AUSTIN, Texas — Charles Alan Wright recently was honored by the Federal Bar Council with its Learned Hand Medal for Excellence in Federal Jurisprudence.
The award presented May 5 by former American Bar Association President Robert MacCrate at the council’s Annual Law Day Dinner in New York City, is presented annually by the Federal Bar Council to an outstanding member of the legal profession who has demonstrated excellence in federal jurisprudence.
Wright, who is the first holder of the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the UT School of Law, joined the faculty in 1955. He taught at the University of Minnesota from 1950-55 and has been a visiting professor at the law schools at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University and Yale University. He was the Arthur Goodhart Professor in Legal Science at the University of Cambridge, England, in 1990.
Born in Philadelphia, Wright, 70, has argued 12 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and many more in courts of appeals and state supreme courts. He has been president of the American Law Institute since 1993 and is the first law professor ever selected to that position. Wright’s treatise on federal court procedure is recognized as the leading academic authority of its kind and his 1969 study for the American Law Institute, “The Division of Jurisdiction Between State and Federal Courts,” has been called a masterwork by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
His other accomplishments include service on the Permanent Committee for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Devise, and the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. His stature as a lawyer and legal scholar is suggested by his appointment to the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Three chief justices have appointed Wright to that committee.