Each year the American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project celebrates its volunteer death penalty lawyers at its Volunteer Recognition Event. Pro bono firms are nominated by their colleagues for exceptional service to prisoners on death row and honored with our award.
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, a Birmingham, Alabama-based firm, has made a unique commitment to ensuring that death-sentenced prisoners have access to high-quality legal representation. Since 1988, the firm has filled multiple roles in the post-conviction process, acting as lead counsel for five death row prisoners and serving as local counsel for out-of-state volunteer law firms representing another 17 individuals on death row in Alabama.
Fish & Richardson PC
Fish & Richardson PC, an intellectual property and patent litigation firm, has demonstrated a serious and valuable commitment to providing pro bono assistance in death penalty cases around the country. Despite the economic uncertainties that have affected the legal market since 2008, Fish has increased its efforts in recent years to ensure justice for death-sentenced prisoners.
John Paul Stevens Guiding Hand of Counsel Award
The Death Penalty Representation Project and its thousands of volunteer attorneys have been inspired and sustained by Justice John Paul Stevens throughout his distinguished tenure at the Court. We are indebted to Justice Stevens for his support of pro bono service, which he has long championed, and his commitment to the right to counsel. Writing in his dissent in Murray v. Giarratano in 1989, he said, “[I]t is fundamentally unfair to require an indigent death row inmate to initiate collateral review without counsel’s guiding hand.”
Since his retirement from the Court, Justice Stevens has continued to be an influential voice for the most vulnerable members of our society and for changes that will give meaning to our constitutional protections. The John Paul Stevens Guiding Hand of Counsel Award was created in 2011 to recognize an individual volunteer lawyer who has demonstrated the kind of courage and commitment associated with Justice Stevens.
George H. Kendall
Squire Sanders LLP
The Project is proud to present the 2012 John Paul Stevens Guiding Hand of Counsel Award to George H. Kendall for his life-long commitment to ensuring justice for the men and women on death row. In addition to personally representing more than 40 death row prisoners, George has mentored young pro bono fellows, served as an advisor to defense attorneys at non-profit organizations, taught courses at law schools, and recruited volunteer attorneys from private law firms to donate their time and skills on behalf of death row prisoners.