2018 Awardees, L to R: Awardees Stephen W. Rosenblatt, Layla D. Milligan and Dwayne M. Murray shown with Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart
The 2018 Michelle Mendez Serviam Award recipients were announced during the 5th Circuit Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference in New Orleans last month. The awardees are Stephen W. Rosenblatt, Layla D. Milligan and Dwayne M. Murray.
Recognizing bankruptcy professionals who have demonstrated persistently exceptional contributions to others in the bankruptcy profession and community, these contributions may be in the form of professional leadership, pro bono work, bar activities, community contributions, and other criteria that demonstrate extraordinary service to others.
The award was created in 2015 in recognition of the life and work of Michelle Mendez. It is presented by The Center for American and International Law in conjunction with the bi-annual 5th Circuit Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference.
Michelle Mendez was a force of nature who was fiercely devoted to her family, her friends, her profession and her community. She died in 2014 from complications of a sudden illness.
A Partner in the Dallas firm of Conley, Rosenberg, Mendez & Brenneise, Michelle served as Chair of the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, Chair of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section of the Dallas Bar Association, and Chair of the Research Fellows of The Center for American and International Law. She was also a co-founder of the 5th Circuit Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference. A recipient of the Robert B. Wilson Distinguished Service Award from the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, Michelle devoted herself to her profession, her family and her community.
Serviam translated means “I will serve.”
Dwayne M. Murray is the senior partner in the Baton Rouge law firm of Murray & Murray, LLC. He is the Immediate Past President and CEO of the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees (NABT). Dwayne has served as a Chapter 7 Panel Trustee and a Chapter 11 Trustee and Liquidating Trustee. A servant leader, he spearheaded the NABT’s Hurricane Relief Effort during the Louisiana flood of 2016 and the recent disaster in Puerto Rico. Dwayne received the Friends of Pro Bono Award from the Louisiana State Bar Association for his work on behalf of Louisiana’s indigent population.
Stephen W. Rosenblatt is Of Counsel at Butler Snow LLP in Jackson. A founding member of the Mississippi Bankruptcy Conference, Inc., he served as its President in 1994. A Fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy, Steve has distinguished himself both in the legal profession and in the community. A past President of the Mississippi Bar Foundation and a former member of the Mississippi Bar Association’s Board of Commissioners, Steve is an Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson and has chaired the Board of Trustees of Jackson Preparatory School.
Layla D. Milligan is Controller/Attorney in the office of Chapter 13 Trustee Deborah Langehennig. She is the Chair- Elect of the Bankruptcy Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, and has served as the Section’s Vice President for Public Education. Layla has spoken at more than 20 bankruptcy programs and is a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. She has received both the Robert B. Wilson Distinguished Service Award and the Romina L. Mulloy-Bassio Young Lawyer Achievement Award.
2016 & 2018 Awardees, L to R: Stephen W. Rosenblatt (Butler Snow LLP), Dwayne M. Murray (Murray & Murray, LLC), Jan M. Hayden (Baker Donelson), Deborah B. Langehennig (Chapter 13 Trustee for the Western District of Texas), Layla D. Milligan (Controller/Attorney in the Office of Chapter 13 Trustee Deborah Langehennig), and Robert A. Byrd (Byrd & Wiser)