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Awards & Rankings

Jones Day partner David A. Kutik receives award for pro bono work

May 2008


Cleveland/Columbus - The international law firm Jones Day announced today that Cleveland partner David A. Kutik has received the inaugural John C. and Ginny Elam Pro Bono Award. The award was presented today by Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Moyer at the Ohio State Bar Association's 128th Annual Convention. The award was established to recognize and encourage outstanding pro bono service by lawyers in Ohio. Mr. Kutik was honored for his substantial pro bono work as well as his efforts to increase the pro bono activities of lawyers throughout the Cleveland area.

For example, during Mr. Kutik's term as president of the Cleveland Bar Association in 2004-2005, he founded the "Our Commitment to Our Community" program, asking lawyers and law firms to pledge their time to devote to pro bono and public service. More than 2,000 lawyers from law firms, solo practices, and corporate and government legal departments pledged a total of more than 70,000 volunteer hours as part of the program. In recognition of the program, the Cleveland Bar Association received the 2005 Harrison Tweed Award from the American Bar Association.

"We are proud of David and his work, and we congratulate him for being chosen as the first recipient of this prestigious award," said Lyle Ganske, Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day's Cleveland Office. "David and many others at Jones Day continue to exemplify our Firm's long-standing commitment to public service and community involvement. We encourage all of our professionals to participate in pro bono and other public service activities for the benefit of underprivileged individuals and nonprofit organizations."

Mr. Kutik is vice president of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and he chairs its Pro Bono Committee. He also chairs the Ohio State Bar Association Pro Bono Task Force, which has established judicially-led pro bono committees throughout the state to develop, recruit and recognize lawyers for pro bono programs in each appellate district in Ohio. He's a former president and Life Member of the Board of The MetroHealth Foundation, Inc., and serves on the board of the Center for Families and Children.

The award includes a $5,000 contribution to a nonprofit of the recipient's choice. Mr. Kutik has asked that the money go to the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland to set up a fund called the "Sgt. Harry Fund," in honor of his father, to recognize and promote pro bono programs.

"David has been a tireless supporter of our mission to secure justice and provide high-quality legal services for those who are low-income and vulnerable," said Colleen Cotter, Executive Director of The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. "We are grateful that he chose Cleveland Legal Aid for this contribution and are proud to be his partner in the great work he does for the community."

Mr. Kutik's prior awards include the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation's 2005 Presidential Award for pro bono legal services, and the Case Western Reserve University Law School's Centennial Medal, which is the highest award that the school bestows to one of its alumni.

He has served on and chaired numerous Cleveland Bar Association committees, including the Certified Grievance Committee, the Standing Committee on Professionalism, the Task Force on Multi-Jurisdictional Practice, and the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. He also serves on the Ohio State Bar Association's Council of Delegates, and is a life member of the Judicial Conference of the Eighth Judicial District of Ohio.

The John C. and Ginny Elam Pro Bono Award was named in memory of John C. Elam, who encouraged pro bono activities by lawyers and law firms and generously donated his own time and talents to many activities promoting the common good and ensuring that the system of justice was available to all. In honor of his memory, Ginny Elam and the Elam family established the award to encourage such activities by recognizing exceptional pro bono legal work in Ohio.

Jones Day is an international law firm with 30 locations in centers of business and finance throughout the world. With more than 2,300 lawyers, including more than 400 in Europe, and 200 in Asia, it ranks among the world's largest law firms. Jones Day acts as principal outside counsel to, or provides significant legal representation for, more than half of the Fortune Global 500 companies.

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