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The Recorder has won nine awards for editorial excellence from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. The awards, announced Saturday, are the most ever won by The Recorder in CNPA’s annual Better Newspapers Contest. Only four other newspapers in the entire state — including the Los Angeles Times and the Contra Costa Times — won more. “This recognition speaks loud and clear to the skill and professionalism of our editorial and design staff,” said Recorder Editor in Chief Scott Graham. “It is a great achievement.” The competition covered calendar year 2002. The Recorder competed against other daily newspapers with circulation of 10,000 or less. For the second consecutive year, the newspaper captured first place in the business story category. Assistant Managing Editor David Brown won the honor for “Banking on Tobacco,” which examined California’s $4.5 billion securitization of the national tobacco settlement. Brown also won second place in the investigative/enterprise category for “Owing Orrick,” which reported that Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has pumped more than $1.3 million into political campaigns across the country, most of it to public officials who award contracts for government legal work. “Owing Orrick” also was recognized earlier this year by the Associated Press News Executives Council. Reporter Jason Hoppin won first place in the feature story category with “Making a Record,” a compelling account of a criminal defense lawyer who was accused of doing shoddy work in death penalty cases. Associate Editor Mike McKee won first place in the sports category with “Out on the Field,” which profiled a movement among lawyers and sports specialists to combat homophobia in sports. “Out on the Field” also was recognized by AP. For the fourth year in a row, The Recorder finished either first or second in CNPA’s prestigious public service competition. The Recorder earned second place for its articles, editorials and cartoons about judicial misconduct and the state’s Commission on Judicial Performance. Photo Editor Jason Doiy won second place in the spot news photograph category for his compelling shot of San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly confronting a police officer during a protest at Hastings College of the Law. Reporter Shannon Lafferty captured second place in the contest’s first freedom of information category, for “Public Courts, Private Records” — a thorough examination of the secrecy surrounding trial court finances and management. Fourth District Court of Appeal Justice William W. Bedsworth, a contributing writer to The Recorder, won second place in columns, commentary and criticism for the unique perspective he brings to all matters legal in his monthly column, “A Criminal Waste of Space.” And former Recorder Production Designer Chris Morgan won second place in the illustration/info-graphic category with an illustration he created for a story about Chicago-based law firms. – Recorder staff

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