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Tampa lawyer James E. Felman to receive ABA Criminal Justice Section Charles R. English Award


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Tampa lawyer James E. Felman to receive ABA Criminal Justice Section Charles R. English Award

By Irma Romero

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2016 — The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section will honor Tampa lawyer James E. Felman with its Charles R. English Award at the CJS Awards Luncheon on Nov. 4 at the Loews Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C.   


The award, which recognizes judges, prosecutors, the defense bar, academics and other attorneys who are members of the ABA Criminal Justice Section and have distinguished themselves by their work in the field of criminal justice, will be presented during the 2016 CJS Ninth Annual Fall Institute.

“Over the past two years, Jim devoted hundreds of hours to the Clemency Project 2014, the most important criminal and successful pro bono project in US history. The results are changing the lives of everyone involved from those who have had sentences commuted to those lawyers taking the cases” said Matthew Redle, chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section. “Jim has led the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s efforts with in the project, and ensured that it remained a top Section initiative. It is in this spirit, that Jim receives the Section’s highest honor – the Charles English Award.”

The Clemency Project 2014 has submitted more than 2,000 clemency petitions to the Office of the Pardon Attorney. As of early October, President Obama had commuted the sentences of 774 inmates, 356 of which were supported by Clemency Project 2014.

The ABA Criminal Justice Section is a member of Clemency Project 2014, a working group comprised of lawyers and advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Federal Public and Community Defenders, and lawyers within those groups.

Felman has concentrated his practice of law in the defense of complex criminal matters and related civil litigation for over 25 years. He represents clients in federal and state matters in every phase of the criminal process – investigation, trial, sentencing, appeal and post-conviction proceedings.  He has represented clients in a wide range of matters, including allegations of bank fraud, health care fraud, mail and wire fraud, securities fraud, public corruption, environmental crimes, antitrust violations, synthetic/illegal drugs, illegal gambling, child abuse/ pornography and murder.

Felman also has devoted a significant portion of his professional efforts to legal reform and policy work. He has testified on an array of topics before the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, and Sentencing Commission, and frequently writes and speaks on criminal justice policy issues. He is the immediate past chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section and currently serves as the ABA’s liaison to the U.S. Sentencing Commission. He also serves as a member of the Steering Committee of the Clemency Project 2014.

Felman has a B.A. from Wake Forest University,  M.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from Duke University School of Law. He served as a law clerk to Judge Theodore McMillian of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis.

With over 16,000 members, the Criminal Justice Section is committed to improving the criminal justice system and to serving its members, the profession and the public. For more information on ABA Criminal Justice Section, go to

This event is open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Maria Frausto at 202-662-1091 or


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