Authored Articles & Publications Dec 28, 2020

Partner Jack Clarke Honors Colleague John Brown

Riverside Lawyer Magazine Feature on Brown, the Krieger Meritorious Service Award Winner

By Jack Clarke

The Krieger Award was established in 1974 to recognize attorneys or judg­es who have shown outstanding com­mitments to community service that extends beyond the legal profession and the Riverside County Bar Association.

This year’s James H. Krieger Meritorious Service Award was pre­sented to an attorney of true accom­plishment and commitment to all com­munities. First, his accomplishments as an attorney are truly impressive. For the past 45 years, my Best Best & Krieger LLP partner, John Brown, has assisted numerous public agencies throughout our region. He has served as counsel to the March Joint Powers Authority, the Town of Apple Valley, and the cities of Ontario, Lafayette, San Jacinto, La Habra Heights, and nearly two dozen other municipali­ties over his career. He is so well respected in his field that last year, John was recognized as the 2019 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year by the California Lawyers Association’s Public Law Section.

But as accomplished as he became in the legal pro­fession, his attitude toward service to the community can be rivaled only by a few. Here is just a partial listing of John’s positions of service to our community.

  • Two-term president of the Mission Inn Foundation Board;
  • Served on the Riverside Art Museum Board;
  • Served on the Riverside Public Library Foundation Board;
  • Assisted the Evergreen Memorial Historic Cemetery and the California Citrus Park; and
  • In the early 2000’s, John chaired the City of Riverside’s Homeless Advisory Commission. As a result of his service on that Commission, Riverside is still implementing models of service that include full-time street outreach teams, women, children and men’s homeless shelters, as well as other service com­ponents.


Moreover, John has served as a past treasurer and vice president of the California Historical Society Board of Trustees. Even now, he continues to be active by serving as the current presi­dent of the board of the directors of the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts and vice president of the board of directors of the Friends of the State Citrus Park. He also still serves on the City of Riverside’s Cultural Heritage Board.

As I said, John’s professional and public service credentials are sterling. But he also brings intangibles that are also admirable. He is a renaissance man of sorts in multiple areas. He is so well read, he can talk to you about almost any subject. Want to know an excellent restaurant in San Francisco, Fresno, or Thermal? Ask John. Want to talk an obscure fact about California? Ask John. Further, John is a person who deeply believes in making sure the legal profession reflects the communi­ties it serves. BB&K Partner Sonia Carvalho noted some time ago: “Long before law firms and companies began tout­ing their commitments to hiring a diverse workforce, John was actively involved in recruiting and mentoring lawyers of diverse backgrounds at Best Best & Krieger.”

I can second that sentiment from personal experi­ence. Back in 1984, it was John, along with a then young associate attorney named Virginia Phillips, who made me an offer to come to BB&K if I could pass the Bar exam after law school.

Over the past 40 plus years, John has touched thou­sands of lives in a positive way. He is so deserving of the 2020 James H. Krieger Meritorious Service Award. Congratulations again, John.

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 2020 edition of Riverside Lawyer magazine, a publication of the Riverside County Bar Association. Reprinted with permission

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