Donald Lee Colee, Jr. of Birmingham, ACDLA's Past President, was named the recipient of the Roderick Beddow Award in Pensacola Beach at ACDLA's 30th Anniversary celebration and annual meeting.
Mr. Colee was presented ACDLA's highest honor for a lifetime of achievement in the field of criminal defense. His background includes working since 1988 with youth services programs for juveniles. He has lectured at numerous bar associations around the state and has served on the Board of Directors of ACDLA for several years.
This past year, Mr. Colee worked diligently as President of ACDLA on the indigent defense services legislation which was designed to reform Alabama's indigent defense system. He even spent his 60th birthday at the Statehouse fighting to ensure the rights of both the defender and client were represented by state lawmakers in this new legislation. On hand to present Don with this award were two friends, the Honorable Laura Petro and the Honorable Tommy Nail, both Judges from the 10th Judicial Circuit, Jefferson County.
Mr. Colee is a graduate of The Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 1976. From 1976 to 1983, Don served as Deputy District Attorney of Jefferson County. From 1983 to the present, he has been in the private practice of law in Birmingham. He handles all types of cases from death penalty to misdemeanors, trials and appeals.
Don is an active member of the Alabama Bar Association, ACDLA, the Birmingham Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and has been a member of the Chalkville Campus Advisory Board for the Department of Youth Services since 1988, working with juveniles. He has served as CLE lecturer at the Birmingham Bar Association, the Birmingham Police Academy, as well as the Greater Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyers Asociation seminars.
The Roderick Beddow award was named for Birmingham civil rights activitist and lawyer, Roderick Beddow. ACDLA names one outstanding attorney each year to receive this prestigious award.