Distinguished Jurist

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. 


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

2011 Distinguished Jurist

Benjamin Jones

The Honorable Benjamin Jones has served as state district court judge for the 4th Judicial District for 19 years. He was Chief Judge from 1999 through the end of 2002. He is a former Army Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Army where he attained the rank of Captain. Judge Jones earned his B.A. degree from Southern University and his J.D. from Boston College Law School, from which he graduated in 1969. After graduating from law school, Judge Jones practiced law as a legal services attorney and managing attorney, served a tour of duty as an Army officer, served as an assistant U.S. attorney, Deputy legal counsel to Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, and as a Chief Administrative Law judge. He returned to Louisiana in 1979 and practiced law for 13 years before being elected to the bench. During this period, he served a term as President of the Fourth Judicial District Bar Association. He is a graduate of the National Judicial College and has presented at many conferences for the Louisiana Judicial College. He is a past President of the Louisiana District Judges Association and has served as a Member and Chairman of the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana. While serving as a member and President of the Louisiana District Judges Association, he secured approval to organize the Judges in the Classroom Program, which he chaired for ten years. In 2010, Judge Jones secured approval to organize the Judges' Assistance Program, the mission of which is to address the problem of judges sitting while impaired. Judge Jones served as judge pro tempore on the Second Circuit Court of Appeal in 1994. From June 1, 2009 to November 19, 2009, Judge Jones served as an Associate Justice pro tempore on the Louisiana Supreme Court.

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