The Champion

May 2003 , Page 35 

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Norman Reimer receives NACDL’s 2002 Champion of Indigent Defense Award

By Susan J. Walsh

Read more Indigent Defense columns.

On February 5, 2003, a New York trial court declared that New York State’s failure to increase compensation rates for assigned counsel to the poor in more than 16 years violates the constitutional right to effective representation.1 That decision marked the culmination of more than a decade of tireless and tenacious advocacy to alleviate the plight of the chronically under-represented and to bring this injustice to the attention of the main-stream bar by this year’s Champion of Indigent Defense, Norman L. Reimer.

Norman Reimer, a career criminal defense lawyer in private practice for 25 years in New York City, has been described by his peers as the principal architect behind the historic litigation taking place on behalf of the indigent in New York today. The public policy, political and social justice implications of that litigation have only just begun to be felt around the country. It is his visionary approach, unwavering enthusiasm, and single-minded pursuit of this issue which has

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