Hollywood's awards season is in full swing, and now it's time to announce the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year
. Unlike the Oscars, the CLAY Awards are not decided by secret ballot. Instead, all the magazine's editors review the nominees and select attorneys whose exceptional work made a significant impact over the previous year.
This year we recognize a surfeit of pro bono work, with teams of lawyers contributing thousands of hours on behalf of their clients. The list includes Dennis Maio of Reed Smith in the category of Appellate Law; Stanley Young of Covington & Burling in Civil Rights; George Cumming and Molly Lane of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Criminal Law; and Jerome Fishkin and Lindsay Slatter of Fishkin & Slatter in the Legal Profession category. And that's on top of lawyers from Keker & Van Nest and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe who earned awards in the Pro Bono category itself. We're happy to see that this level of dedication to volunteer legal services is very much alive in the Golden State, even in a tough economy.
Also in this issue, writer Kelly O'Mara
looks at a controversy roiling western Marin County, where an oyster company fights the National Park Service to stay open in Point Reyes National Seashore ("It's Not Just About the Oysters
"). Although people were willing to talk, O'Mara told me that many didn't want to be quoted. They were "incredibly skeptical about what would be printed," says O'Mara, who's been working on the story since October.
has its own piece of news to share as well: The magazine has a new editor. After 15 years on staff, including the past 7 as editor, Martin Lasden
has stepped down. "Looking back on my years at California Lawyer
," he says, "I can't help but marvel at all the wonderful stories we've published, the awards we've won, and the extraordinarily talented people that I've had the privilege of working with. But most of all, I guess, I'm amazed that after writing and editing articles about lawyers for so long, I have yet to be sued!" We bid Lasden a fond farewell, but we don't fully say good-bye: He will continue working on our Legally Speaking interview series, coproduced with UC Hastings, where his wit and intellectual curiosity remain in full evidence.
I have had the pleasure of working alongside Marty as the managing editor since 2007, and I'm very excited to take the helm at California Lawyer
. I look forward to hearing from all of our readers about this issue - and upcoming ones. Drop me a line at CL_Editor@dailyjournal.com.