LCA Senior Fellow Emeritus Larry Smith of RumbergerKirk in Orlando, Florida, was recently presented the FDCC Diversity Award by the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel as well as the Diversity in Business Lifetime Achievement Award by the Orlando Business Journal. Additional details on both awards can be found below and on the firm’s website here and here.
The FDCC Diversity Award recognizes a member whose efforts embody the spirit of the organization’s Diversity Statement and to expanding the mandate of inclusiveness within the profession. It also recognizes the recipient’s dedication to the principles of advancing diversity within their community and as emblematic of the ideals of ensuring equal opportunity for and treatment of all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, disability, country of origin, socio-economic status, religion, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
After writing to a Florida Supreme Court justice about the importance of including sexual orientation as an integral part of professionalism in 1999, Smith was appointed to serve on the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. He would serve for more than 20 years, including three times as chair of its diversity subcommittee. He was recognized last year by The Florida Bar Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s Path to Unity program as one of five trailblazing Florida lawyers whose significant contributions paved the way for others based on their achievements championing race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability issues.
The FDCC is an international association of lawyers across five continents whose members are recognized leaders in the legal community who have achieved professional distinction. The Federation is dedicated to promoting knowledge, fellowship, and professionalism of its members as they pursue the course of a balanced justice system and represent those in need of a defense in civil lawsuits. Learn more.
Larry Smith was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award during the Orlando Business Journal 2022 Diversity in Business Awards ceremony on June 9, 2022. He was selected for the top honor among a select group of 14 honorees. Larry has spent more than 20 years using his voice to represent and speak up for the LGBTQ+ community by challenging Florida’s legal profession to include sexual orientation in their discussions on professionalism and diversity long before the courts began expanding rights for the community.
Over the years, Larry has advocated for the LGBTQ+ community in many ways. He helped found the second LGBTQ Voluntary Bar Association in Florida and became its president. He stood on the steps of Orlando City Hall to call the City Council to amend its Human Rights Ordinance to protect its gay citizens from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations. A lot of firsts followed, and as a result, Larry has been honored with many awards over the years, often as the first openly LGBTQ recipient.
A seasoned trial lawyer of more than thirty years, Larry Smith focuses his practice in the areas of complex, high exposure cases for clients including domestic and international product manufacturers, as well as other claims involving personal injury, wrongful death and property damage cases. Larry has also been certified as a Supreme Court of Florida Circuit Civil Mediator since 2018 and Florida Supreme Court Arbitrator since 2019. Larry is a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.