Tomislav Kuzmanovic Receives Croatian American Bar Association’s 2012 Vinodol Code Award
MILWAUKEE, WI. – Tomislav Z. Kuzmanovic, a Milwaukee-based Partner in the Defense Litigation Practice of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, has received the Croatian American Bar Association’s (CABA’s) 2012 Vinodol Code Award. The award — which recognizes persons of Croatian descent who have excelled in the practice of law and/or made an outstanding contribution to the law or legal scholarship — was given to Mr. Kuzmanovic in recognition of his distinguished legal career and outstanding contributions to the Croatian-American community.
Mr. Kuzmanovic has for more than 20 years been an extremely active member of the Croatian-American legal community. From 2007 to 2012, he was one of the lawyers defending Croatian General Mladen Markač before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and later, in an appeal before the ICTY’s Appeals Chamber. Gen. Markač, who was the Assistant Minister of the Interior and Operation Commander of the Special Police in Croatia in 1995, was charged with crimes against humanity and violations of the laws or customs of war for actions that occurred during the 1995 “Operation Storm” military offensive in Croatia. Determining that Gen. Markač had participated in a joint criminal enterprise to permanently and forcibly remove the Serb civilian population from Croatia’s Krajina region, the Trial Chamber found Gen. Markač guilty of both charges. On November 16, 2012, the Appeals Chamber reversed the conviction and entered a verdict of acquittal.
Mr. Kuzmanovic, who had earlier successfully defended two other defendants before the ICTY, is a member of the Association of Defence Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ADC-ICTY), and has served on its Executive Board as one of two vice-presidents. The Executive Board is responsible for the administration, finance, policy and representation of the ADC-ICTY before the ICTY and also before the United Nations Security Council.
Mr. Kuzmanovic has previously been awarded the Order of the Croatian “Pleter” by former Croatian President Franjo Tudjman for his contributions toward Croatia’s independence. He focuses his practice in the area of complex litigation, with an emphasis on international and human rights law, as well as commercial, construction, premises liability, product liability, transportation, and toxic tort matters.
The CABA is an association of Croatian-American lawyers and Croatian lawyers from around the world. Its Vinodol Code Award is named after the Vinodol Code (Vinodolski Zakon) written in 1288 — the oldest legal text in Croatian and written in Glagolitic letters.