Summer 2003

Justice Joyce Kennard to Keynote Dinner Honoring Dale Minami

California Supreme Court Associate Justice Joyce L. Kennard will deliver the keynote address at the 2003 Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner, to be held on Saturday, Aug. 9, in the Grand Ballroom of the Westin St. Francis Hotel during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. The dinner will honor San Francisco-area lawyer Dale Minami.

Section Chair Mark D. Agrast describes it as particularly appropriate that Kennard deliver the main address at the awards dinner. "As the first Asian Pacific American woman to serve on the California Supreme Court, an immigrant who learned English as a third language, and a person with a disability, her passion for justice has been informed by an extraordinary range of life experiences. Like award recipient Dale Minami, she has offered young lawyers a consistent model of excellence and blazed a path for them to follow."

Kennard has been the recipient of awards from ABA entities that honor achievements of female and minority lawyers who surmount barriers to success, who inspire other women and minorities to become lawyers, and who work to expand opportunities for younger professionals to succeed. She received the Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession (formerly the Commission on Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession) in 1996 and the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession in 1993.

Her more recent awards include the Public Service Award from the Asian Pacific American Bar Association in 2001 and the Legal Impact Award 2000 from the Asian Law Alliance in San Jose, Calif., given in recognition of her work in the community on behalf of justice, dignity, and equality.

Prior to being appointed to the California Supreme Court in 1989, Kennard's positions included Associate Justice on the state Court of Appeal in Los Angeles (Division Five) from April 1988 to April 1989 and judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court from February 1987 to March 1988.

The 2003 Thurgood Marshall Award will be presented to San Francisco-area lawyer Dale Minami, who is best known for his work in vacating the convictions of Fred Korematsu and other defendants in the wartime internment cases. He also is credited with influencing the selection of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asians for executive and judicial appointments at the state and federal levels. He co-founded the Asian Law Caucus and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, the first Asian American Bar Association in the country.

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