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Tom Karas Criminal Justice Award

Recognizing that criminal defense practitioner who has worked tirelessly to advance the principles of criminal justice by representing clients or the public with integrity, fairness, tenacity, creativity, brilliance and, above all, professionalism. (Award established 2004; amended language 3/17/06)

2021 Recipient

Richard D. Coffinger, an Arizona native, has been a criminal defense attorney for 49 years. Since 1977 he has been a solo practitioner. Dick also was a Maricopa County Deputy Public Defender from 1972-1975. Dick and one other attorney are the most senior (1980) State Bar Board Certified Criminal Law Specialists in Arizona. Dick received his BS in Economics with distinction (1969) and JD (1972) from ASU.

Dick served as the Young Lawyer President for both the Maricopa County Bar Association (1978) and the State Bar of Arizona (1979) and was an elected member of the State Bar Board of Governors (2005-2017). Dick is a founding member and past president (1995) of the West Maricopa County Bar Association.

Since 2010, Dick has been listed in the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and in Southwest Super Lawyers (2007-2009) and the Best Lawyers in America (2001).

Dick’s law office is housed in the historic First National Bank of Glendale building which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Dick has served the Glendale community as the 1993 president of the Glendale Rotary Club (perfect attendance for 46 years!) and president (1989-1999) of the Glendale Downtown Development Corporation.

Previous Recipients

The award has been presented to:

2004     Fredric F. Kay
2005 Robert J. Hirsh
2006 Donna Lee Elm
2007 Michael B. Scott (posthumously)
2008 Mark Budoff (posthumously)
Robert J. Hooker (posthumously)
2009 Bruce S. Griffen
2010 Michael D. Kimerer
2011 Michael L. Piccarreta
2012 Darrow K. Soll (posthumously)
2013 Larry A. Hammond
2014 Stanton Bloom
2015 Tom Henze
2016 John M. Sears
2017 Stephen M. Weiss
2018 Walter B. Nash, III
Hon. David G. Derickson
2019 Dwane M. Cates
Thomas N. Crowe
2020 Richard L. Lougee, Jr.
Randall S. Papetti
2021 Richard D. Coffinger
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