2021 Ebon Dooley Honoree
Social Justice Champion
Attorney at Law
Brian Spears, Attorney at Law, specializes in litigation involving governmental liability on a state and local level. He has knowledge and experience in the handling of cases involving civil rights, constitutional law, and police misconduct. He has built his law practice around fighting against violence and racism by law enforcement and by white supremacists. He has brought more lawsuits against the Ku Klux Klan than any other Georgia attorney—from Wrightsville to Albany, from Rome to Forsyth County.
Mr. Spears has also supported peoples’ movements by providing defense to activists arrested when demanding an end to forcing homeless people out of downtown Atlanta, equal rights for persons with disabilities, equal educational opportunities, and an end to US support for apartheid in South Africa. He has worked towards the ending of US wars in Latin America. He has also worked for fair elections, affordable medical care (the Grady Coalition), and an end to corporate domination of our democracy (Occupy Wall Street, Atlanta).
Spears is the former Vice President of the National Lawyers Guild, a founding member of the National Police Accountability Project—the largest lawyers organization specializing in police misconduct, a founding member of the Detroit-based Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, and, for more than thirty years, he organized the annual Atlanta Civil Rights Litigation Seminar to train other lawyers to bring civil rights lawsuits.
Brian is an attorney who does not back down from taking on the system firsthand to address issues governing police practices, civil rights and governmental liability and has also donated his legal skills to nonprofit organizations. He has practiced law for more than three decades and received rewards from the ACLU of Georgia, SCLC, NAACP, and the Georgia Lawyer Chapter. Brian represents the kind of social justice champions who are seldom celebrated, but essential to advancing justice in this nation. He is among those lawyers who are always ready to advise, support and defend the rights of protesters holding the line against economic and social attacks by those in power.