Courtney Shevelson Receives First Gerald Z. Marer Award

This year, SDAP decided to create an award to recognize a member of the private counsel panel for outstanding appellate advocacy on behalf of SDAP clients. The award was named after the late Gerald Z. Marer, who served ten years as SDAP's first Chair of the Board of Directors. Mr. Marer was an outstanding advocate in both civil and criminal appeals, a former president of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and was known for his extensive pro bono work, his integrity and his wisdom. The prodigious energy he devoted to his practice and to community service was made all the more remarkable by the fact that he suffered from muscular sclerosis for much of his adult life.

The SDAP attorney staff chose Courtney Shevelson as the first recipient of the Gerald Z. Marer award. Courtney began representing indigent criminal appellants in the Sixth District Court of Appeal in May, 1985, shortly after the creation of the court and SDAP's predecessor agency, the Appellate Division of the Conflicts Administration Program. At the time, he had already been practicing for eleven years, and he had been one of the outstanding lawyers in the State Public Defender's Office in the late 70's and early 80's.

Courtney has had many published wins in SDAP cases in both the Sixth District Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. These include People v. Brown (1986) 179 Cal.App.3d 207; People v. Jones (1995) 10 Cal.4th 1102; People v. Norrell (1996) 13 Cal.4th 1; People v. Jensen (2003) 114 Cal.App.4th 224 and People v. Kelly (2006) 40 Cal.4th 106.

Courtney has displayed excellence in all facets of appellate advocacy: research, analysis, writing and oral advocacy. He also has outstanding client communicaiton skills and is respected for his high ethical standards.

We have had the great professional pleasure of working with Courtney for 22 years. We wish him continued success in his practice, and we feel great pride in his accomplishments as a member of the SDAP panel.

June 1, 2007

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