Derwyn Bunton Honored As Leader In The Law

New Orleans, LA – Chief District Defender Derwyn Bunton was named by New Orleans CityBusiness as a 2012 Leadership in Law honoree. Bunton was among 50 of New Orleans’ top legal professionals recognized for moving the legal community forward with energy, innovative ideas, achievements and a commitment to excellence.

Now in its eighth year, Leadership in Law honors court-associated attorneys, in-house counsel and firm-associated attorneys. The 2012 class was recognized March 20 at the New Orleans Museum of Art and will be featured in the March 23 issue of New Orleans CityBusiness.

“It is an honor to be chosen and included among New Orleans’ best,” Bunton said. “This is the product, recognition and vindication of hard work on the part of our office over the years through tough political times. The fight for effective public defense in New Orleans is ongoing, but it feels good to have the work of our office validated.”

Under Bunton’s leadership, the Orleans Public Defenders Office represents nearly 30,000 court-appointed clients each year. OPD aims to provide eligible citizens of Orleans Parish with client-centered legal representation of the highest quality – zealous, conscientious, caring, professional, ethical and skilled – in criminal and municipal/traffic court.

The recognition comes on the heels of announced restrictions of services due to years of chronic underfunding. The budget shortfalls forced restrictions of legal services, layoffs of attorneys and staff, and the termination of conflict and capital appointments. Despite the cuts, Bunton and the OPD continue their work toward an efficient and effective criminal justice system in New Orleans.

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