Longtime civil rights lawyer John Doar has had to pull out as the keynote speaker for this year’s National Association of Former United States Attorneys after falling ill with a blood clot in his lung, according to the association.
Doar, who served as the First Assistant and then the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division from 1960 until 1967, was hospitalized in New York in August but is now recovering well. However, he is unable to travel to the conference in Atlanta on Oct. 11-13, according to NAFUSA.
The 91-year-old played a key role in the drafting of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in May. W.J. Michael Cody has been chosen to stand in for Doar as the keynote speaker. Cody was a member of the team of lawyers working for Martin Luther King, Jr., in support of striking sanitation workers — a trip to Memphis that would end with King’s assassination.
Cody later served as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee and as the Attorney General for the state. He is a partner at Burch Porter & Johnson PLLC in Memphis. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia Law School.
Justice Department Criminal Division chief Lanny Breuer, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and former Chicago assistant U.S. attorney Reid Schar, among others, will also be speaking at the conference.