Witkin Award 2017 Honorees
Excellence in the Adjudication of the Law
The Honorable Joan M. Lewis | Judge of the San Diego Superior Court
Judge Lewis graduated from California Western School of Law in 1987. She worked as a civil practitioner for two local law firms until 1998 when she was appointed to the bench by Governor Pete Wilson. Lewis has been assigned to a Civil Independent Calendar department for fourteen years. Previously, she spent five years in Family Court.
Judge Lewis has devoted considerable time to being a leader since becoming a judge. She is a long-time member of the San Diego Superior Court Executive Committee, the Judicial Advisory Board of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and the Executive Committee of the California Judges Association. Additionally, she served on the San Diego Superior Court ADR Committee and the Family Law Education Committee.
Excellence in the Practice of Law
Jack Charney, Esq. | Henderson, Caverly, Pum & Charney
Jack Charney practiced law in San Diego for approximately 43 years before retiring as a Senior Partner at Henderson, Caverly, Pum & Charney. His practice focused on estate planning, family wealth and succession matters, probate and trust administration, and estate and gift tax matters. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trusts and Estates and was Regent of the College from 2004 – 2010. Mr. Charney was named San Diego Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America in 2015.
Mr. Charney has devoted much time and talent to serving many community organizations. They include acting as president of the San Diego Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Mingei Museum, and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra.
Changemaker: Advancing Access to Justice
Nicholas Fox, Esq. | Foley & Lardner, LLP
Nicholas Fox is an associate and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner, LLP. His practice focuses on commercial and consumer litigation in state and federal court with an emphasis on class action defense, corporate disputes, and consumer litigation under California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law. He graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2011. He was Senior Executive Editor of the San Diego Law Review and selected to the Order of the Coif.
Mr. Fox has devoted considerable time to increasing Access to Justice. He has an extensive pro bono practice. His cases have involved securing Social Security benefits for HIV-positive clients, preparing wills for LGBT individuals, and working with local charities to provide proper training to their employees on how to handle HIV-positive or LGBT individuals. Additionally, he is the Co-President of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association. He is active on several committees and coordinates the association’s student-attorney mentorship program and annual membership drive.