Justice Hugh Maddox and Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham Chosen
to Receive Prestigious National Awards from the American Inns of Court
Montgomery, Ala., August 13, 2008 – Retired state Supreme Court Justice Hugh Maddox and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham have been selected to receive awards from the American Inns of Court at special ceremonies to be hosted by Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., at the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 11, 2008.
Justice Maddox, a retired Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, a tireless advocate for improving professionalism throughout the American and Alabama legal communities, has been selected to receive the 2008 A. Sherman Christensen Award which is given in the name of the founder of the first American Inn of Court.
Judge Higginbotham will receive the 2008 Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Award for Professionalism and Ethics presented in recognition of a lifetime devoted to the highest standards of ethical practice, competence and professionalism.
The American Inns of Court Foundation, America's oldest, largest and fastest growing mentoring organization, confers these awards annually. It is funded in part by an endowment established by LEXIS-NEXIS.
A. Sherman Christensen Award – Justice Hugh Maddox
This award is bestowed upon a member of an American Inn of Court who has provided distinguished, exceptional and significant leadership to the American Inns of Court movement. The recipient exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment displayed by Judge A. Sherman Christensen.
In addition to the award's namesake, previous award winners have included Chief Justice Warren Burger, Hon. Patrick E. Higginbotham, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Hon. Howard T. Markey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Professor Sherman L. Cohn of Georgetown University School of Law, and last year's recipient, Justice Randy Holland of the Supreme Court of Delaware.
It has been said that Justice Maddox is the American Inns of Court in Alabama. He was an organizer of the first American Inn of Court organized in Alabama in 1989. Because of his dedication to the highest ideals of professionalism, that Inn now bears his name, the Hugh Maddox American Inn of Court.
Justice Maddox has persistently encouraged the legal leadership of Alabama to form new Inns, and his persistence has paid off with eight current Inns and several more organizing on the horizon.
Justice Maddox retired in January, 2001, as the senior associate justice on the Alabama Supreme Court, where he was considered by many to be its intellectual cornerstone.
After being appointed to the Supreme Court by then Gov. Albert Brewer in 1969, he was elected by the people of Alabama on five different occasions. During his 31 years on the Court, he established a work product that no other Alabama jurist is likely to equal, including 1,650 majority opinions. With a journalistic background, he is a prodigious writer of books, articles, and stories, including a children's book he not only authored but illustrated.
He was graduated from the Univ. of Alabama with a degree in journalism, and served in the U.S. Air Force for two years as a commissioned officer in Europe and North Africa during the Korean War.
He continued his service in the Air Force Reserve, eventually retiring as a Colonel. He returned to the Univ. of Alabama where he earned his law degree before taking several positions in both the state and federal governments. He served an unprecedented three governors as a legal advisor.
Lewis F. Powell Award - Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham
This award is conferred upon a senior lawyer nominated from among the country's most respected practitioners, judges, government officials, journalists, philanthropists or other community leaders and selected by a panel of representatives from both the judiciary and the American Inns of Court Foundation. Previous winners include former Justices Powell, William J. Brennan, Jr., and Anthony M. Kennedy, and last year, James J. Brosnahan.
Although Judge Higginbotham is on senior status, he maintains a full workload on the court while teaching courses in Constitutional Law and Federal Courts at St. Mary's Univ. School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. He has also taught at the University of Texas School of Law, the Univ.of Alabama School of Law, the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University, and Texas Tech Univ. School of Law. The law schools at the Univ. of Alabama and Texas Tech maintain endowed scholarships in his name.
Judge Higginbotham attended the Univ. of Alabama on a tennis scholarship. After receiving his undergraduate and law degrees, he entered the U.S. Air Force as a JAG Corps officer in 1961. From a distinguished career in private practice with Coke and Coke in Dallas, President Ford tapped him to become a federal district court judge in 1975. In 1982, President Reagan appointed him to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Higginbotham has been a faculty member at the Federal Judicial Center and served as Chair of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. He is also a fellow of the American Bar Association, Chair of its Appellate Judges Conference, a member of the Board of Editors of the ABA Journal, and Advisor to the National Center for State Courts on its study of habeas corpus. He is also a lifetime member of the American Law Institute and a member of the Board of Overseers, Institute of Civil Justice, RAND Corporation.