Chief Justice Pascal F. Calogero, Jr., Receives Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence

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Noted for his dedication to duty and service and for his loyalty to the citizens of Louisiana, the Honorable Pascal F. Calogero, Jr., Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, received the Fourth Annual Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence during a ceremony in New Orleans on October 2, 2007. Several friends and colleagues of the chief justice were on hand to speak in his honor, including the Honorable Moon Landrieu, Retired Judge of the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and former Mayor of the City of New Orleans; Marta-Ann Schnabel, Immediate Past President of the Louisiana State Bar Association; and Dr. Norman Francis, President of Xavier University.

The American Judicature Society created the Opperman Award in honor of Dwight D. Opperman, former Chairman and CEO of West Publishing Company and Distinguished Lifetime Director of AJS. The Opperman Award is presented annually to a state judge of a trial or appellate court who has had a career of distinguished judicial service. Chief Justice Calogero was selected by a panel consisting of the Honorable Ronald M. George, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court; the Honorable Marc T. Amy of the Louisiana Court of Appeal, Third Circuit; and the Honorable Richard R. Cooch, Resident Judge of the Superior Court of New Castle County, Delaware. Judges Amy and Cooch presented the Opperman Award to Chief Justice Calogero.

After a successful career in private practice, in 1972 Chief Justice Calogero ran for a vacant Louisiana Supreme Court seat. After a hard-fought campaign, he won election over three other candidates and was sworn in for a two-year unexpired term as associate justice on January 10, 1973. He was re-elected in 1974 for a 14-year term, as well as 10-year terms in 1988 and 1998. While associate justice, he was a member of the Judicial Council and Judicial Ethics Committee. He also served as the state court representative for the National Center for State Courts, as chairman of the Judicial Budgetary Control Board, and as chairman of the Supreme Court Budget Committee.

On April 9, 1990, Calogero was sworn in as chief justice. As chief justice, he has led numerous reform initiatives in the area of the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice in Louisiana. Most notably, Chief Justice Calogero oversaw the creation of the Louisiana Indigent Defender Board, creation of the Lawyer's Trust Fund Account Program, and establishment of the Supreme Court's Community Relations Department. …