Professionalism and Pro Bono Service. This award is presented to an attorney who exhibits the professional practice, the dedication to pro bono service, and the diligent work in the pursuit of equal justice that made Bubba a remarkable lawyer. The recipient of the Bubba Huerta Award is selected by a committee consisting of local, state, and federal criminal practitioners. In 2009, the first Bubba Huerta Award was presented to James Felman of Kynes, Markman & Felman. Last year's recipient was David Weisbrod.

The process has begun to select the recipient of the 2014-2015 Bubba Huerta Award.  The award will be presented at our section’s February 4, 2015, luncheon meeting. Please nominate an attorney who exemplifies the professionalism and pro bono spirit that made Bubba Huerta exceptional. Your nomination can be submitted by emailing me at or Mark Rankin at