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Sutherland Partner Honored by MALDEF for Outstanding Legal Community Service

May 12, 2003

ATLANTA (May 12, 2003) – Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is pleased to announce that Charles T. Lester, Jr., a partner in the firm's Litigation Group and Chair of Sutherland's Bar and Public Service Committee, has been honored by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) with the organization's Legal Service Award for his and the firm's community service.  The award was presented to Mr. Lester at MALDEF's Second Annual Dinner on May 9, 2003, at the JW Marriot Hotel Lenox.  The purpose of the dinner was to honor the leaders who have contributed to Latino civil rights in the Southeast.

Among Mr. Lester's many contributions to the community, he is noted for being a founder of the State Bar of Georgia's Minority Counsel Program, developed in 1993.  The program, now known as the Diversity Project, provides opportunities for minority lawyers to obtain legal work from corporations, governmental agencies and nonprofits.  As well, Mr. Lester, with a group of Sutherland lawyers, helped create and represent a nonprofit, People of Hope Cooperative, Inc., seeking to develop a low-income manufactured housing project managed by tenants.

Mr. Lester has 30 years of experience in the areas of antitrust law, construction litigation, civil litigation and criminal investigation and litigation.  He is a recipient of the State Bar of Georgia Distinguished Service Award and Pro Bono Service Award.  He also serves as Co-Chair of the Minority Counsel Program and is a former Co-Chair of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the leading nonprofit Latino litigation, advocacy and educational outreach institution in the United States.  MALDEF's goal is to foster sound public policies, laws and programs to safeguard the civil rights of the Latinos and to empower the Latino community to fully participate in our society.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP is a national law firm known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the nation's largest companies.  Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to more than 350 lawyers with offices in Atlanta, Austin, Houston, New York, Tallahassee and Washington.  For further information about the firm, please visit

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