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Loyola alum to receive Opperman Award

Loyola press release - June 26, 2007

(New Orleans) – Loyola University New Orleans College of Law alum Pascal Calogero, Jr., L’54, chief justice of Louisiana, is the winner of the Fourth Annual Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence. Calogero also received an honorary degree from Loyola in 1991.

The American Judicature Society (AJS) created the Opperman Award to honor a sitting state judge of a trial or appellate court who has had a career of distinguished judicial service. Founded in 1913, AJS is a national nonpartisan organization which works to improve the administration of justice and public confidence in the American justice system. Calogero was chosen for the award by a three-member panel: Judge Richard Cooch, Superior Court of Delaware; Judge Marc Amy, Louisiana Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; and Chief Justice Ronald George, California Supreme Court. The award will be presented later this year.

For more than three decades, Calogero served on numerous judicial committees and councils. He was sworn in as Chief Justice in April, 1990. In 1994, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist appointed Calogero to the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States. He is currently serving his last term of office. Upon the expiration of the current term on December 31, 2008, Calogero will be mandated to retire, and will hold the title of the longest serving Justice in the history of the Louisiana Supreme Court.

After Hurricane Katrina, because of Calogero’s quick action to temporarily relocate the Supreme Court to Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Supreme Court never stopped operations, thus no case backlog occurred during the recovery process. Under Calogero's leadership, the Louisiana Supreme Court also authorized out of state lawyers to practice law in Louisiana on a limited basis in order to provide pro bono assistance to hurricane victims.

The Opperman Award is named for Dwight D. Opperman, a former AJS vice president, director, and executive committee member. In 2004, Opperman was honored by the National Center for State Courts with its Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the AJS Board of Directors as a Distinguished Lifetime Director.

For more information on AJS, visit their Web site at www.ajs.org Contact the Office of Public Affairs at (504) 861-5888 for more information.

Loyola University New Orleans is a Jesuit-Catholic institution with a total student enrollment of 4,724 including 800 law students.