Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor Dale Minami who today is receiving the 2011 Silver Spur Award from San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR). This award recognizes a lifetime of civic achievement of a San Franciscan.
Mr. Minami is one of the country's preeminent attorneys recognized for his civil rights leadership. He is best known for heading the legal team in Korematsu v. United States, the legendary Supreme Court case that overturned the wrongful criminal conviction of Fred Korematsu who refused internment during World War II.
Mr. Minami is a personal injury attorney with Minami Tamaki LLP and has made significant contributions to the advancement of the rights of Asian-Americans. Minami is a co-founder of the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian-American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, the Asian Pacific Bar of California and the Coalition of Asian-Pacific Americans.
Other landmark decisions he was involved in include United Filipinos for Affirmative Action v. California Blue Shield, the first class action employment lawsuit brought by Asian-Pacific Americans on behalf of Asian-Pacific Americans; Spokane JACL v. Washington State University which established an Asian American Studies program at the Washington State University; and Nakanishi v. UCLA, a claim for unfair denial of tenure which resulted in the granting of tenure after multiple hearings and widespread publicity over discrimination in academia.
Mr. Minami has been involved in the judicial appointment process and in public policy. He was a member of the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission and chaired the California Attorney General's Asian Pacific Advisory Committee. He served as a commissioner on the California State Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Nominees' Evaluation and Senator Barbara Boxer's Judicial Screening Committee. President Clinton appointed him chair of the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund in 1996. Mr. Minami specializes in personal injury and entertainment law and has represented well known clients such as Kristi Yamaguchi, Philip Kan Gotanda and Steven Okazaki. He is counsel to the Asian American Journalists Association and has also represented many of San Francisco's best known faces on television, including Sydnie Kohara, Lawrence Karnow, Vic Lee, Heather Ishimaru and David Louie.
He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California in 1968 and his J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley in 1971. He was admitted to the California Bar in 1972. In 1982, he was admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Among his many awards and recognitions, Mr. Minami received the American Bar Association's 2003 Thurgood Marshall Award, the 2003 ACLU Civil Liberties Award, and the State Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award. A dormitory at UC Santa Cruz was named Queen Liliuokalani-Minami Dormitory. Mr. Speaker, I ask this body to rise with me to acknowledge Dale Minami's extraordinary work and lasting contributions to justice and equality in the Asian American community and our community at large.
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