OCBA honors Justice Marshall

The Orange County Bar Assn. (OCBA) will honor former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in the first of a new Legal Giants educational series.

The annual events will pay tribute to those who have had the most impact on the country and its justice system, organizers said. The event series' founding was serendipitous, they added.

"In my January 2012 Orange County Lawyer magazine President's Page column, Inspiration & Initiatives, I noted that my earliest mentors were my parents and the Honorable Thurgood Marshall," OCBA President Dimetria Jackson said.

"Justice Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court justice and lead attorney in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court decision that declared state laws establishing separate public schools for African American and Caucasian children unconstitutional.

"Upon reading my President's Page, Greg Berk, Esquire, co-chair of the OCBA's Education Committee, was inspired to launch an OCBA program to pay tribute to legal giants who have positively impacted our nation."

Jackson said the seminar is appropriate for both lay people and those in the legal profession.

"This seminar is appropriate for everyone, as Justice Marshall supported constitutional protections of individual freedoms and human rights," Jackson said. "The panelists, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, UCI Law, and professor Rebecca Brown, USC Law, will discuss Justice Marshall's contributions to constitutional law, personal stories and his continuing influence on society."

Jackson will serve as moderator between Chemerinsky and Brown, who served as a law clerk to Marshall earlier in her career.

"Both Greg Berk and I hold the Honorable Thurgood Marshall in high esteem," Jackson said. "Justice Marshall inspired me to be an attorney. As a child, my parents explained the significance of the Brown decision and praised Justice Marshall's accomplishments. In addition to serving as lead counsel in Brown, Justice Marshall was the first African American to serve as Solicitor General of the United States and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court."

If You Go

What: Thurgood Marshall: A Salute to a Giant in Civil Rights Jurisprudence and Leadership

When: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday; registration and breakfast begin at 8:45 a.m.

Where: UC Irvine Education Building, Education Classroom 1111, 401 E. Peltason Drive, Irvine

Cost: OCBA member: $110; student members/judges $80; non-members $140

Information: ocbar.org

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