The medal is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the American legal profession.
It is awarded only in instances when the ABA Board of Governors deems that a nominee has provided exceptional, distinguished service to the law and the legal profession, according to the July 26th windycitymediagroup.com article, ''AFER's lead attorneys Boies, Olson given top honor by American Bar Association''. Other recipients of the medal include Oliver Wendell Holmes, Thurgood Marshall, and Sandra Day O'Connor.
In 2009, Boies and Olson came together to lead the federal case against the ban on marriage for gay and lesbian Californians, known as Proposition 8. Together, the attorneys achieved victory in August of 2010, when, according to the windycitymediagroup.com article, a U.S. District Court came to the conclusion that: ''Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis.''
Founder and chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, Boies is one of the nation's leading trial lawyers. Major cases in which he has been involved include his representation of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in his suit against Major League Baseball, his defense of Napster when the company was sued for copyright infringement, and his role in the legal team representing the National Football League in their antitrust litigation, Brady v. NFL.
Boies' many philanthropic efforts include his and his wife's donation of $5 million to Northern Westchester Hospital. Boies and his wife also sponsor the ''Mary and David Boies Fellowships'' for foreign students at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Boies has been repeatedly recognized by both peers and professional organizations during his distinguished career. The National Law Journal recently named him ''Lawyer of the Year'', and Who's Who named him ''Commercial Litigator of the Year''.
A partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Washington, D.C. office, Theodore Olson is one of the leading appellate and U.S. Supreme Court advocates in the nation. While serving as the Assistant Attorney General in the Reagan administration, he defended President Reagan amid the Iran-Contra affair.
Notable cases in which he has been involved include his defense of a member of the press who initially leaked the story about Anita Hill. He also ''successfully represented presidential candidate George W. Bush in the Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore.'' In essence, this put a stop to the much contested Presidential election in 2000.
Olson served as Solicitor General from 2001 to 2004, then returned to practicing at Gibson Dunn. He has been consistently listed as one of America's Most Influential Lawyers.
According to the windycitymediagroup.com article, Chad Griffin, co-founder and Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights was quoted as saying: ''Ted and David show that excellence in the legal profession transcends partisan and ideological boundaries. Thanks to these two world-class legal minds the dark walls of discrimination are beginning to crumble. Ted, David and AFER will continue to fight for full federal marriage equality for all Americans.''
Per information at the organization's website, the American Foundation for Equal Rights is dedicated to protecting and advancing equal rights for every American.
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