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Thursday October 6th, 2011

The Road to Justice

Fred D. Gray, Gray, Langford, Sapp, McGowan, Gray & Nathanson

Thursday October 6, 2011, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Frank J. Battisti Memorial Lecture, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Our nation has made enormous progress toward racial justice since World War II. In this lecture, Fred D. Gray, one of the nation’s preeminent civil rights lawyers, will analyze legal developments in this field. Drawing on his own leading role in many landmark civil rights cases, Mr. Gray will explain the relationship between legal advocacy and political activism while examining the challenges that we continue to face in preserving and extending the gains that we have made. This lecture should be of particular interest to lawyers because of Mr. Gray’s unique perspective as an advocate for civil rights in several landmark Supreme Court cases and in many other lawsuits. Because Mr. Gray is currently in practice, he will also provide timely information useful to lawyers who handle civil rights, human rights, civil liberties, disability rights, labor and employment cases.

Additional Information About Our Guest

Fred Gray is one of the nation’s preeminent civil rights lawyers. His clients have included Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, and the victims of the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Among the Supreme Court cases in which he has played a prominent role are Browder v. Gayle, which invalidated the Montgomery bus segregation ordinance; NAACP v. Alabama, a significant freedom of association case; Gomillion v. Lightfoot, the Tuskegee gerrymandering case; and New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, the landmark defamation case. He also has represented freedom riders, sit-in demonstrators, participants in the Selma-Montgomery voting rights march, and plaintiffs in the cases that desegregated all public elementary, secondary schools, colleges, and universities in Alabama.

Mr. Gray was one of the first two African Americans elected to the Alabama legislature after Reconstruction, the first black president of the Alabama State Bar, and president of the National Bar Association. His many honors include the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Award and the Federal Bar Association’s Sarah T. Hughes Award. He is the author of two books, Bus Ride to Justice and The Tuskegee Syphilis Study. He decided to become a lawyer during his undergraduate years at Alabama State University so that he could destroy everything segregated he could find. Mr. Gray graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1954 and remains actively engaged in the practice of law.