Law in Popular Culture

2022 Silver Gavels go to book by Anita Hill, documentary about trailblazer Pauli Murray

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Silver Gavel

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Looking for your next read, TV show or podcast? Start with one of the eight winners of the ABA’s 2022 Silver Gavel Awards for Media and the Arts.

The ABA on Wednesday announced the Silver Gavel Awards, which recognize outstanding work that fosters the public’s understanding of law and the legal system. This year, the 18-member Standing Committee on Gavel Awards also selected four honorable mentions from the 29 finalists announced in March.

“The American Bar Association conducts an extensive review of the entrants and undertakes a deliberative process to select Silver Gavel winners and Honorable Mentions,” Sharon Stern Gerstman, chair of the Standing Committee on Gavel Awards, said in a press release. “We congratulate all of the 2022 awardees for their dedication and excellent work toward advancing the American public’s understanding of the law and the justice system.”

The Silver Gavel Awards have been presented each year since 1958. Eligible categories include books, commentaries, documentaries, drama and literature, magazines, multimedia, newspapers, radio and television, but not every category receives an award every year.

Gender violence, civil rights, legal history, cold cases, discrimination, civics and the pursuit of justice are among the topics highlighted by the 2022 awardees, according to the press release.

ABA President Reginald Turner will present the Silver Gavels and honorable mentions on July 12 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Alan C. Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project, will give the keynote speech. The ceremony will also be livestreamed.

Here is the complete list of winners:


Silver Gavel: Believing—Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence by Anita Hill; Viking Books


Silver Gavel:Punitive Excess”: Brennan Center for Justice; Lauren-Brooke Eisen, director, justice program; Daniel Okrent, senior fellow


Silver Gavel: My Name is Pauli Murray: Amazon; Betty West and Julie Cohen, directors; Talleah Bridges McMahon, producer; Claudia Raschke, DP; Cinque Northern, editor


Silver Gavel:Black Legal History in Oklahoma: May 2021 Oklahoma Bar Journal”: Oklahoma Bar Association/Oklahoma Bar Journal; John Morris Williams, executive director/editor in chief; Lori Rasmussen, communications director; Melissa DeLacerda, chairperson; Lauren Rimmer, communications specialist; Carol Manning, communications director

Honorable Mention:Legal Roadblocks to Police Accountability”: Gateway Journalism Review/Pulitzer Center; William Freivogel, publisher/grantee; Kallie Cox and Orli Sheffey, reporters; Steve Edwards, illustrator; Abbey La Tour, design chief/photographer; Jackie Spinner, editor


Silver Gavel:Un(re)solved”: Frontline; Tamara Shogaolu, creative director


Silver Gavel:The Real Damage”: The Washington Post; Hannah Dreier, national enterprise reporter; Andrew Ba Tran, investigative data reporter

Honorable Mention:Unsettled—Cashing in on Accident Victims”: Star Tribune; Jeffrey Meitrodt, investigative reporter; Nicole Norfleet and Adam Belz, reporters; Jeff Wheeler, photojournalist; C.J. Sinner, director of graphics & data visuals; Thomas Oide, digital designer


Silver Gavel:Civics 101: Supreme Court Series”: Civics 101; Nick Capodice, host; Hannah McCarthy, host/producer; Jacqui Fulton, producer; Erika Janik, executive producer

Honorable Mention:On Our Watch”: National Public Radio/KQED; Liana Simstrom, supervising producer/project manager; Sukey Lewis, host/reporter; Sandhya Dirks, producer/reporter; Nicole Beemsterboer, Alex Emslie and Leila Day, editors; Huo Jingnan, data editor; Adelina Lancianese, producer; Nina Sparling and Cynthia Betubiza, assistant producers


Silver Gavel:A Promise to Ahmaud”: 48 Hours; Omar Villafranca, correspondent

Honorable Mention:60 Minutes: Attack on the Judiciary”; CBS News 60 Minutes; Bill Owens, executive producer; Tanya Simon, executive editor; Bill Whitaker, correspondent; Heather Abbott, producer; LaCrai Mitchell, associate producer; Craig Crawford, editor

See also: “2021 Silver Gavel Awards honor works on court secrecy, racial justice, women’s rights” “Silver Gavel Awards honor works on jailing pregnant women, judicial indiscretion”

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