LatinoJustice president to receive ABA's 2018 John Marshall Award

Juan Cartagena, president and general counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, is the recipient of the 2018 John Marshall Award, presented by the American Bar Association's Judicial Division and the Standing Committee on the American Judicial System. He is the first Latino to win the award since it was created in 2001.

The John Marshall Award recognizes individuals who have had a positive national impact on the justice system. It is open to anyone responsible for extraordinary improvement to the administration of justice in the categories of judicial independence, justice system reform or public awareness about the justice system. Past recipients include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, eight state court judges and justices, the late former U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin of Alabama and former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania.

Based in New York and New Jersey, Cartagena has been a leader in the national Hispanic legal community for much of his 35-year career. He has dedicated his life to the pursuit of civil rights, human rights and constitutional litigation that improves the lives of Latinos and other minorities. He also has worked to increase the number of Latinos in the legal profession.

As a member of the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities, Cartagena promoted the accurate and uniform translation of the Miranda warning nationwide. In 2017, he led an effort to certify a Spanish translation of a public referendum question in Florida to restore the voting rights of formerly incarcerated individuals. This was critical to engaging Latino voters in that state.

Cartagena has served on numerous government bodies to protect the rights of all Americans. For example, he was a member of the Independent Commission on New York Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform and the New Jersey Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigration Policy. He was the first general counsel of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey and is a former Municipal Court judge in Hoboken, NJ.

Cartagena is a prolific writer and speaker, and has taught a course on Law & the Latino Community at Rutgers University for more than 25 years. A resident of Jersey City, NJ, he has a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and a law degree from Columbia University.

Cartagena will receive the John Marshall Award at a luncheon Aug. 3 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Published: Thu, Jun 07, 2018