Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn To Receive 2012 DBF Fellows Award
By Kim J. Askew
The Dallas Bar Foundation will honor Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn on March 28, 2012, with the 2012 Dallas Bar Foundation Fellows Award. The Fellows Award honors a lawyer who adheres to the “highest principles and traditions of the legal profession,” “is highly respected in the community,” and provides “service to the community while adhering to the highest ethical standards.” As a leader in the community and profession, a legal trailblazer, and successful jurist, Judge Lynn epitomizes the ideals recognized by the DBF Fellows Award.
Her long-time friend Ronald L. Marmer, Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, captures the essence of Judge Lynn. “I have known Barbara since the fourth grade and she has always been a natural leader. She is one of a kind.” Indeed, her keen intellect and leadership skills have catapulted her to the top of the profession. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Virginia, and first in her class from SMU Dedman School of Law, Judge Lynn began her legal career at Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal LLP. She was consistently named among the Best Lawyers in America in Business Litigation, and the National Law Journal named her as one of the 50 most influential women lawyers in the nation in 1998. In 1999, SMU bestowed upon her its Distinguished Alumni Award for private practice.
James E. Coleman, a former recipient of the Fellows Award, recalled meeting Judge Lynn as a law student at SMU and immediately knowing that she would have a significant impact on the profession. “We hired Barbara when the downtown law firms did not hire female lawyers. Being a feminist myself, that was never an issue for my firm. She was smart, had boundless energy, and the drive to achieve whatever she wanted. The rest is history. She is simply outstanding in everything she has ever done.”
After success as a practicing lawyer, Judge Lynn began her service on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in February 2000, where she is known as a brilliant, fair and hard-working jurist who has presided over high-profile cases. In 2004, The Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates honored Judge Lynn as “Judge of the Year.”
Judge Lynn’s service to the profession is legendary. She has served as chair of both the ABA Section of Litigation and the ABA Judicial Division. Mr. Marmer described her as one of the ABA Section of Litigation’s “treasured advisors,” whose “volunteer and professional work is exhausting just to recount. But she does it all with enormous skill and good humor.”
She has chaired the Committee on the Administration of the Bankruptcy System of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the Federal Trial Judges Conference, and the Research Fellows of the Southwestern Legal Foundation (now The Center for American and International Law), and served as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Federal Judicial Improvements. She is a Fellow and former Committee Chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the American Law Institute. She has served as President, and on the Board of Directors, of the International Women’s Forum of Dallas.
Judge Lynn is a former President of the Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn of Court where she is still an active member. Last year, when a new American Inn of Court for intellectual property lawyers was chartered in Dallas, its founders designated it “The Honorable Barbara M.G. Lynn American Inn of Court.”
She has spoken on trial, evidentiary and intellectual property topics at seminars and conferences across the country. Ever the teacher, she has presided over countless mock trials for high school and law school students.
Judge Lynn is known for her mentorship of women lawyers. She has set an example for others through her own life, having balanced the demands of being a wife and mother while maintaining a highly successful law practice. She opens doors for women lawyers and has done so at every level in the profession.
Roberta D. Liebenberg, a former Chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, spoke of the importance of Judge Lynn’s mentoring role. “Judge Lynn is a paradigm of how to mentor women lawyers and has always done so as a practicing lawyer and now as a judge. She has demonstrated how to balance one’s professional and personal life, and has always encouraged women lawyers to strike a balance that achieves success.” Others have recognized Judge Lynn for her ongoing support of women lawyers. The Dallas Women Lawyers Association awarded her its first Louise Raggio Award, and the Women and the Law Section of the State Bar of Texas presented her with its Sarah T. Hughes Woman Lawyerof Achievement Award in 2006.
Judge Lynn is married to Michael P. Lynn, a founding partner of Lynn Tillotson Pinker & Cox, LLP. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Tara and Whitney. Tara, a third year resident preparing for a fellowship in pediatric intensive care, and her husband Tracey, a teacher, just presented the couple with their first granddaughter—Reily. Whitney recently received her Masters from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and is working at a gallery in San Francisco. Judge Lynn’s beloved parents, Nelda and Stan Golden, are known to many in the community for their support of good causes. Judge Lynn is an integral part of the Dallas legal community who freely shares her considerable talents with humor and humility. Nina Cortell, a partner at Haynes and Boone, best sums up her many contributions: “Judge Lynn sets and exceeds the highest standards—and inspires us all. In addition to being a brilliant jurist, she is ever mindful of the larger calling of what it means to be a lawyer. She freely gives of herself—teaching, mentoring and leading. She makes the profession better, and we are indebted to her for that.”
For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Elizabeth Philipp, Dallas Bar Foundation Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 220-7487.
Kim J. Askew is a Partner at K&L Gates, a former Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation, and is a DBA Director At-Large. She can be reached at email@example.com.