Two Fried Frank lawyers -- New York litigation partner Michael de Leeuw and litigation associate Eric Hirsch -- have been named recipients of the 2008 Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing. Fried Frank is also the recipient the 2008 Record of Distinction Award, which honors law firms that have received three or more Burton awards.
Messrs. de Leeuw and Hirsch are being honored for their article, "OMG! We forgot to produce IMs!," which appeared in the November 5, 2007 edition of New York Law Journal. In it, they discussed the implications of the increasing prevalence of instant messaging and other new forms of communication on civil discovery, as the use of these new technologies grows in the corporate environment and throughout the world.
"Most lawyers and their clients have come to grips with the issues surrounding the review and production of e-mail, but we must remain cognizant that communication habits are changing faster than they ever have. I fully expect that my youngest daughter will one day think of e-mail the way I think of the Pony Express. We need to think about and understand instant messaging and other communications technologies as they arise," said de Leeuw. "And it's vital that we understand the difficulties and challenges that these new technologies will pose for our clients going forward."
Messrs. de Leeuw and Hirsch, along with New York-based head of the litigation department, William McGuinness, who will collect the 2008 Record of Distinction Award on behalf of the Firm, will receive the awards at the anniversary event to be held at the Library of Congress on June 16, 2008. The ceremony, entitled a "Salute to the Democratic Process," will feature Associate Justice Stephen Gerald Breyer as the guest speaker, and will be covered by C-Span.
"We are pleased to have once again been chosen for the Burton awards," said McGuinness. "The quality of the articles our lawyers write is a reflection of the depth of their knowledge and their ability to communicate effectively."
The Burton Foundation is a non-for-profit, academic organization concentrating on legal writing. Now in its ninth year, the Burton awards program is dedicated to rewarding effective legal writing, honoring lawyers and law school students who use clear and concise language.