Saturday, December 5, 2009
Mr. Burton is currently a partner at the New York firm, Sagat Burton, LLP. He is a former New York State Assistant Attorney General, former New York State Assistant Special Prosecutor, and a former Director of Government Affairs for Continental Insurance. He has written the authoritative reference book Burton’s Legal Thesaurus (4th ed., 2006) and, in 2003, co-founded the Holmes Debates, which address major issues facing the nation and the judiciary.
Mr. Burton is receiving the Golden Pen for all of those notable accomplishments, but he was nominated and selected mostly because he has become one of the most listened-to and melodic voices in the world of people who advocates for legal writing excellence. He created the Burton Foundation, a volunteer, not-for-profit, academic organization that concentrates on the relevance and importance of modernized legal writing. His foundation rewards and celebrates legal writing instruction and action. One of the foundation’s many activities is the annual Burton Awards, a national awards program dedicated principally to honoring effective legal writing, including plain-language efforts. The foundation has honored nearly 100 students for their outstanding writing and fifty or more lawyers who have written excellent articles or books.
Thanks go out to the members of LWI's Awards Committee: Susan Thrower, Chair (De Paul); Leah Christensen (Thomas Jefferson); Kirsten Davis (Stetson); Sonia Green (John Marshall-Chicago); Hether MacFarlane (McGeorge); Lou Sirico (Villanova); Christopher Wren (Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office).