New Orleans lawyer becomes incoming ABA president

Judy Perry Martinez of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn LLP in New Orleans assumed the role of president-elect of the American Bar Association today at the conclusion of the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. She will serve a one-year term as president-elect then become ABA president in August 2019.

Bob Carlson, a shareholder with the Butte, Montana, law firm of Corette Black Carlson & Mickelson, P.C., became ABA president today and will serve until next August.

"Our profession and our country continue to look to the American Bar Association-the only organization that brings together lawyers in private practice, prosecutors, criminal defense counsel, civil legal aid lawyers, policy makers, government lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students-to speak on issues critical to the rule of law, justice system and our democratic values, and to lead with knowledge of the law and respect for the principles on which our nation was founded," said Martinez. "I will be guided by the association's unparalleled history of standing up for the voiceless and its unwavering commitment to support our members to be the best that they can be each day for their clients and the public they serve."

Martinez returned to SPS&R in 2015, previously serving the firm from 1982 to 2003 as a partner, member of its governing committee and commercial litigator. In 2003, she joined Northrop Grumman as assistant general counsel for litigation, managing litigation for the western half of the country before becoming vice president and chief compliance officer there in 2011. She retired from Northrop in 2015, to become a fellow in residence for one year at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard, and then returned to New Orleans.

For more than 30 years, Martinez has held various leadership positions at the ABA. From 2014-16, Martinez was chair of the ABA Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services and currently serves as special advisor to the newly established ABA Center for Innovation. She also was a member of the ABA Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System. In 2011, she was appointed chair of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which evaluates all perspective nominees to the federal bench. Martinez has served as the ABA lead representative to the United Nations and as a member of the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee. She previously has served as chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division, a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and chair of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence. She has been a member of the ABA House of Delegates since 1991. Martinez has served as a member of the ABA Task Force on Attorney Client Privilege, the Council of the ABA Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity and the ABA's World Justice Project Committee.

Outside of her work with the ABA, Martinez, along with other members of the Louisiana Bar, established the New Orleans Pro Bono Project and served as its first chair in the early 1980's. Additionally, she served as chair of the New Orleans Bar Association Young Lawyers Section. And, Martinez chaired the Louisiana State Bar Association Committee on Minority Involvement in its inaugural year, 1989, and chaired the LSBA Professionalism and Quality of Life Committee, and the LSBA Post-Conviction Death Penalty Representation Committee.

Martinez is the recipient of numerous awards. In 2017, she was honored with the David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award by the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Presidents' Award by the New Orleans Bar Association. In 2012, Martinez received the Camille Gravel Pro Bono Public Service Award from the New Orleans chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Martinez is also a past recipient of the Sam Dalton Capital Defense Advocacy Award from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Counsel (1997), the Michelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award from the Association of Women Attorneys (1998) and the Alliance for Justice Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association (1999).

Martinez earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Orleans, and graduated from Tulane University Law School, with honors, in 1982.

Published: Thu, Aug 09, 2018