Pittman honored with Judicial Innovation Award

May 16, 2003

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman on Thursday was named the recipient of the Judicial Innovation Award presented by the Hinds County Bar Association and the Jackson Young Lawyers Association.

The award was announced Thursday in Jackson at the 10th annual Evening Honoring the Judiciary. The dinner and reception honored federal judges, state appellate judges and members of the chancery, circuit and county courts in Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties.

Outgoing Hinds County Bar Association President William R. Wright in announcing the award noted Pittman's record of public service in three different branches of government.

Wright said, "I think Justice Ed Pittman has made his biggest impact on our state as chief justice. He's done so many things in an innovative way."

Wright noted the Supreme Court's broadcast of its oral arguments via the Internet since April 2001 and its recent adoption of rules to permit camera coverage of court proceedings.

"I think the public will finally see what goes on in the courtroom," Wright said.

Wright also cited Pittman's leadership in adopting extensive revisions to the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Pittman said afterwards, "I accept it for the Rules Committee....I accepted the award, but that committee really earned it."

The Rules Committee is made up of Justices William L. Waller Jr., Kay B. Cobb and George C. Carlson Jr.

Jackson attorney Alex A. Alston Jr. was honored as the recipient of the Hinds County Bar Association Professionalism Award.

Pittman said of Alston afterwards, "He is the epitome of what a lawyer ought to be."

Pittman noted Alston's service as president of the Mississippi Bar in 1991 and his receipt last year of the Hinds County Bar Association Pro Bono Award. Alston was recognized last year for donating his time in free legal representation.

Jackson attorney Carlton W. Reeves was named this year's recipient of the Hinds County Bar Association Pro Bono Award. Patricia W. Bennett, a professor of law at Mississippi College School of Law and former president of the Hinds County Bar Association, was the recipient of the Hinds County Bar Association Outstanding Service Award.

The Jackson Young Lawyers Pro Bono Award went to Philip W. Thomas. David F. Maron, past president of the Jackson Young Lawyers, received the JYL Outstanding Service Award.

Operation Shoestring received the HCBA Community Grant Award for its work in child care services. The award includes a $10,000 check.