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BCLP Partner Jonathan Potts has been chosen as a 2022 Paul H. Chapman Award recipient by the Foundation for Improvement of Justice. The foundation’s mission is to recognize and reward individuals and organizations making innovative contributions to the improvement of the civil or criminal justice system.

Jonathan will be recognized for his outstanding achievement in securing the exoneration of Donald “Doc” Nash in 2020. Mr. Nash was wrongfully convicted of capital murder in 2009. It took eight years of work by BCLP, and multiple rounds of habeas corpus proceedings, to win Mr. Nash’s freedom. In 2020, the BCLP team fought to secure the release of Mr. Nash, who suffers from pulmonary disease, in the midst of an outbreak of COVID-19 at his prison.  After appointing a special master, the Supreme Court of Missouri concluded that Mr. Nash was “actually innocent” of the murder and vacated his conviction.

Jonathan won this high-profile pro bono matter as part of a larger BCLP team that included Partner Charles Weiss and Counsel Stephen Snodgrass – both prior Paul H. Chapman Award recipients and ineligible to receive the award more than once. Partner Chris Schmidt is also a past award recipient for his impactful pro bono work in cases under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

As a charter signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, BCLP is committed to making a real and lasting difference in the communities it calls home – it’s one of the firm’s core values. All of the firm’s lawyers and legal staff are encouraged to undertake pro bono work, whether in the traditional format of assisting individual clients or through innovative projects and initiatives.

The Foundation for Improvement of Justice is a private, nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, Ga., created for the purpose of improving local, state and federal systems of justice. All of this year’s Justice Award winners will be honored at a banquet on Oct. 1 in Atlanta. Visit the foundation’s website for more information and to see the complete list of previous winners.

This document provides a general summary and is for information/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought before taking or refraining from taking any action.