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State Bar Presents Awards To Recognize Outstanding Contribution Of Judges, Lawyers And Law Students To Profession

Brad Carr
Alabama State Bar
Public Information Officer
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(334) 782-2781
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Montgomery, Ala., July 23, 2007 - At the Alabama State Bar's 2007 Annual Meeting, held this past weekend at Point Clear, awards honoring members of the legal profession were presented to the following:

Hon. Harold Murphy, U.S. District Judge, Northern District of Georgia, received the Judicial Award of Merit recognizing trial and appellate judges, not yet retired for their contribution to the administration of justice in Alabama. Judge Murphy presided over the landmark higher education desegregation case in the state which ultimately resulted in millions of dollars being awarded to for new academic programs at historically black Alabama State and Alabama A&M universities.

Retired Circuit Judge William R. Gordon and attorney Constance Smith Barker (Capell & Howard P.C.) both of Montgomery, received the Alabama State Bar's Award of Merit for their outstanding constructive service to the legal profession. Gordon and Barker were cited for their work on the bar’s Judicial Campaign Oversight Committee which monitored judicial election campaign conduct in 2006. The committee, comprised of retired judges, lawyers and non-lawyers created a campaign agreement that encouraged all candidates for judicial office to conduct their campaigns in a manner consistent with the dignity and integrity of the judicial system, to maintain the dignity of a judicial officer and to achieve highest ethical standards.

Camille Wright Cook, dean emeritus of the University of Alabama School of Law, received the Maud McLure Kelly Award presented by the Women's Section of the Alabama State Bar.

Dean Cook earned her law degree in 1948 from the University of Alabama School of Law and after graduating, continued her association with the school in such roles as: assistant dean; director of continuing legal education; assistant vice president for academic affairs; and professor.

To date the firm has provided over 565 hours of pro bono service in connection with the divorce clinic.

(Law Student Award) – Eddie L. Koen, Jr. While a third year student at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Koen served as chair of the Death Penalty project of the National Black Law Student’s Association. He led a project through which Cumberland students assist lawyers at Sidley & Austin with representation of persons sentenced to death. Koen assisted lawyers in Chicago, Los Angeles and DC with post-conviction cases in Alabama. His involvement has included both legal research and direct contact with clients and witnesses. Over the past year he contributed well over 100 hours to these cases. While death penalty remains a highly politically and emotionally charges issue, his commitment to seeing that death row inmates have high quality representation is in the highest tradition of the bar.

(Pro Bono Mediation Award) - Louis C. Colley. Colley was trained in mediation and joined the State Court Mediator Roster in 1997. Since that time he has conduct many mediations pro bono. Over the last year he provided pro bono mediation services in 22 divorce cases, providing approximately 100 hours of pro bono service. This service not only assisted 44 parties and their children but was also a great service to the court system. Saving the court system untold hours by allowing the parties to reach an amicable resolution.

The 15,500-member Alabama State Bar is dedicated to promoting the professional responsibility, competence and satisfaction of its members; improving the administration of justice and increasing public understanding and respect for the law.