On Friday, June 17, 2016, Steve and Dottie Henry from Litigation Counsel of America ("LCA") and LCA Fellows David G. Wirtes, Jr., Steven L. Nicholas, and George W. ("Skip") Finkbohner, III, of Cunningham Bounds, LLC, Mobile, Alabama, met with friends and family to honor Paul Bland, Jr., the Executive Director of Public Justice, as the recipient of the 2015 LCA / Cunningham Bounds Justice Janie L. Shores Pioneer Spirit Award.
Paul has dedicated his career to leading Public Justice's mission to pursue high impact lawsuits to combat social and economic injustice, protect the Earth's sustainability, and challenge predatory corporate conduct and government abuses. Paul has served as a senior attorney for many years; he now manages nearly 30 attorneys and staff, guiding the organization's litigation strategy, briefing, and arguments.
Paul has argued and won more than 30 high profile cases on behalf of consumers, employees, and whistleblowers in six of the U.S. Courts of Appeals and nine of the highest state appellate courts. He has presented at more than 100 continuing legal education or professional conferences in more than 25 states, has testified in both houses of Congress, several state legislatures and administrative agencies, been quoted in more than 100 periodicals throughout the country, and has appeared in numerous radio and TV interviews.
Paul is a 1986 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1983 magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, where he received a B.A. in Government. Prior to joining Public Justice, Paul was Chief Nominations Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Before that he worked for seven years in Baltimore, Maryland, where he handled consumer and toxic tort class actions and prosecuted qui tam suits.
When making the presentation, Wirtes commented, "Paul's career reflects the very best of the meaning of 'zealous advocacy.' His life's work and innumerable accomplishments represent the ideal toward which practicing lawyers all should strive. He is the living embodiment of what we intend to honor with the Justice Janie L. Shores Pioneer Spirit Award."