Quyen Ta was awarded the Joe Morozumi Award For Exceptional Legal Advocacy. In addition to litigating complex commercial matters, Ms. Ta serves in numerous leadership positions in minority bar organizations and speaks frequently on diversity in the legal profession. She has been widely recognized for her efforts, having previously received the BASF Barristers Club Diversity Award, the Dale Minami Public Interest Fellowship Alumni of the Year Award, the Minority Bar Coalition Unity Award, and the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California's Community Service Award.
Joe Morozumi was one of the first and finest Asian American trial lawyers in the Bay Area, fearlessly trying significant civil and criminal cases, including wrongful death and first degree murder cases. Joe and his family were interned during World War II, and Joe was fiercely committed to the fight for reparations. He was also one of the earliest Asian American attorneys to represent political activists pro bono. In the late 60’s, Joe successfully represented Third World Strike protesters at the University of California, and, in the early 70’s, Joe’s passion for justice and outrage at the Vietnam War led him to the successful representation of numerous conscientious objectors and draft protesters.
In the late 1960’s, Joe discovered a group of young Asian American law students and attorneys who shared his commitment to and passion for civil rights. These law students and attorneys eventually started the Asian Law Caucus with the invaluable assistance of Joe, who unstintingly shared his vast legal knowledge, experience, and expertise, and spent countless hours mentoring these eager new attorneys. Most of all, Joe was an inspirational role model of the fearless, tireless, zealous advocate for justice for the poor and the powerless. Joe died in 1996, but his indomitable spirit and passion for justice lives on.
In 1997, Dale Minami, Mike Lee, and AABA established the Joe Morozumi Award for Exceptional Legal Advocacy in Joe’s name and memory.