DIVISION FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION

2019 Silver Gavel Awards announced

The American Bar Association recently announced the winners of the 2019 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts, which recognize outstanding work that fosters the public’s understanding of law and the legal system. 

“The American Bar Association undertakes a rigorous judging process each year to select winners of the Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts,” said Stephen C. Edds, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Gavel Awards. “Each of the awardees is truly deserving.”

The winners are:

  • “The Woman’s Hour, in which author Elaine Weiss tells the dramatic story of the climactic vote in Tennessee in the summer of 1920 to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women a national right to vote.
  • “I Am Evidence,an HBO documentary that presents a powerful story about the shameful backlog of untested rape kits, why it matters and what can be done to address this national problem.
  • “Sign Here to Lose Everything, a Bloomberg investigation that exposes how cash-advance companies, relying on an arcane legal document known as a “confession of judgment,” exploited the New York courts to obtain more than 25,000 judgments worth $1.5 billion against borrowers who had unwittingly signed away their due process rights.
  • “Protecting the Shield,a 19-part newspaper series by the Asbury Park Press that exhaustively documents how New Jersey’s fragmented police oversight system regularly allowed known “bad” cops to remain on the job, with tragic human and severe financial consequences. 
  • “Dark Money, a PBS POV television documentary that focuses on the state of Montana to probe the troubling influence of “dark money” – unlimited campaign contributions from undisclosed corporate and individual donors – and to ponder the consequences of these practices for our electoral democracy.  

ABA President Bob Carlson will present five Silver Gavels and three Honorable Mentions on July 16 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. 

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