March 19, 2009


Up to three awards will be presented in June 2009

ALBANY-The New York State Bar Association's Committee to Ensure Quality of Mandated Representation is seeking nominees for its biennial Awards for Outstanding Achievements in Promoting Standards of Excellence in Mandated Representation. The awards recognize those working to ensure the quality of mandated representation for those unable to afford counsel, whether in criminal or Family Court proceedings. Three awards will be presented during a luncheon on June 11, 2009, at the State Bar Center in Albany, in conjunction with a free MCLE seminar addressing issues related to mandated representation in Family Court.

"In keeping with the State Bar's proud tradition of working to improve the quality of mandated representation and ensure access to justice for all, we are pleased to again honor those working so hard to serve the public good at this time of growing caseloads and diminishing resources" said Committee Chair Vincent E. Doyle III of Buffalo (Connors & Vilardo, LLP). "They do this not for money, but because they believe in the principle that those who desperately need legal help should receive it, regardless of their wealth."

Awards will honor the nominee or nominees who best exemplify one or more of the following categories: an attorney, group of attorneys or organization that has demonstrated consistent adherence to the highest professional standards in providing mandated representation; an attorney, group of attorneys or organization that has engaged in innovative efforts to improve the overall quality of mandated representation; and/or a private individual, public officer or organization that has promoted steps by the legislature, executive branch or judiciary to ensure the provision of high quality mandated representation.

Additional information about the awards and a nomination form can be obtained by e-mailing [email protected] or by calling 518-487-5641. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, April 30.

The inaugural award was given to the Bronx Defenders in 2007.

The 78,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.