Hon. Michael G. Williamson, U.S. bankruptcy judge for the Middle District of Florida, was honored with the 16th annual William L. Norton, Jr. Judicial Excellence Award – created by Thomson Reuters and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) – at the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ) annual meeting in Orlando today. Judge Williamson was presented with a commemorative plaque during the ABI luncheon at the NCBJ meeting, and Thomson Reuters donated $5,000 to the ABI Endowment for Education in his name.

Judge Williamson’s dedication to service is demonstrated by his contributions to legal education, his written opinions and scholarship, his commitment to the improvement of the bankruptcy courts, his international insolvency work, and his judicial and bar association involvement. He has authored over 207 reported decisions since taking the bench in 2000, including In re Tropical Sportswear International Corp., 320 B.R. 15 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 2005), which has been cited in seven judicial decisions, 64 publications, and 442 trial court documents. Judge Williamson is a prolific speaker and writer, including serving as co-author of Bankruptcy Law Manual since 2014.

Judge Williamson also demonstrates dedication to international insolvency work, including drafting and overseeing the enactment of a new insolvency law in Afghanistan, and research and educational work in Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of Georgia, Bahrain, and Ukraine.

Judge Williamson has been active in many professional organizations, including serving as chair of the Committee on Creditors’ Rights of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar association and chair of the Orange County (Orlando) Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Law Committee and its Corporate and Business Law Committee; president of the Central Florida Bankruptcy Law Association; chair of The Florida Bar Business Law Section’s Special Committee on Post-Judgment Collection Remedies; and as a member of the Executive Council of The Florida Bar’s Business Law Section. He is also a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy (Class IV) and member of the International Insolvency Institute since 2006 and the American Law Institute since 2007.

Judge Williamson was nominated for the award by Hon. Caryl E. Delano, chief judge of the Middle District of Florida.

The William L. Norton, Jr. Judicial Excellence Award, named for former bankruptcy judge and longtime West author William L. Norton, Jr., honors a bankruptcy judge whose career has embodied the same dedication to the insolvency community as did that of the award’s namesake. A committee of six – three representatives of the ABI and three editors or contributing editors of the Norton Bankruptcy Law and Practice, 3d treatise – selects the winner from a pool of eligible judges nominated by their fellow judges and attorneys based on the nominee’s record of service, achievements and leadership throughout their career.

This post was written by Kathryn Copeland, principal attorney editor at Thomson Reuters.

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