The Catholic University of America



2011 Alum Tim Canney is Recognized Among the
Nation's Best Student Legal Writers


Timothy J. Canney, a 2011 graduate of The Catholic University of America, was among only 15 current and former law students nationwide selected to receive a 2011 Distinguished Legal Writing Award from the Burton Foundation. Canney’s winning submission, “Tax Gross-Ups: A Practical Guide to Arguing and Calculating Awards for Adverse Consequences in Discrimination Suits,” was published in the summer 2010 edition of the Catholic University Law Review, where he was a note and comment editor.
Now in its 12th year, the unique national awards program was established principally to rewarding effective legal writing. It honors partners in law firms and law school students who use plain, clear, and concise language and avoid archaic, stilted legalese.
Canney and 14 other law school winners were honored at a June 13, 2011, black-tie ceremony at the Library of Congress. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the featured speaker. Approximately 500 guests attended, including many of America's managing partners and partners of the largest law firms in America, law school deans, and professors from across the nation.
Canney is the third CUA student to win a Burton Award for outstanding legal writing. He joins honorees David Brewer (2010) and John Skees (2007). Canney was notified of his selection in April.
Students from 62 law schools have been recognized since the inaugural award ceremony in 1999. With this year's award, the Columbus School of Law joins a list of only 18 schools that have been represented three or more times.
The Burton Awards are designed to reward major achievements in the law ranging from literary awards to the greatest reform in law. The awards are selected, generally, by professors from Harvard Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the University of California at Irvine School of Law, among others. Judge Richard Posner (7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals), Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals), U.S. Senator John Cornyn, U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., Chairman Spencer Bachus, Judith Kaye (Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals) (retired), and Supreme Court Justice Carol Corrigan of California are honorary members on the Board of Directors.