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Judge Myron Bright (’47) Receives American Inns of Court Professionalism Award

JULY 10, 2012—On August 9, 2012, Myron H. Bright (’47), a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit for nearly 45 years, will receive the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award at the Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference in Kansas City, Mo. The award honors individuals in participating federal circuits whose life and practice exemplify the highest character, integrity, and dedication to the principles of the legal profession and the rule of law. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge William Jay Riley will present the award.

Bright was a trial lawyer at Wattam, Vogel, Vogel, Bright & Peterson in Fargo, N.D., for 21 years before being appointed to the Eighth Circuit by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. Over the years Bright has also heard cases as a visiting judge in the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits and presided over federal district court trials in Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, and North Dakota. An early developer of the jurist-in-residence program, Bright has shared his judicial expertise at Minnesota and other law schools.

Since taking senior status in 1985, Bright has taught trial and appellate advocacy at Saint Louis University School of Law as a distinguished professor (1985-90) and professor emeritus (1990-95) and has served on such boards as the Federal Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules and the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on International Judicial Relations. In 2007 the U.S. State Department sponsored his travel to the Middle East to discuss judicial education with representatives of international courts.

In April 2009 Bright made Eighth Circuit Court history when, at 40 years and 8 months, he had been hearing cases longer than any other judge appointed to the court. His record grows as he continues to hear cases.

Among the numerous honors he has received are the Frances Rawle Award for continuing professional education from the ABA and American Law Institute, the American Judicature Society's Herbert Harley Award for Promoting Effective Administration of Justice, the State Bar Association of North Dakota's Liberty Bell Award, the University of North Dakota School of Law's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Minnesota Law Review's Distinguished Alumni Award, and an honorary doctorate from North Dakota State University.

Former law clerks and friends have recognized Bright's tireless work in the law and his influence on their lives with the Honorable Myron Bright Scholarship at the University of Minnesota Law School and the Judge Myron H. Bright Endowment at the University of North Dakota Law School.

In addition to the presentation at the Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference, recipients of the Professionalism Award will be recognized at the American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence at the U.S. Supreme Court on October 20, 2012. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will host the black-tie event.


Myron Bright

Judge Myron Bright (’47)