Community Voices

Miami lawyer honored by Florida Army National Guard for pro bono service

Attorney and Lt. Col. Edward O'Sheehan, left, presented fellow Shutts & Bowen Partner Stephen Maher with the Florida Commendation Medal.
Attorney and Lt. Col. Edward O'Sheehan, left, presented fellow Shutts & Bowen Partner Stephen Maher with the Florida Commendation Medal. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

Congratulations to Stephen Maher, who was honored by the Florida Army National Guard for his pro bono legal service. He received the Florida Commendation Medal, one of the only military awards available to civilians.

Maher, a Miami partner with Shutts & Bowen, assisted the Florida Army National Guard’s 1565th Trial Defense Team with legal strategy and appellate procedures in defense of soldiers facing court martial.

Lt. Col. Edward O’Sheehan, a judge advocate general officer with the Florida Army National Guard and a Fort Lauderdale partner with Shutts & Bowen, presented the award as Senior Defense Counsel for the 1565th Trial Defense Team.

“Steve is a great appellate lawyer. He was willing to help on his own time, including weekends, and provided great advice that helped our soldiers and has, overall, strengthened the military justice system in Florida,” O’Sheehan said in a release.

Maher’s work, according to the award citation, “helped to clarify and strengthen the protections provided to soldiers under the Florida Code of Military Justice and helped to ensure the integrity and respect of the overall Military Justice System.”

“It’s nice to be recognized for something you didn’t even know was being noticed,” said Maher in a release. “I was glad to be able to help with the development and implementation of novel legal approaches in this area of the law.”

Maher, a Sunny Isles resident, has 40 years of practice in administrative law, litigation and appellate review.


Through $17,000 raised by the community, nearly 6,000 gallons of milk were donated in June to help families in our community who rely on food banks.

The recent distribution was part of the “Summer Hunger Ends Here” Great American Milk Drive and was a partnership between Feeding South Florida, MilkPEP, Sedano’s Supermarkets, Florida Dairy Farmers, and Borden Dairy. In addition to milk, some perishable and nonperishable foods were distributed to the families.

There were almost 1,000 people lined up at St. Vincent de Paul, Mother of Christ Church in Southwest Miami-Dade County when the milk distribution began. Each person was able to take home one gallon.

The program was launched to help provide nutrient-rich milk at food banks and combat hunger that, according to Feeding South Florida, impacts one-in-six Americans, including 785,040 individuals in South Florida.

Milk is at the top of the list of items most requested by food bank participants, followed by fresh fruits and vegetables. The Great American Milk Drive is the first program to help resolve the milk shortage.

Through a recent survey, Feeding America food banks discovered that 95 percent of those who need food help said they do not receive enough milk. It is one of the most requested items but the least donated.

To learn how you can help through donations of money or food, or through volunteer work, visit or call 954-518-1818. The group assists individuals in Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. To watch a video and learn more about the importance of milk and food donations go to


The Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest is now conducting its Summer Membership Drive.

The club is looking for members to fill the open classifications of journalist, dentist, veterinarian, optometrist, chiropractor, psychologist, publicist, computer technician, security service executive, plumber, printer, architect and several physician and lawyer sub classifications. Contact David Kinney at 786-837-6992 or, or Ron Lieberman at 305-613-6744 or to learn more.

Upcoming talks hosted by the group include one by former Opa-Locka Mayor John Riley on July 26. He will discuss “Police Involved Shootings in Miami-Dade County.”

Anne Freedman, speaking coach and founder of Speakout, will talk on Aug. 9 about “What To Say at Networking Events.” And University of Miami Professor Tom Boswell will discuss “Immigration – The Controversy” on Aug. 23.

Members and guests of Rotary Club of Miami Dadeland-Pinecrest meet for breakfast every month on the second and fourth Tuesday, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Dadeland Marriott Hotel, 9090 S. Dadeland Blvd. They discuss community service projects and hear interesting speakers.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at