Richard O. Faulk and John S. Gray, co-chairs of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP’s Public Policy Litigation practice, will receive the Distinguished Law Firm award at the 10th annual Burton Awards, to be held June 15 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
The two attorneys, partners in Gardere’s Houston office, will be recognized for writing “Alchemy in the Courtroom? The Transmutation of Public Nuisance Litigation,” which was published in the Michigan State Law Review.
“This is an incredible honor for Rick and John, and we continue to be proud of their efforts to elevate the practice of law, both locally and nationally,” said Gardere Managing Partner Steve Good. “Great writing is an extension of great thinking, and these two lawyers do both commendably.”
The Burton Awards, in association with the Library of Congress and the Law Library of Congress, honor members of the legal profession, with a principal emphasis on legal writing. Only 30 authors are chosen each year from the nation’s 1,000 largest law firms.
The guest speakers and honored guests at the June 15 awards program include Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; Author Bryan Garner; Television Screenwriter David E. Kelley; and New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye (retired). Bill Press will be the Master of Ceremonies.
“Alchemy in the Courtroom?” examines the growing use of “public nuisance” theories to pursue products liability claims. Faulk and Gray argue that governmental authorities, represented by private counsel working on contingency fees, spearheaded this new cause of action.
“In their ‘public nuisance’ actions, the authorities ignored the obvious liability of negligent property owners and the possible continuing threat against the occupiers of contaminated properties, and instead pursued the deep pockets of a few selected product manufacturers…. [I]f public officials and their private contingent fee counsel are truly concerned about protecting our children, public officials should stop litigating about it, avail themselves of existing resources and laws, and start protecting them.”
Visit the Burton Awards website for more information about the awards.
Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP (gardere.com), an AmLaw 200 firm, was founded in 1909 and is one of the Southwest’s largest full-service law firms. With offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Mexico City, Gardere provides legal services to private and public companies and individuals in areas of energy, litigation, corporate, tax, environmental, labor and employment, intellectual property and financial services.