The New York State Bar Association Committee to Ensure Quality of Mandated Representation has recognized the work of two Capital District attorneys and the New York City Office of the Appellate Defender.

The biennial awards, presented on June 17 at the State Bar Center in Albany, recognize criminal defense attorneys for their professionalism and skilled representation of indigent clients in criminal proceedings.

"Public defenders provide quality representation to often unpopular clients while dealing with meager resources and public distrust. Their work ensures that our justice system lives up to its promise of 'justice for all,'" said Committee Chair Norman Effman of Warsaw (Wyoming County Public Defender and executive director, Wyoming County-Attica Legal Aid Bureau). "It is fitting that we honor their contributions."

Denison Ray Criminal Defender Award: Jerome K. Frost has been continuously re-appointed to the office of Rensselaer County Public Defender since 1995. The committee honored him for his devotion to clients, efforts to raise assigned counsel rates and work to improve public perception of criminal defenders.

Achievement in Promoting Standards of Excellence in Quality Mandated Representation: Charles O'Brien of Albany (managing attorney, New York State Defenders Association) was honored for managing projects that enhance the work of public defense programs and attorneys across New York. Notable examples include the Public Defense Case Management System and continuing legal education programs.

Achievement in Promoting Standards of Excellence in Quality Mandated Representation: The Office of the Appellate Defender represents indigent clients and provides training for criminal defenders. Its Reinvestigation Project investigates wrongful convictions and its Social Work-Re-entry Program helps former prisoners when they are released.

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
Media Writer