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June 22, 2012
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Suzanne Webb (334) 242-7351
Jeff Sommer (334) 353-2199
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(MONTGOMERY) – The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG)
has honored Attorney General Luther Strange with two Best Brief awards this year.
These awards recognize excellence in brief writing by state attorneys to the United
States Supreme Court. They are judged by a panel of leading members of the Supreme
Court Bar.
The briefs were in Miller v. Alabama and Maples v. Thomas. In Miller v.
Alabama, the Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of mandatory life-
without-parole sentences for 14-year-olds convicted of capital murder. In Maples v.
Thomas, the Court held by a 7-2 margin that because a death-row inmate’s attorneys
abandoned him, he had good cause for failing to follow proper court procedures in
asserting certain federal claims.
Alabama Solicitor General John Neiman was lead attorney for the State in both
cases. Attorney General Strange appointed Neiman, a former clerk to Supreme Court
Justice Anthony Kennedy and former attorney at the Birmingham firm of Bradley Arant
Boult Cummings, to the position of Alabama Solicitor General when General Strange
first took office. Neiman thus wrote both briefs and argued both cases during his first
year in the Attorney General’s Office. In both cases, Neiman was assisted by a team of
attorneys. The Miller team included Deputy Solicitors General Andrew Brasher and
Prim Escalona, and Assistant Attorneys General Clay Crenshaw, Henry Johnson, John
Porter and Stephanie Reiland. The Maples team included Deputy Solicitor General
Escalona, Assistant Attorneys General Will Parker and Misty Fairbanks, and Special
Deputy Attorney General Corey Maze.
The Alabama Attorney General’s Office has a long history of success with the
NAAG Best Brief award. In 2002, former Attorney General (and current Federal Judge)
William H. Pryor created the position of Alabama Solicitor General to focus on the
office’s work in the U.S. Supreme Court. Over the 10 years since then, the office has
won 10 Best Brief awards. Previous Solicitors General on those briefs were Special
Deputy Attorney General Maze (three), Birmingham attorney Kevin Newsom (four),
and current U.S. Department of Justice official Nate Forrester (one).

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