Indiana chief justice to receive national honor

Chris Rizo Dec. 10, 2009, 4:38am

Randall Shepard

INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline)- Indiana's chief justice will receive a national award for excellence from the American Judicature Society, the group said.

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard will receive the Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence early next year.
Shepard was chosen for the honor by a three-member panel of jurists from New York, California and Colorado, the Des Moines, Iowa-based judicial society said.

"He is a shining star of the American justice system, the pride of lawyers and judges-- especially state court judges--in and well beyond Indiana, and an example of the success of the great objectives of the American Judicature Society," said former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals Judith Kaye, chair of the selection panel.

Last year, Shepard was honored with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's Government Leader of the Year award.

Recognized as a national authority on judicial ethics and legal professionalism, Shepard was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court in 1985 and was named chief justice 18 months later at age 38.

Shepard is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School and earned an LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He has authored more than 850 majority opinions.

He has served as president of the Conference of Chief Justices and the National Center for State Courts, chair of the Appellate Judges Conference of the American Bar Association and chair of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

The American Judicature Society award is named for Dwight D. Opperman, former chairman and CEO of West Publishing Company. Opperman serves on the AJS Board of Directors.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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National Center for State Courts
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