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Allegheny County Judge and Lawyer Honored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for Legal Assistance to the Poor

HARRISBURG (Sept. 28, 2009) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association Legal Services to the Public Committee recently presented its annual Judge's Award to Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Alan D. Hertzberg and its Civil Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award to Barbara L. Payne.

The awards recognize jurists and legal services and other public interest lawyers who have made exceptional contributions to the improvement of civil legal aid.

Since his arrival on the Allegheny County court in 2005, Hertzberg has been a consistent supporter of pro bono legal services to the indigent. Hertzberg sits on the administrative board of the Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership, assisting in the creation, implementation and continuing success of legal services programs. He also has been involved in the Custody Conciliation Pro Bono Project, which helps parents resolve child custody disputes. Hertzberg is a frequent speaker at volunteer training programs for the project.

Payne has been an attorney in the family division of the Allegheny County court since 2001. She served for many years as the pro se coordinator and was responsible for a program assisting low-income litigants in the areas of support and custody. Payne worked with law students and professors from Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh and with volunteer lawyers from the Allegheny County Bar Association Family Law Section to advise financially-eligible individuals on their options in pursuing and defending actions for support and custody.

The awards were presented during the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network's Statewide Training Conference in Harrisburg.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 29,000 lawyers who are members of the association.