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Massachusetts Lawyer Victor J. Garo to Receive Edmund S. Muskie Pro Bono Service Award
CHICAGO, June 17, 2008 — The American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section will honor Victor J. Garo, principal of the Law Offices of Victor J. Garo in Medford, Mass., with the Edmund S. Muskie Pro Bono Service Award. The award recognizes TIPS members who have the attributes embodied by the late Senator Muskie of Maine - his dedication to justice for all citizens, public service, and his role as a lawyer and distinguished leader of TIPS.
The award will be presented during the 2008 ABA Annual Meeting in New York City at the section’s 75th Anniversary Dinner on Aug. 10, in the Delegates Dining Room at the United Nations Building. The event will take place from 7 – 10 p.m.
Section Chair Peter Bennett of Portland, Maine, said of Garo, “Victor’s dedication to pro bono work and the public good are unparalleled. In the Joseph Salvati case, he invested more than thirty thousand hours of pro bono time to right a wrong and to uncover the government’s cover up of a public injustice of epic proportion.. His commitment to the rule of law and service above self are examples for all lawyers to follow. It is with great pleasure that TIPS honors Victor with this award.”
Garo was born and raised in Medford, where he still resides and maintains his law office. He is a graduate of Medford High School, Boston University College of Business Administration and the Boston University School of Law.
Garo is best known for his work in the high-profile Salvati murder case. Garo met Joseph Salavati in 1977, and agreed to take his case to pursue a possible commutation of the life sentence Salvati began serving in 1968. Garo worked on behalf of Salvati on a pro bono basis for nearly 30 years. During his representation, Garo became convinced that Salvati was wrongly convicted, and proceeded to prove his client’s innocence. That process culminated in a dismissal of all charges against Salvati in January 2001; in July 2007, he won the largest award given to a family in a wrongful imprisonment case in U.S. history. Garo has received many prestigious awards for his involvement in the case.
Garo has been named as one of 35 influential judges and lawyers of the past 35 Years by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in its 35th anniversary special edition in 2007. He was the recipient of Boston University School of Law’s first Victor J. Garo Public Service Award, named for Garo, which will be presented annually to alumni and has received the Silver Shingle Award for distinguished service to the law school.
Garo is an active member of several local bar associations. He is a former president of the Boston University Law School Alumni Association and continues to work closely with them as a lifetime member. Other affiliations include: Massachusetts Bar Association; Boston Bar Association; Middlesex County Bar Association; and member and former president of the First District Eastern Middlesex Bar Association. Additionally, he is a member of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Massachusetts Trial Lawyers Association, and is on the board of directors of the Justinian Law Society.
The ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section unites plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system. TIPS is a national source of expertise in tort, trial and insurance practice and brings lawyers together to share information and speak out on issues of importance. The section has more than 35,000 members and 34 general committees that focus on substantive and procedural matters in areas across the broad spectrum of civil law and practice. For more information about the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section visit the TIPS Web site, www.abanet.org/tips.
With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
Editors Note: Reporters are invited to attend TIPS 75th Anniversary Celebration at the ABA Annual Meeting. Space is limited and reporters must preregister with Debbie Weixl in ABA Media Relations. Press credentials can be obtained at the ABA Press Room at the New York Hilton Hotel during the ABA Annual Meeting Aug. 7-12 or by contacting Deborah Weixl, ABA Division for Media Relations and Communication Services, at 312/988-6126 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. On site call 847/902-9019.