NLADA Announces 2018 Kutak-Dodds Prize Winners

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Release Date: 
Friday, May 18, 2018

Contact: Sharon Singh [email protected], @NLADA



Award Recognizes Outstanding Achievement in Civil Legal Aid and Public Defense Fields


(Washington, D.C.) NLADA is pleased to announce G. Gordon Bonnyman and Gary Horton as the winners of the 2018 Kutak-Dodds Prize. This award honors civil legal aid attorneys and public defenders who through the practice of law have significantly enhanced the quality of life for individuals who cannot afford legal representation.

“NLADA is thrilled to honor Gordon and Gary’s work with the Kutak-Dodds Prize,” said NLADA’s president & CEO, Jo-Ann Wallace. “Their work has inarguably helped countless individuals and communities, including veterans, and those needing to access healthcare. We are grateful for their diligent efforts every day to help those who otherwise would not be able to access counsel.”

Bonnyman, a staff attorney and former executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, is being recognized for his work in poverty law, focusing primarily on improving access to healthcare for the poor and uninsured.

“I am overwhelmed by gratitude for this honor, for the privilege of serving inspiring clients, and for the opportunity to work with brilliant, beloved colleagues,” said Bonnyman.

Horton is the director of the New York State Defenders Association’s Veterans Defense Program. He is being honored for his strong commitment to litigation and advocacy on behalf of veterans and low-income individuals.

“I am tremendously grateful to be chosen as the 2018 recipient of the Kutak-Dodds award from the NLADA,” said Horton. “It pleases me that this award will bring recognition to the Veterans Defense Program, its work and initiatives. I am most thankful for the attention that will be brought to the struggle our veterans face reintegrating in their communities and the need to provide veterans meaningful understanding and help.”

Since 1989, the Kutak-Dodds Prizes have been awarded to attorneys who have significantly contributed to the human dignity and quality of life of individuals unable to afford legal representation. The Robert J. Kutak Foundation and NLADA in memory of Robert J. Kutak and Kenneth R. Dodds jointly sponsor the prizes. Each Prize carries a cash award of $10,000.



The Kutak-Dodds Prizes, established in 1989, are jointly sponsored by the Robert J. Kutak Foundation and NLADA and bestowed in memory of Robert J. Kutak and Kenneth R. Dodds. Both men were former partners in the Omaha, Nebraska Office of Kutak Rock LLP, and practitioners and advocates of public service, legal education and high ethical standards throughout their lives. In addition to legal services for the poor, the Kutak Foundation supports education in professional ethics, minority scholarships and a variety of other public interest projects. The Foundation is maintained by Mr. Kutak’s former friends and associates.

The National Legal Aid & Defender Association, founded in 1911, is America's oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to promoting excellence in the delivery of civil legal services to those who cannot afford counsel. NLADA has pioneered equal access to justice at the national, state and local levels through the creation of public defender systems and other important institutions from The Sentencing Project to the Legal Services Corporation.