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Cook County Bar Association 101st awards and installation banquet draws record crowd

Sunday, June 21, 2015
Chicago Now
by Patricia Andrews-Keenan

(CHICAGO) -- The Cook County Bar Association (CCBA) celebrated its 101th Awards and Installation Banquet for new President Arlene Coleman, managing member of the law firm of Coleman Martin & Brown on Friday, June 12 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago with a rousing keynote address delivered by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. The event had all the overtones of a church revival with the State’s Attorney’s recurring themes of living your purpose and walking in your faith. It was clear that Mosby, the youngest chief prosecutor of any city in the country, had encountered delays, detours and obstructions in her path to the office of State’s attorney. She referenced how her opponent in the election outspent her at a ratio of more than four to one yet she won the election assuming her current office in January of this year.

Mosby captured the national spotlight earlier this year when she charged six Baltimore police officers with a variety of crimes including second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Freddie Gray.

The Gala theme for 2015 was “Lawyers for Justice, Advocates for Change.” President Coleman was sworn in by Chief Judge Circuit Court of Cook County Timothy Evans and outlined her three major areas for the 2015-16 Bar Year as

1. Appropriate interaction between the community and police;

2. Augmented services to our members; and

3. Increased representation of African Americans in the judiciary.

The event also recognizes outstanding leaders both in and outside of the legal profession. The 2015 honorees included:

J. Ernest Wilkins Award - Marilyn J. Mosby - Awarded to a lawyer or lay person of national prominence in an elective or appointive office in government or national organization for service to the country on the national level.

Richard E. Westbrook Award - Retired State Court Judge Patricia Brown Holmes - Awarded to a general practitioner for outstanding legal excellence. This lawyer is independent in his/her thought processes and has contributed money and time to promote and enhance the law.

Edward H. Wright Award - Commissioner Richard H. Wright - Awarded to a Black lawyer or lay person who has held elective or appointive office, is actively involved in government, and has distinguished himself or herself in public service or politics.

Kenneth E. Wilson Award - Judge Drella C. Savage - Awarded to a Judge or Justice who has, through activities on or off the bench served the cause of justice under difficult circumstances or has been extraordinary in serving justice and the community.

Harold Washington Award - Che “Rhymefest” Smith - Awarded to a lawyer or layperson for distinguished service as head of a community organization.

William R. Ming, Jr. Award - Marian E. Perkins - Awarded to a lawyer or lay person for dedication and substantial contribution to the causes of civil rights and individual liberties.

Judicial Award -Hon. Kevin T. Lee, Hon. Kristal Rivers, Hon. Maryam Ahmad and Hon Robin D. Shoffner - Awarded to a member(s) of the Cook County Bar Association who were elected or appointed Judge or Justice for the first time, for achievements in the legal field and a commitment to the principle of equal justice under the law.

Junior Counselor Award - Jeanette S. Samuels - Awarded to a member of the Cook County Bar Association who has been admitted to practice law in Illinois for five (5) years or less, for outstanding service rendered to the legal profession and to the Bar Association.

Senior Counselor Award - Honorable Patricia Banks - Awarded to a member of the Cook County Bar Association for membership in the Bar Association for at least forty (40) years.

Meritorious Service Award - Nicholas Cummings and Jerrold L. Williams - Awarded to a member for meritorious service to the Bar Association. Judicial Awards -

The event drew over 400 attendees and included a letter of congratulations from President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama in the evening’s program.

About the Cook County Bar Association

The CCBA was founded in 1914 and is the oldest association of African American lawyers and judges in the nation. Since its inception 100 years ago, the CCBA has been actively engaged in community service and outreach.




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