Tom Karas Criminal Justice Award
Established in 2004, the Tom Karas Criminal Justice Award, presented by the Board of Governors 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.
STEPHEN M. WEISS graduated from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1968. From then until 1970 he was a legal aid attorney on the Papago (now Tohono O’odham) Indian reservation. After serving in the Pima County Attorney’s Office until 1974, he entered the private practice of law which was devoted to criminal defense. In 1978 he was one of the first Tucson lawyers to be granted specialty certification in criminal law. He has defended numerous high profile criminal cases in both State and Federal courts. He has lectured extensively in such areas as grand jury practice and post-conviction relief, and has served as a volunteer adjunct professor at the James Rogers College of Law teaching pre-trial litigation and criminal investigation courses. From 1981 to 2006 served as a volunteer Superior Court Judge Pro Tem. Mr. Weiss has served on the Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments; the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness, and currently chairs the State Bar Criminal Advisory Commission. He has done a considerable amount of state and federal appellate work. In 2016 he received the Pima County Bar’s Robert J. Hooker Criminal Justice Award, and has been a Martindale-Hubbell AV preeminent lawyer since 1986.
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
||John M. Sears