John McCloy Award Recipients

2006

The 2006 McCloy Award was presented on May 9, 2006 to Bettina B. Plevan, a senior partner of Proskauer Rose LLP where she specializes in employment litigation and has served as a member of its Executive Committee. As President of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and Chair of its Council on Judicial Administration and Committee on State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction, member of Chief Judge Breitel’s Committee which drafted implementing legislation following passage of the Constitutional Amendment changing the selection process for the Court of Appeals and her contribution to an amicus brief in support of that Constitutional Amendment, Ms. Plevan has been an avid supporter of judicial reform and contributed much to the fair, effective, and independent administration of justice in New York. In addition, she served as a member of the New York’s Chief Judge Kaye’s Task Force on New York Commercial Courts, a member of the Second Circuit’s Task Force on Fairness in Courts and Committee on Gender Bias.

With more than 200 people in attendance, the 2006 McCloy event was successful and an appropriate tribute to the work of Betsy Plevan. Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye presented the award to Ms. Plevan, with remarks that highlighted Ms. Plevan’s exceptional career. The Co-Chairs of the 2006 McCloy Award were John D. Feerick, Robert A. Kaufman, and Linda A. Willett, each of whom contributed to producing an outstanding event., Proskauer Rose LLP, the firm in which Betsy Plevan is a Partner, generously served as Title Sponsor of the 2006 McCloy Award.

2005

The 2005 McCloy Award was presented to Robert D. Joffe, Presiding Partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Mr. Joffe’s leadership of and dedication to the Task Force on Judicial Selection for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Advisory Committee for the Open Society Institute’s Program on Law & Society, the Lawyers Committee of the National Center for State Courts, Senator Charles Schumer’s Screening Panel, and New York’s Chief Judge’s Corporate Advisory Committee, have produced vital improvements in the courts and added greatly to the fair, effective, and independent administration of justice in New York.

With more than 270 people in attendance, the 2005 McCloy event recognized Mr. Joffe’s extraordinary role in the legal community and support for the work of Modern Courts. This year’s McCloy event coincided with Modern Courts’ 50th Anniversary and gave all who participated an opportunity to reflect on the history of Modern Courts’ efforts. Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye presented the award to Mr. Joffe, with remarks that highlighted Ms. Plevan’s exceptional career. The Co-Chairs of the 2005 McCloy Award were Evan R. Chesler, John D. Feerick, Bettina Plevan and Catherine Samuels, each of whom contributed to producing an outstanding event. Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, the firm in which Mr. Joffe is Presiding Partner, generously served as Title Sponsor of the 2005 McCloy Award.

2004

The 2004 McCloy Award was presented on May 17, 2004 to Roy L. Reardon, Partner at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett. In addition to his practice at Simpson Thacher and Bartlett, Roy Reardon is a leader in ensuring an accessible and responsive court system in New York. Roy’s Whose leadership of and dedication to the Office of the Appellate Defender, the Judges and Lawyers’ Breast Cancer Alert, the Policy Committee and Disciplinary Committee of the Appellate Division, First Department, the New York State Jury Project, and the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, among others, as well as his roles as advocate, mediator, and author on legal issues, have produced vital improvements in the courts and added greatly to the fair, effective, and independent administration of justice in New York State.

With more than 270 people in attendance, the 2004 McCloy event was the most successful fundraising event in Modern Courts’ history and a fitting tribute to the work of Roy Reardon. Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye presented the award to Roy Reardon, with remarks that highlighted Mr. Reardon’s extraordinary career. The Co-Chairs of the 2004 McCloy Award were Sheila L. Birnbaum, John D. Feerick, Conrad K. Harper, and Melvyn I. Weiss, each of whom was dedicated to producing an outstanding reception. Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett, the firm in which Roy Reardon is a Partner, generously served as Title Sponsor of the 2004 McCloy Award.

2003

The 2003 McCloy Award was presented on May 19, 2003 to Sheila Birnbaum, Partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Ms. Birnbaum is nationally recognized as one of the legal profession’s brightest stars. Her leadership positions in, among others, the New York Statewide Commission on Fiduciary Appointments; the Second Circuit Task Force on Race, Ethnic, and Gender Fairness; the Second Circuit Committee on the Improvement of Civil Litigation; the New York Professional Education Project; the New York State Judicial Commission on Minorities, as well as her role as professor, lecturer and author on legal issues, have had a profound impact on the courts in our state.

With more than 250 people in attendance, and generous donations that far exceeded expectations, the 2003 McCloy Award Reception was a tremendous success and a fitting tribute to the work of Sheila Birnbaum. Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye presented the award again this year, with remarks that highlighted Ms. Birnbaum’s extraordinary career. The Co-Chairs of the 2003 McCloy event were Professor John D. Feerick, Barry S. Garfinkel, Bettina Plevan, and Melvyn I. Weiss, each of whom was dedicated to producing an outstanding reception. In addition, Ms. Birnbaum’s firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, generously served as Title Sponsor of the 2003 McCloy Award.

Modern Courts thanks Michael Weinstein, President of Ark Restaurants Corp., whose generosity helped make the event possible.

2002

The 2002 McCloy Award was presented on May 20, 2002 to Dean Joseph W. Bellacosa of St. John’s University School of Law. Dean Bellacosa served as a clerk to the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, and later as Chief Clerk and Counsel to the Court of Appeals. In 1985, he was appointed Chief Administrative Judge for New York State, and soon thereafter was appointed to the Court of Appeals. He remained at the Court until 2000, when he left to become Dean of his alma mater, St. John’s University School of Law. Dean Bellacosa served as Chair of the Sentencing Guidelines Commission, the Commission on Alcohol and Drug Dependency in the Legal Profession, and the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar.

Nearly 300 people joined Event Committee Co-Chairs, Jonathan J. Lerner, Robert J. McGuire, and Roy L. Reardon to celebrate Dean Bellacosa’s distinguished public service career. New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye presented the award to Dean Bellacosa, and delivered remarks extolling his devotion to the courts and the rule of law.

The event also included a tribute to Hon. Cyrus R. Vance, Modern Courts’ former Chair Emeritus, delivered by Theodore G. Sorensen. Mr. Sorensen lauded Mr. Vance’s compassion and integrity, and highlighted Mr. Vance’s stalwart support for improving the administration of justice.

Modern Courts thanks Michael Weinstein, President of Ark Restaurants Corp., whose generosity helped make the event possible.

2001

The 2001 McCloy Award was presented on May 14, 2001 to Victor A. Kovner, senior partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Victor has been a staunch advocate for the independence of the judiciary. He served as a member (and later Vice-Chair) of the Mayor’s Committee on the Judiciary for 16 years, for 14 years as a member (and later Chair) of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, and served as Corporation Counsel of the City of New York from 1990-1991. Victor also has been active in the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, serving as Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary, and as Secretary and member of the Executive Committee. For more than two decades, Victor has worked tirelessly as a Modern Courts Director to improve methods of judicial selection, to preserve judicial independence, and to improve the effectiveness of the courts.

Thanks to the efforts of Event Committee Co-Chairs Fern Schair, Thomas J. Schwarz, and Jeffrey G. Stark, this year’s event was a temendous success, as nearly 300 people came to the Bryant Park Grill in New York City to salute Victor, and to support Modern Courts.

Modern Courts extends its gratitude to Michael Weinstein, President of Ark Restaurants Corp., whose generosity helped make the event possible.

2000

The 2000 McCloy Award was presented on May 22, 2000 to Dean John D. Feerick of Fordham University School of Law. Dean Feerick’s commitment to public service is unsurpassed. He is a member of the Committee to Promote Public Trust and Confidence in the Legal System, immediate past President of the Board of Directors of the Citizens Union Foundation, former Chair of the New York State Commission on Government Integrity, and a past President of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He is Chair Emeritus of the Fund and Committee for Modern Courts, and remains a valued director and member of the organization’s committees.

Almost 300 people came to the Bryant Park Grill in New York City to honor Dean Feerick’s exemplary career of public service, and to support Modern Courts. New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye presented the award to Dean Feerick, and delivered remarks lauding his lifelong commitment to court reform. Thanks to the efforts of Event Committee Co-Chairs Joseph E. Geoghan and John J. Kirby, Jr., this year’s event was a resounding success.

Modern Courts extends its gratitude to Michael Weinstein, President of Ark Restaurants Corp., whose generosity helped make the event possible.

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