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UNICO Recognizes Lewis Donelson with Civic Award

(Memphis, TN/October 12, 2010) Lewis R. Donelson III of the law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, has been named the recipient of the 2010 Civic Award by UNICO Memphis, a local chapter of the Italian American service organization.

The Civic Award recognizes an individual from the community at large who has demonstrated a lifetime of service for the betterment of the community. Mr. Donelson is a founding partner of Baker Donelson, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of corporate and tax law. Known by many as a dedicated consensus builder, he was a charter member of the Memphis City Council and worked tirelessly during the critical period that included the Sanitation Workers strike in 1968. Mr. Donelson has spent many years lending skill and support to his industry and his community, including service as a delegate to the Tennessee Constitutional Convention in 1971, as Tennessee Commissioner of Finance from 1979 to 1981, as delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1964, 1968 and 1988, and as Chair of the Med from 1996 to 2003. He currently serves as Chairman of the National Advisory Council for The Hermitage and is on the board of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Mr. Donelson's contributions to the legal industry continue alongside his dedication to the community. He played a key role in increasing funding for rural schools when he represented a group of 77 rural school systems in a lawsuit filed against the State of Tennessee arguing that the small school districts did not receive adequate funding. The case eventually reached the Tennessee Supreme Court, which in 1993 unanimously ruled that the state's education funding system was unconstitutional. As a result of the case, state lawmakers created the Basic Education Program (BEP), a new education funding formula designed to be more fair to counties with smaller tax bases.

Since 1983, Mr. Donelson has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Corporate Law and Tax Law and in 2009 he was named Memphis "Lawyer of the Year" (Corporate Law) by The Best Lawyers in America.

Mr. Donelson was presented the Civic Award at the UNICO annual Columbus Day Banquet on Saturday, October 9th, which was also his birthday.

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