Montgomery, Ala., April 15, 2013 – Morris S. Dees Jr., co-founder and chief trial counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center, will deliver remarks to commemorate this year’s Law Day theme, “Realizing the Dream: Equality for All,” at ceremonies to be held in the supreme court May 1 at 11 a.m.
The statewide observance of Law Day is coordinated by the Alabama State Bar. Law Day Chair David Rains, Tuscaloosa (Rosen Harwood PA) said, “In keeping with this year’s Law Day theme, we chose Morris Dees to recognize his efforts to ensure that all people, including the most vulnerable members of society, obtain access to justice. We have yet to erase racism and discrimination in our society, but he is an outstanding example of a lawyer who has led a life-long crusade for tolerance and equality.”
Dees founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971. He won a number of civil rights cases that helped integrate government and public institutions; he is also known for his work combating hate groups. Named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal in 2006, Dees was honored last year with the ABA Medal, presented by the American Bar Association for exceptionally distinguished service by a lawyer or lawyers to the cause of American jurisprudence. He has also been awarded the Trial Lawyer of the Year from the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award from the National Education Association, and the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice, among many accolades.
In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower established May 1st as Law Day to strengthen our heritage of liberty, justice and equality under law. This is a national day set aside to celebrate the rule of law and to underscore how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms we share.