Albert E. Dotson, Jr. and the late Albert E. Dotson, Sr. to be Honored with the American Jewish Committee’s Judge Learned Hand Award

Press Release
April 19, 2022

AJC of Miami and Broward to host Judge Learned Hand Award Reception
on May 3rd at the JW Marriott Marquis in Downtown Miami 

MIAMI, FL – Bilzin Sumberg announced today that Albert E. Dotson, Sr., of blessed memory, and his son, Bilzin Sumberg Managing Partner Albert E. Dotson, Jr., will receive the American Jewish Committee's (AJC) Judge Learned Hand Award during a reception held on May 3rd. The award, considered among the highest of honors in the legal profession and business community, recognizes excellence and lifelong contributions to the industry, dedication to humanitarian principles, individual rights and democratic values to advance a more just society.

The Dotsons will be honored during the AJC’s annual Judge Learned Hand Award Reception, taking place on Tuesday, May 3rd at 6:00 p.m. at the JW Marriott Marquis in Downtown Miami. Brian Bilzin of Bilzin Sumberg, Jaret L. Davis of Greenberg Traurig, and Marilyn Holifield of Holland & Knight are serving as event co-chairs.

A widely respected businessman and fixture in the South Florida community, Albert E. Dotson, Sr. was a model citizen. Regarded as both a pioneering professional and a tireless servant to his community, Dotson, Sr.’s passing on May 29, 2021 left a legacy few will forget. Early in his career, Dotson, Sr. served as the first Black store manager in the history of famed department store Sears Roebuck and Company. It was his role as Sears store manager that ultimately brought him to Miami, where he became deeply embedded in the community. Dotson, Sr. focused much of his civic service on advancing higher education. This included serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Florida International University (FIU), where he was pivotal in establishing the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the FIU College of Law. He actively led the boards of numerous local organizations working for the betterment of the metro Miami community, including serving as the first Black president of the Orange Bowl Committee. 

Dotson, Sr.’s legacy is carried on by his son Albert E. Dotson, Jr., who serves as Managing Partner of Miami law firm Bilzin Sumberg. Like his father, Dotson, Jr. possesses an unshakable commitment to improving the community he calls home. He has led and been actively involved on the boards of numerous organizations fostering business growth and economic development in South Florida, local institutions of higher learning, and organizations that serve vulnerable community members. Both Dotson, Sr. and Jr. have served as active members and as part of the leadership of 100 Black Men of America, an international mentoring organization whose goal is to educate and empower African-American children and teens. They have also both been proud members of the Orange Bowl Committee on which Dotson, Jr. served as the second Black president of the organization, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Baptist Health South Florida boards, and Boy Scouts of America, just to name a few.

“The Dotsons, Sr. and Jr., serve as role models to all business leaders that seek to go above and beyond what is expected of them to stay actively engaged with the local community and pursue noble causes,” said Brian L. Bilzin, a founding partner of Bilzin Sumberg and event co-chair. “They are an inspiration to all of us, and are truly deserving of the Judge Learned Hand Award.” 

Al Jr.’s decades-long list of awards and accolades reflects both his professional accomplishments and his tireless service to the legal profession and wider community. He is named an Eminent Practitioner by Chambers USA, in addition to being recently named as one of Florida's Most Influential Business Leaders by Florida Trend's Florida 500, and as one of the Top 250 Power Leaders of South Florida by South Florida Business Journal, among other recognitions. 

AJC is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the Jewish people. AJC is the leading global Jewish advocacy organization and is committed to advancing human rights and democratic values in the U.S. and worldwide. AJC established the annual award in 1964 to recognize leaders in the legal profession for their excellence and contributions to the practice of law. The award honors the memory of Judge Learned Hand, a highly distinguished individual recognized as heir to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ legacy of a Jurist and Poet of Liberty. Judge Hand, a graduate of Harvard and its law school, was widely admired as a Dean among American jurists, and was well-known for the extensive range of decisions he tendered that centered on questions of constitutional rights and antitrust legislation.

About Bilzin Sumberg

Bilzin Sumberg counsels clients whose business and legal opportunities and challenges span the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. The firm’s growth has paralleled that of its Miami home base, a region known for its rich cultural, social, and professional diversity. Bilzin Sumberg stands at the center of virtually every major transaction shaping Florida and is at the forefront of the state’s most pressing economic issues – from infrastructure, transit and mobility, to affordability and the diversification of the state’s economy. Bilzin Sumberg lawyers concentrate on services at the heart of both regional and international commerce, including real estate, land development and government relations, environmental, construction, corporate and securities, finance, joint ventures, domestic and international tax and private wealth planning, antitrust, business litigation, and public-private partnerships. For more information, please visit bilzin.com.

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