Spurgeon will be recognized at the Senior Lawyers Division annual Pickering Award dinner on Aug. 4 during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
As president of the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation in Woodland Hills, Calif., Spurgeon founded the center in 1998. It is the only law-related organization whose central mission is to improve the quality of life for older persons through education, research and service, especially those who are impoverished or otherwise disadvantaged.
Spurgeon, who practiced law for 15 years and holds degrees from Princeton, Stanford and New York University, also is a director and past president of Justice in Aging (formerly the National Senior Citizens Law Center), and was a co-founder of the Utah Legal Services Senior Lawyer Volunteer Project.
Spurgeon, 76, also had a lengthy career as a legal educator and administrator with various appointments at the law schools of the University of Utah (1980-1993 before returning in 2002); the University of Georgia; New York University and Stanford University. At the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, he held the Gordon D. Schaber Chair in Health Law and Policy.
The Pickering Award is being presented to Spurgeon “in recognition of (his) significant contributions to improving justice for all,” says retired Arizona Judge Louraine C. Arkfeld, chair of the ABA Senior Lawyers Division.
“I cannot think of anyone who better captures the spirit and achievements of John Pickering than does Ned Spurgeon,” wrote University of Missouri law professor David M. English. “Ned…has been a major catalyst for change in the field of elder law, very much in the way that his older colleague, John Pickering, was a major catalyst for change. I cannot think of a more worthy nominee for the Pickering Award.”
The late John H. Pickering, cofounder of the Washington, D.C. law firm then known as Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale), was a former District of Columbia Bar president known for his long record of pro bono work in the areas of civil rights, the financing of legal services for the poor, doctor-assisted suicide, and on behalf of the elderly. The award has been given since 2007 in recognition of Pickering’s dedication to the cause of equal justice for all and the highest standards of ethics and professionalism in the law.
Pickering in the early 1990s spent time at the University of Utah as a Distinguished Lawyer in Residence. His daughter, Leslie Francis, is currently a University of Utah law professor who also holds joint appointments in philosophy, family and preventative medicine, internal medicine and political science.
Spurgeon currently works with another University of Utah connection: Mary Jane Ciccarello, former dean of students at the law school, is a former Borchard Fellow and now co-directs the center with Spurgeon.