Legal Aid is delighted by the announcement today that John (Jack) C. Keeney, Jr., the Director of the Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project, will be a recipient of the 2012 Justice Potter Stewart Award from the Council for Court Excellence (CCE).
The Justice Potter Stewart Award, CCE's highest public honor, is given annually "to individuals who exemplify the very best in the administration of justice" and who "have made significant and sustained contributions to the justice system in Washington, D.C." The award, named to honor the memory and public service of the late Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was established by CCE in 1997. Jack will share the award this year with Jim Lyons, a trial lawyer in private practice for more than 40 years and co-founder of the law firm of Kellogg, Williams & Lyons. In 2006, Legal Aid and then-Executive Director Jonathan Smith won this prestigious award.
Jack Keeney, Jr., a former President of the D.C. Bar (2004-2005), has served as the Director of Legal Aid’s Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project since January 2011. Described as a "powerhouse attorney" by the Wall Street Journal and often selected as a "Top Lawyer" by the Washingtonian, he joined Legal Aid from Hogan Lovells (formerly Hogan & Hartson), where he had practiced law for more than 30 years and served as the partner-in-charge of the firm's award-winning pro bono practice from 1989 to 1993. Since joining Legal Aid, Jack has participated in numerous appellate matters in both the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court on a broad range of poverty law issues. Indeed, just yesterday, he presented oral arguments before the Court of Appeals in an important child custody matter involving important questions of civil and appellate procedure, and he filed an amicus brief for five public interest organizations in an en banc matter pertaining to disability rights. Jack has also been active with the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for decades and in June 2010, received its highest honor, the Wiley Branton Award, for his life-long commitment to civil rights leadership and service.
"Jack has had an impressive and high-profile career," CCE Executive Director June Kress said. "His arrival at Legal Aid demonstrated the integrity for which he is known across the justice community. He now leads the fight for some of the District's neighbors who are most in need of justice."
The Council for Court Excellence will present the award at its annual dinner, which will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at the Organization of American States (17th and Constitution, NW). Please join us in congratulating Jack on this prestigious honor and well-deserved recognition!