Justice John Paul Stevens to Speak at Burton Awards Program


May 5, 2014

New York, New York: The Burton Awards program, run in association with the Library of Congress, announced that Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (retired) will receive the “Book of the Year in Law” Award. The Justice won the award for his new book, titled: Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution. He will be a featured guest speaker at the event which this year, on June 9, 2014, celebrates its fifteenth anniversary.

Justice Stevens was nominated as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Ford after serving as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from 1970-1975. In December, 1975, Justice Stevens took his seat on the Supreme Court. Although retired since June, 2010, Justice Stevens continues to leave his mark on the United States legal system and is spoken highly of by President Barack Obama, who, upon Stevens’ retirement, said, “Justice Stevens has courageously served his country from the moment he enlisted the day before Pearl Harbor to his long and distinguished tenure on the Supreme Court. During that tenure, he has stood as an impartial guardian of the law.”

Prior to serving as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice John Paul Stevens was Second Vice President of the Chicago Bar Association in 1970.

The 15th Anniversary of the Burton Awards will be held at the Library of Congress on June 9, 2014. Justice John Paul Stevens will be presented with the award and honored during the program. The Burton Awards was established to honor the finest achievements in law, including writing, reform, and other major accomplishments.


The Burton Awards, established in 1999, is funded by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. The Burton Awards honors the finest accomplishments in law, including writing, reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation, and lifetime achievements in the profession. The honorary and distinguished members of the Burton Awards Board of Directors include the following leaders in law: Judge Richard Posner, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit; Chief Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge for the 9th Circuit; Judith Kaye, former Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals (retired); John Cornyn, United States Senator; Robert P. Casey, Jr., United States Senator; Mike Crapo, United States Senator; Spencer Bachus, United States Congressman; Thomas L. Sager, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company; Keith C. Wetmore, Chair Emeritus, Morrison & Foerster LLP; Dennis Smith, former State Senator and member of the Missouri Judiciary Committee, Missouri Legislature; and Stephen R. Mysliwiec, Partner, DLA Piper.


This prominent institution is one of the most celebrated and distinguished libraries in the world. It was established on April 24, 1800, and since that time it has grown to become one of the largest repositories in history. The Library of Congress functions as both a national library and as the research arm of the U.S. Congress. It contains more than 32 million catalogued books and more than 62 million manuscripts.

WILLIAM C. BURTON, ESQ., Founder and Chair

The Founder and Chair of The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement is William C. Burton, Esq., a partner at the law firm of Sagat|Burton LLP. He is a former New York State Assistant Attorney General, a former New York State Assistant Special Prosecutor, and is the author of the first legal thesaurus ever written for the legal profession, entitled BURTON’S LEGAL THESAURUS. The book is now in its 5th edition and quickly approaching its 35th anniversary. When the book was released, the Association of American Publishers recognized it as “one of the Most Innovative and Creative Projects of the year.” In 2011, Mr. Burton was presented the highest honor given by the second largest association of law professors in America, The Legal Writing Institute, for “significantly advancing the cause of legal writing in the profession of law.” More recently, he was awarded the “Blackstone Award” by the Friends of the Law Library of Congress, for “embodying and promoting the best ideals of the institution.”