William J. Brennan Award

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William J. Brennan, Jr., who authored the opinion in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, has several awards named in his honor, which are presented to individuals for dedication to public interest and free expression. Awards named after William J. Brennan, Jr. are presented by the following organizations.

Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression[edit]

The William J. Brennan, Jr. Award honors the legacy of U. S. Supreme Court Justice Brennan's extraordinary devotion to the principles of free expression. The award recognizes an individual or group whose commitment to free expression is consistent with Justice Brennan's abiding devotion. Such commitment might be shown by a single act or through a lifetime of activity to enhance the liberties of free speech and press.

The award is given not more than once a year or less than once in five years. The honoree receives $5000.00 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. and his or her name is placed on a plaque on display in Justice Brennan's chambers in the United States Supreme Court. Nominees from all professions and backgrounds are considered and nominations from the general public are invited.[1]

District of Columbia Bar[edit]

The honor is presented biannually to a DC Bar member in recognition of "outstanding work toward furthering the public interest and equal justice." Edelman, an expert in poverty, welfare, juvenile justice and constitutional law, received the honor at the Bar's annual awards dinner on June 23.[2]

International Commission of Jurists[edit]

The Brennan Award, made possible again this year by a generous grant from the Paul D. Schurgot Foundation, is presented to a non-American lawyer or judge who has made a notable contribution toward establishing or defending human rights and the rule of law.[3]

Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey[edit]

William J. Brennan, Jr., Award. The Award, which is given annually by the Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey, honors those whose actions have advanced the principles of free expression. Judge Becker spent many years as a member of the ALI-ABA Committee and is a member of the Institute’s Special Committee on Federal Judicial Code Revision.[4]

National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law.[edit]

With Justice Brennan's agreement and participation, the National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law established the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award in 1987. The Brennan Award honors Justice Brennan's unsurpassed contributions to the United States legal system and, in particular, to the enhancement of trial advocacy skills. The honorees--judges, public officials, and private practitioners--are selected on the basis of 1) their outstanding skills as trial lawyers and members of the judiciary, and 2) their outstanding contributions to advocacy education and to the legal profession. An engraved pewter bowl is given to each recipient.

These persons have received the Brennan Award:

1987: Judah Best, The Honorable Robert R. Merhige, Jr., The Honorable Herbert J. Stern; 1988: The Honorable Charles L. Becton, James D. StClair, Stephen A. Salzburg; 1989: William J. Brennan, III, Terence F. MacCarthy; 1990: John J. Curtin, Bruce I. Goldstein; 1991: The Honorable Frederic N. Smalkin, Gregory P. Joseph, Peter J. Kenny; 1992: Thomas F. Campion, Stephen M. Duncan; 1993: The Honorable James T. Turner, John C. Lowe; 1994: James M. Brown, Barry I. Fredericks, Charles B. Gorham; 1995: The Honorable Ralph Adam Fine, Colin J.S. Thomas, Jr.; 1996: Raymond M. Tierney, Mary Lynn Tate, Edward R. Slaughter, Jr.; 1997: Stephen B. Farmer, The Honorable Norman K. Moon; 1998: The Honorable Stephen H. Helvin, Gerald A. Messerman; 1999: The Honorable Helen S. Balick, The Honorable Bernard Balick, Robert M. Taylor; 2000: Michael R. Fontham, The Honorable B. Waugh Crigler; 2001: BrianJ. Donato, Arthur J. Schwab; 2002: David Boies, Gerald F. Ivey; 2003: James J. Brosnahan, The Honorable David G. Lowe, The Honorable Clifford R. Weckstein; 2004: The Honorable Antonin G. Scalia; 2005: The Honorable Peter Hill Beer, The Honorable Adrian G. DuPlantier; 2006: Benjamin R. Civiletti, Peter J. Neufeld; 2007: The Honorable Leonie M. Brinkema, Robert A. Clifford, Jo-Ellen Dimitrius; 2008: The Honorable Barbara J. Rothstein, Theodore V. Wells, Jr., Kenneth R. Feinberg; 2009: The Honorable Mortimer M. Caplin, The Honorable Julian Abele Cook, Jr.; 2010: Otto F. Feil, III, Kathy L. Nusslock; 2011: The Honorable Liam O'Grady; 2012: The Honorable Russell E. Carparelli, The Honorable Ricardo M. Urbina.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "THE WILLIAM J. BRENNAN, JR., AWARD". Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ Peter Edelman William Brennan Award
  3. ^ International Commission of Jurists
  4. ^ Membership Notes
  5. ^ History Page, National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law (http://www.trialadcollege.org/history.html; Annual Brochure, "The Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr. Awards Ceremony," National Trial Advocacy College, Univ. of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, VA;Justice Brennan's remarks at the initial awards ceremony:http://www.trialadcollege.org/videos/brennan.wmv; websites of honorees