2018 Recipients

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Where presented : 
Exemplar Award Dinner
Recipient(s) name: 
Bradley Gayton, Ford Motor Company; John Gleeson, Debevoise & Plimpton; Deborah Majoras, Procter & Gamble
Reason for selection of recipient(s): 

Bradley Gayton has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to promoting the principle that the quality of representation received should not be dependent on economic status. As Group Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Ford Motor Company, Mr. Gayton leads the company’s litigation, tax, corporate and intellectual property efforts. He also champions the company’s pro bono practice. He encourages all attorneys at Ford Motor Company to commit at least 30 hours to pro bono work annually, and his goal is 100 percent participation. Under his direction, Ford Motor Company’s pro bono program has continued its impressive legacy as a nationally recognized program. Under Mr. Gayton’s direction, Ford Motor Company attorneys provide a wide variety of pro bono services across the globe. Mr. Gayton was instrumental, for example, in overcoming regulatory obstacles to Ford Motor Company’s pro bono program in Brazil.

Mr. Gayton himself is heavily involved in a Ford Motor Company program that helps victims of crimes who are willing to assist law enforcement’s investigations apply for a U-Visa. Designed for victims of human trafficking, sexual assault, domestic abuse and other significant crimes, the U-Visa program protects survivors and places them on a path towards legal permanent residence. Transforming the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our nation, Mr. Gayton’s work helps women – and their families – stay in the country legally and lead confident lives. His pro bono efforts reflect his passion for making the world a better place for women and girls. Mr. Gayton’s impactful leadership extends beyond Ford Motor Company to his broader community through his work with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Alternatives for Girls, Michigan Advocacy Program and many other organizations. He has earned a reputation for dedicated, passionate commitment to community involvement and pro bono work.

John Gleeson’s career as a federal prosecutor, district judge, and now private attorney has been marked by both a commitment to excellence and to equal justice under the law. As an Assistant United States Attorney, he tried 20 cases to verdict and argued 25 appeals. He personally tried two La Cosa Nostra bosses, and he received the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for his work as the lead prosecutor of Gambino Family Boss John Gotti. As a United States District Judge for 22 years in the Eastern District of New York, he authored more than 1,500 published opinions and presided over more than 200 civil and criminal jury trials and half a dozen Multi-District Litigations. Upon leaving the bench, Mr. Gleeson became a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, a firm dedicated to a wide variety of pro bono work. Mr. Gleeson has influenced generations of lawyers as an Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching Complex Federal Investigations and Sentencing at New York University School of Law. Among his many publications, he is a co-author of Federal Criminal Practice: A Second Circuit Handbook, a treatise now in its 18th edition.

He has been a strong and effective advocate for reform of mandatory sentencing provisions and excessive guidelines ranges. He created a federal drug court that steers addicted defendants away from prison and has become a model for other such courts throughout the federal system. His opinions calling for relief from the collateral consequences of convictions have stimulated efforts to assist persons with convictions to obtain and keep jobs. As a judge and now in his pro bono practice, he has urged prosecutors
to agree to vacate sentences imposed long ago that are now recognized to be particularly egregious and in many cases racially discriminatory. Today, Mr. Gleeson maintains an active litigation practice, advises Boards of Directors, provides dispute resolution and crisis management services and continues to be a voice for fairness and reform in the criminal justice system.

Deborah P. Majoras is the Chief Legal Officer and Secretary for The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), which she joined in 2008. Prior to P&G, she served as the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division and as a partner at Jones Day. Ms. Majoras currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Valero Energy Corporation and The Christ Hospital Health Network, and chairs the Westminster College Board of Trustees. A widely respected advocate, counselor, and compliance champion, Ms. Majoras has served in leadership positions on the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law, the U.S Chamber of Commerce International Competition Policy Working Group, the  International Competition Network and the Association of General Counsel, among others. Ms. Majoras’ civic legal leadership extends also to consumer protection policy reform, an area on which she has focused both while serving in business and as a regulator.

Throughout her career, Ms. Majoras has passionately and consistently promoted legal excellence while supporting equal justice efforts at local, national and international levels. Under Ms. Majoras’ direction, P&G Legal & Government Relations team has become standard of pro bono excellence, inspiring other companies to engage more fully in this important work. Deeply involved as a Trustee for the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati (LAS), Ms. Majoras and her P&G Legal/Government Relations colleagues are active in the work of LAS’s Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor (VLP) Foundation and the Cincinnati Pro Bono Partnership (PBP). As a member of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), she actively supports initiatives that drive greater diversity and inclusion in the profession through mentoring, learning experiences and leadership training. Ms. Majoras is the executive sponsor of P&G’s GABLE (Gay, Ally, Bisexual, Lesbian & Transgender Employees) group, dedicated to
promoting the inclusion of P&G’s LGBT employees. She has also played a leading role in developing P&G’s global citizenship program.