Excellence in the Law salutes finest in the profession

Issue May 2012

MBA will honor Hon. Mark Wolf, Globe columnist Kevin Cullen May 10

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and the Massachusetts Bar Association will honor the best of the legal profession at Excellence in the Law on Thursday, May 10, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St James Ave., Boston.

The MBA will bestow the Daniel F. Toomey Excellence in the Judiciary Award to the Hon. Mark Wolf, chief judge of the U.S. District Court; and the Excellence in Legal Journalism Award to Pulitzer-prize winning Boston Globe columnist Kevin Cullen. The ceremony will also honor Diversity Heroes, Emerging Legal Leaders, Excellence in Pro Bono, Marketing, Firm Administration and Operations.

Wolf was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in 1985 and became its chief judge in 2006. He is also a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, having previously served on its committees on Criminal Law, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Codes of Conduct.

Wolf also previously served in the Department of Justice as a special assistant to the deputy attorney general of the United States (1974) and the attorney general of the United States (1975-77), and as deputy U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts and chief of the Public Corruption unit in that office (1981-85). He was also in private practice in Washington, D.C., with Surrey, Karasik & Morse, and in Boston with Sullivan & Worcester.

Wolf has taught courses on the role of the judge in American democracy at the Harvard, Boston College and New England law schools, and spoken on this subject and human rights issues in Egypt, Cyprus, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and China. Wolf is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.

Cullen has written for The Boston Globe since 1985, and served as a local, national and foreign correspondent before becoming a columnist in 2007. His columns highlighting the suicide of a 15-year-old girl who had been bullied by schoolmates helped win the top award from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University in 2011.

Cullen had several stints on the Globe's Spotlight Team, including the 1988 team that exposed the mobster James "Whitey" Bulger as an FBI informant and the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003 for exposing the cover-up of sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests.

He spent more than 20 years covering the conflict in Northern Ireland, more than any other American journalist, and in 1994, was honored by the Overseas Press Club of America for his interpretive reporting from Northern Ireland. In 1997, he was appointed as the Globe's Dublin bureau chief, covering the peace process in Northern Ireland full time.