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Distinguished Jurist

2019 Distinguished Jurist

Robert H. (Bob) Morrison III

Raised in Kingsport, Tennessee, Judge Robert H. Morrison III attended Rhodes College, and graduated from the LSU Law Center in 1970. He spent 17 years in a general practice of law, was past president of the local bar associations, and served on the House of Delegates of the Louisiana Bar Association.

He was first elected to the bench in the 21st Judicial District, and has served 32 years as a district judge, 29 of which as chief judge of the court. He began the first drug court program in the district and continues to preside over that program. He played a key role in working toward the construction of the new courthouse in Livingston Parish.

He was the recipient of the Bar Foundation’s 2013 Calogero Justice Award and is a fellow of the LBF. He is a past president of the Louisiana District Judges Association and has served for more than 20 years as its legislative chair and liaison. He has also served as chair of the Louisiana Law Institute’s Criminal Justice and Procedure Committee. HE presently sits as a member on the Governor’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative Oversight Council.

He was a member and past chair of the Louisiana Judiciary Commission, past chair of the Judicial Council’s Committee to Evaluate Judgeship requests, serves on the Supreme Court’s budgetary control board, and has served on the board of the Louisiana Judicial College and the Judge’s Supplemental Compensation Committee.

Judge Morrison has been married to the former Linda Eisworth for over 43 years, has two sons, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He is a member of the Live Oak United Methodist Church, where he sings in the choir and teaches Sunday School classes.

2018 Distinguished Jurist

D. Milton Moore III

A lifelong resident of Monroe, Judge D. Milton Moore III received a B.A. in History from LSU and his J.D. from LSU Law School in 1976. Prior to election to the bench in 1988, Judge Moore had maintained a general civil and criminal practice of law in Monroe. At the age of 28, he was elected to serve on the first Monroe City Council, and served two terms, chairing the Council from 1984-1986.

He served for over 14 years on the Fourth Judicial District Court for Ouachita and Morehouse Parishes, serving as Chief Judge from 1997 – 1998. Judge Moore was instrumental in the establishment of the first Drug Court for the area and served as its first presiding judge.

He served on the Board of Directors of the Wellspring Alliance for Families for six years and served as chair from 2011 - 2012. He now serves on the Wellspring Foundation Board of Trustees. He is incoming chair of the Board of the St. Francis Medical Center Foundation and served on the first Governing Board of University Health-Conway.

Judge Moore has been married to the former Janet Little of New Orleans for 41 years and they have two grown sons, William and Douglas, and two grandsons, Griffin and Fisher. Judge and Mrs. Moore are members of Jesus the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, where he is a lector and has served as President of the Parish Council.

2017 Distinguished Jurist

Hon. James J. Brady (Posthumously)

Judge James J. “Jim” Brady received an undergraduate degree in history from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana in 1966 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the Louisiana State University Law School in 1969. Judge Brady served as a United States District Judge for the Middle District of Louisiana, May, 2000 to December, 2017. He took senior status on December 31, 2013.

He was active in the Federal Judges Association and has served as a member of the Association’s Board of Directors, and Fifth Circuit District Judges Association of which he is a Past President. Judge Brady was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Codes of Conduct. In 1995, he was named Alumnus of the Year by Southeastern Louisiana University and received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities Degree from that institution. In 2014 he was named a Distinguished Achievement Honoree from the L.S.U. Law Center. Prior to his judicial appointment, he was associated or in partnership with Camille F. Gravel in the practice of law for twenty-three years, in the firm of Gravel, Brady & Berrigan. In August of 1997, Jim joined the firm of Gordon, Arata, McCollam, Duplantis and Eagan where he was the senior partner of the firm’s Baton Rouge office. Judge Brady and his wife, Karen, were married for 50 years.

Hon. W. Eugene Davis

Judge Davis is a graduate of Tulane Law School, receiving an L.L.B. Degree in 1960. He received his undergraduate degree from Samford University. Judge Davis served as a United States District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana, 1976-1983. He was appointed United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit in November 1983.

Judge Davis is married to the former Celia Chalaron. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Maritime Law Association of the United States and the Louisiana Bar Association.

Judge Davis was appointed as a member of the Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules on October 1, 1995. He became Chairman of this Committee on October 1, 1997 and served as Chairman until October 2001 when his term of service ended.

Judge Davis received the prestigious 2014 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Fifth Circuit at the American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence held at the Supreme Court of the United States in October of 2014. Judge Davis was inducted into the Tulane Law School Hall of Fame in March of 2015. In September 2017, Judge Davis was also honored by the Lafayette Bar Association (LBA) as he was inducted into the LBA Hall of Fame.

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

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. 


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