Washington, DC (January 25, 2007) – “The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is proud that the New York State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section will recognize three of our distinguished members at its Annual Meeting in New York City Jan. 25,” NACDL President Martin S. Pinales said Thursday. “The annual awards are among the most prestigious criminal bar awards in the country, reflecting these three lawyers'' personal efforts to maintain and improve the integrity and highest principles of the criminal justice system. For that, we are all in their debt.”
The members and their respective awards are:
Norman L. Reimer, NACDL Executive Director, recipient of the David S. Michaels Memorial Award for Courageous Efforts in Promoting Integrity in the Criminal Justice System. Prior to taking the reins at NACDL, Norman was a partner in the New York City firm of Gould Reimer Walsh Goffin Cohn LLP, which specializes in criminal defense, immigration and civil rights litigation. As a criminal defense lawyer throughout his career, with expertise in trial and appellate advocacy, in both state and federal jurisdictions, Reimer is a recognized leader of the organized bar, and a strong advocate of legal system reforms. He is also a past president of the New York County Lawyers Association.
Gerald L. Shargel, New York, NY, recipient of the Charles F. Crimi Memorial Award for Outstanding Private Defense Practitioner. A Life Member of NACDL, Gerald is well-known for his high-profile cases, which he handles with unparalleled professionalism and devotion to his clients. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Gerald currently holds the title of Practitioner in Residence and Professor of Law at Brooklyn.
Vanessa C. Potkin, a staff attorney with the Innocence Project, is a joint recipient with Bronx Assistant District Attorney Elisa S. Koenderman, of the Outstanding Contribution to the Bar and Community Award, for their work to free Alan Newton, who DNA testing proved was wrongfully imprisoned for 21 years for a rape and robbery he did not commit. Vanessa’s commitment to the innocent imprisoned exemplifies NACDL’s highest ideal, promoting the proper and fair administration of justice.
“I want to congratulate each of you – Norman, Gerry and Vanessa, and Ms. Koenderman, too – on behalf of the entire membership of our organization,” Pinales said in a personal message to the recipients, “but even more, I want to personally thank all of you for the hard work for which you are being recognized today.”
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The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.