CBA Record March-April 2021

CBANEWS 2021 Earl B. Dickerson Awards Go Virtual by Kathryn C. Liss, CBA Record Editorial Board

“Let us thank the individuals honored today with the Dickerson Award for putting these principles into practice for all of us to see.” – Judge E. Kenneth J. Wright, Jr.

E arl Burrus Dickerson was a trail- blazer for the community and the legal profession, with a dedicated passion for helping others achieve justice and equality. In his teens, Dickerson moved from Mississippi to Chicago and pursued a legal career, graduating from the University of Chicago Law School in 1920. As an attorney, he served as general counsel of Liberty Life Insurance Company of Illinois, assistant corpora- tion counsel for the City of Chicago, and was the first African American appointed as Illinois Assistant Attorney General. He also was a prominent civil rights activist and served as Chair of the Legal Redress Committee in the NAACP, a National Board Member of the NAACP, and President of the Chicago Urban League for several years. Dickerson became one of the first African Americans members of The Chicago Bar Association in 1945. To honor Dickerson’s dedication to the law and relentless work to make the city of Chicago more just and equal, The Chicago Bar Association established the Earl B. Dickerson Award in 1990.This bar year, the following recipients received this prestigious award on February 24, 2021: Judge Dav i d H. Coar (ret.) is a medi- ator and arbitrator at JAMS, handling complex bankruptcy, class actions, employ- ment , intel lectual property, lender lia- bility, and securities cases. He previously

served as United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois for 16 years and as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for 8 years. From 1979 to 1982, he served as the first United States Bank- ruptcy Trustee in the Northern District of Illinois. As a practicing lawyer, Judge Coar represented private plaintiffs in a case that determined how Title VII impacted the merger of previously seg- regated lines of progression in the steel industry. Additionally, he participated in several international programs and taught courses on ethics, corporations, corporate finance, constitutional law, labor law, and professional responsibil- ity as an Associate Professor of Law at DePaul University College of Law.

Law and the John Marshall Law School. In 2015, Judge Coleman was nominated for a Chicago/Midwest Emmy Award for producing “Bridging the Divide” for The Chicago Bar Association, which highlighted the anniversaries of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts.

Pa t r i ck Dankwa John is a family law p r a c t i t i on e r a nd the President of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. As Presi- dent, he is the Deca- logue Society’s first

Black as well as its first Christian leader. John is also a prolific writer, focusing on racial and religious equity. Several of his articles condemning bigotry were published in the Times of Israel , includ- ing “Confronting Anti-Semitism: What Would Jesus Do?” and “Enough is Enough, I Can’t Breathe,” an article he wrote in the wake of the George Floyd killing. In the latter article, he created the word crupellechrom to describe the unique discrimination that Blacks have suffered. In January 2020, John wrote a screenplay called “Jesus: The Black Jewish Messiah,” intended to provoke thought and discussion about how reli- gion has been used to justify discrimina- tion against Blacks and Jews. John also volunteers with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, whose mission is to eradicate the evils of bigotry and intolerance through widespread public education programs.

Judge Sharon John- son Coleman is a United States Dis- trict Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. She was appointed in 2010

by President Barack Obama. Prior to her appointment to the federal bench, she served as a justice on the Illinois Appel- late Court, First District in 2008. From 1996 to 2008, she was elected to serve as a Cook County circuit court judge. Prior to becoming a judge, she practiced as an Assistant State’s Attorney, Deputy State’s Attorney, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney, where she tried hundreds of cases. She has also served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of

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