Tom Karas Criminal Justice Award
This award, established in 2004, recognizes a 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.
JOHN M. SEARS was born and raised in Washington DC, graduating from the University of Maryland in 1972, and from George Washington University Law School in 1975. John and his wife Judy moved to Prescott in 1978, where he limits his practice to criminal defense.
He holds the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and is an Arizona State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist. He has been named a Super Lawyer of the Southwest, one of Arizona’s 100 Best Trial Lawyers, and is named in both Best Lawyers and Best Law Firms in America. John was a founding member of the Arizona Justice Project, which seeks justice for the innocent and the wrongfully imprisoned. In 2011, John received the John J. Flynn Lifetime Achievement Award from Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice (AACJ), the statewide criminal defense lawyers organization, becoming only the eighth recipient and the first from outside Phoenix and Tucson. Currently, John serves as president of AACJ.
The award has been presented to:
||Fredric F. Kay
||Robert J. Hirsh
||Donna Lee Elm
||Michael B. Scott (posthumously)
||Mark Budoff (posthumously)
Robert J. Hooker (posthumously)
||Bruce S. Griffen
||Michael D. Kimerer
||Michael L. Piccarreta
||Darrow K. Soll (posthumously)
||Larry A. Hammond