George Kendall is the director of Squire Sanders’ Public Service Initiative, (PSI), a pro bono working group that focuses most of its time on pro bono litigation and policy initiatives.
He and his team of three other attorneys and a paralegal are currently handling more than a dozen capital, innocence, and prison condition matters. They also regularly assist colleagues with cases before the Supreme Court and appellate courts.
He has represented capital clients since 1979, first while in private practice in Washington, D.C., and then for five years as a staff attorney for the ACLU’s 11th Circuit death penalty project. He also worked for 15 years as an assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, as well as private practice.
His professional successes include successfully representing indigent death row inmates Delma Banks and Paul House before the United States Supreme Court, Banks v. Dretke, 540 U.S. 668 (2004); House v. Bell, 547 U.S. 518 (2006), and working to free Joseph Dick, a former Navy sailor who was wrongly convicted of rape and murder in Virginia. Dick was freed by commutation in 2009, and the case, known as the Norfolk Four, has been the subject of a book, The Wrong Guys, and a Frontline documentary, The Confessions.
He has previously taught courses on the administration of capital punishment at Yale Law School, Florida State Law School, and St. John’s School of Law.
He is the recipient of numerous professional awards, including the Champion of Justice Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Life in the Balance Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, and recent ones from the Equal Justice Initiative and the Constitution Project.
Kendall received his J.D. from Antioch College in 1979 and his B.A. from the University of Richmond in 1974.