2018 Recipients

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Where presented : 
Exemplar Award Dinner
Recipient(s) name: 
G. Gordon Bonnyman, staff attorney and former executive director of the Tennessee Justice Center, and Gary Horton, director of the New York State Defenders Association’s Veterans Defense Program
Reason for selection of recipient(s): 

G. Gordon Bonnyman is honored with the Kutak-Dodds Prize for his career litigating and advocating in the areas of healthcare for those who cannot afford legal representation. In order to fulfill his vision of creating an excellent organization of lawyers that would bring about positive change for low-income people in need of medical services, he started the Tennessee Justice Center (TJC). He uses his decades of legal knowledge and connections to serve individual clients and support efforts to protect and improve Medicaid in Tennessee and nationally. His work has given due process rights to juvenile defendants, freedom to children in state custody, and healthcare to many people who would not be able to afford it on their own.

Gary Horton is celebrated with the Kutak-Dodds Prize for his a strong commitment to litigation and advocacy for justice-involved veterans. Recognizing the growing numbers of veterans with service-related mental health illness who were lost in New York’s criminal justice system, he co-founded the Veterans Defense Program (VDP). As a widely recognized advocate for justice-involved veterans, Gary and the VDP staff serve as a backup resource and support program for attorneys, more than 120 county-based public defender offices, legal aid societies and assigned counsel programs, and provide direct representation for individual veterans.