As part of the New York Law Journal’s 125th anniversary celebration, the Law Journal has created the Impact Award to honor individuals, groups or projects that have had significant and lasting impact on the legal community in New York. The following, in no particular order, are the winners of the 2013 Impact Award. The honorees will be featured in a Special Report on Oct. 30 and honored at the Law Journal’s 125th anniversary dinner on Nov. 4.
Bronx Defenders, for innovation in the representation of indigent clients; providing support both inside and outside the courtroom; and for advocacy on public issues such as stop-and-frisk and bail reform.
Michael Cardozo, Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, for his commitment to public service; ability to modernize, energize and reform a city law office; involvement in ground-breaking litigation; and legal initiatives that improved life in New York City.
The Community Development Program, Brooklyn Legal Services Corp A, and its founder Paul Acinapura, for creation of a legal model for promoting and sustaining community economic development.
E-filing: Federal and State Courts, for their vision and tenacity in introducing and maintaining e-filing in federal and state courts; to Cecelia Morris, chief of the Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District, for pioneering the use of e-filing in federal court; and to Jeffrey Carucci, statewide coordinator, who is the force behind the implementation and development of e-filing in the Unified Court System.
Patricia Hynes, senior counsel to Allen & Overy, for a commitment to public service; outstanding representation of clients during the financial crisis; and her role as chair of the Legal Aid Society in steering the agency away from financial peril.
The Innocence Project, for two decades of calling attention to wrongful convictions and working tirelessly with both the defense and prosecution to improve the use of DNA testing in criminal cases.
Brad Karp, chair, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, for innovations to the partnership model that improve client service; for outstanding representation of clients during the financial crisis; and commitment to public service that has boosted the firms’ pro bono hours and put Paul, Weiss firmly behind the representation of Edie Windsor in the same-sex marriage case, U.S. v. Windsor, one of the most significant cases of the last decade.
Robert Katzmann, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, for his role in calling attention to the lack of adequate counsel in immigration cases and the creation of a study group and task force which have brought about improvements in the legal representation of immigrants.
Edwina Richardson Mendelson, administrative judge for Family Court, New York City, for administrative creativity, an openness to new ideas and willingness to innovate in an effort to improve the city’s Family Courts for litigants and lawyers.
The Skadden Fellowship Foundation and its executive director Susan Butler Plum, for the vision and 25-year commitment to funding two-year public interest fellowships, which have placed more than 600 attorneys in the public sector.