July 25, 2013
Contact: Lowell Brown, State Bar of Texas public information director
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1713, or (512) 427-1713

2013 Texas Gavel Awards recipients announced

AUSTIN — The State Bar of Texas today announced recipients of the 2013 Texas Gavel Awards, which honor journalistic excellence that helps foster public understanding of the legal system. They are:

Craig Malisow of the Houston Press for “Blood Money,” in the print-major metro category. “Blood Money” is an in-depth look at the case of more than 200 soldiers who sued a military contractor for their exposure to toxic chemicals in Iraq.

Emma Perez-Treviño of the Valley Morning Star for “Corruption,” in the print-nonmetro category. “Corruption” is a series of reports documenting a web of connections, indictments, and convictions in the Cameron County judiciary and legal system.

Brandi Grissom, Justin Dehn, and Ryan Murphy of The Texas Tribune for “Errors in Judgment,” in the online-only category. In “Errors in Judgment,” the Tribune reviewed court records in each of the more than 80 overturned Texas convictions between 1989 and 2011 and found that nearly a quarter of the cases involved prosecutorial error that contributed to the wrong outcome.

No awards were given in the broadcast categories. The winning entries and winner bios will be featured under the “Texas Gavel Awards” link at texasbar.com/media starting next month.

The Texas Gavel Awards are sponsored each year by the State Bar of Texas Public Affairs Committee and judged by out-of-state journalists and editors, legal reporting experts, attorneys with journalism backgrounds, and members of academia. Journalists play an important role in educating the public about the legal system, and the Texas Gavel Awards honor those efforts.

Winners will be honored during an awards luncheon Friday, Aug. 9, at the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas (FOIFT) annual conference in Austin. State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, the vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Open Government, will be the luncheon keynote speaker.

The FOIFT annual conference, scheduled for 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Sheraton Austin-Capitol, will examine the 83rd legislative session and current open government issues in higher education. For more information or to register, visit www.foift.org.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system.