August 13, 2020 2020 State & Local Annual Meeting

2020 Jefferson Fordham Winners

Janice C. Griffith, Benjamin E. Griffith, Aubrey B. Coleman II

Janice C. Griffith, Benjamin E. Griffith, Aubrey B. Coleman II

Lifetime Achievement Award - Janice C. Griffith

Janice C. Griffith, Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School, Boston, MA

Professor Griffith is a Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School, where she previously served as Vice President for Academic Affairs of Suffolk University.  Her other academic accomplishments include:  serving as Dean, Georgia State University College of Law; professor Quinnipiac University School of Law and the University of Bridgeport School of Law.  She has served as a member of Colby College's Board of Overseers, member of the  Knowledge Globalization Institute Planning Committee at Suffolk University,  a Visiting Scholar at Yale Law School, and an American Council on Education Fellow at Ohio State University.

She is a nationally recognized scholar in State and Local Government Law and has published extensively in her area of expertise, including articles on the sharing economy, federalism, housing, public finance, land use, home rule, open space protection, comparative urban law, and regional governance. Professor Griffith is one of the authors of multiple editions of a leading casebook entitled State and Local Government in a Federal System.

Professor Griffith received a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and an A.B. degree from Colby College.  She holds bar memberships in Connecticut and New York.


Advocacy Award - Benjamin E. Griffith

Benjamin E. Griffith, PLLC, Griffith Law Firm, Oxford, MS

Ben Griffith is the Principal of Griffith Law Firm in Oxford, MS. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law, earned his B.A. from Ole Miss.  For the past 45 years Mr. Griffith’s practice has focused on federal and state civil litigation, with emphasis on voting rights and election law, civil rights defense, insurance defense, public sector insurance coverage, and environmental law. He has represented over 60 municipalities, counties, and school districts in Mississippi and has served as lead counsel for public entities in seven other states within the Fourth, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits.

A sampling of publications in his field of practice include, but not limited to, the four editions of America Votes! Challenges to Modern Election Law and Voting Rights (ABA 1st ed. 2008; e-Supp. 2009, 2nd ed. 2012, 3rd ed. 2016, 4th ed. 2020)(Editor and chapter author), “Voting Rights and Remedies from an International Perspective” contained in International Election Remedies (J. Young, Editor, ABA 2017), “Effective, Timely, Appropriate, and Enforceable Remedies” (co-author).

Ben has participated as moderator and/ or speaker in programs on various continuing legal education issues, including anti-corruption, government transparency, cybersecurity, and electoral access in Berlin, Ukraine (Kiev and Lviv), the Czech Republic, the Republic of Georgia, Spain, Croatia, the United Kingdom (London, Edinburgh, Dublin), and the Peoples Republic of China.


Up & Comers - Aubrey B. Coleman II

Aubrey B. Coleman II, Government Relations Advisor - Technology & Operations, T-Mobile, Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Aubrey Coleman II earned his Bachelor of Science from The University of Alabama, majoring in Corporate Finance and Macroeconomic Monetary Policy. He returned to The University of Alabama where he earned a Juris Doctorate and Master of Science in Civil Engineering.  He enrolled in the master’s program while taking law classes, to specialize in infrastructure legal policy, understanding that the nation needs leaders that could understand technical and legal concepts to help develop policy aimed at reinvigorating America’s national infrastructure.  He leads a team that develops policy framework alongside elected officials to support the launch of the 5G wireless network throughout Texas.

In his spare time, Aubrey works with community leaders to improve access to broadband and cellular infrastructure in underserved areas. Aubrey also works with community leaders to improve access to fresh food and vegetables for citizens living in food deserts.  He is also currently working to provide the city with internet-enabled hot spots and tablets which

would enable volunteers and census workers to reach some of the hardest to count citizens, without computer and internet access to complete census documents. Finally, Aubrey has canvassed many of these areas with other volunteers to educate citizens and answer questions about what they have to/ not have to legally provide census workers.

When asked about his dedication to community work, Aubrey frequently quotes Benjamin Franklin by saying “Change comes when the unaffected are equally outraged as those who are affected.”  What makes Aubrey special is his passion and commitment to ensure that people are treated the same regardless of socioeconomic status.