Jenner & Block

Firm's Albert E. Jenner Pro Bono Award Honors Three for Exceptional Service to the Disadvantaged

Associates Ginger D. Anders, Jeremy M. Creelan and Wade A. Thomson were recently honored with Jenner & Block’s Albert E. Jenner Jr. Pro Bono Award, which annually recognizes those attorneys at the Firm who have been nominated by their peers as having demonstrated an exemplary commitment to pro bono or public service work.

Ms. Anders, a member of the Firm’s Litigation Department and Appellate and Supreme Court Practice in Washington DC, was honored for her work in two pro bono matters challenging the constitutionality of the lethal injection procedures practiced in California and Missouri state prison systems. At the ceremony, it was noted that she has devoted a considerable amount of time to conducting discovery and trying these cases, and was successful in the U.S. District Courts of both states. Ms. Anders argued the Missouri appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, and worked on a recent petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the 8th Circuit decision.

Mr. Creelan, a member of the Firm’s Litigation Department in New York, was honored for his work in challenging the constitutionality of New York State’s judicial election system. Mr. Creelan led and organized the litigation scheme with a theory based on a violation of the First Amendment, and incorporated work from his prior position as Deputy Director of the Brennan Center for Justice to develop case matter as well. A unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found the State’s system of elections to be “beset with obstacles” having “overlapping and severe burdens” that unconstitutionally deprive candidates unsupported by local political party leaders of access to the election process. The case, which looked to challenge both the fairness and efficacy of the election system, is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Thomson, a member of the Firm’s Litigation Department and Media & First Amendment Practice in Chicago, was honored for his representation of several detainees held at Guantanamo Bay who are currently challenging the legality of their prolonged detention. Mr. Thomson was also recognized for his commitment to providing counsel to clients seeking asylum in the United States. In one recent case, Mr. Thomson helped Kisuule Magala Katende, a prominent Ugandan journalist who had previously been prosecuted by the Ugandan government for his adherence to journalistic independence, receive asylum in the United States in 2006. Mr. Katende is now employed by Chicago Public Radio and awaits the arrival of his family to the United States as well.

The pro bono award recipients were selected by the Firm’s Pro Bono Committee. The award entitles the recipients to direct a contribution by the Firm to the charity of their choice.

The award was presented to the three attorneys at a Firm event on October 27 by Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair Barry Levenstam and Partners Donald B. Verrilli Jr., a member of the Firm’s Policy Committee, and Ronald M. Daignault, a member of the Firm's Pro Bono Committee.