Bryan D. Hetherington is the recipient of the Haywood Burns Award, given by the Committee on Civil Rights of the New York State Bar Association.
Hetherington of Rochester is being recognized for reflecting Burns' commitment to equality and justice. He has advocated for the poor, disabled and disenfranchised for more than 35 years.
"Bryan Hetherington has devoted his entire legal career to ensuring equal access to justice for all. His success in the courtroom is matched only by success at helping those in need in his community," said Fernando A. Bohorquez, Jr. of New York (Baker Hostetler). "On behalf of the committee, I am thrilled to honor Bryan Hetherington with this award. He represents the very best of our profession."
Hetherington has been chief counsel of the Empire Justice Center in Rochester since January 2004. He previously was chief counsel of the Public Interest Law Office of Rochester, a nonprofit he founded in 1996.
He has litigated several notable court cases, including Schisler v. [Secretary of HHS], which forced a review of almost 30,000 cases where federal disability benefits had been terminated, and Catanzano v. Richardson, 89 CV 1127L (W.D.N.Y), which forced the state to restructure its home health care system so it would provide the level of care ordered by the patient's doctor.
For more than 15 years, he served as litigation director for the Monroe County Legal Assistance Corporation. He was project director of the Western New York Disability Law Project, which provided disability advocacy in the 19-county Western District of New York.
Prior to moving to Rochester, he was the managing attorney of Mid-Hudson Legal Services, Inc. He began his career as a staff attorney with the Mid-Hudson Legal Assistance Project in 1975.
He is currently president of the Monroe County Bar Association. He is immediate past chair of the Greater Rochester Health Foundation and past co-chair of the Rochester Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning.
Within the State Bar Association, Hetherington is a member of the House of Delegates and the President's Committee on Access to Justice. Hetherington received his award on January 26th during the State Bar's Annual Meeting in New York City.
The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
Contact: Brandon Vogel