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Jenner & Block Partner Jeffrey D. Colman was selected to receive the Chicago Bar Association/Chicago Bar Foundation’s prestigious Justice John Paul Stevens Award for 2012.
The award honors Justice Stevens, a Chicago native, for his lifetime efforts to improve the system of justice. It is presented annually to attorneys who have demonstrated extraordinary integrity and service to the community throughout their legal careers.
Mr. Colman received the award at a luncheon at which Justice Stevens was the keynote speaker, on October 2, 2012, at The Standard Club in Chicago. This was the 13th annual presentation of the award.
Mr. Colman has practiced law at Jenner & Block for almost 38 years. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has represented plaintiffs and defendants in class action litigation, environmental and civil rights litigation and a wide array of civil and criminal matters, at both the trial and appellate levels. He has also represented more than 35 law firms across the country in professional liability matters.
In addition, Mr. Colman has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Illinois and as counsel for Cook County, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Board of Education, the Chicago Board of Elections and a number of other public entities.
Throughout his legal career, Mr. Colman has also had an active pro bono practice. He recently represented several prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base and has litigated death penalty cases in Georgia and Illinois, represented minorities in voting rights litigation and housing discrimination cases and represented more than 100 indigent defendants in criminal trials and appeals.
In addition, Mr. Colman has served as a board member of many organizations devoted to providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford to pay, including the Chicago Bar Foundation, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the John Howard Association, the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities, and the Northwestern Law School Children and Family Justice Center.
His public service roles have included Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee responsible for establishing the legal representation system for Illinois death row inmates in post-conviction proceedings and Secretary-Treasurer of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions in Criminal Cases. Most recently, Mr. Colman was named Chair of a newly created Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice.
Mr. Colman has received numerous awards for his pro bono and public service activities. Among these have been honors from the American Constitution Society, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the John Howard Association, the Chicago Inn of Court, the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, MALDEF, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Illinois Public Defenders Association, and the City of Chicago.