Todd Smith Receives Champion of Justice Award
Today, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) presented its highest award - The Leonard M. Ring Champion of Justice Award - to Chicago lawyer, and founding partner of Power, Rogers & Smith, L.L.P., Todd A. Smith, at its Annual Convention in Montreal. The Award recognizes an AAJ member who has exceptional integrity and character, who embodies Leonard Ring’s devotion to human and civil rights. The Award seeks to recognize individuals who have taken up the AAJ mission, improving and progressing the practice of law through their personal and professional efforts.
The Award was particularly significant as it is named after the late Leonard M. Ring, a prominent trial lawyer from Chicago. Mr. Ring, like Mr. Smith, was a past President of what is now known as AAJ, formerly The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA). Todd A. Smith has been a member of AAJ since 1984, and served as its President in 2004-2005.
Mr. Smith was joined by his wife, Marcia Friedl Smith, his daughter, Grace, and son, Ben, in Montreal at the Membership/Awards Luncheon. The introductory remarks were presented by Linda Lipsen (pictured below right), long-time CEO of AAJ/ATLA, as well as the Senior U.S. Senator from Illinois, Richard J. Durbin.
In his remarks, Mr. Smith, recalled his proudest moment serving as an officer of ATLA when in 2001 the Leadership created “Trial Lawyers Care (TLC),” which is thought to have been the largest single pro bono effort ever created. Three days after September 11th, Leo Boyle, our then-President, said: “If first responders can give their lives in an effort to save others, certainly we can give of our time to help their families.” TLC went on to serve some 3,000 families on a pro bono basis in the compensation fund developed through the efforts of Congress’ legislation supporting ATLA’s advocacy.