Irvine, CA, May 12, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- The American College of Trial Lawyers (The College) approved the recommendation of the Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award Committee to present Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis, Executive Director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) and former Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, with the Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award. Under Justice Kourlis’ leadership, IAALS has expanded its agenda into four categories, all of which attempt to significantly improve the litigation process in different ways. Those four categories are: Quality of Judges Initiative, Rule One Initiative, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Initiative and Honoring Families Initiative.
Michael W. Smith, President of the American College of Trial Lawyers, said, “Justice Kourlis, with a number of successes to her credit, has demonstrated a unique ability to call to action those best positioned to consider and make improvements in the administration of justice.”
Justice Kourlis has been invited to receive the award at the College's Annual Meeting in Philadelphia from Sept. 15-18.
About The American College of Trial Lawyers
The American College of Trial Lawyers is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and is widely considered to be the premier professional trial organization in North America. Founded in 1950, the College is an invitation only fellowship. The College thoroughly investigates each nominee for admission and selects only those who have demonstrated the very highest standards of trial advocacy, ethical conduct, integrity, professionalism and collegiality. The College maintains and seeks to improve the standards of trial practice, professionalism, ethics, and the administration of justice through education and public statements on important legal issues relating to its mission. The College strongly supports the independence of the judiciary, trial by jury, respect for the rule of law, access to justice, and fair and just representation of all parties to legal proceedings. Learn more at www.actl.com.
About Rebecca Love Kourlis
Former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis and IAALS Executive Director believes in the foundations of the American legal system and has dedicated her career, both in and out of the courts, to ensuring that the system provides justice for all. She served Colorado’s judiciary for nearly two decades, first as a trial court judge and then as a justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. During her time on the bench, Justice Kourlis witnessed a system increasingly under attack from outside forces - one that was often failing to deliver the justice she swore to uphold. So, in January 2006, she resigned from the Supreme Court to do something about it and established the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS). Her work at the helm of IAALS is resolute in its focus on continuous improvement of the American legal system, and a logical off-shoot of her accomplishments on the bench where she spearheaded significant reforms in the judicial system. Justice Kourlis began her career with the law firm of Davis Graham & Stubbs, and then started a small practice in rural northwest Colorado where she worked in natural resources, water, public lands, oil and gas, and mineral law. In 1987, she was appointed as a trial court judge with a general jurisdiction docket. She served as Water Judge and later as Chief Judge of the district. In 1994, she returned to Denver and worked as an arbitrator and mediator for the Judicial Arbiter Group. She was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court in 1995. Justice Kourlis earned a B.A. in English from Stanford University with distinction and a J.D. from Stanford University Law School. Over the course of her career, Justice Kourlis has received numerous individual honors.
About the Samuel E. Gates Litigation Award
This award is presented by the Foundation of the American College of Trial Lawyers and was established in 1980 to honor a lawyer or judge who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the litigation process. The person selected might be a trial practitioner, a judge, a teacher, a writer, a legislator, an administrator, or initiator of organizations or programs, or some other person whose work has been substantively significant or who has inaugurated or advanced significant programs. Samuel E. Gates was a President-Elect of the College who died shortly before he was to be sworn in. In Gates’ memory, the College created the award in his name. The award is funded by Gates’ old firm, Debevoise and Plimpton of New York City. Gates was recognized as a pioneer in the field of aviation law, playing a major role in shaping the laws and international conventions that govern airline flights, and in representing domestic and international airlines.
Previous recipients of the award are: Honorable Allan van Gestel (Ret.) - 2015; Donald R. Dunner - 2013; James B. Sales - 2011; Honorable Judith S. Kaye -2008; Honorable Ronald M. George - 2007; Honorable Robert R. Mehrige, Jr. - 2004; Garry D. Warson, Q.C. - 2004; William R. Jones, Jr. - 2003; James E. Coleman, Jr. - 2002; James J. Brosnahan - 2000; Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson - 1999; Honorable Patrick E. Higginbotham - 1997; Honorable William J. Brennan, Jr. - 1993; Honorable William W. Schwarzer - 1991; Honorable Sam C. Pointer - 1990; Honorable David Hittner - 1989; Professor A. Leo Levin - 1988; Robert W. Meserve - 1987; Professor Daniel J. Meador - 1986; Professor John W. Reed - 1985; Honorable Robert E. Keeton - 1984; Joseph A. Ball - 1983; Honorable Erwin N. Griswold - 1982; Honorable Edward Weinfeld - 1981.