Best Tribune of the People - 2011
Stephen Montoya is a throwback to the Clarence Darrow days of lawyerin', when attorneys (or at least some of them) stood up for the oppressed and battled injustice with a combination of skillful oratory and brilliant legal maneuvering. As a kid, Montoya considered becoming a doctor or a priest. Instead, he ended up a civil rights attorney. And whether he's blasting the government in one of the federal lawsuits brought against Senate Bill 1070, taking up the cause of pro-immigrant activist Sal Reza when he was banned from the state Senate by Russell Pearce (and subsequently arrested), or suing a business that's discriminated against its employees, Montoya's always flaying the mighty and making sure the scales of justice tip toward those whose rights have been trampled. Indeed, if there were more lawyers like Montoya, we get the distinct feelin' there might be fewer dead lawyer jokes.