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Catherine Christian to Receive ABA Liberty Achievement Award

CHICAGO, June 16, 2008 — The _ Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section will present its inaugural Liberty Achievement Award to Catherine A. Christian of the New York County District Attorney’s Office. The Liberty Achievement Award raises awareness about the importance of diversifying the legal profession by honoring lawyers and judges who actively promote diversity within the legal community.  There are two recipients of the inaugural award. The awards will be presented to Christian and Judge Bernice B. Donald of Memphis, Tenn., at the ABA’s 2008 Annual Meeting in New York City on Friday, August 8, during the section’s gala to celebrate diversity and opportunity, Generation to Generation, to be held on Ellis Island from 7- 10 p.m.

“It is truly fitting that Catherine is among the first recipients of this very special award.  As the first African-American president of the New York County Lawyers’ Association and only the second woman to lead the association, Catherine has shown us that with perseverance and determination anything is possible,” said Section Chair Peter Bennett of Portland, Maine.

Christian, an assistant district attorney appointed in 1988 to the New York County District Attorney’s Office, is counsel for special projects for the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the city of New York.  In 1995, she joined Yi Tuan and Brunstein.

After starting her career with the New York County District Attorney’s Office, Christian investigated public corruption as assistant counsel with the New York State Commission of Investigation and served as supervising court attorney for the Bronx County Criminal Court. She re-joined the district attorney’s office in 1998 and was assigned to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the city of New York as senior trial counsel.  She then served as the office’s director of legal staff training from December 2000 to February 2007 before accepting her current post.

Christian is a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law of Pennsylvania State University. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hofstra University. She is a member of the New York State Bar and is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the United States Court of International Trade and the United States District Court in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

Christian is a member of the ABA House of Delegates and the ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division; the National Conference of Bar Presidents Diversity Committee; and the New York State Bar House of Delegates and Nominating Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Legal Services New York City.

The ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section unites plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system.  TIPS is a national source of expertise in tort, trial and insurance practice and brings lawyers together to share information and speak out on issues of importance.  The section has more than 35,000 members and 34 general committees that focus on substantive and procedural matters in areas across the broad spectrum of civil law and practice.  For more information about the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section visit the TIPS Web site, www.abanet.org/tips.

With more than 413,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.