The Honorable Deanell Reece Tacha was selected to receive the prestigious 2012 American Inns of Court's A. Sherman Christensen Award. The award was presented by Judge Patrick E. Higginbotham at the American Inns of Court's annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States on October 20.
Given in the name of the founder of the first American Inn of Court, this award is bestowed upon a member of an American Inn of Court who, at the local, state, or national level, has provided distinguished, exceptional, and significant leadership to the American Inns of Court. The recipient exemplifies the qualities of leadership and commitment displayed by Judge A. Sherman Christensen.
"Of my many experiences in the academy over several decades, being present to see Dean Deanell Tacha receive the Sherman Christiansen Award at the Supreme Court will remain one of the most indelible," said Pepperdine's provost Darryl Tippens, who travelled east to attend the ceremony. "It was a delight to see and feel the profound esteem the members of the American Inns of Court hold our dean. Her recognition in the chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court not only brought honor to Dean Tacha, it also brought significant notice and honor to Pepperdine's School of Law and to the whole University."
Tacha has been a member of the American Inns of Court since 1992. She has long been a leading advocate for enhanced ethics, professionalism, and civility in the legal profession, and is very involved in the American Inns of Court both locally and nationally. She was a co-founder of the Judge Hugh Means American Inn of Court in Lawrence, Kansas, and served on the American Inns of Court Foundation Board of Trustees, serving as president from 2004–2008.
"We are immensely proud of Dean Tacha," said Richard Cupp, vice-dean of the School of Law, "She is passionate about the rule of law, and she is passionate about good lawyering. The American Inns of Court is an outstanding organization dedicated to fostering excellence in professionalism, and it chose wisely in honoring Dean Tacha with this national award."
The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, fosters excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills. Today there are 367 chartered American Inns of Court in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. There are more than 29,000 members nationwide encompassing a wide cross-section of the legal community, including federal and state judges, lawyers, law professors, and law students.