The award is presented only when the organization believes that a judge has far exceeded the requirements of the position and performed extraordinary service to better the practice of family law in Texas, Warne says. The award is always a surprise to the person receiving it, she notes.
“The annual meeting is held during the advanced family law course.” She says members of the Texas chapter go to the meeting and “some years they award Jurist of the Year, and some years they don’t.”
“The American Academy doesn’t admit judges,” Warne says. “But, if you were a member before you became a judge, you are allowed to stay.”
Warne says she has been active in family law for many years, but particularly this year.
“I’ve been active on the forms issue. I’ve been judicial liaison to the family law counsel. I do a teen dating-violence program,” she says. “Some of the family law things I’ve been passionate about have been very active recently.”
Warne says she has done family law for almost 30 years, and she does a lot of speaking and volunteer work.
“I’m proud of my accomplishments,” she says. “I’m one of those judges who also dedicates personal time to family law issues. It’s been my passion since I became a lawyer in 1984.”
Warne says there are many good judges throughout Texas that do good things. She says she might have received the award because, “I’m probably pretty well known around the state as a person to call about a question or to give a speech.”
“I’m fortunate to be a go-to person,” Warne says. “People from all over the state say, ‘I know her.’ ”
-- Christine Lesicko