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Stimson Medal Award Turns Twenty; Prior Awardees Have Made Their Mark


Eric Friedman
(212) 382-6754

Kathryn Inman
(212) 382-6656

Stimson Medal Award Turns Twenty; Prior Awardees Have Made Their Mark

New York, June 6, 2012 – 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.

Korenbaum joined the Criminal Division in 1999. For the past 13 years, she has served primarily in the Violent Crimes Unit, prosecuting offenders in cases involving narcotics trafficking, robbery, rape, murder and other acts of violence. She was the primary prosecutor in a RICO case against an organized group of sixteen defendants who pled guilty to hundreds of home invasion robberies of drug dealers in the metropolitan area.

Kennedy joined the Civil Division in 2000, and has been Chief of the Civil Rights Unit since November 2007. As Civil Rights Chief, Kennedy has overseen a broad range of litigation to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal statutes. He brought a successful False Claims Act case against Wall Street money manager Mario Gabelli, with the case settling for $130 million.

Burlingame joined the Eastern District office in January 2004. As Chief of the Public Integrity Section, Burlingame handled the case against former New York State Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. for theft of government funds. He was also in charge of the prosecution of Wendell Walters, the former Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and prosecuted one of the largest organized crime cases in history, leading to convictions of more than 50 Gambino Family members and associates.

Abell, shortly after joining the Eastern District in August of 2008, was assigned to a whistle-blower case involving alleged fraud by Bank of America and its Countrywide subsidiaries with respect to homes insured by the Federal Housing Administration. His investigation led to a $1 billion settlement and public praise from Attorney General Holder for the Eastern District’s work.

Prior 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.


About the Association
The New York City Bar Association (, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the profession, promoting reform of the law and providing service to the profession and the public.  The Association continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged.  Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.