Before being elected Mayor of Salt Lake City in 1999, Rocky Anderson practiced law for twenty-one years, focusing on the protection of people from governmental and corporate abuses of power, as well as the representation of people injured through the negligence of others or defrauded. He was lead counsel in major lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs in cases involving securities fraud, professional malpractice, civil rights abuses (especially police abuse, civil rights violations by prison and jail personnel, and First Amendment violations), and business fraud. Rocky, who served as Chair of the Utah State Bar Litigation Section, was listed in Best Lawyers in America.
Rocky served as Salt Lake City Mayor for eight years (2000–2008), then founded High Road for Human Rights, where he served as Executive Director for four years. In 2011, Rocky co-founded the Justice Party and ran as its presidential nominee in 2012. He taught at the University of Utah for two semesters, then re-activated his Bar license in 2014. In the past several years, Rocky has successfully litigated major civil rights cases, including a major First Amendment case against the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and a civil rights action involving the preventable death of a woman at the Salt Lake County Jail. He was also successful in challenging the unconstitutional efforts of the Utah Legislature to require that all medical cannabis transactions be conducted through government agencies.
Rocky received the 2019 American Association for Justice “Leonard Weinglass in Defense of Civil Liberties Award,” the Bill of Rights Defense Committee “Patriot Award,” The League of United Latin American Citizens “Profile in Courage Award,” the Morehouse College “Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “Climate Protection Award,” the national Sierra Club “Distinguished Service Award,” the University of Utah “Distinguished Alumnus Award,” and was named “Utahn of the Year” in 2000 by The Salt Lake Tribune.
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