Dear Friends of Washington Lawyers’ Committee,
I regret to announce that the Washington Lawyers’ Committee is forced to cancel the Wiley A. Branton Awards Luncheon, which was scheduled for June 17. After much discussion, we realized that it will be impossible to reschedule the event this year.
The Branton Lunch is a time for us to get together and celebrate the courage of our clients and hard work of our law firm partners and staff. We had much to celebrate this year with important victories in all areas of our practice made possible by the hard work of dozens of law firms and scores of lawyers. While we will not be able to gather as a community for the lunch, over the course of the rest of the year, we will feature the Outstanding Achievement Awardees on our webpage and in our communications with the legal community and our supporters.
We will hold the lunch next year on June 16 at the JW Marriott. I am thrilled to announce that we will be recognizing our named award recipients at that time: Neal Katyal with the Wiley A. Branton Award; Marc Efron with the Rod Boggs Award; the Friends of Ketcham Elementary School (FoKES) with Vincent E. Reed Award; and a special recognition of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Steve Salky of Zuckerman Spaeder with the Alfred McKenzie Award for the Compassionate Release Clearinghouse.
Finally, COVID-19 has further deepened racial and economic injustice. I am proud of the way that the Committee and our partners have responded to the crisis. With the incredible support of the legal community, we have been able to bring significant litigation and expand our program to meet the desperate needs of those experiencing the greatest burden. This urgent work will be necessary for some time and we are grateful that so many colleagues have stepped forward to take on the very hard work of fighting for justice in the midst of this crisis.
Thank you to everyone for your support, and understanding. I look forward to our gathering next year.
Jonathan M. Smith