Washington, DC (December 9, 2016) – National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) Past President John Wesley Hall will receive the Al Horn Memorial Award from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) National Legal Committee on December 10, 2016. He will be presented with the award at NORML's annual dinner at the Pier House in Key West, FL. The Al Horn Memorial Award is presented annually to a NORML Legal Committee member in recognition of his or her "lifetime of ceaseless work to advance the cause of justice and for their extraordinary support for NORML."
Mr. Hall has focused his Little Rock, AR-based practice on the Fourth Amendment, legal ethics in criminal defense, and prosecutorial misconduct for over 43 years. Admitted in numerous state and federal courts, he has handled about 350 jury trials and over 350 appeals. He has also consulted on ethics in military courts and tribunals, including the tribunal in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. From 2004-06, Mr. Hall tried a war crimes case in the Special Court of Sierra Leone. Among other publications, he has authored Professional Responsibility of the Criminal Lawyer (3d ed. 2005, West Group) and Search and Seizure (5th ed. 2013, Lexis Law Publishing). Mr. Hall's Fourth Amendment law blog – www.fourthamendment.com – was recently awarded the American Bar Association Journal's Top 100 Law Blog award for the second year in a row.
After holding all officer positions in NACDL, Mr. Hall served as NACDL's 50th President from 2008-09. He was also the 2002 recipient of NACDL's Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award, the Association's most prestigious award.
"John Wesley Hall is one of the nation's top experts in Fourth Amendment law and the legal ethics of criminal law," said NACDL President Barry J. Pollack. "He uses that expertise not only to serve his individual clients, but also to advocate for reforms to improve the criminal justice system to make it fairer for all. The so-called war on drugs has led to mass incarceration and has devastated families and communities. John has long championed common sense reform of our nation's drug laws. It is a great tribute to John that NORML has recognized his work by giving him this prestigious award."
NORML Founder and 2010 Al Horn Award winner Keith Stroup said: "John Wesley Hall is one of the top legal experts on both search and seizure law, and legal ethics, with a legal textbook on both topics used by law schools nationwide. And he is an experienced criminal defense attorney, handling complex state and federal cases on a regular basis, as well as a past president of NACDL. And despite his hectic schedule, Hall has been a regular faculty member at both our annual Key West and Aspen legal seminars for many years. He has truly earned the Al Horn Award, which he will receive this week in Key West, for a lifetime commitment to assuring justice and due process for all citizens accused of a crime, and for his ceaseless efforts to end marijuana prohibition and stop the practice of treating responsible marijuana smokers as criminals."
As a NORML Legal Committee Life Member since 1987, Mr. Hall has presented more than twenty times at NORML legal seminars over the decades. Topics of his presentations include: "Fourth Amendment: Our Societal Expectations and the Reasonable Person," and "Zen of Criminal Defense Lawyering/Back to Basics."
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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.