Morris Dees to speak at bar meeting

Civil rights lawyer Morris Dees has had his life threatened, his offices burned and several assassination attempts on his life.

Rather than give up his life's work, Dees has moved forward in his quest for civil rights and, more recently, educating the public about America's radical militia movement.

Dees will make a Thursday, Oct. 10, luncheon appearance during the State Bar Annual Meeting in Long Beach.

The author of several books, Dees' most recent work, "Gathering Storm: America's Militia Threat," is an expose of militia groups and the dangers they present to the country.

Dees made headlines throughout the country in 1981 as the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center who won a $7 million judgment against the Ku Klux Klan.

The center sued the Klan for inciting violence after it lynched a black man in Mobile, Ala. In 1980, it founded "Klanwatch" in response to a resurgence of organized racist activity.

The non-profit Southern Poverty Law Center maintains a pool of lawyers who specialize in lawsuits involving civil rights violations and racially motivated crimes.

Dees is chief trial counsel and chair of the executive committee for the center.

In 1990, Dees won a $12.5 million verdict for the family of an Ethiopian murdered by skinheads in Oregon.