Professor Bill Quigley is a co-recipient of the 2016 Public Justice Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. Quigley was part of a team of lawyers challenging money bail requirements in criminal courts. The Trial Lawyer of the Year Award is awarded to the attorneys who made the greatest contribution to the public interest within the past year by trying or settling a precedent-setting, socially significant case.
Quigley was part of the team on Jones (Varden) v. City of Clanton, and similar cases. They represent one of the first challenges to the constitutionality of the American money bail system. The system forces detainees – who are often held for minor, non-violent offenses – to sit in jail awaiting trial because they cannot afford to pay bail. These detainees constitute 60 percent of the US jail population.