E-Alerts & Press Releases

PJC's Deb Gardner Wins Equal Justice Council Award for Civil Gideon Work

May 22, 2008 -- PJC Board, Staff, and Civil Gideon Friends, Please join me in congratulating Deb Gardner, PJC’s Legal Director. This morning Deb was surprised with and honored by an award duly deserved. At the Maryland Legal Aid’s Equal Justice Council’s 11th Annual Awards and Recognition Breakfast, Deb received the Executive Director’s Award for her exceptional work coordinating the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel. The write-up in the award program said this: Debra Gardner has served as Legal Director of the Public Justice Center, Inc.(PJC ) since 2000, where she engages in civil rights and poverty litigation and other advocacy. Before joining the PJC, she was an attorney at the Legal Aid Bureau for more than 15 years and served as the Chief Attorney of Legal Aid’s Midwestern Maryland office. In addition to her duties at PJC, Debra has undertaken the massive effort of coordinating the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel. This consortium of legal professionals from around the country addresses one of the most pressing contemporary problems facing the justice system in this country – guaranteeing the right to counsel in civil matters. In May 2005, then-President Michael Greco of the American Bar Association was the guest speaker at the Equal Justice Council Recognition breakfast. During his remarks he issued the call for legal advocates to fervently pursue the goal of the right to counsel in civil matters. He later explained, “When litigants cannot effectively navigate the legal system, they are denied access to fair and impartial dispute resolution, the adversarial process itself breaks down and the courts cannot properly perform their result in delivering a just result.” Debra Gardner not only answered the call, but picked up the gauntlet to lead the national effort to bring this vision to fruition. Deb devotes countless hours to keeping this process on track, while engaging more and more advocates in the effort. We thank Debra for her stellar work at Legal Aid and beyond and offer sincere congratulations on her many accomplishments. Go Deb!


John Nethercut

Executive Director Public Justice Center 1 N. Charles Street, Suite 200 Baltimore, MD 21201

410-400-6952 nethercutj@publicjustice.org


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