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Justice Potter Stewart Award Dinner 2024


Nominations are now open for CCE's 2024 Justice Potter Stewart Award.

The Council for Court Excellence bestows the Justice Potter Stewart Award annually to recognize exemplary work that has contributed significantly to CCE's mission to enhance the justice system in the District of Columbia. Recipients may be individuals or institutions. Fill out THIS FORM to nominate someone today! 


  Thank you for joining us for the 26th Annual Justice Potter Stewart Award Dinner! 

You can watch our Honoree Tribute videos on YouTube
and view photos of the event here



As the former director of PDS, Avis E. Buchanan supported the delivery of defense and related legal and non-legal services to people charged with crimes in the local District of Columbia courts who cannot afford to hire an attorney. She also led PDS in its representation of children in delinquency cases and of people in civil commitment matters in the city’s mental health courts.

After graduating from Michigan State University and Harvard Law School, Ms. Buchanan worked as a law clerk for the late Honorable Theodore J. McMillian of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. In 1982, Ms. Buchanan joined PDS as a staff attorney, doing criminal defense work for six and a half years. For the next 13 years, Ms. Buchanan served as staff attorney, director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Project, and then director of Litigation at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, where she was primarily responsible for litigating individual and class action employment and public accommodations cases in various federal and local courts. Ms. Buchanan rejoined PDS in 2002 as its deputy director. She was PDS’s director from 2004 until her retirement in 2022. 


Karl Racine, the former and first-elected Attorney General of D.C., is a litigation partner at Hogan Lovells, an elite global law firm. Karl has over 30 years of legal and leadership experience. As AG, he focused on preserving affordable housing, cracking down on slumlords, battling wage theft, protecting consumers, reforming the juvenile justice system, and safeguarding public integrity. His office rose to national prominence on emerging issues such as big data, privacy, and competition. Before becoming AG, he was the first African-American managing partner of a top-100 American law firm, served as Associate White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton, and was a D.C. Public Defender. Born in Haiti, Karl came to D.C. at the age of three. 


Project CHANGE is strategic initiative of Executive Office of the Mayor, Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants. Project CHANGE was founded in 2016 as a collaborative of Hospital Based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIPS) that includes all trauma centers serving the District’s residents and visitors, as well as allied service providers across the District. Project CHANGE core partners include MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Community Violence Intervention Program (CVIP), Howard University Hospital’s TRIUMPH Program, University of Maryland Medical Center Capital Region Health’s Capital Region Violence Intervention Program (CAPVIP), George Washington University Hospital’s and United Medical Center’s Far Southeast Family Supportive Collaborative Hospital Responder Program, and Children’s National Hospital’s Youth Violence Intervention Program. All are active members who not only provide outstanding care for patients but also share innovation and best practices in the collaboration. Because of Project CHANGE, victims of community violence in the District of Columbia have access to critical, lifesaving post-injury support at hospitals that meet quality standards of care. Project CHANGE members are also working together to build the careers of the violence interventionists serving the hospitals, and are receiving high-quality, continuous training. OVSJG provides leadership and financial support for the project and its core members. Since its inception, Project CHANGE partner sites have served over 2,000 victims of community violence.


 Thank you to our 2023 Sponsors!


Chair's Circle
Leslie T. Thornton, PDS Class '83

Justice Guardian



 Justice Leader
Akin  AON  Baker Botts LLP  Blank Rome LLP  Boies Schiller Flexner LLP
The Brokell Foundation  Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP
  Cooley LLP  Covington & Burling LLP
Crowell & Moring LLP  Deloitte  Eversheds Sutherlands (US) LLP
Founders Bank  Galena Yorktown Foundation  Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Husch Blackwell LLP  Jackson & Campbell, P.C.  Jones Day  Kolker Law Office
Patrick McGlone & Kevin Taylor  Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Morrison & Foerster LLP  Paul Hastings LLP  Perkins Coie LLP
Thorn & Sharis Pozen  Regan Zambri Long PLLC
Schertler Onorato Mead & Sears LLP
Venable LLP  The Washington Post
WilmerHale  Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Justice Patron
ANKURA ♦ Allyson Baker ♦ Ballard Spahr LLP ♦ Shelley Broderick
Brown, Goldstein, Levy LLP ♦ The Cochran Firm ♦ Dentons US LLP
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP ♦ DLA Piper ♦ Dykema Gossett PLLC
Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann, LLP ♦ Grant Thornton
Hall, Render, Killian, Heath, & Lyman, P.C.
JAMS  Marie C. Johns  Kiernan Trebach LLP ♦ Lee/Shoemaker LLPP
McGuireWoods LLP  James Sandman
UDC David A. Clarke School of Law  Webster & Frederickson, PLLC  

Justice Advocate 

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC  Paulette Chapman
Children's National Hospital  Julia Goodwin  Michael Hays
Ellen M. Jakovic  Kirkland & Ellis LLP  June Kress  Paul S. Lee
Ariel Levinson-Waldman  Miller & Chevalier Chartered  Fritz Mulhauser
Dwight Murray ♦ Proskauer Rose LLP
Seyfarth Shaw LLP ♦ Tzedek DC  Joanne L. Zimolzak

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Sponsor the dinner! Ticket sales will be available at a later date.

Details about sponsorships are available HERE, or you may email Sarah Baczewski or call (202) 785-5917 with questions or to secure your 2023 sponsorship. 

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 About the Justice Potter Stewart Award ♦ Past Award Recipients

You can check also out photos from last year's event, or watch the evening’s moving remarks 

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