Kelley Drye’s Elizabeth C. Johnson Wins 2010 Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing

Associate Elizabeth C. Johnson was selected as a 2010 Burton Award for Legal Achievement recipient. The award honors excellence in legal scholarship and writing. The article, Insurance Coverage for Climate Change Suits: The Battle Has Begun,” was published in the Environmental Claims Journal (March 2009). It analyzed two climate change-related lawsuits: Steadfast Insurance Co. v. The AES Corporation and Native Village of Kivalina, et al. v. ExxonMobil Corp., et al.

Each year, only 30 articles are chosen from entries submitted by the nation’s largest and most prestigious law firms. The Eleventh Anniversary Burton Awards event will be held in the Library of Congress on June 14, 2010. The program is a non-profit academic effort. Guest speakers this year include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsberg; author Bryan Garner; and senior analyst for CNN Worldwide and author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, Jeffrey Toobin. Journalist and political commentator Bill Press will be the master of ceremonies.

The submissions were judged by an academic board led by Virginia Wise, a renowned teacher at Harvard Law School; Anne E. Kringel, a widely recognized expert in legal writing at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Grace Tonner, a prominent dean from the University of California Law School at Irvine; Judge Ed Forstenzer, a distinguished judge from California’s Superior Court (retired); and William Ryan, a direct descendent of Noah Webster.

Honorary members of the board include the following judicial scholars: Judge Richard Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit; Judge Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; Justice Carol A. Corrigan, California Supreme Court; and Justice James D. Ward, California Court of Appeals (retired).

The Burton Awards is funded by the Burton Foundation which is a not for profit, academic organization devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. Since its inception in 1999, the foundation has focused primarily on the refinement and enrichment of legal writing.