Maslon and Blackwell Burke Selected as 2022 Community Impact Award Winners by Twin Cities Business Magazine
February 24, 2022
Maslon LLP is proud to announce that the firm has been selected as a 2022 Community Impact Award Winner in the Pro Bono Work category by Twin Cities Business magazine. Maslon is being honored alongside Blackwell Burke, P.A., for offering full support when two of their most prominent trial attorneys were asked to step away from private practice to lend their well-honed skills to serve the greater good.
In 2020, at the request of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Steve Schleicher of Maslon and Jerry Blackwell of Blackwell Burke joined the broader prosecution team as pro bono special prosecutors in the 2021 trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Schleicher and Blackwell ultimately played leading roles in voir dire, the opening statement, witness examination, and closing arguments, which proved pivotal in convincing the jury to return guilty verdicts on all charges. Widely considered the highest-profile police brutality case since the 1991 beating of Rodney King, the outcome was not only viewed as a landmark moment in U.S. criminal justice history, it was felt deeply by community members worldwide.
The effort involved considerable measures by each of the firms to support the significant contributions made throughout the high-intensity criminal trial, while ensuring the attorneys could do so without disruption to their thriving practices and valued clients.
"We were honored to support the AG's prosecution team through Steve's considerable contributions and were also inspired by the extraordinary work of Jerry Blackwell and all who served on the prosecution team,” said Keiko Sugisaka, chair of Maslon’s Governance Committee. "It is vitally important to us as a firm to continue Maslon's long tradition of pro bono service in support of the justice system."
To date, Schleicher and Blackwell have contributed thousands of hours of service to the AG’s prosecution team, all bolstered by the steadfast support of their respective firms. Their work continues as the trial of the remaining three former officers approaches later in 2022.
The Community Impact Awards are presented by Twin Cities Business to nonprofit and for-profit organizations whose philanthropic efforts are making a significant difference in our state, from poverty and hunger relief to access to capital and more. Winners will be recognized in the April/May edition of Twin Cities Business and at a May 25 event at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley.
To view the full list of honorees, go to: Twin Cities Business Magazine, 2022 Community Impact Awards.