Judge Harlin D. Hale to receive Distinguished Service Award from the American Inns of Court Bankruptcy Inn Alliance 2021


ALEXANDRIA, Virginia – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) –Judge Harlin D. “Cooter” Hale has been selected to receive the prestigious 2021 American Inns of Court Bankruptcy Inn Alliance Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes a bankruptcy judge or lawyer who has demonstrated an ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession, the rule of law, and personal ethics and integrity.

“It is difficult to describe Judge Hale as a lawyer and as a person without seeming to be overflowing with admiration and affection,” said Laurie Dahl Rea, Esquire, President of the Honorable John C. Ford American Inn of Court in Dallas, who named Hale on behalf of the Inn. “His dedication to civility and professionalism in the practice of law and bankruptcy law in particular is inspiring. ”

Since 2002, Hale has served as a United States Bankruptcy Court Judge for the North District of Texas and has served as Chief Justice since 2020. He has presided over thousands of cases and authored nearly 200 opinions, one of which was cited by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2017. Hale is a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy and a fellow of the Honorable John C. Ford American Inn of Court. He received the William L. Norton Jr. Award for Judicial Excellence from the American Bankruptcy Institute in 2019.

Hale is committed to mentoring the next generation of bankruptcy lawyers. As a founding member of the John C. Ford Inn, which is dedicated to bankruptcy law, Hale taught a four-month course on Chapter 11 cases for young members, taught high school students as part of ‘a summer program and organized other hostels. programs, such as its “Breakfast with the Judge” program. Her mentorship extends far beyond her work with the hostel. When he realized that young lawyers did not have a program designed specifically to help them launch their careers, he and his colleagues organized “Starting Out Right,” which is now an educational program at the statewide.

Hale is also a visiting professor at Dedman Law School at Southern Methodist University, where he teaches creditors’ rights.

Previously, Hale was a national partner at the firm of Dallas Baker & McKenzie LLP and a partner at McGuire, Craddock, Strother & Hale PC. Hale received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University in 1979 and his law degree in 1982 from Louisiana State, where he was a member of the Order of the Headdress.

The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, inspires the legal community to advance the rule of law by achieving the highest level of professionalism through example, education, and mentorship. Members of the organization include nearly 30,000 federal, state and local judges; lawyers; law professors; and law students in nearly 370 chapters nationwide. More information is available at www.innsofcourt.org.


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