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The Maine Justice Foundation is pleased to honor Barbara Cardone with the 2022 Howard H. Dana Award. 

The Maine Justice Foundation presents the Howard H. Dana Jr. Award annually to a Maine lawyer to recognize significant contributions to enhance access to civil legal assistance to economically vulnerable Mainers and outstanding service in the advancement of the Foundation’s mission. This year, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to award the 2022 Dana Award to Barbara Cardone, current director of Legal Affairs and Public Relations at the Maine Judicial Branch, recognizing her years of dedication to civil legal aid and access to justice. 

Barbara has been a steadfast advocate for access to justice throughout her career, beginning with her clinical work in legal services while attending Boston College Law school, her long-standing pro bono service with the Volunteer Lawyers Project and being on the Board of the Maine Justice Foundation. She carried her commitment to legal services and access to justice with her during her service in the Maine Legislature. 

While in the Legislature, Barbara sponsored LD 1326, An Act to Increase Funding for Civil Legal Services and worked to ensure its passage. Her efforts, combined with those of the legal service providers, the Justice Action Group and the Maine Justice Foundation and many others were successful in 2022 securing a state budget allocation of $1.3 million for civil legal services. Passage of this bill and obtaining a state budget appropriation for civil legal was a huge accomplishment and the product of decades of efforts by many, including the late Judge Frank Coffin. 

“Barbara Cardone’s efforts to garner an annual budget appropriation for civil legal services is a testament to her career-long commitment to access to justice. She was integral in securing passage of a long-sought investment by the state in ensuring access to justice for so many Mainers. Her dedication to this effort makes her an ideal recipient of the Howard H. Dana, Jr. Award and the Foundation is proud to include her among an esteemed group of Maine access to justice leaders over the years. We are grateful for her dedication to our mission,” says Michelle Draeger, executive director of the Maine Justice Foundation. 

On learning she was the 2022 recipient of the Howard H. Dana award, Barbara said, “I was surprised and very much honored. I know Justice Dana and some of the past recipients of this award and it is quite an elite club in which to be included. I am very pleased that I could do something to help with legal services and funding for legal services within the Legislature and I hope I can continue working on these issues even though I am now working for the Judicial Branch.”

The Maine Justice Foundation, founded in 1983 as the Maine Bar Foundation, is the state’s leading funder of civil legal aid and is committed to ensuring access to justice for all Mainers. Find us online at www.justicemaine.org.