On December 2, 2008, the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section presented the ninth annual Martha J. Hampton Memorial Award to Workers’ Compensation Judge Halmon Banks III, a partner in the law firm of Martin, Banks, Pond, LaHocky and Wilson.
Mr. Banks was recognized for the respectful, yet passionate way he has defended people injured on the job. Indeed, he has been a true advocate for injured workers not only in the courtroom, but also on the legislative end, attempting to protect injured workers’ rights. He has maintained positions of leadership including that of a past president of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, a course planner for the annual section meeting and a frequent lecturer, participating in the PBI course Introduction to Compensation.
The Martha J. Hampton Memorial Award honors former Galfand Berger partner, Martha Hampton, who was committed to the practice of Workers’ compensation law. Each year a committee reviews nominations of an attorney or judge who best exemplifies Martha’s unique compassion, dedication, professionalism, and good will. Martha’s interests went beyond the individual cases she litigated. Martha believed in the viability and importance of the Workers’ Compensation section of the Bar Association. She was a past president of the section and participated in activities as varied as writing informative articles for the Legal Intelligencer to testifying before subcommittees in Harrisburg on proposed legislation.
Martha enjoyed the role she played as a mentor or educator. She also maintained close friendships among her peers. She had the ability to be a strong advocate in the courtroom, and the next moment, have coffee with opposing counsel discussing only personal matters, not legal ones. It is this respect for people and the profession, which led to the creation of this award.
Each year, the law firm of Galfand Berger, LLP makes a charitable—on the section’s behalf and in honor of the award recipient—to Kids Chance, an organization that helps youngsters who have lost a parent due to a work related injury gain a higher level of education.