Articles & News



Lawyers celebrate First Amendment program that grew from flap over 'Annie'

Oct. 3--More than a decade after a lawsuit forced the Olathe School District to keep a homosexual-themed novel in school libraries, lawyers this week celebrated a First Amendment program that grew out of it.

The Olathe district had to pay winning attorneys almost $170,000. That money was used in 1999 to start the First Amendment Foundation Program, which was founded to promote those rights. Much of that effort is in Johnsons County.

Shook Hardy and Bacon of Kansas City, Mo., the winning law firm, contributed $30,000 more to start a program that has sponsored many college scholarships.

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SHB Recognized for Longstanding Commitment to ACLU

October 14, 2009 - For the Public Good, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, February 2010, p. 21

Recognizing a partnership established over two decades ago, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas & Western Missouri recently presented Shook, Hardy & Bacon with the organization’s Advocate of the Year Award. The firm was selected for its “long and deep history of support of the ACLU” and its “extraordinary commitment to Civil Liberties in Kansas City over many years.” Partner Bill Hays and Director of Pro Bono Services Jolie Justus accepted the award on behalf of the firm during the biannual Liberty Awards Dinner on October 14, 2009, in Kansas City.

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Johnson County First Amendment Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Program a Success

By Bill Hayes - Diversity News, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, December 2009, p. 15

Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLP established the Johnson County First Amendment Foundation on December 22, 1999, after the successful resolution of a banned-book case in the Olathe, Kansas School District. The banned book was Nancy Garden’s Annie on My Mind, the story of a romantic relationship between two teenage girls. The court ordered the losing party—the Olathe School District—to return Annie to the library’s shelves and to pay SHB $170,000 for the attorney’s fees it had incurred. The firm then used those fees, plus $30,000, to establish the foundation. The foundation’s charter is to promote a better understanding among Kansas students of the First Amendment and other constitutional rights.

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