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Judicial Honors (Spring 2017)


Vol. 101 No. 1 (2017) | Citizen-centered Courts | Download PDF Version of Article

Senior Judge MICHAEL M. BAYLSON of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania received the James Wilson Award from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in honor of a lifetime of service to the legal profession. Judge Baylson has served on the bench since 2002; he previously served in private practice and as a U.S attorney. Criminal District Court

Judge MARC C. CARTER of Harris County, Texas, received the National Center for State Courts’ 2016 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, which recognizes a state court judge who possesses integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, intellectual courage, and sound judgment. Judge Carter created the first veterans court in Texas, which serves as a model for veterans’ treatment courts across the country.

The Virginia Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates honored retired Circuit Judge SAMUEL JOHNSTON JR. of Campbell County, Virginia, with the 2016 Champions of Justice award.

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice LORETTA RUSH received the 2016 Antoinette Dakin Leach Award, which honors Indiana women attorneys for their contributions to the practice of law.

Senior Judge JON O. NEWMAN of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit received the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, the longest-running award given to an Article III judge. Justice Elena Kagan chaired the selection committee.

Genesee County Family Court Judge DUNCAN M. BEAGLE received the Daniel J. Wright Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to Michigan’s children. He has been on the bench in Flint, Michigan, for more than 25 years and has worked to improve Michigan’s child support enforcement system and legislation relating to foster children.

Former New York Supreme Court Justice THOMAS MERCURE received the Warren County Bar Association’s Charles Evans Hughes Award in recognition of his decades of service to the legal profession.

Retired Judge NATHANIEL R. JONES of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit received the first Simeon Booker Award for Courage. Before joining the bench, Judge Jones served as general counsel to the NAACP and was a critical figure in the desegregation process in Northern schools.

Judge SHEILA CONDREN of Rogers County, Oklahoma, and Tulsa County District Judge DANA KUEHN were among five women who received the Mona Salyer Lambird Spotlight Award, an honor sponsored by the Oklahoma Bar Association. Judge Condren serves on committees relating to jail over-crowding and juvenile justice. Judge Kuehn teaches evidence workshops at her alma mater, the University of Tulsa.

Elon Law School honored PATRICIA TIMMONS-GOODSON, a former North Carolina Supreme Court associate justice and vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, with its Leadership in the Law Award.

The Nebraska Supreme Court honored County Court Judge RUSSELL W. HARFORD of the 12th Judicial District as a Distinguished Judge for Service to the Community. Judge Harford has taught high school and college students about the legal system and has mentored young lawyers, probation officers, and court staff in legal processes and courtroom procedure.

Judge JAMES REITZ of Putnam County, New York, received the annual Sid Gibson IMAGINE Award for his dedication to the well-being of youth, adults, and families in his community.

VIRGINIA BAKER NORTON, administrative judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida, received the Distinguished Judicial Service Award from the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court. She was recognized for her service to the D.A.W.N. program (see her article about D.A.W.N.), for her commitment to legal aid, and for her service to the legal profession.


These federal judges (active status) are celebrating milestone anniversaries of their commission dates this spring.

35 years —

ELIZABETH ANNE KOVACHEVICH U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida

25 years —

STEVEN D. MERRYDAY U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida

KEVIN M. MOORE U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

20 years —

MERRICK B. GARLAND U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

COLLEEN KOLLAR-KOTELLY U.S. District Court, District of Columbia

HONORING a life of service

Four senior judges — veterans of World War II — of the Eastern District of New York are still handling case-loads even as they have sailed past age 90. Judges JACK B. WEINSTEIN, I. LEO GLASSER, ARTHUR D. SPATT, and LEONARD D. WEXLER were members of the U.S. military during World War II. Weinstein and Spatt served in the Pacific Theater as members of the U.S. Navy while Glasser and Wexler served in the Army’s operations in Europe. Wexler received the Purple Heart for wounds he sustained during the Battle of the Bulge.