Trial Lawyer of the Year Award

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Each year, Public Justice presents its Trial Lawyer of the Year Award to the attorney(s) who made the greatest contribution to the public interest within the past year by trying or settling a precedent-setting, socially significant case.

The nomination period for the 2018 award closed on Tuesday, February 20. The award will be presented at our 2018 Annual Gala in Denver in July. 

The nomination guidelines for the 2018 award are available here. Please direct any questions about the award or the nominations process to aoshea@publicjustice.net. Thank you for helping us highlight extraordinary litigation in the public interest by making a nomination.

(For a look at past recipients, click here.)

2017 Winners

The 2017 winners are the team from Gonzalez v. Pritzker, regarding the discriminatory effects of U.S. Census Bureau hiring background checks.

The team consists of Adam T. Klein, Ossai Miazad, Lewis M. Steel, Samuel R. Miller, Deirdre A. Aaron, and Sally J. Abrahamson of Outten & Golden LLP, New York, N.Y.; Jon M. Greenbaum of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, New York, N.Y.; Darius Charney of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Jackson Chin of Latino Justice PRLDEF, Inc., New York, N.Y.; Judith M. Whiting of  the Community Service Society, New York, N.Y.; Michael T. Kirkpatrick and Julie A. Murray of the Public Citizen Litigation Group, Washington, D.C.; Robert T. Coulter of the Indian Legal Resource Center, Helena, Mont.; and Sharon Dietrich of Community Legal Services, Inc., Philaelphia, Pa.

You can read more about this incredible case here.

2017 Finalists

There were five finalist teams for this year’s award. In addition to Gonzalez, the plaintiffs’ attorneys in the following three cases were named finalists. Watch the videos to learn more about each case. Read more about each of these outstanding cases here.

Decoteau v. Raemisch Anderson v. Colorado (ensured outdoor time for a class of Colorado inmates previously in solitary confinement)

Sykes v. Mel S. Harris & Associates (wide-ranging relief for victims of debt collection scheme):

Willits v. City of Los Angeles ($1.3B settlement to make Los Angeles sidewalks accessible for people with mobility disabilities):