State bars like to reward lawyers who do great work, and they should. Although they bestow praise erratically, they do so in lots of ways. Methods include public embrace of those whose wondrous skills, in the opinion of the kudos-givers, set them apart from run of the mill license-holders.
A case involving a Florida lawyer raised the question of whether losing the acclaim of the Sunshine State's bar gave the lawyer a basis for suing it. The Eleventh Circuit held that the bar did nothing wrong by choosing not to renew the lawyer's status as a "specialist" in marital and family law. Zisser v. The Florida Bar, No. 10-11974 (11th Cir. Jan. 19, 2011). The panel pointed out that the lack of praise didn't bar the lawyer from the practice of law. It added that "failure to convey a badge of distinction is not stigmatizing." Id. slip op. at 17.