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Atlanta attorney Stephen O. Kinnard, the chief mediator for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is being honored by several organizations for his contributions to the legal community. Kinnard has brain cancer and is in an Atlanta hospice. The American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project has named its resource counsel program for Kinnard. The program places lawyers in offices around the country to mentor pro bono firms and provide representation in capital cases. Kinnard spearheaded the effort to create an organization in the early 1980s that led to the creation of the Georgia Resource Center, which represents inmates on death row. Kinnard also has served as chairman of the board of the Resource Center since its creation. Elisabeth Semel, the director of the ABA’s Death Penalty Representation Project, says Kinnard has been instrumental in obtaining and keeping state funding for the resource centers. And she says Kinnard has been a long-time member of the project’s steering committee. The Death Penalty Representation Project funds at least six resource counsels each year at nonprofit capital representation offices. This week the Atlanta Bar Association presented its professionalism award to Kinnard at its annual meeting and member appreciation reception. Diane O’Steen, executive director of the Atlanta Bar, says Kinnard has been a “huge supporter” of the Bar. Mori Irvine, a mediator who worked with Kinnard in the 11th Circuit office, was scheduled to accept the professionalism award on his behalf. “He was a great boss,” Irvine says. “He allowed all his mediators to do their jobs as best they could without micromanaging them.” Earlier this month, the 11th Circuit renamed its mediation offices for Kinnard, who established the circuit’s mediation program 10 years ago. More than 3,800 appeals were mediated during that time. Norman E. Zoller, the 11th Circuit’s executive, says about half of those cases ultimately were settled “and that’s a remarkable achievement in and of itself.” Says Zoller of Kinnard: “He looks for the commonalities in disputes and where the parties can agree. He’s very adept at that. Steve has the innate capability and capacity to find that middle ground.” Briefly … Judge M. Yvette Miller of the Georgia Court of Appeals spoke at John Marshall Law School’s commencement on May 20. The school conferred an honorary juris doctorate on Judge Miller, who was the first woman to speak at John Marshall’s commencement. The Georgia Indigent Defense Council will leave its offices on Ponce de Leon Avenue and move into the Federal Reserve building downtown, thanks to recruiting efforts by the State Bar of Georgia. The Bar, which will move into the Fed’s space on Marietta Street in October, has courted other tenants in the legal field, including local and specialty bar associations and legal services organizations. The Prosecuting Attorneys Council also is scheduled to move into the old Fed building.

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