Judge Nitza Quiñones Alejandro of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania received the 2023 La Justicia Award from the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania, an organization she helped to found. Judge Quiñones was honored for her steadfast commitment to justice in her service on the federal bench, to which she was appointed in 2013 after more than 20 years of service as a Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas judge.
Senior District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California received the 2023 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Ninth Circuit in recognition of her lifelong dedication to access to justice and public service. Judge Hamilton led “important and groundbreaking work” in collaboration with the University of California-San Francisco Memory and Aging Center and has served on the national Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability and as long-term chair of the Ninth Circuit Wellness Committee.
Arkansas District Judge Tommy Fowler received the 2023 Franklin N. Flaschner Award from the
National Conference of Specialized Court Judges for his efforts to provide high-quality judicial education and training to judges. Judge Fowler has worked with the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts and the National Judicial College to provide trainings for judges in Arkansas and other states on topics such as judicial ethics, court efficiency, and emerging areas of law, such as laws governing autonomous vehicles.
Judge Clint Feddersen received the 2023 Judge of the Year Award from LatinoComp, a professional workers’ compensation organization. Judge Feddersen serves as a judge for the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in Van Nuys, Calif.
California Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero received the 2023 Latino Spirit Award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus, which recognized her pioneering achievements in law and public service, particularly in human rights, the arts, and literature. Chief Justice Guerrero also has contributed many hours of volunteer work in the “Judges in the Classroom” civic program and in pro bono service relating to immigration issues, asylum applications, and fair housing laws.
Senior U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel received the 2023 Sandra Day O’Connor Award, the highest honor of the National Judicial College. Judge Zobel, who survived a childhood in Nazi Germany to become a federal judge, was honored for her deft handling of complex cases, mentorship of young lawyers, and fair and intellectually rigorous consideration of cases.
Judge Joe L. Webster, a magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, received the 2023 Legal Legends of Color Award from the North Carolina Bar Association. The award honors Judge Webster’s contributions on the local, regional, and global levels through teaching students, mentoring future generations of lawyers, and serving on various boards that directly impact the local legal profession. Webster is a 2016 graduate of the Duke Law Master of Judicial Studies program (offered by the Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke Law, publisher of Judicature).
Judge José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit received the 2023 Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award. Sponsored by the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, the award honors Judge Cabranes for his devotion to preserving the rule of law and protecting individual liberty. “Judge José Cabranes is a legend in the law,” said Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who chaired the award committee. “He has devoted his career to defending the rule of law, ensuring equal justice, and enhancing American education. He has worked hard to mentor young lawyers and serve others in need. He is a superb judge and extraordinary scholar. As a federal judge for the past 44 years, he has preserved the Constitution and protected individual liberty. He is well known for his brilliance, judgment, and wit.” Cabranes was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut in 1979 and was the first Puerto Rican appointed to the federal bench in the continental United States.
New Hampshire Senior Associate Supreme Court Justice Gary E. Hicks received the 2023 Frank Rowe Kenison Award from the New Hampshire Bar Association. The award honors his long commitment to high standards for professionalism, civility, the administration of justice, and public service, which has included coaching a youth basketball team, law school teaching, working with interns and law clerks, and serving in a leadership role in the American Inns of Courts.
Nebraska District Court Judge James E. Doyle IV will receive the 28th Annual William H.
Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, to be presented by Chief Justice John G. Roberts at a program hosted in November by the National Center for State Courts. The award honors state court judges who demonstrate outstanding qualities of judicial excellence, “including integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, professional ethics, creativity, sound judgment, intellectual courage, and decisiveness.” Earlier this year, Judge Doyle also was awarded the Legal Pioneer Award by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation for his innovative contributions to the improvement of justice. During the pandemic, Judge Doyle had the novel idea of using YouTube for court proceedings, got approval for a pilot program, and currently is the only judge in his state who broadcasts his court proceedings live online.
CORRECTION: In Volume 106 No. 3, Judicature misidentified a photo as Judge ROGER GREGORY of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Judge Gregory received the 2023 Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association in recognition of his efforts to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. His photo has been corrected on the website version of Judicial Honors, available here. We apologize for the error.
Oria Wilson-Iguade (Duke Law JD’25) is a Judicature student editor.