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Roanoke Bar Association honors members

ROANOKE – In what the senior honoree termed the “May-December Awards,” the Roanoke Bar Association recognized both legal promise and a lifetime of professionalism Friday at a Law Day gathering.

William J. Lemon received the 2015 Frank W. “Bo” Rogers Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lemon is a partner with Martin, Hopkins & Lemon. He has practiced law for more than 50 years. He told the group his starting salary in 1959 was $300 per month with no benefits.

The RBA’s Rogers award recognizes an outstanding lawyer who embodies the highest tradition of personal and professional excellence in Southwest Virginia.

Brooke C. Rosen, a partner at the newly formed Johnson, Rosen & O’Keeffe law firm, received the RBA 2015 Young Lawyer of the Year Award

The annual award honors an outstanding young lawyer who has demonstrated dedicated service to the Roanoke Bar Association, the community and the profession.

As legislators briefed the Roanoke bar on the latest General Assembly session, Del. Chris Head, R-Roanoke, a non-lawyer, resisted any suggestion there were too many lawyers in the legislature.

“We sure don’t need any less,” he said.

“We need the attorneys to be there to get the parsing of the words just exactly right,” he said.

Retiring two-term Sen. Ralph Smith, R-Roanoke, who early in his first term questioned Virginia’s method of judge selection, praised the quality of the judges since named to the Roanoke area bench.

“I’m really proud of the judges we have,” he said. “Unlike some parts of the state, we’re not hearing daily complaints about what some judge did,” Smith said.

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