News Release

Gerald B. Lefcourt, President of the Foundation for Criminal Justice, Recognized with Norman S. Ostrow Award  

Washington, DC (March 8, 2013) – The New York Council of Defense Lawyers today honored Gerald Lefcourt with the 2013 Norman S. Ostrow Award at a special luncheon in his honor at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. The Ostrow Award is conferred in memory of an outstanding defense lawyer, Norman S. Ostrow, who was one of the founding members of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers. The Award is presented for outstanding contributions to “the defense of liberty and the preservation of human rights.” Lefcourt is the current president of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Criminal Justice and served as NACDL President for the 1997-98 year.

Today’s luncheon celebration of Lefcourt’s life work, which has profoundly impacted the integrity of the nation’s criminal justice system, was attended by numerous past and current leaders of America’s criminal defense bar.

Praise for Lefcourt: 

  • “I can think of no more deserving recipient to be honored with this Award than Gerald Lefcourt.” – Alan R. Kaufman, President of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers and partner at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP in New York. 
  • “No lawyer is more deserving of this award than Gerald Lefcourt. He is a tireless and courageous fighter for freedom, equality, and justice.” – Steven D. Benjamin, President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. 
  • “Gerald Lefcourt is the complete lawyer.” – Barry C. Scheck, co-Director of the Innocence Project and Past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (2004-05). 
  • “Since his earliest days as a public defender, Gerald Lefcourt was a pioneer in the struggle to make Gideon a reality for every accused person in this country. He is fearless champion of the accused, a bold crusader for the public defense community, and an eloquent spokesperson for reform of our criminal justice system. There is no finer role model for the defense function.” – Norman L. Reimer, Executive Director of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.   

Receiving the 2013 Ostrow award recognizing his lifetime commitment to the defense of liberty and preservation of human rights, Lefcourt had this to say: “When we stand with the accused, we defend the rights of all of us. What we do every day as a lawyer in the courtroom is a constitutional duty. What we do to reform our criminal justice system is a civic duty.”

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Ivan J. Dominguez, Director of Public Affairs & Communications, (202) 465-7662 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.