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ACLU Names Godfrey & Kahn Attorney James A. Friedman Volunteer Attorney of the Year

April 12, 2005

The law firm of Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. today announced that James A. Friedman, a shareholder in the firm’s Madison office, LaFollette Godfrey & Kahn, was named 2004 Volunteer Attorney of the Year by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin (ACLU) at its recent "75 Years in Wisconsin" celebration. This award was based on Friedman’s outstanding contribution in the past year toward protecting civil liberties in Wisconsin through his pro bono work for the ACLU.

Friedman served as lead counsel in two cases for the ACLU of Wisconsin during 2004. In the first case, he won a victory for Pewaukee resident Walter Fiedorowicz, who was prohibited by Pewaukee ordinances from putting a political yard sign on his lawn for most of the year. In April 2004, Judge Charles Clevert accepted Friedman’s argument that the ordinances violated Fiedorowicz’s free speech rights, prompting the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and municipalities around the state to review their rules governing yard signs.

In the second case, Friedman is representing Ryan Clancy, peace activist and Milwaukee area businessman, to challenge his fine of $8,000 from the Federal government for allegedly traveling to Iraq illegally before the U.S. invasion. According to Friedman, the process for imposing the fines neither reveals the government’s criteria nor gives defendants a fair opportunity to contest the claims against them.

Friedman is a member of the Godfrey & Kahn Litigation, Media, and Insurance Practice Groups. He concentrates his practice on First Amendment and media law, constitutional law, insurance law, and other complex and appellate litigation. Friedman serves on the Board of Directors of the Progressive magazine and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, and he has taught Constitutional Law as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Founded in 1957, Godfrey & Kahn maintains offices in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Madison (LaFollette Godfrey & Kahn), Green Bay, and Appleton. With more than 180 attorneys, Godfrey & Kahn provides legal and business advice to clients ranging from small businesses and governmental entities to large privately and publicly held national and international companies.

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