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Judge Lemmon receives College of Law's highest alumni honor

Loyola press release - January 25, 2010

Loyola University New Orleans’ College of Law has given its highest honor to Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon, J.D.,’64, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Lemmon is the 2010 recipient of the St. Ives Award, named for the patron saint of lawyers. The award is presented annually to a College of Law alumnus who has volunteered services to the college or the university, maintained the highest standards of the profession and furthered the mission of the alumni association. Lemmon will be honored at the annual College of Law alumni luncheon on Friday, Jan. 29, at the Hotel InterContinental New Orleans, 444 St. Charles Ave. Loyola law alumni can visit alumni.loyno.edu/2010lawlunch to register for the luncheon.

“I am especially honored to receive this award because of my strong multi-generational family connection with Loyola’s College of Law,” says Lemmon. “My father, James Vial, was a Loyola law graduate. While in law school, I married fellow student Harry Lemmon, also a Loyola law graduate, and now a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. Four of our six children are also Loyola law graduates as well as our daughter-in-law, Jennifer Livaccari Lemmon.”

Lemmon served as a state district court judge in St. Charles Parish from 1982 until 1996, when she was appointed to the federal court. While on the state court, she was instrumental in forming the Court School, designed to educate at-risk youth and divert them from criminal behavior. She formulated a battered spouse intake process which later became a model for the statewide procedure. She was the founder of the Mental Health-Juvenile Services Coordinator Program which remains in operation today.

In 1990, Lemmon was appointed by the Supreme Court of Louisiana to serve as judge pro tempore of the Court of Appeal, First Circuit. Lemmon also served on the executive committees of the Louisiana District Judges Association and the American Bar Association National Conference of State Trial Judges.

As a federal judge, she was chairwoman of the ABA National Conference of Federal Trial Judges and is currently co-chair of the ABA Judicial Division Educational Program Committee along with her husband. She was elected in 2007 as a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Locally, Lemmon serves on the Local Rules Committee for the Eastern District and is a fellow of the Louisiana Bar Foundation. She is a member of the board of directors of the Federal Bar Association, has served as a federal court representative on the Council of the Louisiana State Law Institute and is an emeritus member of the Loyola College of Law Visiting Committee. Lemmon also participates in numerous judicial outreach programs and continuing legal education seminars.

In addition to her legal activities, she is active in many civic and community activities. She is a charter member of Reconcile New Orleans, which operates Cafe Reconcile and trains inner-city youths in the restaurant business and construction industry. In 1997, she received the Grace House Woman of Substance Award. In 1998, she won the Achiever’s Award of the New Orleans Women Business Owners Association. In 2007, she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Louisiana Center for Women and Government.

Lemmon and her husband are parents of Andrew, Lauren, Roslyn, Carla, Jake and Patrick Lemmon, and they have 13 grandchildren.

For more information on the College of Law, contact James Shields in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5883 or jshields@loyno.edu.