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News Release

Ramsey County Bar Association to Honor Local Leaders

Ramsey County Bar Association, 5/14/2014

News Release
Ramsey County Bar Association

For immediate release: Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ramsey County Bar Association to Honor Local Leaders

In celebration of Law Day, the Ramsey County Bar Association (RCBA) will honor Ann Huntrods, Vivian Mason, and Toni Newborn with the 2014 Law Day Awards.

The Law Day Awards presentation will take place at RCBA’s annual meeting, Thursday, May 15 at Hamline University in St. Paul. Ann Huntrods will receive the Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, Vivan Mason will receive the Liberty Bell Award, and Toni Newborn will receive the Excellence in Diversity Award.

The Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award is given each year to a lawyer who demonstrates substantial length of service to the bar and the community; has outstanding professional performance; has outstanding achievement in service to the citizens of Ramsey County; has leadership in the development of law in our community; and has substantial commitment to preserving and carrying out the vision of our Constitution.

Ann Huntrods is a Shareholder of Briggs and Morgan, P.A. and specializes in Employment Law. Ms. Huntrods’ contribution to the citizens of Ramsey County is not only evident in her professional work but also in her community engagement. One of her many community contributions was her service as president of the Saint Paul Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the country. During her tenure, the foundation funded multiple studies and programs to advance the administration of justice in Minnesota. Ms. Huntrods’ commitment to the community, the legal profession and the bar association spans over two decades.

The Liberty Bell Award is also given annually, though to a non-lawyer. The award is a token of appreciation from the RCBA to the recipient, who has promoted a better understanding of government to the community; encouraged respect for the law and the courts; stimulated a deeper sense of individual responsibility under the law; contributed to the effective functioning of our institutions of government; and inculcated a better understanding and appreciation of the rule of law.

Vivian Mason has been nominated for her service as a public member of the Minnesota State Board of Law. For nine years, she has promoted the Board of Law Examiner’s mission to safeguard the public and ensure that those who are admitted to the bar are persons of good character. During the last four years of her service, she chaired the Character and Fitness Committee. This committee is charged with the duty of interviewing candidates whose past conduct raises concerns about their fitness for admission to the bar. In this role, she has distinguished herself by her careful and thoughtful analysis and not being swayed by the emotion of the moment. This same character has served well in board meetings, providing a non-lawyer’s view in discussions.

The mission of the RCBA Diversity Committee is to promote diversity and equal opportunities for women, minorities and other members of groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession, in the membership, leadership and activities of the Ramsey County Bar Association. The Excellence in Diversity Award is given to an organization or individual who best exemplifies the mission of the committee and who has a history of encouraging, supporting or promoting diversity and equal opportunities for women, minorities and other members of historically underrepresented groups in the community.

Toni Newborn serves as the Interim Assistant Director of the Compliant Investigation Unit at the Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. Ms. Newborn has demonstrated her commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout her career and personal life. As the assistant director, she serves as the liaison for various stakeholders including the City Council and Mayor. Additionally, she coordinates educational outreach and awareness to the Minneapolis community on subjects including civil rights, housing and employment laws. In her spare time, she mentors law students through the University of St. Thomas School of Law mentoring program and unofficially many other young law students; especially those of color. Through her mentorship she has served as a form of support to young students who are in need of encouragement.

The Liberty Bell Award has been a tradition of the RCBA since 1964, and the Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award has been awarded annually since 1987. The Diversity Award was first presented in 2001.


Contact: Brianna Hager (651) 222-0846 brianna@ramseybar.org

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