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March 10, 2006

David P. Baugh is the 2006 Recipient of the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award

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David P. Baugh of Richmond will be the recipient of the Virginia State Bar’s sixteenth annual Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award.

Baugh was selected for his pro bono representation of numerous First Amendment cases, his zealous defense of indigent criminal defendants in complex court-appointed cases for nominal compensation, and his dedication to training other members of the defense bar through continuing legal education.

The award, named for a late U.S. Supreme Court justice from Richmond, is sponsored by the VSB’s Special Committee on Access to Legal Services. It will be presented on April 26 at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, during the annual VSB Pro Bono Conference.

Baugh was named a “Human Rights Hero" by the American Bar Association for his representation of Ku Klux Klan member Barry Elton Black for burning a cross at a 1998 Klan rally in Virginia. Baugh, who is African American, took his defense of Black’s free speech rights to the U.S. Supreme Court and prevailed.

He also served as a court-appointed lawyer to Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-‘Owhali, an al-Qaeda member who participated in a 1998 bombing that killed 213 people and wounded thousands at the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. Al-‘Owhali faced the death penalty; he received life in prison without parole.

Charlottesville attorney Steven D. Rosenfield, who has worked with Baugh on pro bono civil litigation, nominated him for the award. “David has been a mentor and hero to countless criminal defense lawyers in Virginia since he moved here to practice criminal defense and civil rights law," Rosenfield wrote. As a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, Baugh “has represented for free students, prisoners, citizen speakers and a host of other individuals who have needed an advocate to protect them from the government," Rosenfield wrote.

Baugh is a graduate of Virginia State University and what is now the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston. He is a former assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Eastern District of Texas.

[For a picture of Mr. Baugh, please call (804) 775-0586 and leave an e-mail address where it can be forwarded.]

Updated: Dec 10, 2010