J. Clifford Wallace ’55, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, has received the American Judicature Society’s Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, one of the highest awards given to a federal judge. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy presented the award at an October 19 ceremony in recognition of Wallace’s contributions to the administration of justice and advancement of the rule of law at home and abroad during his judicial career.
Wallace has worked with foreign judges throughout the world for 30 years on issues of judicial independence and judicial education. He was appointed to the federal bench by President Nixon in 1970, following a successful 15-year career in private civil litigation practice in San Diego. He elevated to the appeals court in 1972, and served as chief judge of the circuit for four years before assuming senior status in 1996. Wallace was a co-recipient of the 1989 Citation Award, sharing the honor with Ninth Circuit colleague Harry Pregerson ’50.