White & Case partner Matt Miner has been named a recipient of the 2012 Burton Award for Legal Achievement, which is held in association with the Library of Congress. White & Case is the only firm whose lawyers have won the award 11 years in a row.
Based in Washington, DC, Matt Miner is a partner in the Firm's Global White Collar Practice. He previously served as a federal prosecutor and in senior roles on the US Senate Judiciary Committee. He was recognized by the Burton Foundation for his article, "It's Time to Fix Our Sentencing Laws," which appeared in the September 26, 2011 issue of the National Law Journal and explored the need for federal sentencing reform in the US.
"Criminal sentencing is at the very core of our system of ordered liberty," Miner said. "The Framers who crafted our Constitution and Bill of Rights ensured that deprivations of liberty required due process of law and that detention through incarceration must never be arbitrary. The US Sentencing Guidelines and the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 as amended, provide – or at least provided prior to United States v. Booker – a check against arbitrariness, favoritism, racial bias, and other pernicious influences that can taint rulings within our federal sentencing system. The purpose of the article was to highlight how the system has now moved from a guideline-based framework to one determined by broad discretionary calls that can vary from judge to judge without meaningful appellate review."
Now in its 13th year, the Burton Awards recognize the finest in legal writing. Nominations are submitted by law firms and include exemplary articles that have been published by their lawyers during the past year. Out of the 1,000 largest law firms in the United States, only 30 winners are selected each year.
The submissions were judged by an academic board led by Virginia Wise, a renowned teacher at Harvard Law School; Anne E. Kringel, a widely recognized expert in legal writing and senior lecturer in law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Grace Tonner, a prominent dean from the University of California Law School at Irvine; Judge Ed Forstenzer, a distinguished judge from California's Superior Court (retired); and William Ryan, a direct descendant of Noah Webster and former Chair of the White House Plain Language Committee.
Miner will be honored at the 2012 Burton Awards ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, on June 11, 2012. The 2012 program features retired United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who will be the guest of honor. Bill Press, a national radio commentator and author, will be the master of ceremonies.
To read Miner's article, please click here.
About the Burton Awards
The Burton Awards is funded by the Burton Foundation which is a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. Since its inception in 1999, the organization has focused primarily on the refinement and enrichment of legal writing. The program honors partners in law firms and law school students who use plain, clear and concise language in their writing.
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