Stimson Award Turns Twenty; Prior Awardees Have Made Their Mark

The New York City Bar Association held its 20th annual Henry L. Stimson Medal Award Ceremony on June 5th. The award honors the memory of Henry L. Stimson, the former U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and cabinet member to four Presidents, by the annual awarding of medals in his name to four outstanding Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Southern District and Eastern District of New York. This year’s recipients were Laurie A. Korenbaum (Criminal Division) and David J. Kennedy (Civil Division) of the Southern District, along with Roger A. Burlingame (Criminal Division) and Kenneth M. Abell (Civil Division) of the Eastern District. Hon. Carol Bagley Amon, Chief Judge of the Eastern District, provided keynote remarks, and the medals were presented by Carey R. Dunne, the President of the Association.

Prior Stimson Medal award recipients have gone on to accomplish additional significant achievements in the public and private sector. One of the first recipients, James Comey, became U.S. Attorney for the Southern District and then Deputy Attorney General for the United States. The other first-year recipient, Alan Vinegrad, became U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. Since then two other winners have become U.S. Attorneys: David N. Kelley in the Southern District and Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago. Mr. Fitzgerald also served as Special Counsel in the “Scooter” Libby case in Washington, D.C. Three winners, Richard Sullivan, Cathy Seibel and Paul Gardephe, have become judges on the Southern District Court, and Sean Lane has been appointed a Bankruptcy Judge in that District. Cheryl L. Pollack and James L. Cott serve as magistrate judges in the Eastern and Southern District, respectively.

Other winners who have held high-level positions in the Department of Justice include Greg D. Andres (Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division), Richard Weber (Chief, Asset Forfeiture and Anti-Money Laundering Section), and Leslie Caldwell (Head, Enron Task Force). Jack Smith is the current Chief of the Public Integrity Section at DOJ. Valerie Caproni served as General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Many others have held leadership positions in the two U.S. Attorney offices and with the New York State Attorney General.

Winners currently holding significant government positions include Rob Khuzami, head of the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Daniel Alonso, who serves as the First Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. Linda Lacewell and Elizabeth Glazer hold senior positions with Governor Cuomo, while Celeste Koeleveld serves as Executive Corporation Counsel for Public Safety for the City of New York. Henry L. Stimson was one of the early founders of the Winthrop Stimson law firm, which is now known as Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. He served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1906 through 1909, following his appointment by President Theodore Roosevelt.

The Medal was established to reflect the values of integrity, fairness and public service that Mr. Stimson brought to that Office and which have since served as a model for all other U.S. Attorney Offices. Thereafter, Mr. Stimson served as Secretary of State to President Hoover and Secretary of War to Presidents Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Truman. Mark R. Hellerer, a partner at Pillsbury, serves as chair of the City Bar’s Stimson Medal Committee.

The other Committee members are Mr. Dunne;  Barbara Berger Opotowsky, Executive Director of the City Bar; Marilyn C. Kunstler, chair of the Federal Courts Committee and partner at Boies Schiller & Flexner; Susan J. Kohlmann, a partner at Jenner & Block; and Steven A. Weiner, a retired partner at Pillsbury.