Distinguished Jurist

2016 Distinguished Jurist

Jeannette Theriot Knoll

Louisiana Supreme Court

Justice Jeannette Theriot Knoll served as a member of the Louisiana judiciary for 34 years. In 1983, she became the first woman to be elected to a reviewing court in state history when she won a seat on the Third Circuit Court of Appeal. In 1996, she was elected to the Louisiana Supreme Court after defeating an incumbent. Since January 1, 1997, Justice Knoll has devoted herself to serving the Court, the judiciary, and the people of Louisiana. Over her impressive 20 year career as a Louisiana Supreme Court Justice, Justice Knoll has read and voted on over 58,000 writ applications and authored 185 full Supreme Court opinions.

In 1969, Justice Knoll graduated from Loyola College of Law. From 1969 to 1972, she served as an indigent defender in Avoyelles Parish. From 1972 to 1982, she served as the first Assistant District Attorney for the 12th Judicial District. In 1996, she earned a Master of Laws degree in the judicial process from the University of Virginia School of Law. In 2000, she was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame. In 2007, she was inducted, along with her whole family, into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame. In 2017, she received the St. Ives Award from the Loyola College of Law.

Although Justice Knoll’s accomplishments are many, she ranks her family as her greatest blessing and her roles as wife, as mother, and as grandmother to be her most important vocations. She anxiously looks forward to a retirement focused solely on her loving and large family with whom she joyfully resides in Marksville, Louisiana.

2015 Distinguished Jurist

Sarah S. Vance

Retired, United States District Court Eastern District of Louisiana

On September 30, 2015, Sarah Vance completed her seven-year term as Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. She joined the Court in 1994. Judge Vance is a graduate of Tulane University Law School, was managing editor of the Law Review, and a member of the Order of the Coif. Judge Vance earned her Bachelor's degree from Louisiana State University. Following law school, she joined the New Orleans firm of Stone, Pigman, Walther, Wittmann & Hutchinson, where she became a partner and practiced mainly in the areas of antitrust and commercial litigation. Judge Vance has authored over 3,200 written decisions. She has become a leader in the federal judiciary serving on the Judicial Conference of the United States, and was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to serve on the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference. The Chief Justice also appointed her to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in 2013, and appointed her Chair of the Panel in 2014, the first woman to hold that position. Also by appointment of the Chief Justice, Judge Vance served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Judicial Center for a three-year term from 2003 to 2007. She chaired the Center's Committee on Judicial Education, and was actively involved in judicial education programs and mentoring newly minted federal judges. Judge Vance was also appointed by the Chief Justice to serve on the Bankruptcy Administration Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. 

2014 Distinguished Jurist

John W. Greene

Retired, 22nd Judicial District Court

Hon. John W. Greene (Ret.) graduated from LSU with a B.A. in Finance and received his J.D. from LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. He served as a law clerk for the First Circuit Court of Appeal for two years, and operated a private law practice before being elected Judge, Division D, 22nd Judicial District Court in St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. He was re-elected three times, serving from 1976 to 1997. He was appointed Judge ad hoc on the 1st and 5th Circuit Courts of appeal and served as ad hoc Judge by appointments from the Louisiana Supreme Court. He mediated for 10 years and is still arbitrating. He is serving on the Judicial Campaign Oversight Committee by appointment from the Louisiana Supreme Court. He also serves as Independent Counsel for the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. In 1981 Greene founded the Youth Service Bureau serving St. Tammany and Washington parishes, an organization that serves troubled and at-risk youth in the North Shore area. He served on numerous boards and committees in St. Tammany Parish. 

2013 Distinguished Jurist

Carl E. Stewart

United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals

Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart received his B.A. degree from Dillard University in 1971 and his J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in 1974. Immediately following admission to the Louisiana Bar Association in October 1974, he entered the United States Army and served as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps until October 1977. Following his service as a military lawyer, he served as a Staff Attorney with the Louisiana Attorney General?s Office, Assistant United States Attorney, Special Assistant City and District Attorney, and private practitioner. In 1985, he was elected as a District Judge for the First Judicial District Court of Caddo Parish and was reelected without opposition six years later. In 1991, again without opposition, he was elected to the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal. In 1994, he was appointed to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. On October 1, 2012, Chief Judge Stewart became the first African-American Chief Judge on the Fifth Circuit.

2012 Distinguished Jurist

Eldon E. Fallon

United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana

Judge Eldon E. Fallon was nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the Senate in 1995, to the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana. He received his B.A. from Tulane University, his J.D from Tulane University Law School and a LL.M. from Yale.

His legal career started as an Associate at Kierr and Gainsburgh, where he became partner and the firm became known as Kierr, Gainsburgh, Benjamin, Fallon and David. He was Adjunct Professor at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans. He has been a United States District Judge since 1995.

He has authored, Trial Handbook for Louisiana Lawyers, Lawyers Co-Operative Publishing Co., First Edition, 1981, Second Edition, 1992; Third Edition, 2007. Offshore Oil Field Litigation-Cases and Materials, Tulane University School of Law; and voluminous law review and law journal articles, and numerous presentations at continuing legal education seminars.

Judge Fallon has received numerous awards: President's Award, 1980 and 1988, and Lifetime Achievement Award, 1987, all from LA State Bar Association; LA Medaille de la Ville de Paris, 1983; Nat'l Pro Bono Publico Award, American Bar Association, 1987; Distinguished Attorney, LA Bar Foundation, 1989; American Judicature Society, Herbert Harley Award, 2005; American Bar Association, Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Pursuit of Justice Award, 2005; American Board of Trial Advocates, The Thomas Jefferson Award, 2008.

Judge Fallon has served many organizations: LA State Bar Association, president, 1985-86; American College of Trial Lawyers, state chair, 1991-92 and 1992-93; LA Supreme court Historical Society, chair of board, 1992 - 2002; LA Bar Foundation, president, 1995; LA Trial Lawyers Association, governor, 1969-70 and 1980-81; Association of Trial Lawyers of America; American Bar Association; American Board of Trial Advocates; Maritime Law Association of the U. S.; Society of American Law Teacher

The Louisiana Bar Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity organized under the state of Louisiana.