Distinguished Jurist

2005 Distinguished Jurist

Jay C. Zainey

Jay C. Zainey

Hon. Jay C. Zainey was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on February 19, 2002. He is a graduate of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University and he served in the United States Air Force Reserves from 1970-76.

Judge Zainey and New Orleans Attorney Mark Surprenant founded SOLACE, a Louisiana State Bar Association program, which provides services to members of the bar association and the entire legal community who experience family tragedies. There are currently approximately 1900 volunteer attorneys throughout the state who participate in the SOLACE Program. SOLACE was instrumental in assisting attorneys who were displaced as a result of Hurricane Katrina in finding housing, office space, office furniture and books.

In May 2004, Judge Zainey organized the Homeless Experience Legal Protection (H.E.L.P.) Program. Over 350 attorneys provide legal consultation and notary services at four homeless centers in New Orleans. He is organizing similar programs in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, Alexandria, New York City, Washington, DC, and Memphis.

In October, 2004 Judge Zainey and his wife Joy founded the God's Special Children Program. The program includes a monthly mass for people with special needs, their families and friends.

Judge Zainey has also worked with the Louisiana State Bar Association to Provide Legal Services for Persons with Disabilities in providing pro bono legal services to people with disabilities and their families.

While currently carrying a full docket in the Eastern District of Louisiana, Judge Zainey also assists his colleagues by presiding over cases in both the Southern District of Texas and the Southern District of Mississippi.

He is past president of the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Jefferson Bar Association, and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Pro Bono Project, the New Orleans Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Magnolia Special School, and is President of the Judge John C. Boutall American Inn of Court. He also currently serves on the American Bar Association's Hurricane Katrina Task Force, and has recently written an article about the H.E.L.P. Program which will be included in a book entitled "Lawyer's Working to End Homelessness," a book published by the American Bar Association's Commission on Homelessness and Poverty.

2004 Distinguished Jurist

Nancy Amato Konrad

Nancy Amato Konrad

The Honorable Nancy Amato Konrad is the senior judge of Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court, Section "C". A graduate of Ursuline Academy, Loyola University New Orleans, and Loyola University School of Law, Judge Konrad began her private practice of law in 1965. In 1980 she was elected Juvenile Court Judge in Jefferson Parish Juvenile Court, Section "C". She has the distinction of being the first female Judge in the history of Jefferson Parish.

She is the 1993 recipient of the Loyola University Adjutor Hominum Award, 1999 Judge Richard Ware Award, the 1999 FINS Award, the 1999 Champion for Children's Award, the 2000 Public Elected Official of the Year awarded by the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the 2003 Judge of the Year Award by the Louisiana CASA.

Judge Konrad is currently involved in many community organizations including, Member of Ursuline Academy Board of Directors; Member of the Loyola University School of Law Visiting Committee; Member of United Way Women's Leadership Initiative Governing Board; Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA); Jefferson Parish Bar Association; Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity; National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; Member & Treasurer Louisiana Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (President 1988-89); American Judges Association; National Association of Women Judges; Louisiana Law Institute Children's Code Revision Committee; and Louisiana Association of Elected Women. In addition, she is a former member and board member of numerous other organizations in her community.

Judge Konrad is also recognized for her special and continuing contributions to the Louisiana Juvenile Justice System. In 1984, she was one of two Louisiana Court judges selected by the Louisiana Supreme Court to pilot a Program for Citizen Review of Foster Care. In 1985, she served as the Chairperson of the Juvenile Judges' Benchbook Project whose ambitious undertaking organized and published all existing substantive and procedural juvenile law into a one-volume desk reference book for judges exercising juvenile court jurisdiction. She was the chairperson of the Children's Code Project, a project, which compiled and rewrote all substantive and procedural laws affecting juvenile court jurisdiction. This comprehensive Code was passed into law at the 1991 regular session of the legislature. She was the Co-lead Judge of the Louisiana Task Force for Foster Care Reform, 1984. Judge Konrad served as Chairperson of the Children's Cabinet Advisory Board, in addition she served as a representative for both the Louisiana Council of Family and Juvenile Court Judges and for the Louisiana Supreme Court on the Louisiana Children's Cabinet. In 2002, Judge Konrad along with Judge Gray in Orleans Parish Juvenile Court were both selected by the Louisiana Supreme Court to pilot a Mediation Program dealing with dependency cases. This pilot program has been very successful. The project is now focusing on developing the programming and funding to implement the project in other courts throughout the state. Judge Konrad has also been very involved in working toward the full implementation of the Juvenile Justice Reform Initiative envisioned by Chief Justice Calogero in his 2001 State of the Judiciary Address to the joint session of the house and senate of the Louisiana legislature.

2003-1986 Distinguished Jurist Award


  • 2003 Tom Stagg*

  • 2002 Henry L. Yelverton*

  • 2001 Harry T. Lemmon, Richard J. Putnam* 

  • 2000 Nauman S. Scott*, Steven R. Plotkin

  • 1999 John M. Shaw*, Edwin F. Hunter, Jr.* 

  • 1998 C. William Bradley*

  • 1997 Morey L. Sear*

  • 1996 Walter F. Marcus, Jr.* 

  • 1995 Graydon K. Kitchens, Jr.

  • 1994 Alfred A. Mansour* 

  • 1993 Melvin A. Shortess

  • 1992 Kaliste J. Saloom, Jr.

  • 1991 Pascal F. Calogero, Jr.

  • 1990 Robert M. Fleming*

  • 1989 James C. Gulotta*

  • 1988 Alvin B. Rubin*

  • 1987 John A. Dixon, Jr.*

  • 1986 John Minor Wisdom*



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