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May 2006

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This article is in the news archives --- for current news go to the Third Branch News.


Judge J. Clifford Wallace to Receive Devitt Award

Judge J. Clifford Wallace (9th Cir.) will receive the 2005 Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award. The award, named for the late Judge Edward J. Devitt (D. Minn.), honors Article III judges who have made significant contributions in their careers to the administration of justice, the advancement of the rule of law, and the improvement of society as a whole.

Throughout his judicial career, Wallace has been influential in the field of state-federal judicial relations, in the improvement of relations between the bench and bar, and in the pursuit of judicial efficiency for trial and appellate courts.

With Chief Justice Warren Burger, Wallace was an early advocate for the establishment of the American Inns of Court, and he remains active in the association. Among his many contributions to judicial administration was his work in shaping the legislation that authorized the present structure for a judicial discipline system in the federal courts.

Throughout his career, Wallace has worked with foreign judiciaries. Since taking senior status in 1996, he has traveled extensively to developing countries to teach the importance of judicial education, efficiency, and excellence. His reputation as a spokesman for the rule of law is known by judges in Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

Wallace also has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference, and as a member of numerous Conference committees.

He was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in 1970 and was elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 1972, serving as chief judge from 1991 to 1996.

The 2005 Devitt Award recipient was chosen by a three-member panel chaired by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, with Chief Judge John M. Walker, Jr. (2nd Cir.) and Chief Judge Barbara Brandriff Crabb (W.D. Wis.). The annual Devitt Award is administered by the American Judicature Society.