CHARLESTON -- West Virginia attorney Harry Deitzler has been elected president of the Public Justice Foundation, one of the country's best known national public interest law firms.
Deitzler, who has been a partner at the law firm Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler since 1991, was elected president July 11 at the organization's annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Deitzler said he got involved with the Public Justice Foundation in 1990 based on a recommendation by Stanley Preiser.
"The Public Justice Foundation works to stand up for individuals' rights to be sure that everyone has equal access to justice," Deitzler said. "Public justice is very important to me and the Foundation sends out a very important message."
As president of the organization, Deitzler will help direct the organization's nationwide efforts to secure court access and justice in civil rights and civil liberties, environmental protection, consumers' rights and workers' rights.
Deitzler said his new role will be a challenge, but it will be a worth-while challenge.
"Part of the fun in life is that you participate," he said. "Being president of the organization and working in my office will be a challenge, but I'm fortunate enough to have four wonderful partners that help me out. Without them, I wouldn't be able to do it."
Deitzler said he is privileged and honored to be given the opportunity to serve as the organization's president.
"Public justice allows attorneys to make a difference," Deitzler said. "I became interested in law because I wanted to help people and make a difference."
Deitzler also sits on the Charleston City Council, where he is vice chairman of the Public Safety Committee, and established the Deitzler Foundation, Inc., along with his wife, Kathe, to provide support to more than 50 community organizations, charities and schools throughout West Virginia.
Four other attorneys were elected as officers of the Public Justice Foundation at the annual meeting: President-Elect Steven E. Fineman of New York City; Vice President Jack Landskroner of Cleveland, Ohio; Treasurer Ted Leopold of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; and Secretary Esther Berezofsky of Cherry Hill, N.J.
Five attorneys were elected to the organization's Executive Committee: Alan R. Brayton of Novato, Calif.; Wayne Hogan of Jacksonville, Fla.; Anne McGinness Kearse of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; and Robert L. Sachs Jr., of Philadelphia, Pa.
Twenty-one attorneys were elected or re-elected to the Public Justice Foundation Board of Directors: Benjamin L. Bailey of Charleston, W.Va.; Joan B. Claybrook of Washington, D.C.; Ingrid M. Evans of San Francisco, Calif.; Andrew S. Friedman of Phoenix, Ariz.; Stephen J. Herman of New Orleans, La; Neville L. Johnson of Beverly Hills, Calif.; Rhon E. Jones of Montgomery, Ala.; Taras Kick of Los Angeles, Calif.; Andrew A. Lemmon of Hahnville, La.; Stanley J. Marks of Phoenix, Ariz.; David J. Marshall of Washington, D.C.; Paul Miller of Toronto, Canada; Christopher T. Nace of Washington, D.C.; Michael L. Pitt of Royal Oak, Mich.; Donald H. Slavik of Milwaukee, Wis.; Bernard W. Smalley of Philadelphia, Pa.; Kenneth M. Suggs of Columbia, S.C.; Tara D. Sutton of Minneapolis, Minn.; James F. Szaller of Cleveland, Ohio; Michael P. Thornton of Boston, Mass.; and Janet R. Varnell of The Villages, Fla.
For more information about the Public Justice Foundation, go to www.publicjustice.net.