October 6, 2008


Awards Recognize Attorneys Providing Service to Low-income and Disadvantaged Clients

ALBANY- The New York State Bar Association's Department of Pro Bono Affairs has announced the recipients of the Denison Ray Awards, presented biennially to legal services staff attorneys who have distinguished themselves in providing criminal or civil representation to low-income clients. The awards were presented in Albanyon September 24th at the 2008 Legal Assistance Partnership Conference attended by more than 400 people.

Each individual attorney award recipient received a recognition award plaque, a cash award of $250, and a one-year, free membership in the New York State Bar Association. The nonprofit organization honoree received a cash award of $1,000 to be used to increase the organization's capacity to serve people in need of legal services through pro bono efforts.

  • The Civil Legal Service Award was presented to Jason D. Hoge, Lead Counsel, Monroe County Legal Assistance Center Re-Entry Program; and James T. Murphy, Staff Attorney, Legal Services of Central New York Inc.
  • Andre A. Vitale, Special Assistant Public Defender, Monroe County Public Defenders Office received the Criminal Defender Award.
  • Lillian M. Moy, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, Inc. received the Program Director Award.
  • The Worker's Rights Law Center of New York, Inc. received the Nonprofit Organization Award.

Biographies and photos of the winners are available upon request.

The Denison Ray Awards were named for Denison Ray, an advocate for the indigent who led legal services programs in New Yorkand other states.

The Department of Pro Bono Affairs supports pro bono activities statewide and a variety of Association access to justice initiatives. The term "pro bono," derived from the Latin phrase pro bono publico, meaning "for the public good," encompasses among other things, donated legal services to the poor and disadvantaged.

The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New Yorkand the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, NYSBA programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.