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Once again, Arizona lawyers will be recognized among those winning the prestigious 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 Award. The roster of honorees was released last week.

The lawyer-honorees are Ayensa Millan, of the CIMA Law Group; Ed Maldonado, of the Law Office of Edward Maldonado (and the current President of the Los Abogados Hispanic Bar Association); and Dulce Gonzales Rivas, of the Zavala Law Offices LLC.

As we get closer to the luncheon awards event on October 3, I will share more details. Be sure to come out to cheer on your colleagues!

The complete list of honorees is here.

I’m pleased to report that, once again, Arizona lawyers will be recognized among those winning the prestigious 40 Hispanic Leaders Under 40 Award.

The lawyer-honorees are Valentine Castillo, of the Arizona Army National Guard, and Christina Ortecho, of Friendly House, Inc.

More information is available at the 40 Under 40 Facebook page.

(I’m surprised to see that I haven’t written about these great awards since 2010. My past story is here.)

The sixth-annual awards luncheon, co-sponsored by Univision Radio–Phoenix and Valle del Sol, will be held today at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix. The keynote speaker is also a lawyer and judge—Hon. Mary Murguía of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Besides delivering the keynote, Judge Murguía will also receive the 2012 Líder Award.

Hon. Mary Murguía

As the 40 Under 40 organizers describe it, “The Líder Award was created to honor and recognize an individual who continues to lay the foundation for future generations of Latino leaders. It is with their dedication to community, stellar professionalism, and unparallel commitment to fostering positive change, that they are nominated and selected by 40 Hispanic Leader Under 40 Awards review committee.”

For more information on the event or the awards, contact my colleague Alberto Rodriguez at (602) 518-8704.

David Bodney

Please do not write to me to provide alternative names to my following statement: David Bodney is one of the nicest guys in town.

I was going to write “one of the nicest lawyers,” but that would be understating it.

Of course, I don’t know everyone, and there may well be a few folks around who are nicer than David, the managing partner of Steptoe & Johnson’s Phoenix office. But he’d give them a run for their money.

Besides his commitment to the community (which you can read about below), David’s work also makes him an unflinching advocate of the press—which I really like, for a variety of reasons. As someone who writes for a living, I like knowing that lawyers such as Bodney guard the First Amendment. And as a citizen and news-consumer, I like knowing that the Fifth Estate is permitted to do its important work, often with the help of media attorneys.

On my wall: My favorite Steve Benson cartoon

That’s what makes David’s selection for a prestigious award so perfect. On Friday, when he is handed the Valle del Sol’s 2011 Peacemaker Award, he will be moving into hallowed ranks. But that’s a berth he’s earned, and richly deserves.

(I also am pleased to see that Dennis Burke will be recognized with an award. The United States Attorney for the District of Arizona until his sudden resignation last week, he also is a very nice guy—and he was a terrific partner on the Editorial Board of Arizona Attorney Magazine. I don’t know if Dennis will be able to attend Friday’s lunch; if I were in his shoes, I’d be vacationing somewhere on the Mediterranean right about now. But special recognition, he deserves.)

I must add that Valle del Sol is a great organization, and they get added props for their Playbill design for Friday’s luncheon. Let the show begin!

I will be unable to attend on Friday, but if you see David, thank him for his work—and be sure to embarrass him by remarking what a nice guy he is!

The complete release follows. Congratulations again, David.

David Bodney to Receive Valle del Sol’s 2011 APS Peacemaker Award

(August 31, 2011, Phoenix) — Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce that partner David Bodney will receive the 2011 APS Peacemaker Award from Valle del Sol on September 9 at the organization’s annual Profiles of Success luncheon at the Phoenix Convention Center.

“David is a community leader who significantly impacts the lives of many in a positive way by promoting peace and well-being,” said Carlos Galindo-Elvira, Valle del Sol’s Vice President of Philanthropic & Community Relations. “David’s long track record of working with organizations like the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee, Children’s Action Alliance, and Endowment Board of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication highlights the merit of this recognition.”

Valle del Sol is one of Arizona’s leading nonprofit organizations whose mission is “inspiring positive change by investing in human services, strengthening self-sufficiency for families, and building the next generation of Latino leaders.”

Mr. Bodney has successfully defended print, broadcast and electronic media in defamation, privacy and related lawsuits in numerous federal and state courts for more than 25 years. He is the managing partner of Steptoe’s Phoenix office and serves as an adjunct faculty at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication, where he teaches media law. Mr. Bodney is a member of the National Commission of the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee Board of Directors—Arizona Region, the past Chairman of the Board of the Children’s Action Alliance and past President of the Board of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. He also serves on the Endowment Board of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication.

More information on the Profiles of Success event is here.

About Steptoe

Steptoe & Johnson LLP is an international law firm widely recognized for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in complex litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in guiding business transactions. The firm has more than 500 lawyers and other professionals in offices in Beijing, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix and Washington. For more information, click here.