Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht will receive the Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award from the Texas Bar Foundation at the Texas Bar Foundation Annual Dinner on June 10 at the Marriott Marquis in Houston. The award recognizes an active federal or state judge who exudes a reputation for competency, efficiency, and integrity. SMU Dedman School of Law will receive a $1,000 scholarship donation in Hecht’s honor.
Hecht is the 27th chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court. He’s been elected to the court seven times, first as a justice in 1988, and as chief justice in 2014 and 2020. Not only is Hecht the longest-serving member of the court in Texas history, but he is also the longest-tenured judge in active service statewide.
He has overseen revisions to the rules of administration, practice, and procedure in Texas courts and is active in efforts to assure that Texans living below the poverty level have access to basic civil legal services.
Hecht holds a B.A. degree with honors in philosophy from Yale University and a J.D. degree cum laude from SMU Dedman School of Law. He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps. Hecht is the immediate past president of the National Conference of Chief Justices, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a life member of the American Law Institute and member of its council.
The award was named after Samuel Pessarra, a Baylor University graduate who was a member of the Brazoria County Bar Association, where he served as president, director, and secretary.
For more information about the Texas Bar Foundation, go to www.txbf.org.