Watson Spence partner, Christopher Cohilas, was honored Saturday, March 9 at the Twentieth Annual Justice Robert Benham Awards Dinner. Cohilas received a Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service from the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. The Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism was the first body of its kind in the nation and was created in 1989 by the Supreme Court of Georgia with the primary charge to enhance professionalism among Georgia’s lawyers.
The awards are named in honor of The Honorable Robert Benham who served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia from 1995 to 2001. Those Judges and lawyers who meet the criteria for these awards have combined a professional career with outstanding service to their communities through voluntary participation in community organizations, government-sponsored activites, or humanitarian work outside of their professional practice.
Chris received the award because of his unwavering support of the Albany-Dougherty community. He helped form Lily Pad SANE Center, the first rape and child abuse crisis center in Dougherty County. He served as the Chairperson of the Dougherty County Multi-Disciplinary Team Against Child Abuse, Chairperson of the Dougherty County Child Fatality Review Committee and served many years as the Co-Chair of the annual King Day Celebration in Albany. In 2014, Chris was elected to serve as Chairman of the Dougherty County Board of Commissioners. During his first term, the community was devastated by two tornados in January 2017 and hurricane "Michael" of 2018. Both of these events required Chris to focus hundreds of hours on recovery for his community.
“Justice Benham has built a legacy of public service within the legal profession and it is incredibly moving to learn that you are receiving an award in his name. I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award”, Cohilas said.