Jones Day receives Gideon Award from Office of the Appellate Defender
Jones Day received the Gideon Award from New York City's Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) at OAD's 27th annual "First Monday in October" event on October 5. The Gideon Award honors exemplary participation in indigent appellate defense through OAD's Volunteer Appellate Defender (VAD) program. New York Office Partner-in-Charge Lee DeJulius and partner Meir Feder accepted the award on behalf of the Firm.
OAD, founded in 1988, is one of New York City's oldest providers of indigent appellate defense, and the second-oldest institutional indigent defense office in the city. Their VAD program allows attorneys at member law firms to work in public service and provides mentoring and hands-on experience to participating attorneys, including the opportunity to appear before the First Department of the Appellate Division to present oral arguments on behalf of clients. Jones Day has participated in the VAD program since its inception more than 25 years ago and the Firm's lawyers have worked on dozens of criminal appeals, and have obtained reversals and sentence reductions for OAD clients.
The Firm recently filed an amicus brief on behalf of OAD in People v. Williams and People v. Foster-Bey, two cases raising questions related to trial courts' reliance on other courts' Frye rulings. The brief argued that the trial courts in the two cases under review, like many others, had blindly relied on the Frye rulings of other courts, even when those other courts did not conduct the inquiry Frye demands or even in the face of evidence showing that the relevant technique is not generally accepted as reliable. The New York Court of Appeals held that both trial courts abused their discretion in admitting the evidence derived from the DNA techniques at issue without holding a Frye hearing. In presenting the Gideon Award to the Firm, OAD Board Chair Nicolas Bourtin cited the Williams and Foster-Bey cases, describing the amicus brief produced by the Jones Day team as "masterful."
"Jones Day's exemplary contributions to the VAD program are a reflection of the longstanding commitment of the Firm to OAD, and that participation goes beyond JD's participation in the VAD program," added Mr. Bourdin. "It is also reflected in the dedicated work of Jones Day's lawyers on OAD's board of directors." Retired Firm partner Thomas V. Heyman was with OAD from its founding and served as Board Chair for more than 20 years. Mr. Feder has served as an OAD Board member since 2011.