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Tom Leatherbury to Receive 2021 Patrick Wiseman Award for Civil Rights


The Civil Liberties & Civil Rights Section of the State Bar of Texas will honor Tom Leatherbury with the Patrick Wiseman Award for Civil Rights in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the civil rights and liberties of all Texans.

Past recipients of the award have included Sarah Weddington, Professor David Dow, Judge Jerry Buchmeyer, Chad Baruch and Bill Holston.

Leatherbury co-leads V&E’s firmwide Appellate practice group and also serves as Director of the First Amendment Clinic at SMU Dedman School of Law. A nationally-recognized First Amendment litigator with a career spanning more than four decades, Leatherbury regularly represents traditional and digital publishers, as well as broadcasters, in all aspects of media litigation, including libel, privacy, reporter’s privilege, newsgathering and access actions.

He recently gained recognition for his defense of the State Bar of Texas in a lawsuit involving minority director seats on the State Bar board (which are now “at-large” seats), and another that includes a challenge to the Bar’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Among many other honors, Leatherbury was named a fellow in the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, received the Dallas Bar Foundation Justinian Award and was awarded a Presidential Citation from the State Bar of Texas for his commitment to helping its diversity and inclusion efforts.

The Patrick Wiseman Award will be presented at TexasBarCLE’s 15th Annual Bill of Rights: Litigating the Constitution Course on May 14, 2021.

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