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Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Thursday, January 24, 2019 ACE Hotel, 600 Carondelet Street, New Orleans

Pro Bono Awardees

Alex Baynham and Jeffrey P. Birdsong, of Liskow and Lewis

Representative Paula Davis, Louisiana State Legislator

Etheldreda Smith, of Kuchler Polk Weiner, LLC, and Molly Wells, of Fishman Haygood LLP

Social Justice Awardees

Gayle Benson, Owner Benson Enterprises & New Orleans Saints

Senator JP Morrell, Louisiana State Legislator

Judge Jay Zainey, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana



Champions: Entergy; Helis Foundation

Gold: Adams and Reese LLP; Allison and Ben Tiller; Jones Walker LLP; Pan-American Life; S. Christie Smith, IV.

Silver: Carlos Mickan; Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz; Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver; Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer, L.L.C.; Phelps Dunbar; Woodward Design+Build; Liskow & Lewis

Bronze: Jack & Candy Weiss; Association of Corp Counsel; Cook Yancey; Fayard Firm

Fishman Haygood; Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP; Hancock Whitney Bank; Harry Hardin; IBERIABANK; Jay Lapeyre; Jeanine Sullivan; Kean Miller; Louisiana Association for Justice through its sister non-profit entity Bayou Research Institute; Stephen Herman; Stone Pigman; Taylor, Porter; Kuchler Polk Weiner, LLC


Camille Whitworth formerly of WGNO was the Master of Ceremonies. She presented awards to honorees. A special 10-year Legacy Award was presented by Allison Tiller to former Louisiana Appleseed Executive Director Christy Kane. A video by Christa Rock was shown. It featured the work of Louisiana Appleseed and was previously premiered at the Root Cause Conference held in New Orleans in 2018. Glass apple awards were created by Rosetree Glass Studio, with additional support from Studio Inferno, and glass engraving by Ed Smith’s Stencilworks.


Social Justice awards were given to individuals whose daily work exceeds expectations in creating access to justice, education, and opportunity, and embodies the mission of Louisiana Appleseed. Awardees were Mrs. Gayle Benson of Benson Enterprises for her exemplary work in creating access to education and personifying social justice to the Who Dat Nation. United States District Court Judge Jay Zainey who has created opportunities through a program that restores dignity to the homeless in New Orleans and 37 cities across the nation. Senator JP Morrell whose legacy of justice in the Louisiana Legislature will last for many years beyond his terms through the Constitutional Amendment for unanimous juries in criminal court.


Several attorneys who volunteer their time with Louisiana Appleseed have risen above and beyond what many other volunteers have done in 2018. Awardees were Alex Baynham and Jeffrey P. Birdsong, of Liskow and Lewis, for increasing access to opportunity by tackling various roadblocks to affordable housing. Representative Paula Davis, a member of the Louisiana State House of Representatives, for increasing access to opportunity through her wide-ranging advocacy efforts, specifically in the area of small successions. Etheldreda Smith, of Kuchler Polk Weiner, LLC, and Molly Wells, of Fishman Haygood LLP, for increasing access to education by creating the School Breakfast Report increasing the amount of school children being fed in schools throughout Louisiana.

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