Justice Anne Gardner Named as Recipient of Texas Bar
Foundation’s Samuel Pessarra Award
ach year, the Texas Bar Foundation honors those who
exemplify the highest standards of the legal profession.
This year, the Texas Bar Foundation selected Justice
Anne Gardner from the 2
Court of Appeals as the
2015 Samuel Pessarra Outstanding Jurist Award.
Justice Gardner is the 34th recipient of the award and the third
jurist from Fort Worth to receive the award, which was previously
presented to united States District Judge Eldon B. Mahon in 1998
and to State District Judge Charles J. Murray in 1988.
Justice Gardner was in private practice for 30 years before
being appointed to the appellate bench. She served as Law
Clerk for Honorable Leo Brewster, U.S. District Judge, Northern
District of Texas from 1967-1971, was a partner with the firm of
Simon, Peebles, Haskell, Gardner & Betty for 13 years, and was
a partner with McLean & Sanders for four years. From 1988 until
her appointment to the Court of Appeals by Governor George W.
Bush effective January 1, 2000, she was a partner with Shannon,
Gracey, Ratliff & Miller, where she was Chair of that firm’s Appellate
Section. Justice Gardner was elected the first woman President of
the Tarrant County Bar Association in 1994. She received her B.A.
in history from the University of Texas in 1964 and her J.D. from
the University of Texas School of Law in 1966, where she was Associate Editor of the Texas Law Review.
Justice Gardner has been board certified in Civil Appellate Law since 1987 by the Texas Board of Legal
Specialization, and she served on that Board’s first Advisory Commission on Appellate Civil Law, which
established the standards for certification, for 12 years (chairman 1993) and on the Civil Appellate Law
Examination Commission. She was appointed to and served on the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee
(1993-1998). Justice Gardner was elected first woman President of the Tarrant County Bar Association in
1994 (Vice President 1984-85; Director 1977-79, 1982-84). She served as a Director on the board of the
Texas Association of Defense Counsel (1988-91, 91-94) and as Director at Large (97-99).
In 1987, the Texas Bar Foundation created the Outstanding Jurist Award to honor an active Federal or
State Judge. Retired judges or judges of senior status are eligible if they continue to be active on the bench.
In 1995, the Foundation received a bequest to the endowment from the estate of Mrs. Samuel Pessarra
in honor of her late husband for the purpose of funding the Outstanding Jurist Award. The recipient must
have served on the bench for a minimum of 10 years and exhibit an exceptionally outstanding reputation for
competency, efficiency, and integrity.