Last night, WSAJ held our annual Law Day Celebration, honoring those who fight for justice in our community. In addition to several student scholarship winners, the dinner focused on honoring three awardees.
This year’s Judge of the Year was The Honorable Susan Cook, a Skagit County Superior Court Judge. Cook is known for her well-reasoned opinions, and was selected for her commitment to protecting the civil rights of Washington citizens and for understanding the access to justice issues that face pro-se litigants and minorities. She exemplified this in the Familias Unidas por la Justicia v. Sakuma Brothers Farms, Inc. case, which entailed many of these challenges and presented novel and first impression issues.
The WSAJ Excellence in Journalism Award went to Tonya Mosley for her highly acclaimed reporting in Seattle’s The Stranger. Mosley’s work focused on the Seattle Police Department’s investigation into the Central District murder of DeSzaun Smallwood. Mosley is a regular contributor to Al Jazeera America and PBS, and serves as a fill-in talk show host for KIRO Radio. She later moved to Seattle and has received national acclaim for her radio series “Black in Seattle,” including the 2014 RTDNA Unity Award and the National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award. Mosley was named one of the “51 Most Influential People of 2014” by Seattle Magazine.
The keynote speaker was Jeffery Robinson, who also was surprised with the Carl Maxey Award, which is awarded to an attorney distinguished by working to educate members of the legal community about assumptions that affect the practice of law that are based on societal stereotypes and who challenge discriminatory practices within the law. Most recently, Jeffrey Robinson has been selected to serve as the Director of the Center for Justice of the National American Civil Liberties Union in New York City.
For more on these outstanding individuals and the scholarship recipients, and for lots of photos, be sure to read the June edition of Trial News.