Texas Bar Foundation Awards

Each year, the Texas Bar Foundation honors those who exemplify the highest standards of the legal profession. Below is a description of each award. Awards are judged during the spring. Honorees are recognized each year at our Annual Dinner.

Congratulations to the 2020 Award Recipients

Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award 

George W. Coleman, Dallas
John T. Montford, San Antonio
Dudley Oldham, Houston
Lee Yeakel, United States District Judge, Austin

Dan Rugeley Price Memorial Award

Neal W. Adams, Grapevine

Lola Wright Foundation Award

Kevin Dubose, Houston

Outstanding Law Review Article Award

Karen S. Gerstner, Houston

Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award 

Kenneth Tekell, Sr., Houston

Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award

Chief Justice Sandee Bryan Marion, Fourth Court of Appeals, San Antonio

Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award 

Reagan W. Simpson, Houston

Terry Lee Grantham Memorial Award

Sara E. Dysart, San Antonio

Texas Bar Foundation Awards Defined

Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award

The Outstanding 50 Year Lawyer Award was the first award established by the Texas Bar Foundation in 1974. The award recognizes attorneys whose practice spanned fifty years or more, as of January 1st of the year of the award, and who adhere to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and service to the public.

Dan Rugeley Price Memorial Award

The Dan Rugeley Price Memorial Award was established by friends and family and endowed through the Texas Bar Foundation in June 1996. The award celebrates Dan’s life as an outstanding lawyer who devoted himself completely to any task he undertook. The recipient exemplifies the qualities of an accomplished legal writer and researcher, a talented and dedicated practicing lawyer, a servant of the profession as a volunteer and an advocate on its behalf. The recipient exhibits an unreserved commitment to clients and to the practice of our profession, and it demonstrates dedication to the Bar and service to the public with the same commitment, dedication and zeal which defined Dan Price’s life and work.

Lola Wright Foundation Award

Established in 1985 in honor of Coleman Gay, this award honors an attorney who exemplifies the highest standards of professional ethics. This award is presented in recognition for outstanding public service in advancing and enhancing legal ethics in Texas.

Outstanding Law Review Article Award

The Outstanding Law Review Article Award honors a law review article published by one of the Texas law schools. Articles must be published between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 to be considered.

Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award

The firm of Beck Redden LLP established the award in honor and memory of Mr. Secrest, a gifted trial lawyer and a founding partner of the firm. The award recognizes a trial lawyer who, in his or her practice, has demonstrated high ethical and moral standards and has demonstrated exceptional professional conduct, thus enhancing the image of the trial lawyer.  In consideration of the award, Beck Redden LLP will make a gift to the Texas Bar Foundation of $10,000 annually in honor of the recipient.

Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award

In 1987, the Texas Bar Foundation created the Outstanding Jurist Award to honor an active Federal or State Judge. Retired judges or judges of senior status are eligible if they continue to be active on the bench.  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 recipient 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 standing for election or re-election during the cycle in which the award is given (June 2021).

Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award

Yetter Coleman LLP established the Gregory S. Coleman Outstanding Appellate Lawyer in 2011 in honor and memory of Gregory S. Coleman. The award celebrates the high ideals and standards that Greg demonstrated in his appellate practice and personal life. The recipient should exhibit an outstanding appellate practice while maintaining a strong commitment to providing legal services for the underserved. Dedication to mentoring young attorneys should be evident as well as a strong moral compass to guide both professional and personal pursuits.

Warren W. Harris Outstanding Nominating Chair Award

The Warren W. Harris Outstanding Nominating Chair Award was established by the Texas Bar Foundation in 2014. The award is given in honor of Warren W. Harris who has demonstrated unparalleled leadership and longstanding commitment to the Texas Bar Foundation. The recipient must be a Nominating Chair for the Texas Bar Foundation who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to preserving the integrity and diversity of the Fellows membership.

Terry Lee Grantham Memorial Award

The Terry Lee Grantham Memorial Award was endowed through the Texas Bar Foundation in 2014 by Terry Lee Grantham’s family and friends.  As an enduring tribute to Terry’s life and work in the practice of law, this award is made annually to an outstanding Texas lawyer.  The award celebrates Terry’s life as a gifted and committed man and lawyer who devoted himself completely to every task he undertook.  Each recipient of this award must exemplify the qualities of an accomplished, talented and dedicated practitioner, a servant of the profession and an ardent advocate, demonstrating dedication and service with the same passion that defined Terry’s life and work. The Texas Tech University School of Law will receive the cash portion of the award for the Terry Lee Grantham Energy Law Scholarship.

J. Chrys Dougherty Legal Services Award

The Dougherty Award is a joint award of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas Bar Foundation that recognizes an outstanding legal services staff attorney. The award is named for the late J. Chrys Dougherty, a private attorney and Bar leader, whose efforts helped to build a strong working partnership between the State Bar of Texas and legal services providers. The award includes a $1,500 stipend funded by the Texas Bar Foundation and is supplemented by a contribution from Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody. For nominations for the J. Chrys Dougherty Legal Services Award, contact the State Bar of Texas.