Russell E. Carlisle, a NH Bar member since 1986, was recently presented with the 2009 Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award by Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Peggy A. Quince.
Carlisle, who runs a private law office in Campton, spent the majority of his legal career as an extremely active attorney in Florida.
Founding president of the Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Carlisle has dedicated more than 50-years to pro bono legal service to the poor. He was also once vice-president of Florida Legal Services, where he briefed and argued the first petition for IOLTA Accounts before the Florida Supreme Court. Carlisle also helped to bring IOLTA programs to other jurisdictions, including New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island. Carisle also consulted with Jack Middleton, an NHBA past president, as he worked to establish IOLTA in NH, which became the second state after Florida to create an IOLTA program.
The Tobias Smith Pro Bono Service Award, named after renowned Miami civil rights attorney Tobias Simon, was first awarded in 1982 and is believed to be the first statewide award for pro bono service in the nation. The award is given to a private lawyer for the granting of voluntary pro bono legal services.
"It’s been very nice to get the recognition from colleagues in Florida, New Hampshire and elsewhere," said Carlisle. "I’m very honored."