California Lawyer of the Year 2002 is known as the CLAY Award.

CLAY PICTUREHere’s what California Lawyer magazine had to say about the CLAY Award and Pamela Price in March 2003:

“In January 2002 plaintiffs attorney Price argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that her client, who had sued Amtrak for racial harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, should be allowed to proceed with his claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act because the “continuing violation doctrine” brought all of the alleged misconduct within the statutory time period. In June the Court issued a decision in favor of Price’s client, finding that prior acts could proceed in a hostile-environment claim so long as all acts that constitute the claim are part of the same unlawful employment practice and at least one act falls within the statutory time period. The Court also held that claims of discrete discriminatory or retaliatory acts–such as refusal to hire, failure to promote, or termination–must fall within the statutory period or they will be time barred. National Railroad Passenger Corp. v Morgan, 536 US 101. The decision resolved a conflict among the circuit courts over the scope of the continuing violation doctrine. Labor lawyers say the decision limits employer liability but will likely produce more administrative claims by employees seeking to protect their rights.

To quote (from California Lawyer Magazine, March 2003, page 15): “The winners of the awards have made a significant impact on public policy, artfully managed complicated cases or transactions, and won cases against great odds. The … lawyers were particularly innovative or diligent in pursuing successful appeals, trials, and settlements.”

The nominees were selected from news articles about notable cases and from readers (I.e. other attorneys) for nominations. Editors solicited names from legal journalists at sister publications, and contacted representatives at three dozen law schools and more than 75 bar associations. The three editors eventually ended up with about 150 candidates, a number they then whittled down to our final 26 [each representing a different area of law]. The emphasis was not on the dollar figures attached to the cases, but on the ground-breaking nature of the cases.