The 2015 Stephen Philbin Award winners. (Photo by the Dallas Bar Association.)

The 2015 Stephen Philbin Award winners. (Photo by the Dallas Bar Association.)

A reporting team from The Dallas Morning News walked away with top honors at the 32nd Annual Stephen Philbin Awards, hosted by the Dallas Bar Association on Monday.

The awards honor the best legal news reporting in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

This year’s grand prize went to Selwyn Crawford, Diane Jennings and Sara Mervosh of The Dallas Morning News for their series “Deadly Affection.” The piece detailed domestic violence deaths in a four-county area. As a result of the reporting, Dallas County began confiscating guns from abusers, and shelters saw a jump in calls for help, the bar association reported.

Additional winners this year are:

  • Online News/Feature: Mark Curriden, Texas Lawbook, “The Evolving State of Texas Law Firms”
  • Metro/Statewide Spot News: Angela Morris, Texas Lawyer, “Governor Perry’s Legal Defense Costs Breach $1 Million”
  • Metro/Statewide Series of Articles: Lance Winter, Weatherford Star-Telegram, “Reflections of Vietnam”
  • Magazine Feature Article: Michael Hall, Texas Monthly, “Richard LaFuente is Finally Free”
  • Metro/Statewide Newspaper Feature: Kevin Krause and Ed Timms, The Dallas Morning News, “Firms Giant and Small”
  • Radio/Television News Report: Tanya Eiserer, Greg Johnson and Jason Trahan, WFAA-TV, “DA Investigation”
  • Suburban Newspaper Article: Lauren Aguirre, The Daily Campus, “Sept. 17 on-campus sexual assault case closed under Title IX, still an open criminal investigation”

In selecting the winners, judges consider educational value, accuracy, and resourcefulness, as well as the journalist’s initiative in pursuing the story and the story’s contribution to public debate. Winners in each of the categories receive a $750 award. The Grand Prize winners receive $1,500.

Established in 1983, the Philbin Awards are named in honor of Stephen Philbin, an active member of the Dallas Bar Association and a leading authority on media law, who lost his battle with leukemia in 1982.