Fredrikson & Byron to Receive National Pro Bono Award for Death Row Defense Work

September 12, 2011

The American Bar Association (ABA) Death Penalty Representation Project (DPRP) recently announced that Fredrikson & Byron is one of three law firms nationally that will be awarded its annual Exceptional Service Award at the Project’s 25th anniversary dinner in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

The award recognizes Fredrikson’s longstanding commitment of nearly 25 years to the representation of death-row inmates in Louisiana, according to Robin Maher, DPRP executive director. The award committee was also impressed that a firm with less than 300 attorneys has taken on responsibility for three death-row cases, two concurrently, Maher added.

One nominator, Caroline Tillman, an attorney at the Capital Appeals Project, which provides pro bono defense for inmates facing capital punishment and is based in New Orleans, wrote that: “F&B’s pro-bono commitment to capital justice is truly unprecedented. I know of no other firm that has done so much for Louisiana’s death row.”

“This is one of the most important awards our firm has ever received,” said John Koneck, president of Fredrikson & Byron. “It reflects our attorneys’ commitment to justice for those who are unjustly represented, and our commitment to repairing the systemic flaws in our country’s capital punishment process.”

Fredrikson attorneys who have provided zealous pro bono representation for people on death row include: Clint Cutler, Steve Kaplan, Tom Fraser, John Koneck, Ed Cassidy, and Jim Mayer, as well as numerous other lawyers and staff members.

Fredrikson & Byron is a 240 attorney law firm based in Minneapolis, with offices in Bismarck, Des Moines, Fargo, Monterrey, Mexico, and Shanghai, China. We’ve built a reputation as the firm “where law and business meet” by bringing business acumen and entrepreneurial thinking to our work with clients, and by operating as business advisors and strategic partners as well as legal counselors. The firm’s primary areas of practice include advertising, banking, corporate, corporate governance, employment and labor, energy and renewable energy, government relations, health care, intellectual property, international, life sciences, litigation, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, securities, and tax. We serve a broad range of clients, including multinational corporations, public companies, privately-held businesses, entrepreneurs, government agencies, and family businesses. Fredrikson & Byron’s attorneys also work with individuals on estate planning, family law, and immigration matters. We are the exclusive Minnesota law firm member of the World Services Group, a worldwide network of professional service providers. More information about the firm is available at

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