ATLANTA (October 5, 2009) – Men Stopping Violence has recognized Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP Partner and Pro Bono Chair Judith A. O’Brien with the Kathleen Carlin Justice Seekers Award. Ms. O’Brien will be honored during the One Vision, Many Voices: The Men Stopping Violence Annual Awards Dinner at 6:30 p.m. on October 17, 2009. This award, named for the founding executive director of Men Stopping Violence, is given to someone whose life's work is in the public arena and who has played a key role in the work of ending violence against women and children.
“Judy’s dedication to serving her community is inspiring," said Managing Partner Mark D. Wasserman. “This award recognizes Judy’s commitment, and I congratulate her on this accomplishment."
Judy is being recognized for her long service on the board of Men Stopping Violence, her help in enhancing the organization and its educational programs, and her financial and leadership support for the past 25 years. Past recipients of this award include Congressman John Lewis, Playwright Eve Ensler, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey. Mr. Wasserman is serving as co-chair of the Host Committee along with Dr. Johnnetta Cole, former president of Spelman College, and Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall, 2006 recipient of the Justice Seekers Award.
In addition to her Men Stopping Violence service, Ms. O’Brien provided leadership to JUSTGeorgia, a statewide coalition seeking to build a better model of justice and safety for our youth while balancing the need to protect public safety. JUSTGeorgia currently is working to enact a new Juvenile Code in Georgia. The current Juvenile Code, enacted more than 35 years ago, has been amended so often that even lawyers and judges who refer to it on a daily basis find it disorganized and confusing. Ms. O’Brien supported this project by writing a summary report based on interviews conducted throughout the state by volunteers from a dozen Atlanta law firms, including Sutherland.
Ms. O’Brien has served on the board of Atlanta Legal Aid since the 1980s and was board president in 2000. Currently, she is working with Atlanta Legal Aid and the Georgia State University College of Law to hold a symposium marking the 10th anniversary of Olmstead v. L.C. and E. W., a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case establishing the right of individuals with mental disabilities to receive community-based services under the Americans With Disabilities Act. Sutherland lawyers assisted Atlanta Legal Aid with this case on a pro bono basis.
In addition, Ms. O’Brien serves as Sutherland’s Pro Bono and Community Service Chair, a role she filled following Charles T. Lester Jr.’s retirement in 2007. In this role, Ms. O’Brien coordinates Sutherland’s pro bono and community service programs in the firm’s Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York and Washington, D.C., offices.
SUTHERLAND ASBILL & BRENNAN LLP
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving sophisticated legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm handles matters throughout the United States and worldwide. Seven major practice areas—corporate, energy and environmental, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, and tax—provide the framework for an extensive range of focus areas, allowing Sutherland attorneys to serve a diverse client base that ranges from small and medium-sized start-up businesses to a significant number of Fortune 100 companies.