Ballard Spahr partner Paul K. Casey has been named the 2013 recipient of the Michael Scher Award by the American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. The award is given to an attorney who demonstrates outstanding leadership and exemplary legal skill, and who has made significant contributions to the field.

Mr. Casey, who is based in Ballard Spahr’s Baltimore office and co-chairs the firm’s Housing Group, will receive the award today during the Forum’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. He handles real estate finance and public finance transactions with an emphasis on affordable housing, public housing law, and federal housing programs.

Said Jon M. Laria, Managing Partner of Ballard Spahr’s Baltimore office: “Paul is, and always has been, deeply committed to issues involving affordable housing. He is a leader in the field who has helped shape policy and a talented lawyer who, for decades, has delivered inspired solutions to our housing clients. What’s more, he’s a man of principle who believes in the mission of bringing quality affordable housing to people in need. There is no one more deserving of this prestigious award.”

Mr. Casey led the legal team that represented the New York City Housing Authority in closing one of the largest public-private partnership tax credit bond deals in U.S. history, a matter that earned him “Dealmaker of the Year” recognition in 2011 by The American Lawyer. Much of his practice is devoted to mixed-finance public housing development, and he has been actively involved in hundreds of such transactions nationwide.

In addition, Mr. Casey was a member of the HOPE VI Work Group, established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to advise on the development of cost guidelines for rental mixed-finance development, and he served on the advisory team that prepared HUD’s Mixed-Finance Guidebook. From 1983 to 1987, Mr. Casey was Assistant Attorney General of Maryland, representing the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Most recently, Mr. Casey has been at the forefront of the creation of the Columbia Downtown Housing Corporation and serves as its President, working to ensure affordable housing opportunities are part of the 30-year redevelopment plan for downtown Columbia, Maryland.

“Paul has tirelessly devoted himself to lifting the professional standards of the affordable housing and community development bar, while at the same time helping to focus the discussion on the resolution of key issues for the benefit of communities all over the United States,” said Howard County Department of Housing Executive Director Tom Carbo, who nominated Mr. Casey for the award. “He does all of this while striving to always affirm the skills and gifts of everyone he encounters.”

With more than 70 attorneys, Ballard Spahr’s housing practice is one of the largest in the country. Its attorneys advise on the development and financing of housing and community development programs. The group has represented more than 70 housing authorities, closed hundreds of bond transactions as bond and underwriter’s counsel, and assisted with thousands of tax-credit transactions.

“I am honored to have been chosen from among so many talented attorneys for this award. Being recognized by peers of this caliber is humbling,” said Mr. Casey. “I am also grateful to work with so many people who dedicate their time and talents to bringing a basic human need―safe, quality housing―to people who would not otherwise be able to afford it. I share this award with all of them. A wise man said, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ I am thankful that I chose wisely.”


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