Jean Downey Receives Amanda Smith Award

From the May 2023 Criminal Defense Newsletter
The Appellate Defender Commission presented Legal Secretary Jean Downey with the 2022 Amanda Smith Core SADO Employee Award. The award is named after the 2021 recipient of the SADO Staff Award, Amanda Smith. Amanda worked at SADO for 39 years prior to her retirement in 2022.

Jean has worked at SADO since March 18, 1982, over forty years. She spent many of those forty years as office manager of SADO’s Lansing office. In those decades, she has proved herself to be an invaluable member of the defense team. Jean firmly believes that part of her job is to make life and work easier for the attorneys and the people SADO represents.

According to her nominees: “As her team members, we never have to doubt that tasks will get done and get done well.”

“Her work has allowed my relationships to flourish with clients, especially these last three years when our modes of communication have changed. She always finds slots for video visits and the number of emergency phone calls she has set-up has been astronomical. She mails letters with promptness. These jobs may seem small to some, but Jean’s care has ensured that I can be the best client-centered lawyer that I can be.”

A former dancer and all-star member of SADO’s softball team, Jean lives with her husband Bill, and her cat and dog. Their son Alex is almost 25 years old.

Jonathan Sacks
SADO Director