Drinker Biddle & Reath
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP has a long and dedicated commitment to death penalty representation in many different contexts. The firm’s contribution includes representation of death-sentenced prisoners in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and Alabama, and a commitment to systemic litigation to reform fundamental problems in the death penalty system. In 1997, the Philadelphia office won Alabama Death Row prisoner William “Bo” Cochran a new trial in which he was ultimately acquitted of the murder charge and set free. Bo was a special guest at the Houston awards celebration with the Drinker Biddle team.
The firm has also prepared United States Supreme Court amicus briefs on behalf of the American Bar Association, ethics professors, and others in individual cases that presented significant death penalty representation issues. Most recently, Drinker Biddle & Reath filed an amicus brief in Holland v. Florida which was cited in the majority opinion granting relief to the defendant. This was the sixth amicus brief filed by Drinker Biddle in the United States Supreme Court in the last 10 years.
Drinker Biddle has also focused much of its work on issues relating to the professional responsibility of lawyers who represent clients in capital cases, and conflicts of interest by those prosecuting capital cases. The scope and breadth of its work, touching so many aspects of a system in need of reform, demonstrates why the firm is deserving of one of this year’s Exceptional Service Awards.