Texas Bar Foundation

In 1987, the Texas Bar Foundation created the Outstanding Jurist Award to honor an active Federal or State Judge.  In 1995, the Foundation received a bequest to the endowment from the estate of Mrs. Samuel Pessarra in honor of her late husband for the purpose of funding the Outstanding Jurist Award.  The award was renamed the Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award in 1995.

Samuel Pessarra, a native of Quintana, attended Baylor University and Baylor University School of Law. Mr. Pessarra was a member of the Brazoria County Bar Association, where he served as president, director and secretary.

Criteria
Nominees must currently be serving as an active Federal or State Judge. Retired judges or judges of senior status are eligible if they continue to be active on the bench.  The nominee must have served on the bench for a minimum of 10 years and exhibit an exceptionally outstanding reputation for competency, efficiency and integrity.  The nominee may not be opposed while standing for election or re-election during the year in which the award is given.

 

Past Recipients of the Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award

1987    Judge Solomon Casseb, Jr., San Antonio

1988    Judge Frank G. Evans III, Houston
Judge Charles J. Murray, Fort Worth

1989    Judge Peter S. Solito, Houston
Judge Halbert O. Woodward, Lubbock

1990    Judge Roland C. Vaughan, Sherman

1991    Judge Thomas M. Reavley, Austin

1992    Judge B.B. Schraub, Seguin

1993    Judge R.W. Lawrence, Palestine
Judge Filemon B. Vela, Brownsville

1994    Judge Weldon Kirk, Sweetwater
Judge Austin McCloud, Eastland

1995    Judge Eric Andell, Houston
Judge Tom McDonald, Bryan

1996    Judge Charles Reynolds, Amarillo

1997    Judge I. Allan Lerner, Galveston

1998    Judge Eldon B. Mahon, Fort Worth

1999    Chief Justice William J. Cornelius, Texarkana

2000    Judge John T. Forbis

2001    Judge Guadalupe Rivera, San Antonio

2002    Judge Merrill Hartman, Dallas

2003    Chief Justice John T. Boyd, Amarillo

2004    Judge George P. Kazen, Laredo

2005    Justice Ann C. McClure, El Paso

2006    Judge Mary Lou Robinson, Amarillo

2007    Judge David Peeples, San Antonio

2008    Judge Jane J. Boyle, Dallas

2009    Judge Wilford Flowers, Austin

2010    Judge Keith P. Ellison, Houston

2011    Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr.,  Houston

2012    Judge Lee Yeakel, Austin

2013    Justice Tracy Christopher, Houston

2014    Judge Dean Rucker, Midland

2015    Justice Anne Gardner, Fort Worth

2016   Judge Andrew S. Hanen, Brownsville

2017   Justice Elizabeth Lang Miers, Dallas

 

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