If Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King had not related the true story in 'Beneath a Ruthless Sun,' many who know Judge Graham very well would not have known about his courage and determination as a young attorney. Graham, a mediator with Upchurch Watson White & Max since 2012, will receive an award, named for him by his local bar association, later this month.
ORMOND BEACH, Fla., October 11, 2019 (Newswire.com) - Richard S. "Dick" Graham, formerly judge for Florida's 7th Circuit and a representative to the state legislature and now a mediator with Upchurch Watson White & Max, recently learned that he is going to be the first recipient of an honor that is named for him -- The Richard S. Graham Power of the Law Award.
The Volusia County Bar Association Board of Directors recently announced the creation of the award and the association, Graham's local bar, has sold all of its tickets for the award dinner it plans for Thursday, Oct. 24.
"Many of us have known Judge Graham for many years and have known him to be an excellent attorney, judge and mediator," organizers say. "However, most of us were unaware of Judge Graham’s significant contributions as an attorney during the Civil Rights movement." His heroic actions as a young attorney are detailed in "Beneath a Ruthless Sun," a much-celebrated book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King. King also will appear as a special guest on Oct. 24.
Graham, who has been with Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group since 2012 and an Ormond Beach resident for many years, once played a pivotal part in combating the notorious Lake County Sheriff, Willis McCall, and the young attorney's efforts are recounted in King's most recent nonfiction work. In 2013, King won the Pulitzer for another nonfiction book, "Devil in the Grove."
The Volusia County Bar is raising money to "create a monument in honor of Judge Graham. Ideally, we will raise enough funds to commission a bronze bust of Judge Graham to be displayed prominently on the grounds of the Volusia County Courthouse in DeLand." The bar's Power of the Law Award Committee, led by chair Thomas Upchurch, member Alex Ford, and Brittany Gloersen of the VCBA's board of directors, has a fundraising goal of $20,000. "In the event we are unable to raise the necessary means for a bust, the funds raised will be put towards an alternative means of recognition," they pledge.
For their full message, see the bar association's newsletter here. For more information, contact Executive Director Kathie Selover at 386-253-9471 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Source: Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group