By Heather Van Meter
Oregon’s U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown will be honored with the 2017 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Ninth Circuit at the upcoming Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. The award is a high honor and recognizes a lawyer or judge “whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession and the rule of law.”
Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones, who has known Judge Brown her entire career, formally nominated her for the award, stating she is “the best of the best around here” and “loved and respected by everyone on this Court,” not to mention one of his “star students” in Evidence and Advocacy classes at Lewis & Clark Law School. Several supporting letters cited Judge Brown’s handling of the recent Malheur Wildlife Refuge criminal cases, but their overarching theme was Judge Brown’s career-long dedication to the highest standards of professionalism and unwavering commitment to the rule of law. For example, Senior Ninth Circuit Judge Edward Leavy said Judge Brown “has the special gift of contributing calm, dignity, and grace to every gathering”; U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman, who appeared before Judge Brown as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, noted Judge Brown was known to be “tough, but fair” and an inspiring trailblazer female lawyer and judge; and Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Albrecht wrote that Judge Brown is “a shining example of someone who exemplifies unwavering integrity, persistent promotion of the value of the rule of law, and lifelong commitment to the utmost in professionalism and ethical legal practices.” In addition, Multnomah County’s newest Circuit Judge Xiomara Torres (who volunteered as a law-student intern in Judge Brown’s chambers) emphasized that Judge Brown “exemplifies professionalism in our legal community” by constantly encouraging and making time for law students, new lawyers and new judges like her.
The award will be presented to Judge Brown on July 17, 2017, during the Ninth Circuit’s Judicial Conference. Along with other American Inns of Court award recipients, Judge Brown will be honored at the U.S. Supreme Court this fall in a ceremony at which Justice Elena Kagan will preside.