Orrick Lawyers Honored For Pro Bono Death Penalty Work


Orrick partner Christy Von der Ahe Rayburn and associate Lillian Mao were honored yesterday by Death Penalty Focus for their pro bono work challenging California’s Proposition 66.

Representing former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp and lawyer Ron Briggs, an Orrick pro bono team led by Christy filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 66, which voters approved last November to accelerate death penalty appeals.

The California Supreme Court has put the law on hold while it considers the legal challenge, which argues the ballot proposition violates the separation of powers doctrine, interferes with the jurisdiction of California’s appellate courts, violates equal protection and violates the rule that a proposition be limited to a “single subject.”

Christy and Lillian were honored on Sunday at Death Penalty Focus’ 26th Annual Awards Dinner, which recognized individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to human rights and shedding light on flaws and inconsistencies within the criminal justice system.