Judge Gist honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Judge Gist honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Family, friends and colleagues gathered for an announcement in Judge John Stevens’ court Monday, Aug. 18. Judge Larry Gist, senior district judge presiding over the Jefferson County Drug Impact Court, learned that day he had been chosen to receive the prestigious State Bar of Texas Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Judicial Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually to a current or former Texas judge recognized by his or her peers as having a reputation for and commitment to judicial excellence, who has achieved a significant length of service as a judge in Texas, and has demonstrated a long-term, consistent and significant contribution to the betterment of the judiciary, access to justice, and the system of justice in Texas.

Chairman of the State Bar of Texas Judicial Committee, Judge Kelly Moore of the 121st District Court in Brownfield, Texas, announced via telephone that Judge Gist is the fifth recipient of the award and the first trial judge to receive the honor.

“When I read your nomination and read the description of what the award is about – it seems like someone was talking about you when they wrote the description of who should receive the award,” Judge Kelly Moore told Gist.

Gist boasts a 50-year legal career, which began as an assistant criminal district attorney for Jefferson County. He served 20 years as the Criminal District Court Judge and has spent the past 20 years presiding over the Drug Impact Court, according to a press release.

“Judge Larry Gist is most worthy of Texas’ highest honor for a judge,” said Judge John Stevens. “He is known far and wide for his exemplary reputation and commitment to judicial excellence. Judge Gist is an inspiration for others to follow in establishing justice for all.

“So much of what we do breaks your heart – every so often we get to share a tribute to the people who tirelessly sacrifice their life in helping others.”

The award will be presented during the Texas Bar Foundation Luncheon during the Annual Judicial Sections Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas on Sept. 8.

The announcement came as a surprise to Judge Gist.

“The one thing that is very important to me – that seems to be waning a little bit – is the sanctity of our profession,” he said. “Our profession is to do justice. Only through that work will we have hope and respect for our profession again. I am very grateful. Thank you. Now, can we all go back to work?”