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.

2018 Recipients

Special Merit

Dwane Cates is the managing partner of Dwane Cates Law Group, PLLC, a criminal defense law firm.  Mr. Cates is certified by the Arizona State Bar as a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law.  He graduated, Suma Cum Laude, with a Bachelors Degree in Communication with an emphasis on persuasion from Arizona State University.  He Graduated ASU School of Law (now, Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law) in 1996.  Mr. Cates started his own law firm straight out of law school.

Mr. Cates appeared over 100 times on national television as a criminal law expert commentating  on high profile cases in the News.  He appeared on Fox News, CNN, CNBC, HLN, the Nancy Grace Show and most of the local news programs.

In 2009 Mr. Cates started concentrating primarily on Criminal law.  He handles a wide range of cases from DUI to first degree murder cases.  Mr. Cates handled a number of high profile criminal matters including the Robert Fisher case that was featured on two episodes of Dateline NBC, The Federal “Baby Formula” case and one of the first Federal Mortgage Fraud cases resulting from the housing crises.

Special Merit

Tom Crowe graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, California in 1965 and the University of Arizona College of Law in 1968. His first legal position was as a Deputy County Attorney in Yuma, Arizona. Shortly thereafter, he worked as Legislative Assistant to the Honorable John J. Rhodes in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. He returned to Phoenix to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief of the Criminal Section and, finally, First Assistant U.S. Attorney where he was in charge of the Phoenix office. He joined the Phoenix firm of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite and, in 1979, entered private practice where he was joined by Michael B. Scott, a posthumous recipient of the Tom Karas Award.

After almost 40 years, Crowe & Scott, P.A. closed its office on December 31, 2018. Tom focused his practice on criminal defense and tried some 130 cases. He has served with and been a member of multiple organizations to advance the cause of criminal justice and has devoted substantial time to the representation of indigent defendants in U.S. District Court pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act.


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 and Thomas N. Crowe

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