Sirkin Named Cincinnati First Amendment Lawyer of the Year

CINCINNATIBest Lawyers, which describes itself as "the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession," has just named prominent First Amendment attorney H. (for "Henry"; who knew?) Louis Sirkin their 2011 Cincinnati First Amendment Lawyer of the Year.

"After more than a quarter of a century in publication, Best Lawyers is designating 'Lawyers of the Year' in high-profile legal practice areas in large legal communities," reads a press release from the magazine. "Only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is being honored as the 'Lawyer of the Year' for 2011."

"Best Lawyers compiles its lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting exhaustive peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers," the notice continues. "The lawyers being honored as 'Lawyers of the Year' were selected because they received particularly high ratings from most of their peers. In some cases, they also received particularly effusive comments from some of those same peers. The selected lawyers have earned a high level of respect among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity."

The adult industry, of course, is well familiar with Sirkin's groundbreaking First Amendment work. Beyond his success in defending adult book and video stores and adult nightclubs, he famously championed the rights of Dennis Barrie, the director of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, when Barrie was busted for displaying allegedly obscene photographs taken by famed lensman Robert Mapplethorpe.

Among Sirkin's other wins was getting sections of the 1996 Child Pornography Prevention Act struck down by the Supreme Court. More recently, he was one of the attorneys who won freedom for John Stagliano during the Evil Angel obscenity trial in Washington, D.C. Sirkin (with associates Jennifer Kinsley and Scott Nazzarine) has also worked tireless for the Innocence Project, which among other activities uses DNA technology to free innocent people who have been unjustly convicted of crimes.

AVN congratulates H. Louis Sirkin for his tireless work on behalf of the adult entertainment community, and for becoming Cincinnati's First Amendment Lawyer of the Year.