Joseph A. Power, Jr. Receives the Champion of Justice Award from Public Justice
Public Justice is a national, not-for-profit public interest law firm. Supported by the Public Justice Foundation, Public Justice is committed to ensuring access to the courts, protecting citizens’ civil rights, protecting consumers’ rights and workers’ rights, as well as promoting public health and food safety, ensuring environmental standards are followed and inspiring other lawyers to serve the public interest.
The foundation is supported by lawyers, law professors, law students, public interest professionals, and others who are dedicated to justice. Mr. Power served as the President of Public Justice from 1998 to 1999 and during his term helped establish the Foundation’s west coast office in Oakton, California.
July 31st marked the 30th Anniversary of Public Justice, and the Foundation celebrated the milestone by honoring members and supporters at a Gala and fundraising event at Union Station in downtown Chicago, Illinois.
Mr. Power, was honored at the Gala and presented with the “Champion of Justice” Award, Public Justice Foundation’s highest honor. He was applauded for, among other things, his role in uncovering a bribery scandal involving trucking licenses that resulted in 76 criminal convictions, including that of then-Illinois Governor George Ryan. Power’s clients in that case recovered a record $100,000,000.00, the highest in a trucking case, as compensation for the death of the minister-Plaintiff’s six children. The case also triggered the retesting of over 2000 truck drivers, thereby protecting the safety of all citizens using Illinois roadways.
Governor Pat Quinn attended the Gala and provided brief remarks before the evening’s awards program began. Governor Quinn specifically recognized Power’s contributions not only to the practice of law but also to fighting against those who attempt to deny injured persons their day in court and holding government and other powerful interests accountable. “Public Justice’s mission involves standing up to injustice and fighting for the little guy, and for that reason there is no person more deserving of this honor than Joe Power,” said Todd A. Smith, another founding partner of Power Rogers & Smith.