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Kaiser Receives 2023 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Washington Lawyers’ Committee

The Washington Lawyers’ Committee has recognized Kaiser PLLC with a 2023 Outstanding Achievement Award. This recognition comes after Kaiser attorneys Jon Jeffress and William Zapf, along with other attorneys at the firm, secured a groundbreaking win for Pro Bono client Galen Baughman in the Virginia Supreme Court.

Mr. Baughman, a prominent criminal justice advocate, was the victim of the Commonwealth’s unlawful civil confinement scheme twice over. After serving seven years in prison for adolescent sexual conduct, Mr. Baughman was detained for an additional two years under Virginia’s civil confinement law, which allows prosecutors to detain prisoners for an indefinite amount of time for crimes the state fears they might commit in the future. Despite his acquittal by the jury the first time in 2012, Mr. Baughman fell victim to Virginia’s civil confinement practice a second time in 2017, just hours before his release from jail on a technical probation violation.

At the request of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Kaiser attorneys Jon Jeffress, William Zapf, and other lawyers at the firm, represented Mr. Baughman in his effort to overturn the unlawful 2017 petition.

Kaiser represented Mr. Baughman at a two-week jury trial, convinced the Supreme Court of Virginia to take the case on appeal, and then briefed and argued the appeal.

Finally, on September 15th, 2022, the Supreme Court of Virginia issued its decision, definitively ending the Commonwealth’s unjust prosecution of Mr. Baughman. After four years of tireless advocacy, the Kaiser team led Mr. Baughman to justice.

In their recognition of Kaiser’s dedicated and enduring work on Mr. Baughman’s case, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee wrote, “Thanks to Kaiser’s dedication and more than a decade of fighting for his freedom, Galen Baughman won an impactful decision in the Virginia Supreme Court proving that the petition to indefinitely detain him was illegal.”

The Washington Lawyers’ Committee partners with private legal organizations and nonprofits to provide legal assistance to individuals and communities who experience violations of their civil rights. During the Branton Luncheon, the Washington Lawyers’ Committee recognizes the DC-area law firms and advocacy organizational partnerships that have achieved important results for their clients and DC-area communities through Outstanding Achievement Awards.