Texas Center for Legal Ethics Announces 2013 Pope Award Honorees

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Center for Legal Ethics (TCLE) is proud to announce that Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and Dallas attorney Nina Cortell of Haynes and Boone are being honored as the 2013 recipients of the Chief Justice Jack Pope Professionalism Awards.

TCLE presents the awards annually to one judge and one attorney who personify the highest standards of professionalism and integrity in the field of law. The award is named after former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Jack Pope, who was first to receive the honor in 2009.

Former Chief Justice Pope, one of TCLE’s founders, celebrated his 100th birthday April 18 during a ceremony at the Texas Capitol where he was honored by the Texas House of Representatives and members of the Texas Supreme Court.

Judge Higginbotham was appointed to the 5th Circuit in 1982 following a distinguished career as a Dallas attorney and federal district judge. The founder and namesake of the Patrick Higginbotham Inn of Court, Judge Higginbotham has earned extensive praise throughout his career based on his integrity and commitment to improving the legal profession.

Ms. Cortell is a longtime leader in the Dallas legal community and the recipient of many accolades from her peers. A widely respected appellate attorney, she has been a leader on issues affecting women lawyers for more than 30 years.

“Judge Higginbotham and Ms. Cortell are exemplars of professionalism and integrity who – like Chief Justice Pope – have made immense contributions to the legal profession,” says TCLE Executive Director Jonathan Smaby. “The Pope Awards highlight the good works that lawyers do, and this year’s recipients are particularly deserving.”

The Pope Awards will be presented at the annual Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Dinner on June 14 in Austin. For more information, contact Bill Pugsley with the Supreme Court Historical Society at tschs@sbcglobal.net.

Founded in 1989 by three retired Texas Supreme Court chief justices, TCLE promotes the values contained in the Texas Lawyer’s Creed. The group pursues the original vision of its founders as the leading center of knowledge and resources for ethics and professionalism in Texas. For more information, visit http://www.legalethicstexas.com.


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