The Collier County Judiciary has recognized Kathleen and John Passidomo as the 2019 recipients of the Donald E. Van Koughnet Lion of the Law Award for Professionalism. The presentation was made at the annual DCA Judges Dinner hosted by the Collier County Bar Association on Oct. 10 at the Club at Pelican Bay.
The Lion of the Law award recognizes excellence in legal skills, professionalism, and public service. Criteria for the award include commitment to community service, especially pro bono case work, and a career marked by a reputation for professionalism and character, and possessed of great legal skill in advocacy. This is the first time in the award’s 20-year history that the recognition was bestowed on a husband and wife as co-recipients.
The Passidomos were named in 2000 as co-recipients of the Naples Daily News Outstanding Collier County Citizen of the Year. Each has served as president of the Collier County Bar Association and as chairman of its Real Estate Attorneys Section, and each has been Board Certified as a specialist in Real Estate Law by The Florida Bar since real estate certification was enacted in 1988. Kathleen Passidomo is also a past president of the Collier County Women’s Bar Association. John Passidomo was the 1985 and 1991 recipient of The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for leadership in providing legal service to the poor; Kathleen Passidomo received the same honor in 2010. They are both graduates of Leadership Florida, and each has served on numerous local civic, community, and charitable boards of directors over the years.
Kathleen Passidomo was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2010 and was elected to the Florida Senate in 2016, where she currently serves as Majority Leader. The Florida Chamber of Commerce recognized Sen. Passidomo in 2018 as Most Valuable Legislator. A partner in the Naples firm Kelly, Passidomo & Alba LLP, Sen. Passidomo has been a member of The Florida Bar since 1979 and was recognized as Attorney of the Year by both the Florida Law Related Education Association and the Collier County Women’s Bar Association. She served as chairman of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women in 2006. “Being recognized by our peers in Collier County, among judges and colleagues we truly admire, makes this award very special to us,” said Sen. Passidomo.
John Passidomo is a partner at Cheffy Passidomo. He served as chairman of the Community Foundation of Collier County from 1998 to 2001 and as chairman of the Economic Development Council of Collier County from 1995 to 1997. He was vice mayor and a member of Naples City Council from 1990 to 1992 and chairman and a member of the Naples Planning Advisory Board from 1986 to 1990. He was named a Laureate in the Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida Business Leadership Hall of Fame in 2003 and has repeatedly been recognized for selection in Best Lawyers in America and Florida Super Lawyers, among others.
The Passidomos have lived in Naples since 1979. They have three daughters: Catarina, a university professor; Francesca, a Naples lawyer; and Gabriella, a Tallahassee lawyer, as well as two grandsons, William and Emilio.