National Law Journal Names James Ellis Lawyer of the Year
James Ellis '74, an instrumental figure in convincing the Supreme Court to prohibit the execution of mentally retarded persons, has been named Lawyer of the Year by the National Law Journal. The award is given to an attorney who has had a significant impact on the law in the past year.
Ellis appeared before the justices last June to argue that mentally retarded persons do not belong on death row. The justices held, 6-3, that execution of people with mental retardation violates the eighth amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. The decision was the culmination of 30 years of work in the civil and criminal justice systems by Ellis on behalf the mentally retarded and mentally ill. The National Law Journal article is available online. For more information, please contact Erin Campbell at 510-643-8010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.