Winter 2003

Jack Curtin to Receive Section Service Award at Midyear Meeting

Former ABA President and IRR Section Council member John J. Curtin, Jr., will be honored at the Midyear Meeting as the recipient of the 2003 "Robert F. Drinan Award for Distinguished Service" to the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, at a reception on Friday, Feb. 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Westin Seattle Hotel. The award recognizes an individual whose sustained commitment to the Section has advanced its mission of providing leadership to the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties, and social justice.

"If the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities is the 'conscience of the ABA,' Jack Curtin has been its heart and soul," Section Chair Mark D. Agrast said in announcing the award selection. "As President of the Association, he used his stature and his eloquence to champion the cause of equal justice under law. He stood with the Section as we fought for core policies on the death penalty, affirmative action, discrimination based upon sexual orientation, and many other vital issues. He stood up for the Rule of Law when it was challenged, and for our profession when it was subjected to unfair attacks by high government officials. When he left the presidency, Jack continued to lend his wisdom and support to IRR initiatives as a member of the the Section Council. He has honored us with his friendship and example, and it is a privilege to honor him with this award."

A Section member since 1985, Mr. Curtin served as President of the American Bar Association from 1990 to 1991. He currently serves in the House of Delegates, in which he has been a member since 1981; as Chairman of the ABA Coalition for Justice; on the Board of Directors of the American Bar Endowment; and as an advisor to the ABA Fund for Justice and Education. He also has been chair of many ABA entities, including the ABA Section of Litigation.

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