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American Bar Association announces 2015 Silver Gavel Award finalists for media and the arts


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American Bar Association announces 2015 Silver Gavel Award finalists for media and the arts

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2015 —The American Bar Association has announced the 14 finalists for the 2015 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts, which recognize outstanding work that fosters the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system. This is the ABA’s highest honor in recognition of this purpose.

“Every year, the ABA’s Gavel Awards Screening Committee is impressed by the submitted works,” said Cory M. Amron, chair of the Gavel Awards committee. “We applaud our finalists and look forward to choosing the winners for this prestigious award.”

The winners — no more than one Silver Gavel is presented in each category — will be announced on May 13. 

The ABA Gavel Awards Screening Committee, composed of 45 lawyer-members of the ABA, selected the 14 finalists from 168 entries received in all eligible categories, which include: books, magazines, newspapers, commentary, drama and literature, documentaries, television, radio and other media.

Selection criteria include: how the entry addresses the Gavel Awards’ purpose and objectives; educational value of legal information; impact on, or outreach to, the public; thoroughness and accuracy in presentation of issues; creativity and originality in approach to subject matter and effectiveness of presentation; and demonstrated technical skill in the entry’s production.                                                                            

The Association has presented these awards annually since 1958. The 18-member ABA Standing Committee on Gavel Awards makes the final award decisions. ABA President William Hubbard will present the awards on July 21 in Washington, D.C. 

To learn more about the Silver Gavel Awards, go to

The following is a complete list of finalists with a link to their work:


“Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison”

Nell Bernstein, Author
The New Press

“The Case Against the Supreme Court”
Erwin Chemerinsky, Author
Viking/Penguin Books

“Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution”
Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz, Authors
Henry Holt and Company


The Murders at the Lake”
Michael Hall, Executive Editor
Texas Monthly


 “No Relief”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Cary Spivak, Reporter

“Till Death Do Us Part”
The Post and Courier
Glenn Smith, Projects Editor
Doug Pardue, Projects Reporter
Jennifer Berry Hawes, Faith and Values Reporter
Natalie Caula Hauff, Reporter



Stop Productions
Spencer Wolff, Director/Producer

“The Case Against 8”
Tripod Media
Ben Cotner and Ryan White, Directors/Producers
Jessica Lawson, Co-Producer


 “15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story”
American Documentary/POV
Nadine Pequeneza, Director/Producer
Chris White, Vice President, Programming and Production
Simon Kilmurry, Executive Producer
Cynthia Lopez, Co-Executive Producer

“The New Black”
Promised Land Film 
Yoruba Richen, Producer/Director
Yvonne Welbon, Producer
Angela Tucker, Co-Producer


 “Serial: Season One”
Julie Snyder, Executive Producer
Sarah Koenig, Host and Executive Producer
Dana Chivvis, Producer

“60 Words”
Radiolab WNYC
Jad Adumrad, Host/Editor
Robert Krulwich, Host
Kelsey Padgett, Producer


“Segregation Now: Investigating America’s Racial Divide”
Nikole Hannah-Jones, Investigative Reporter
Minhee Cho, Communications Manager
Jeff Larson, Data Editor
Maisie Crow, Independent Documentary Filmmaker

“Profiting from Prisoners: Time is Money”
The Center for Public Integrity
Eleanor Bell, Multimedia Editor
Daniel Wagner, Reporter

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