Public Justice's Trial Lawyer of the Year
Trial lawyers have a special
commitment to justice. Their advocacy skills breathe life into the
rights of individuals and groups that have suffered injustice and
Every year, trial lawyers provide
millions of people with the means to obtain justice. In the majority
of these cases, the client is an individual who has been damaged in
some way - physically, mentally, emotionally, monetarily - by the
wrongful conduct of a business or corporation.
These David-and-Goliath battles for
legal justice usually pit the enormous financial resources of the
bureaucratic or business defendant against the meager resources of
the injured plaintiff. Ironically, plaintiffs’ attorneys are not
generally paid unless they win.
However, many trial lawyers take
great risk and overcome incredible odds to advance the common law,
to make new law, and to win justice for their clients and for the
common good of the public. We honor such lawyers with our
publication Trial Lawyers Doing Public
Despite trial lawyers’ dedication to
fighting for public justice, some cases are so novel or demanding
that, even though they involve the public good, they are unlikely to
be pursued by private practitioners or other public interest
organizations. Public Justice handles such cases.
Public Justice, founded in 1982, chooses cases
on its wide-ranging docket for their impact on the public good.
uses creative litigation to protect people and the environment, hold
accountable those who abuse power, challenge and remedy wrongdoing,
guard access to the courts, combat threats to our judicial system,
and inspire lawyers and others to serve the public interest. A
volunteer network of more than 3,000 of the best attorneys in
the United States and abroad supports the work of this firm. Public
litigates most of its cases by calling on these members.
One goal of the Public Justice Foundation is to
inform the public about court cases decided each year that
illustrate the principles of public justice. To that end, the Public
Foundation presents two awards - the Public Justice Achievement
Award and the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.
The Public Justice Achievement Award
is presented to the volunteer attorneys who have won major victories
in Public Justice cases in the past year, or in cases that demonstrate
excellence in achieving the purposes of Public Justice's mission.
The Trial Lawyer of the Year Award is
presented to the trial attorney or attorneys who have made the
greatest contribution to the public interest within the past year by
trying or settling a precedent-setting case. Finalists and
recipients exemplify how trial lawyers use their skills and
determination to create a more just society.
Click Here to read the guidelines for the 2008 Trial Lawyer of
the Year Award.
Our publication Trial Lawyers Doing
Public Justice describes the extraordinary work and achievements of
the winners of the Public Justice Achievement Award, and the winners
and the finalists for the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. The cases described in Trial
Lawyers Doing Public Justice illustrate the precious rights
protected by our judicial system, and the need to sustain the
principles of justice and fairness it embodies.