The Virginia State Bar Criminal Law Section has presented its 2014 Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award to noted criminal defense lawyer Gerald T. Zerkin.
Zerkin is one of the leading capital defense attorneys in the country, said U.S. Magistrate Judge David J. Novak, who presented the award.
Novak singled out Zerkin for his work defending 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, a case in which Novak served on the federal prosecution team.
“And while defending an alleged terrorist is never an enjoyable experience, Jerry also had to deal with a client who treated him terribly, often disparaging him with ethnic insults. Yet, Jerry persevered in the finest traditions of a Virginia lawyer and ultimately saved Moussaoui’s life,” Novak said.
The Carrico award was presented on Feb. 14 during the section’s 44th Annual Criminal Law Seminar in Williamsburg.
The award is named for the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia who promoted the ideals of professionalism during his forty-two years on the state’s highest court.
Zerkin worked for many years in the office of the federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Since 2008, Zerkin has been capital case resource counsel at the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, where he provides advice and assistance to federal defender offices and court-appointed counsel defending federal capital cases.