2013 Kutak-Dodds Award Winners Announced

WASHINGTON D.C., (August 27, 2013) - The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is pleased to announce that the Kutak-Dodds Nominating Committee has selected Sandra Levick and Lisa Krisher as the 2013 Kutak-Dodds prize recipients. Both have made outstanding contributions to equal justice throughout their careers and will be honored at the NLADA Exemplar Award Dinner in Washington, D.C., on September 19. Each Prize carries a cash award of $10,000.

Jo-Ann Wallace, NLADA President & CEO, stated: "I am thrilled that Lisa Krisher and Sandra Levick have been selected as the 2013 Kutak-Dodds winners. They have both made an indelible impact on the lives of so many in need through direct representation, as well as through advocacy that has reshaped the justice landscape. They have both served as equal justice heroes and inspirational role models. It's a privilege to give them the recognition they so well deserve."

Sandra Levick, Chief of the PDS Special Litigation Division, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, is recognized for a 31-year career in which she has made a profound difference in the lives of her clients and to the national debate about forensic science reform. Avis E. Buchanan, Director, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, stated: "The Kutak-Dodds Prize acknowledges what PDS already knows about Ms. Levick - that she uses an intense determination and a sharp legal mind to pursue what may appear to be a small legal opening or a minor, but troubling fact until it leads to a major victory for her client, whether an acquittal, an appellate victory that changes the law in the District for criminal defendants, or an exoneration of someone who spent decades in prison before Ms. Levick intervened."

Lisa Krisher, Director of Litigation, Georgia Legal Services Program, is honored for her direct impact on behalf of clients in rural Georgia and through this work, securing major changes to address systemic barriers to their well being. On learning of her award, Lisa commented: "I am humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award and thank my nominators. This award is an affirmation of the work our Georgia Legal Services staff has done throughout rural Georgia since its founding in 1970. I'm very fortunate to have spent my entire legal career of 35 years with Georgia Legal Services working with supportive leaders and dedicated advocates to help meet our mission of access to justice and opportunities out of poverty for low-income Georgians." Since 1989, the Kutak-Dodds Prizes have been awarded to attorneys that have significantly contributed to the human dignity and quality of life of individuals unable to afford legal representation. The annual award acknowledges two legal advocates for equal justice, one from the civil legal aid community and another from the public defense community. The prizes are jointly sponsored by The Robert J. Kutak Foundation and NLADA in memory of Robert J. Kutak and Kenneth R. Dodds.

Jennifer Blunt, Of Counsel at the Washington, D.C. office of Kutak Rock LLP said, on behalf of The Robert J. Kutak Foundation, "We extend our warm congratulations to Lisa Krisher and Sandra Levick. We are inspired by the truly amazing influence on social justice that they have had. Their commitment to zealous advocacy on behalf of the underprivileged and underserved is a rare quality and we are honored to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Lisa Krishner and Sandra Levick."


National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) is America's oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. For more than 100 years, NLADA has pioneered access to justice at the national, state and local level through the creation of our public defender system, development of nationally applicable standards for legal representation, groundbreaking legal legislation and the creation of important institutions such as the Legal Services Corporation. For more information, visit www.nlada.org.


Contact: David Miller [email protected] / 202.452.0620 ext: 217

The Kutak-Dodds Prizes, established in 1989, are jointly sponsored by the Robert J. Kutak Foundation and NLADA and bestowed in memory of Robert J. Kutak and Kenneth R. Dodds. Both men were former partners in the Omaha, Nebraska Office of Kutak-Rock, and practitioners and advocates of public service, legal education and high ethical standards throughout their lives. In addition to legal services for the poor, the Kutak Foundation supports education in professional ethics, minority scholarships and a variety of other public interest projects. The Foundation is maintained by Mr. Kutak's former friends and associates.

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