What Do Hinckley's Prosecutor and A Prison Book Club Have in Common?
Legal legend Roger Adelman and the Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop were honored at the Council for Court Excellence's 19th Annual Justice Potter Stewart Award Dinner in the Organization of American States.
It was a moving moment when elite lawyer Roger Adelman got a standing ovation. Among those applauding was Dick Thornburgh (right), the former Pennsylvania governor and US Attorney General, who presented Roger with the Justice Potter Award. The two top attorneys met decades ago working at the firm that's now K&L Gates. Roger, a former AUSA of 18 years who's tried more than 280 jury trials, is well known as the chief trial prosecutor of attempted Reagan assassin John Hinckley.
The Potter Stewart Award also went to the Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, founded by Tara Libert (center) and Kelli Taylor (right). Recently the subject of a WaPo feature, the nonprofit brings book clubs and job readiness training to prisoners. Kelli's and Tara's award was presented by Yale Law student Dwayne Betts (second from right), who flew down in the middle of finals. He told the crowd he spent eight years in prison for a car-jacking committed at age 16 and now wants to be a public defender because he "can't help but be invested." He adds: Tara and Kelli "confront someone at their worst moments and embrace them anyway." They're with CCE president Earl Silbert and CCE chairman and Lockheed Martin VP Jay Brozost.
We spotted CCE executive director June Kress (second from right) and snapped her with Arnold & Porter senior counsel and former DC AG Irv Nathan (who's sporting his professorial look from a couple of months teaching law in Israel), and two CCE board members and judges: US District Court for the District of Columbia Chief Judge Richard Roberts and District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Anthony Epstein.
As hundreds of lawyers and judges came upstairs into the Hall of the Americas for dinner, we snapped DLA Piper partner Earl Silbert (a past Justice Potter Stewart honoree, former US Attorney for DC, and the first Watergate prosecutor) here with former US AG Dick Thornburgh and Dick's wife, Ginny, director of the American Association of People with Disabilities Interfaith Initiative. The Hall of the Americas is where Pope John Paul II addressed the OAS and where the Panama Canal Treaties were signed.
Arent Fox chairman emeritus Marc Fleischaker (right) is last year's Justice Potter Stewart honoree. (And here's our coverage of 2013's awards.) We snapped him with Arent Fox partner Jay Hulme (left), a CCE board member (and active treadmill desk-user), Arent Fox associate Andrew Solinger, and Davis Wright of counsel John Seiver and media law practice co-chair Connie Pendleton. Marc tells us the firm's teamed up with Georgetown Law and DLA Piper to create a "low bono" firm housed in the Arent Fox DC office. The DC Affordable Law Firm is starting with six lawyers hired out of G'town Law.
Downstairs, we spotted a few members of the Council for Court Excellence board of directors: Hon. James Belson, Hon. Joan Zeldon (Ret) and Hon. Arthur Burnett. The OAS building at 17th and Constitution was finished in 1910. This enclosed patio is decked out with greenery, including a "peace tree" planted 105 years ago by President Taft.