California Lawyers Association

CLA to Honor Outgoing Chief Justice with Judicial Excellence Award and Recognize Distinguished Bar Leaders

August 29, 2022

Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye

The California Lawyers Association (CLA) is pleased to recognize the exceptional contributions of outgoing Chief Justice of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, who is concluding her 12-year term on January 2, 2023, after 32 years of service at every level of the state court system.

Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye who was the first person of color and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice, will receive the Inaugural Judicial Excellence Award on September 17, 2022. She concludes her 12-year term as chief justice and chair of the Judicial Council on January 2, 2023, after 32 years of public service at every level of the state court system.

The Judicial Excellence Award was established to recognize a member of the California Judicial Branch who exemplifies the mission of CLA and is dedicated to promoting excellence, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. The recipient of the Judicial Excellence Award is also committed to the improvement of the administration of justice and preserving the rule of law.

The award may be presented to any individual or organization who has made a positive local or statewide impact on the justice system and preservation of the rule of law. The Honorable Rupert A. Byrdsong, Superior Court Judge of Los Angeles and President of CJA, will present Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye with the award.

“California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye is a brilliant legal mind and wonderful person,” CLA President Jeremy M. Evans said. “The court, judicial system, and legal community will miss her steadfastness, humility, and care for others.  We are also excited for her future and future of the court with Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero at the helm.”

In addition to the Judicial Excellence Award, a new series of awards to recognize outstanding legal practitioners, leaders, and organizations will also be presented during the first-ever black-tie Gala sponsored by CLA and the California Judges Association (CJA) to support the work of the California Lawyers Foundation (CLF) and the California Judges Foundation (CJF).

Somita Basu, CLA Solo and Small Firm Section Executive Committee Chair and Founder and Partner of Norton Basu LLP, will receive the California Lawyers Association Excellence in Leadership Award. This award is presented to a CLA volunteer who demonstrates a commitment to the association’s mission and represents outstanding leadership in the practice of law.

CLA’s Privacy Law Section will receive the California Lawyers Association Section Innovation Award. This award is presented to a Section that demonstrates a commitment to promoting excellence in the Section’s field of practice.

San Diego County Bar Association will receive the California Lawyers Association Exceptional Organization of the Year Award. This award is presented to an organization that exemplifies leadership, dedication, and a collaborative spirit that mirrors CLA’s mission to promote excellence, diversity, and inclusion in the California legal profession, as well as a commitment to seeking a fair administration of justice and rule of law.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to recognize great people who consistently work to improve and strengthen the legal profession,” said Oyango A. Snell, CLA CEO and Executive Director. “The valuable contributions that these public servants, leaders, volunteers, and partners have made to the legal profession is invaluable and worthy of a celebration.”

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