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May 21, 2024

ABA announces nine winners of the 2024 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2024 — A film directed by Martin Scorsese among the honorees of the ABA’s 2024 Silver Gavel Awards. The American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts 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. 

Topics focusing on police misconduct, politics and the Supreme Court, a state response to voters, conspiracy, genocide, murder, democracy, guardianship and mental illness took the top prizes.

This year the ABA is presenting nine Silver Gavels and four Honorable Mentions among 29 finalists identified from 176 entries received in all eligible categories, which include books, commentary, documentaries, drama and literature, magazines, multimedia, newspapers, radio and television.

“The Silver Gavel Awards attracted a remarkably strong pool of nominees providing great insights into our legal system,” said Steve Wermiel, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Gavel Awards. “It is gratifying to know that writing about our laws and our legal system is in such very capable hands. The high caliber of entries made it very challenging but also exciting for the hardworking selection committee for this year’s Silver Gavel Awards.”

The ABA has presented these awards each year since 1958. The 16-member ABA Standing Committee on Gavel Awards makes the final award decisions. ABA President Mary Smith will present Silver Gavels and Honorable Mentions on August 3 at 3 p.m. at the ABA Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The event is free and open to the public.

The following is a complete list of winners with links to their work:

Silver Gavel –
“Shielded: How The Police Became Untouchable”
Viking Penguin
Joanna Schwartz, author

Honorable Mention – “The Court at War: FDR, His Justices, and the World They Made”
Hachette Book Group, PublicAffairs
Cliff Sloan, author

Silver Gavel –
“Alabama’s Desperate Bid for a Milligan Do-over”
Kyle Whitmire, columnist

Silver Gavel –
“No Accident”
Catalyst Films, HBO Documentary Films, McGee Media
Tina Nguyen and Nancy Abrham, HBO Documentary Films, executive producers
Kristi Jacobson, Catalyst Films, director
Michelle Carney and Ali Moss, Catalyst Films, producers
Chris Herde, editor
Nausheen Dadabhoy, director of photography
Angelica Négrón, original music 

Honorable Mention – “Bad Press”
OklaFilm LLC
Joe Peeler and Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, directors
Conrad Beilharz and Garrett F. Baker, producers
Tyler Graim, producer/cinematographer
Jean Rheem, editor

Silver Gavel –
“Killers of the Flower Moon”
Apple Original Films
Martin Scorsese, director
Eric Roth and Martin Scorsese, screenplay writers
Leonardo DeCaprio, Rick Yorn, Adam Somner, Marianne Bower, Lisa Frechette, John Atwood, Shea Kammer, Niels Juul, executive producers
Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Martin Scorsese, Daniel Lupi, producers
Justine Conte, co-producer
Chad Renfro, consulting producer
Rodrigo Prieto ASC, AMC, director of photography
Jack Fisk, production designer
Thelma Schoonmaker ACE, editor

Silver Gavel –
“What Makes a Murderer?”
The New Yorker / Yale Investigative Reporting Lab
Sarah Stillman, writer

Silver Gavel –
“Your Democracy”
WHYY and The Law and Policy Group, Inc.
Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, writer/host
Sarah Moses, television and video producer

Honorable Mention – “State Court Report”
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Alicia Bannon, editor in chief, founding editor
Douglas Keith, founding editor
Kathrina Szymborski Wolfkot, managing editor
Pinky Weitzman, vice president, communications
Alden Wallace, director, creative and design
Lisa Vosper, director, multimedia
Jessica Eckert, graphic designer
Brian Palmer, director, editorial
Evan Stepper, director, digital
Nancy Watzman and Kris Fischer, consultants

Silver Gavel –
“In the Name of Protection: The Dark Side of Guardianship”
Bloomberg Industry Group
Ronnie Greene and Holly Barker, reporter
Gary Harki and Bernie Kohn, editors

Silver Gavel –
“The Nocturnists: Post-Roe America Podcast”
The Nocturnists
Ali Block, host/creator
Emily Silverman, MD, co-creator
Molly-Rose Williams, lead producer/editor
Sam Osborn, producer/editor/audio engineer
Jessica Yung, producer/editor
Jon Oliver, audio engineer
Carly Besser, assistant producer
Rebecca Groves, chief operating officer
Nicole Xu, series illustrator
Anjali Walia, Dahlia Kaki, Fiona Miller, Mulki Mehari and Treya Tompkins, student producers

Honorable Mention – “We Don’t Talk About Leonard”
WYNC Radio
Andrea Bernstein, Ilya Marritz and Andy Kroll, reporters/hosts
Katya Rogers, editor/executive producer
Molly Rosen, producer
Jesse Eisinger, editor
Shaan Merchant, assistant producer
Jennifer Munson, technical director
Jaren Paul, music/scoring

Silver Gavel –
“Warehoused: The Life and Death of Tristin Murphy”
CBS News Miami
Jim DeFede, writer/reporter/producer
Alexander Bombard, editor
Leon Gonzalez, Adam Spunt and Joaquin Garcia, photographers
Angela Travieso and Judy Flook, design and graphics
Monica Kirklan and Tracy Letize, marketing and programming
Kari Patey, news director
Kim Voet, president/general manager
Lily Roos, Mark Memmott, Jack Renaud and Thomas Burke, legal and standards
For more information about the Silver Gavel Awards, or to register to attend the August 3 program, visit:

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.