Justice Jane Bland
Justice Jane Bland of the First Court of Appeals of Texas has been named recipient of the 2010 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). One of the most prestigious judicial honors in the country, the Rehnquist Award is presented annually to a state court judge who exemplifies the highest level of judicial excellence, integrity, fairness, and professional ethics. Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts will present the award to Justice Bland at a ceremony on the evening of Nov. 18 at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Justice Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court credits Justice Bland with "a thorough understanding of the complexities of a large state justice system that is diverse both geographically and in the type of cases it handles, as well as an appreciation of the various interests it must serve. Justice Bland is smart, even-handed, articulate, hard-working, and committed, and she enjoys the earned respect of her peers." Justice Hecht and Justice Bland work together on a Supreme Court-appointed Rules Advisory Committee for the dissemination of administrative rules for the judicial branch and procedural rules for the civil justice system.
In addition to her work on the Rules Advisory Committee, Justice Bland serves on the Texas Pattern Jury Charge Committee and has served by appointment on the statewide Multi-District Litigation Panel and a Special Court of Review for an appeal from the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct. As the court liaison to the Harris County Court Facilities Committee, she works on the historic preservation and restoration of the 1910 courthouse, opening next year for the Court of Appeals, and previously worked on the design and construction of the Civil Courts Building, completed in 2005. In addition, she is the administrator for the judicial intern program at the First Court of Appeals.
"In spite of an extremely busy professional and personal life, Justice Bland has always believed in the importance of pro bono service, and she serves on the Board of the Houston Volunteer Lawyers’ Program … [and] has also received Bar President’s awards for her commitment to the various community service and professional development efforts of our bar," said Barrett Reasoner, immediate past president of the Houston Bar Association. Among other bar involvement, Justice Bland has served as a chair of the administration of justice committee, the campaign for the homeless committee, the interprofessional relations committee, and the John J. Eikenburg Law Week Run committee. Justice Bland also is a lifetime guild member/volunteer of Be a Resource for CPS Kids, a sustaining member of the Houston Junior League, and a member of the National Charity League.