ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Emmet J. Bondurant, Esquire, a preeminent Atlanta attorney, has been selected to receive the prestigious American Inns of Court 2011 Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Award for Professionalism and Ethics. Justice Randy J. Holland of the Supreme Court of Delaware, will present the award at the annual American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence, hosted by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, at the Supreme Court of the United States on November 5, 2011.
The Powell Award is presented annually to recognize a lifetime devoted to the highest standards of ethical practice, competence, and professionalism. This award is conferred upon a senior lawyer nominated from among the country’s most respected practitioners, judges, government officials, journalists, philanthropists, or other community leaders and selected by a panel of representatives from both the judiciary and the American Inns of Court. Previous winners include former Justices Powell and William J. Brennan, Jr., Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, and, last year, Mark O’Neill, Esquire.
Bondurant founded the Atlanta firm Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, LLP, in 1977. Despite notable success as an antitrust attorney, he has devoted decades to pro bono work on behalf of indigent defendants. Bondurant argued and won the apportionment case Wesberry v. Sanders before the Supreme Court at age 26. In other pro bono work, he won exoneration of a man wrongly convicted of a brutal child murder and attained reversal of a death sentence for a mentally disabled inmate; he got loyalty oaths for teachers, and electrocution as a means of execution declared unconstitutional. In Hishon v. King & Spalding, Bondurant took on a major firm’s gender-based denial of partnership and won before the Supreme Court. After tireless effort to overhaul the state’s public defender system, he started Georgia’s first statewide indigent defense system and served as chair of the Georgia Public Defenders Standards Council from 2003 to 2007.
Bondurant graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Georgia in 1958 and first in his class from its law school in 1960; he earned an LLM from Harvard Law School in 1962. Best Lawyers in America named him 2010 Lawyer of the Year for antitrust and “bet the company” litigation, and The National Law Journal has called him one of the country’s top 10 trial lawyers. Bondurant helped found the state’s first three American Inns of Court, and has served on the American Inns of Court Board of Trustees.
The American Inns of Court fosters excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills. The American Inns of Court membership includes more than 28,000 federal, state, and local judges, lawyers, law professors, and law students in more than 350 chapters across the United States. Additionally, there are more than 85,000 alumni members. The organization is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. More information is available at www.innsofcourt.org.